While the US remake continues, tightening budgets at BBC Three have played their part in the cancellation of the original Being Human.
The current, fifth series is to be the last. The timing of this announcement might suggest that an exceptional performance by last weekend’s series opener – measured on whatever terms the BBC chooses, in ratings or audience appreciation – could have made a difference.
UPDATE: Apparently series creator Toby Whithouse wrote this season as a final one. He has blogged:
We must remember too that the remit of BBC Three is to encourage and support new talent, to give them opportunities to make television, to test out new ideas and formats. In that sense Being Human is perhaps a victim of its own success. We can’t really call ourselves a new show anymore, and much as I’d like to think of myself as a young thrusting new talent and not a bitter old war horse, the reality is we have a duty to move aside and make space for the next Being Human.
But much like the cast change from seasons 3 to 4, we viewed the news as an opportunity. It meant I could actually write a climax for the show, instead of it just popping out to the shops at the end of season 5 and never coming back. You’ve no idea how rare that is in television, and what a great opportunity it is to write something suitably definitive and satisfactory.
Consequently we’ve created what I hope you’ll agree is an epic, thrilling and shocking finale that’ll keep the fans guessing and speculating for years to come.
Guessing? For years to come? Is that the kind of pay off we actually want?
Here’s the BBC‘s full press release.
It was announced today that the current series of Being Human will be the last, as the supernatural drama on BBC Three reaches an apocalyptic end, with our heroes facing their toughest adversary yet… the Devil!
Being Human first aired as a stand-alone pilot in 2008 and soon became a popular addition to BBC Three’s schedule. It has gained a loyal Sunday night audience, with a ratings high of 1.6 million and a highest average audience of 1.2 million.
Being Human’s extraordinary mix of drama, comedy and horror has earned the programme awards: The Writer’s Guild Award for ‘Best TV Drama Series’ in 2009, 2010 and 2012, as well as ‘Best Drama Series’ at the 2011 TV Choice Awards.
The show’s success is a combination of innovative storytelling and dark humour which shines a light on the human condition through its supernatural characters.
At its heart was always the supernatural trinity of a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost: three beings attempting to live normal lives among humans, often with disastrous consequences as they fight against their unearthly powers.
Rob Pursey, the show’s executive producer, Touchpaper says: “Working on Being Human has been a truly great experience. From the first one-hour pilot, all the way through to this climactic series, we’ve been given real creative freedom and encouragement. It’s a credit to BBC Three that such an unusual idea has been allowed to flourish and evolve in its own unique way.
“I’d like to take the chance to thank Toby Whithouse (creator and writer) for his incredible writing and storytelling; the other screenwriters who’ve made the series their own; the three producers who’ve nurtured the show; and the many directors who’ve helped us establish the show’s unique tone. Being Human has also opened the door to new acting talent, including some incredibly exciting younger actors, which is a legacy we all feel proud of. We will miss Being Human, but feel inspired that there is a place for series like this on British television.”
Being Human started with Mitchell (Aiden Turner), a 117-year-old vampire with the gift of the gab who refused to prey on humans; George (Russell Tovey), a reluctant werewolf with an extraordinarily high IQ; and Annie (Lenora Crichlow), a murdered woman who returns as a ghost and eventually saves the world.
The show has also attracted a great number of all-star guests, including Mark Williams, Mark Gatiss, Steven Robertson, Donald Sumpter, Lacey Turner and Robson Green, to name a few.
Zai Bennett, Controller, BBC Three, says: “Being Human has been a fantastic and faithful friend to BBC Three. It’s featured some truly exceptional actors and storylines through the years and I’d like to thank Toby and the production team for their vision and passion. However, all good things come to an end and at BBC Three we’re committed to breaking new shows and new talent and who better to pass that baton on than Toby.”
Series five sees our supernatural trio facing their own personal demons, and matters become more complicated with the return of Mr Rook, the shady figure whose government department protects the human world from otherworldly beings.
But Vampire Hal (Damien Molony), Werewolf Tom (Michael Socha) and Ghost Alex (Kate Bracken) don’t realise they face a bigger threat than the Men in Grey, when they stumble across the decrepit and repulsive Captain Hatch (Phil Davis).
Unknown to our trio, Hatch’s feeble exterior hides an ancient evil… because Captain Hatch is the Devil himself and has been trapped in human form for centuries!
Now the father of all evil is just itching to inflict chaos on mankind, but can our heroes survive the oncoming Armageddon unscathed?