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article imageBBC commissions Becoming Human, an online spin-off of Being Human

By Mathew Wace Peck     Nov 8, 2010 in Entertainment
A new online drama, Becoming Human, which has been developed for the BBC by Toby Whithouse, is due for broadcast in 2011.
The series – which is a spin-off of BBC 3’s hugely popular supernatural drama, Being Human – will comprise nine episodes, and be penned by Whithouse (Doctor Who) and Brian Dooley (The Smoking Room), as well as two other writers who cut their teeth on Being Human, John Jackson and Jamie Mathieson.
Speaking to the Stage, Whithouse said: “We’ve got a cracking story lined up, with some terrific new characters and all the thrills and chills you can manage.”
Radio Times reports that Becoming Human – which follows a group of new characters, students at a fictional college – will be available through the Being Human website only, airing online midway through the third series of its parent show, which returns to BBC Three in January 2011.
As with Being Human, there will be three main characters – Adam, a vampire “trying to get himself back on the straight and narrow at college”, Christa, a “beautiful, cool” werewolf, and their friend Matt – who become embroiled in mystery. Adam is to be played by 19-year-old actor Craig Roberts (Young Dracula); Christa by Leila Mimmack (Married, Single, Other) and Matt by Josh Brown (Grange Hill).
Sarah Clay, BBC Multiplatform Drama Commissioner, told Digital Spy that during the course of the series, daily clues would enable viewers to interact with the unfolding story. She said:
The fans of Being Human are incredibly active online, so we wanted to give them something they could really get their teeth into.
The Becoming Human online extension doesn’t just consist of nine episodes, the narrative extends beyond that with daily clues in the form of press cuttings, anonymous tips, CCTV footage, mobile phone clips . . . giving the online audience the chance to follow the mystery on the blog as it unfolds.
Becoming Human is to be produced by the Zodiak Media Group’s Touchpaper Wales, working closely with the Being Human website/blog team – Barry Pilling and Garret Keogh.
Speaking to Unreality TV, Whithouse confirmed that the development of the spin-off series was down to the fans of the parent show:
Yes, because “you” demanded it, the world of Being Human is expanding!
We’ve got a cracking story lined up, with some terrific new characters and all the thrills and chills you can manage. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as we’ve enjoyed making it.
Origins of humanity
Originally, BBC 3 commissioned a pilot episode of Being Human, along with a number of other drama pilots. The intention was for the most popular programme to be given a full series. Inexplicably, however, BBC 3 originally chose the wacky superhero comedy Phoo Action, despite Being Human coming out on top with viewers.
Subsequently, as part of her review of the pilot episode, Narin Bahar of the Reading Chronicle began an online petition to lobby the commissioning editors to greenlight Being Human for a full series, which was successful after being signed by over 3,000 people.
In the pilot episode, Guy Flanagan (A Bunch of Amateurs) played Mitchell, Andrea Riseborough (Never Let Me Go) played Annie and Adrian Lester (Hustle) played Herrick. All three actors were replaced when it went to a full series. However, Tovey retained the role of George.
Being Human centres around three apparently 20-something people, who are, in fact, a ghost, Annie, a vampire, Mitchell, and a werewolf, George. The three end up sharing a house in Windsor Terrace, in Totterdown, Bristol, trying to live a normal life – hence, being human!
Annie is played by Lenora Crichlow, 25 (Sugar Rush), Mitchell by Aiden Turner, 27 (The Hobbit), and George by Russell Tovey, 28 (The History Boys). The series also stars Sinead Keenan, 32 (Moving Wallpaper), as Nina, and Jason Watkins (Tomorrow Never Dies), as Mitchell’s mentor-turned-archenemy, Herrick.
Series one and two were filmed on location in Bristol, having been produced by BBC Bristol for BBC Cymru Wales. Series three, however, has been produced by BBC Cymru Wales itself, the action having already moved Wales towards the end of the second series. In series three, the three flatmates will have moved to Oceanview Road, in Barry.
Being American
Being Human is also an upcoming US Syfy (formerly, SciFi) supernatural TV drama series. Based on the British show of the same name, the American series will revolve around the lives of three roommates. As with the British show, the three characters appear to be in their twenties and are trying to live normal lives, despite being a ghost, Sally, a vampire, Aidan, and a werewolf, Josh.
Meaghan Rath, 24, (Fries With That) plays Sally, Sam Witwer, 33, (Battlestar Gallactica) Aidan and Sam Huntington, 28, (Fanboys) Josh. Mark Pellegrino, 45, (Lost) will play a Herrick-type character – Aidan’s charismatic but menacing mentor, Bishop.
More about Becoming human, Being human, Radio times, BBC, BBC
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