The BBC recently released the Blu-ray and DVD of Being Human‘s fifth and final season. Longtime fans of the show may be disappointed that by the final season, none of the original characters remained. Yet, the writing is high quality, the stories are fantastic, the tone and mission of the series is kept true, and the last installments deftly balance serious character development with a larger arc, making sure that viewers actually know and care about the relatively new stars of the show, while still being entertained. It’s an all-around top notch job.
Season Five essentially picks up where the fourth year leaves off. Tom (Michael Socha), the werewolf, and Hal (Damien Molony), the vampire are now sharing the inn they inherited with Alex (Kate Bracken), a ghost of a woman Hal killed. Needing income, the boys take jobs at a local motel (as opposed to the non-active one they live in). The trio all struggle with their personal issues, figuring out the kind of life they want to leave despite their secret, supernatural sides, not realizing all the while they are being manipulated by Captain Hatch, a.k.a. the Devil (Philip Davis).
Hal may be the most messed up. That’s because as much as he’d like to pretend he’s kicked his addiction to human blood, he can’t help but be tempted by it. This leads him into a couple of compromising situations, complicating things with Alex, for whom he still harbors feelings. He also faces his brutal element in a large way.
Tom, meanwhile, feels inferior to Hal, and desperately wants to prove he is as good as the vampire. This is especially true as Tom wonders how much the wold holds him back. Finding that Hal isn’t quite reformed helps Tom’s self-esteem, but strains the bond of friendship between the two.
Alex wants to help both guys figure out what’s best for themselves, but also learns a bit about being a spirit along the way. She has some serious juju, getting a quick grasp of her capabilities, but is a little too trusting, and perhaps a bit blinded by her own emotions.
Interestingly, Being Human brings in a couple of new characters for Hal and Tom to mentor. They see these new characters as reflections of themselves, and, providing Hal and Tom with meaning and purpose for them moving forward. It’s a cool dynamic, and it’s sad the show comes to an end so soon, leaving little time to explore these relationships fully.
Rook (Steven Robertson), a supporting player for awhile, also steps into the forefront this season. He is losing the department he runs to budget cuts, which is unfortunate given the very special interest Rook takes in his work. Faced with the threat he feels endangers humanity, he must decide how important it is to restore his work in the name of saving lives, and what cost may be too high.
The ending of Being Human: Season Five is surprising, and I will not spoil it (though I did previously review it). Suffice it to say, there is a lot of personal examination and a major showdown, forcing the roommates to decide what being human means to them. Because of the nature of this confrontation, the personal stories unspooled throughout the season get closure, rather than growth being pushed aside in favor of action. And Rook gets pay off, too.
The extras are plentiful for such a short run, with a wealth of footage that could have been, but was not, used within the episodes themselves. We get deleted scenes galore, comprising all six installments. There are a number of interviews with various cast and crew members. Five bits about Alex trying to complete her unfinished business are present, and probably my favorite extra, though I wish they hadn’t been split between the discs, the only bonus divided in half this way.
Likely the best inclusion for fans is an exclusive scene that is set after the series’ finale. It neatly resolves some of the ambiguity left hanging, and provides an idea of what a sixth season or feature film could look like. I was actually content with the finale prior to watching this, but now that I’ve seen it, it feels the characters are screaming for more. Might this be what creator Toby Whithouse (who guest stars in the final season) was hoping for?
Blu-ray is definitely the way to check out this release. The effects aren’t too plentiful, but aside from some cheesy-looking werewolves, they are well used and natural. There is a lot of darkness in the color palette and tone, so it helps to have the high def version to see the detail in the shadows and the layers of blacks. There is also a great soundtrack, crystal clear and well mixed.
In short, Being Human: Season Five is a must-see for people who enjoy the show, and a fine example of how to both reboot a story with a fresh cast, and also how to end a series properly in that situation. Kudos to all involved.