'Being Human': 'The Graveyard Shift' recap
Published Feb 19 2012, 22:01 GMT | By Morgan Jeffery This Week...
Hal (Damien Molony
) is told he must get a job, but when the vampires catch up with him there is another offer on the table. Meanwhile, what lengths will Annie (Lenora Crichlow) go to in order to protect baby Eve?The Bad Moon Arising...
Last week's Being Human
saw Hal take up residence in Honolulu Heights, but as we remarked at the time
, our central trio were still far from fast friends.
Wisely, 'The Graveyard Shift' exploits that sense of unease - the relationships between Hal, Annie and Tom (Michael Socha) break down, before being rebuilt, stronger than before.
After a brief glimpse at Hal's past as lord of the Old Ones, in which the 1855 model of our vamp sports a rather unflattering moustache, we jump back to 2012. Forced to get a job by his new housemates, Hal finds himself working alongside Tom in the local cafe and wearing an equally-unflattering apron.
'The Graveyard Shift' exploits the odd couple pairing of Tom and Hal to the hilt - Molony's bloodsucker is a restrained bundle of nervous energy, while Socha's wide-eyed werewolf combines a certain 'laddy' charm with old-fashioned manners to great comic effect.
The scenes that Hal and Tom share are the highlight of this episode. We already knew that Michael Socha could deliver the goods, but this week Damien Molony really gets to give his comedy muscles a flex, wringing every last laugh out of Hal's straight-laced foppery.
It's great fun to watch the displaced vampire despair at his new circumstances, and the sequence in which both our male leads struggle to "chat up" a lady is pure gold, almost sitcom-like.
Best of all is Tom and Hal's discovery of a discarded Nuts
magazine - the two men stand, hilariously frozen in terror, before Hal nervously picks said item up with a plastic glove and disposes of it. After a dark couple of years, it's a delight to see Being Human
rediscovering its lighter touch.
While Hal and Tom grow closer, Annie is pulling away from her friends. Stirred by the dark prophecy that Regus (Mark Williams) has made his life's work, the friendly ghost prepares to flee Barry with baby Eve...
It had occurred to this writer that Annie had fallen into her new routine rather too easily, so it's nice to see that she hasn't just forgotten George, Nina and Mitchell and that, despite appearances, she hasn't quite accepted Hal or even Tom into her home.
But 'The Graveyard Shift' isn't perfect - there's a few elements that don't quite gel. Pretentious, wannabe writer Michaela (Laura Patch) never quite clicks as a character - she's written and played far too broadly. Unlike the Hal / Tom scenes, her 'comedy' moments fall flat.
Hal's clash with Fergus (Anthony Flanagan) and his vampire hordes also feels a little old-hat. As the character struggles over whether or not to resume his place as leader of the vampire hordes, we can't help but be reminded of Aidan Turner's Mitchell, who faced the exact same dilemma.
The Being Human
writers have clearly worked hard to make Hal distinct from his predecessor, and for the most part they've succeeded admirably, so let's hope the character doesn't get caught up in a series of reheated storylines. The trailer for episode four - which suggests that the Box Tunnel Massacre is back on the agenda - doesn't exactly fill us with confidence on that front...
But for the most part, 'The Graveyard Shift' works well and goes some way to further solidifying the dynamic between our new lead trio (including that touching moment in which they switch loyalties from The Real Hustle
to Antiques Roadshow
). While it's not quite up to par with series four's first two episodes, it's still very good indeed.