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January 26 2011

'Being Human' creator lists his vampiric inspirations. A list of the usual suspects, with an interesting omission . . . of sorts.

I actually asked Toby Whithouse about Buffy and Angel in an online q&a session. While it's an obvious question for me to have asked, it wasn't completely out of the blue because there was a reference in the first episode of season two.

"Notaviking wanted to know if Buffy and Angel were shows that inspired me in creating and writing Being Human.

Ok, confession time. I have never in my life seen an episode of Buffy or Angel. This isn't deliberate, it's just something that kinda... passed me by. The world and his uncle have told me how much I'd like it and how Being Human has echoes in terms of tone and humour. I'd love to see it... I just haven't yet. In fact, my lack of knowledge is apparent in ep 1 when I mistakenly ascribe * to Buffy instead of Angel. Thankfully about 67 people were kind enough to point out the mistake I made on national TV."

* The spoiler is for season two of Being Human. Just wanted to be extra careful since quite a few people here won't have seen the show and it is a big hint at a huge spoiler. Plus they might use the same plot for the remake. But you should, of course, watch the original series because it's absolutely brilliant. While it's unmistakably British, it does have similarities in tone and humour to Joss' shows.

And although I noticed - no, I wasn't one of the 67. ;)

[ edited by NotaViking on 2011-01-26 14:46 ]
That's a little interesting as Joss was the first one (as far as I know) to have vampire *poof* into dust and they dust after a while on this show, plus Mitchell is just a little too Angelish for my taste (though the brooding vampire goes back further than Joss).
I completely agree with his assessment of 'Let the Right One In'. I love this movie for the way it handles the vampire mythos. The scene that is screencapped in the article is especially poignant for me.

It can be easy to forget the true nature of a vampire when a medium has to be edited for content for a variety of reasons; keeping Eli at the forefront of one's mind is a great way to maintain an accurate perception of vampiric nature which is important for the meta side of fandom. I know that Whithouse is talking about a different type of comparison, but this type has proven useful to me.

I hate to admit this, but I did not view the spoiler as a mistake! I interpreted it as "Buffyverse" and didn't give it another thought until just now. Oops!
@Maddy: Vampires going *poof* were there before Joss. It's there in several old vampire movies. I even remember it from Nosferatu, the vampire goes arghugaaaaarghhgh and then cut to a pile of ash.

I adore the season opener of the new BH season. I hope this show has a long and happy life.
Hahaha! I *just* watched Episode 1 of Series 2 tonight and screamed at the telly, "It was ANGEL you twit!"

I've only *just* gotten around to watching Being Human, I loved the first two episodes so much that I went out and bought series 1 and 2 in box-set - ordered them, rather - and yesterday before I sat down to watch the series 1 finale, they arrived. I gotta say, of all the supernaturally themed shows on tv at the moment (True Blood, Supernatural, Vampire Diaries), Being Human is the one that really takes me back to the first couple of years of Buffy.

I love that it has gotten (for me) progressively darker, but still maintains a lightness that I think is lost in the other shows.
"Being Human" is one of the better supernatural shows around. So far, the remake suffers by comparison, but I've only seen the first episode so far, hopefully it will pick up some steam.

Vampires turning to dust or bones when staked pre-dates film by quite a lot. Even in the original novel "Dracula", he fell to dust in a matter of seconds, which wasn't done in Lugosi's film version (but most others well into the 1970s.)
Mitchell is just a little too Angelish for my taste (though the brooding vampire goes back further than Joss).


I'll agree that Mitchell certainly has his broody moments, but in some ways, I always felt that he had a much sunnier outlook on life. Comparing the two, when Angel first starts out, all he can really see is the bad (i.e., spending all of his time killing the bad guy, but with no higher reason as to why). Mitchell, on the other hand, really wanted to engage with people around him, because he knew that being more than a bloodthirsty vampire involved being apart of the world around him, not outside of it. Mind you, I haven't seen past the first episode of the second season, so this certainly might change.
In one of his interviews, Joss mentions that the Buffy innovation is to have all vampires including newly turned ones dust when killed, not just the really old ones.
Yes! Much vampire folklore & fiction has a slain vampire "becoming" what his dead body would be if he hadn't become a vampire. So--ancient vampires become piles of dust. More recent vampires become decaying corpses.

I think Joss decided to dust all the vamps because he didn't want Buffy's actions producing a bunch of smelly dead bodies.
Am I the only one to likes more the British unaired pilot of BH than the series itself?
I thought the show a little shallow with the changes and the only actor of the Pilot that I really disliked was the one to make the show :( !
Having watched the first episode of series 3, I will say (and make it invisible for non UK posters) that . I gather I wasn't the only one who thought that.
I enjoyed BH, but I still think LTROI is one of the truly great movies. Ever.
I suppose it's a writing team so even if Toby Whithouse hasn't seen Buffy and Angel I'd be surprised if the rest of the team hasn't - not to mention the directors, make-up artists etc etc.

I met him a couple of years ago but I didn't mention Buffy because I thought the comparisons were so obvious he might get offended (nice guy though).
Is the original Being Human any good? I watched the remake the other night on a whim and can't say it left a very good impression. Of course, that doesn't say anything about the quality of the source material.
That's what is being referenced as "BH" in the previous posts. It's far better than the remake, IMO. I was watching the second episode of the remake earlier and got bored enough to turn it off.
The British version of Being Human is much, much better than SyFy's crappy remake. Do yourself a favor and check it out, RCM.
There are a lot of traits in Being Human that seem like they are from Buffy. I'll take the writers word for it that he's never seen the show, and put it down to originality from both sides. Whithouse is a good writer, and for the people who have seen the remake, I'd definitely recommend checking out the original. It's a strong piece of British television, only undermined slightly by its lack of budget and fairly unimaginative locations. In my opinion.

I turned in on Sunday to watch the new premiere and I must say that I agree with you Simon about what was in the spoiler tag. Still it was nice to see a strong showing of guest stars this year, and they are clearly attracting a lot of talent. Lacey Turner was a bit of a masterstroke I think; she's going to bring an outside audience in and I strongly rate her as one of the finest actresses in Britain today.
I've finally gotten around to watching the first episode of the new season and must say I thought that too. He pulled it back later in the episode though.

He also made me confused about the vampire mythology in the show. I always thought Mitchell dressed in a lot of dark clothes because of the sun thing, but this particular vamp didn't seem to be that covered in the daylight the first time we see him. Does the sun not have any effect at all on vampires?

Really good episode though. A little surprised that the twist at the end of season 2 didn't put in an appearance and they seem to be setting up a couple of other story threads instead. Also, as I went to uni in Swansea, the little dig they made did make me burst out laughing.
Vandelay: No, sunlight has no effect on the BH vampires. In Season 1, though, they usually wear dark sunglasses, since their eyes are sensitive to sunlight, but I guess it just became a bit of a pain to film with those on, so you hardly see any sunglasses in Season 2.

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