'Being Human': 'A Spectre Calls' recap
Published Feb 26 2012, 22:01 GMT | By Morgan Jeffery This Week...
Kirby, a 1970s ghost, comes to stay at Honolulu Heights - but he's not as friendly as he first appears. Driving a wedge between Annie (Lenora Crichlow), Hal (Damien Molony) and Tom (Michael Socha), Kirby sets his sights on helpless baby Eve...The Bad Moon Arising...
A mere week after apparently resolving their differences, our central trio are at each other's throats again in 'A Spectre Calls' - but it's hardly their fault, as they've each fallen under the influence of the apparently benevolent Kirby (played by James Lance
, doing his best David Walliams).
Early on, it's obvious that Kirby's laying seeds of discontent at Honolulu Heights, but the character's initially so unthreatening that it's difficult to dislike him, until he begins toying with poor Tom. So good has Michael Socha become at pulling on the audience's heartstrings that Kirby's cruel manipulation of the loveable lycanthrope makes him immediately far more hissable.
The Kirby character works best in these darker moments - the sequence in which he brings on the GP's heart attack, for example, is genuinely unsettling. But at times, the sinister spirit is played too broadly - we could've done without his extensive dance sequence, for example...
Once he comes out as a serial killer who's not quite as notorious as he'd like, Kirby becomes hyperactive and more than a little irritating. It's a shame - his earlier creeping menace was far more effective.
Still, when 'A Spectre Calls' does manage once again to implement comedy without undermining the drama, it's a delight. There was a danger that the scenes with the GP could feel a little old hat, recalling as they do the visit from Nicola Walker's brilliantly fragile social worker back in series three. But unlike that pitch-dark encounter, these scenes are wonderfully funny - Socha and Molony's amusingly awkward double act strikes gold yet again.
In our review of last week's 'The Graveyard Shift
', we voiced our concern at Hal investigating the box tunnel massacre - did this old Mitchell storyline really need bringing back from the dead (no pun intended)? In the event, it's only a small part of this episode and relates more to Hal's ongoing blood lust than anything else.
That sub-plot is also explored through an intriguing Annie / Hal scene, in which she insists that she wants to remain ignorant of his murderous past - clearly the ghost of Mitchell still lurks, so to speak. And it may be just us, but did anyone else pick up on the hint of something possibly happening between Annie and Hal? We kind of hope the show doesn't go down that route - again, it's Mitchell territory.
Speaking of Annie, two ongoing issues related to that character are finally addressed here. It had occurred to this writer that, without George, Mitchell or her original Bristol home, there's nothing really keeping Annie around. Indeed, robbed of all hope by Kirby, she begins to fade away...
But we've also been told numerous times about Annie's powers, her true potential, yadda yadda yadda, so it's great to see her make a magnificent comeback, using previously unexplored abilities to utterly annihilate Kirby. More of Super-Annie please!
Other elements in the season arc also fall effortlessly into place - we're intrigued to see where Tom's relationship with Cutler will lead, while the revelation that Hal is the "nemesis" with the burnt arm - so obvious in retrospect - genuinely took us by surprise.
For the second week in a row, Being Human
tips the scale towards comedy and while much of 'A Spectre Calls' works well, it's not a complete success. We've said it before - we're thrilled that the show has rediscovered its lighter touch. Now it just needs to reign in a few of its excesses.Let us know what you thought of this week's Being Human below!