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TOBY'S BLOG: COSTUMES, IPODS AND BLOOD

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Garret Keogh, Online Editor | 11:56 UK time, Monday, 16 February 2009

toby4.jpg

New to BH? Watch out, this post contains spoilers from series one...

 

 

Toby Whithouse, the creator of Being Human (and all round legend, yes?), is back to answer more of your queries once again.  If you missed his previous entries, you can find them here, here and here

 

Right. Settle down. Lots to get through.

 

Why can't Annie change her clothes?

I discussed setting the rules for the supernatural characters in a previous blog, but with Annie it was much more complicated. The rules for ghosts differ wildly from film to film and book to book. But it meant we could have a little more license. Though, as with the others, the bottom line had to be what makes a good story. So we made her invisible to everyone but other supernaturals (until episode 4 that is) and made her able to manipulate objects because otherwise she wouldn't be able to 'participate' in the world which would make her a very dull character to write and watch.

Regarding her clothes, we wanted to show how her death has, in a way, frozen her in time. And keeping her in the same clothes (although you'll notice how they change slightly, depending on her mood) as that was a good visual way of expressing that. I always imagined her like Miss Havisham in Great Expectations, still in her wedding dress from decades before. Annie is trapped, she can't move on, she can't complete her journey. Everything about her, including her clothes, is stuck.

 

What does Mitchell have on his ipod? Haha. Everything. I'm 38, not that much younger than Mitchell and I've got a very eclectic taste in music. On my ipod is Ella Fitzgerald, Muse, the Ting Tings, the Rolling Stones, The The, Editors, Elbow, Elvis Costello and Vivaldi. I reckon his would be pretty similar!

 

Vampires and blood. Yes, SharonTheHarper, you're absolutely right. The analogy we use for blood in Being Human is drugs. We're saying the hunger is for blood is psychological. Mitchell will discuss it further in ep 6, but essentially the craving is something he could in theory overcome. I always thought this was an interesting way of approaching it, as it meant Mitchell could renounce blood without starving to death, but it allowed enough struggle to make the battle interesting.

 

If Being Human is re-commissioned, are we tempted to build in a hook for the next series?

Well, the whole of series 1 has already been filmed, so it'd be too late to put in a hook for series 2 now. So it's just as well I wrote one! And I think you will all absolutely love it...

 

Did I crib werewolf lore from 'The Buffy Chronicles'? No. I read heaps of books on the subject, but not that one. In fact (and I'm aware I risk having my sci-fi fan credentials revoked when I say this) I've never actually seen an episode of Buffy. There. I feel so much better now I've got that off my chest.

 

Oh and PauulP. Thank you for pointing out the contradictions between the pilot and the series. Haha! I hadn't noticed them. All I can say is, I'm really pleased we've got such attentive fans, who watch my show with such scrutiny. 

(Presses button on intercom. "Release the hounds...")

 

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Thanks for answering some of the questions I had, that is my curiosity well and truely sorted out. Although could you explain to us the process from getting the idea to the BBC allowing you to create the series?

  • Comment number 2.

    thank you for answering some of our questions!

    however, if you have already written another series, can we safely say that we will definitely get another series? and if so when?

    thanks!

  • Comment number 3.

    That's all on my music playlist too :-)

    ''release the hounds''...brilliant :-)

    Thank you again.

  • Comment number 4.

    So is there a second series? Im confused. SMELL MY CHEESE YOU MOTHER, IVE GOT CHEESE, THIS IS CHEESE. Good old Babtridge, always reminds me not to take life to seriously.

    But seriously are you writing already, did you ever stop? YOU ROCK.

  • Comment number 5.

    out of curiosity if you were renewed for a second series would we get a longer run than 6 episodes? because although you answered the blood/drugs parralel, I would like to draw attention to the episode/drugs connection that I feel.

    Oh and never seen any buffy at all? dear dear, I have to say on behalf of the Sci-fi fan council I do have to revoke your credentials until such times as you have seen season 1 of buffy :P

  • Comment number 6.

    I'm like you, I would call myself a sci-fi fan but I've never seen a single episode of Buffy.

    Thanks for answering the questions, although i have some more for you.

    Firstly, can vampires be killed in Being Human. In other films they can be killed through sticking a stake through their heart so i was wondering if you had put any thought into that, if you decided to kill off a vampire (though please don't kill off Mitchell, he's my favourite character)?

    Also, i was wondering about the fingerless gloves that Mitchell and Lauren wear. Is there any reason for vampires to wear them?

    Finally, unless i can think of any more, are there any other supernatural creatures that you might include in future episodes?

    Thanks

  • Comment number 7.

    'I've never actually seen an episode of Buffy. There. I feel so much better now I've got that off my chest.'

    Well seeing as neither have I either, I think you were confused. I only used this for reference for myself a while back and spotted some of the stuff mentioned in the book is all

    Sorry if there was confusion on the matter

  • Comment number 8.

    lol ive never seen buffy either and dont really feel tempted to :-S not my kinda thing i dont think but then i never thought s would be so who knows!

    Thanks for all the blogs Toby it is appreciated :-) please answer my how do people become vampires question though - im sure its incredibly obvious and im just missing the point but its niggling away at me because everything i come up with - i find a reason for it to be wrong lol thanks again Toby :-)

  • Comment number 9.

    I sometimes wonder if you writers have a good old laugh at us fans over-analysing things! - kind of like people do with art or songs and people are saying ''...we can see from this particular stroke that the artist was making a bold statement about the complex blurring of boundaries in life...' etc etc and the artist is thinking 'actually that's where I smudged it by accident'. I bet we're getting it all wrong! :-)

  • Comment number 10.

    Hi Mr. T (hope you like your new nickname!!!) I just wanna say a big thanks for answering my question, when I checked back to the website, read your blog and saw that you had answered my question I was pratically bouncing off the walls, for about 15 mins I was running around my house like a crazy person lol. I would just like to ask (and I know you've probably been asked this berore)but, here goes:
    Do you know if Being Human will be shown on BBC1 or BBC2 anytime soon?
    I want as many people to see it as possible lmao!!!
    Thanks again Toe-Bee, x.

  • Comment number 11.

    One of the contradictions Paul spotted - Annie being an only child vs having brothers - isnt it Lauren they are talking about in te pilot when they say she was an only child? Or was it both?

  • Comment number 12.

    Lol Sperkii thats what i always think - when i did my english A level i wrote a lengthy esssay analyzing a poem that i thought was about death and the loss of a child in particular as did about half the class we were then shown an interview by the poet who said it was about a migrane of all things :-S

    But im sure the writers do think about every little thing - theyve come up with some stuff wed never have seen coming in a million years lol i cant wait for next episode :-)and really really hope you answer my vampire question cos im just gonna keep asking - i thought it was me being dumb but noone else seems to know either!

  • Comment number 13.

    Eagle_eyes4 aren't vampires made when a vampire bites a normal human being and then lets them drink their blood. So it's kind of an exchange of blood. That's why in episode 1 when Lauren bites that girl she tells Mitchell that all he has to do to save her is let her have a few drops of his blood. I think I am write in saying this. Hope that answers your question.

  • Comment number 14.

    Hi Toby,

    You have two generations of fans in this household. We care about the characters, and we're hooked by the story arc. Brilliant!

    It's Buffyesque (this is a compliment). Cool music, cool kit (OK not George, but we love him)and the main thust isn't passing for human, but being one.

    Brilliant!

    But can series two give some explanations? Vampires generally don't do day light. Mitchell isn't slapping on the factor 50 all the time, and he's been discarding the shades. How does that work?

    Thank You

  • Comment number 15.

    c_bradshaw, actually traditional vampires have done daylight quite a bit (Dracula, Carmilla, etc...).

    The daylight problem gained popularity in movies, originally.

  • Comment number 16.

    Hi 'c_bradshaw',

    Have you checked out the Being Human Blog Feature video Vamping it Up

    If you havent checked out the blog Archives then I would recommend you give it a go.

    There's interviews with the cast and crew, as well as Toby's previous blog posts, and even exclusive online Prequels delving into the past of each of our 3 main (and favourite) supernatural beings - including how George became a werewolf!

  • Comment number 17.

    Okay i thought of some more questions:

    Firstly how did Mitchell and George meet and become aware of each others condition and then become friends?

    Secondly, i can't remember which episode it is in but at one point Mitchell is talking to Herrick and tells him he only became a vampire to save the life of his men. I was just wondering how becoming a vampire meant he could save the life of his men?

    Thanks

  • Comment number 18.

    My thoughts on Miss_Beadie's second question ..
    I think he possibly so Herrick et al wouldnt kill his men? Cos Herrick says something like "oh very noble, letting them get old and rot while you became an immmortal" (yeah, i know it was put far more eloquently than that!!!)
    ... so i think Mitchell was giving his men a chance at a normal life and existence rather than just becoming food.
    ... Just an idea

  • Comment number 19.

    Yes i thought of that - victims having to drink the vampires blood but then Herrick said that Lauren woke up alone and scared and calling out for Mitchell? Surely if she had to feed from Mitchell then she would have already seen him and understand what was going on?

    I have just re watched episode 1 and heard what Herrick said about Mitchell welcoming them with open arms or something similar dont remember taking this in first time round things now make a bit more sense but still i cant quite get my head around it - would a drop do it do you think? so did Mitchell just cut himself and drop a few drops into Bernies mouth or something or would he have bitten him god i ask too many questions dont i lol think i think too much.

    Also having just watched ep 1 again (my mum has i player woo lol) did anyone else realise its Tully in the woods when George is trying to find a place to change? Probably everyone already knows and im a bit slow on the uptake but i actually went oooooh its Tully! Obviously didnt know this first time round so was rather excited lol

  • Comment number 20.

    Thanks for answering some of the questions but I just have a few more :P

    Will series one be released as a boxset?

    How did Mitchell becoming a vampire save his men?

    and sorry if this has already been explained but how did George and Mitchell meet?

  • Comment number 21.

    Hmmm. I was gonna ask if naming George's girlfriend Nina was in any way a reference to 'Angel' as in the final season Angel gets a werewolf girlfriend named Nina. But I guess as Mr. Whithouse has never watched 'Buffy', then he's never watched 'Angel' either. Must be entirely coincidental.

    eagers_eyes4 - I pointed out that in the pilot Lauren was an only child and in the series proper she has brothers. It actually doesn't bother me, I enjoyed watching the pilot but I'm entirely happy considering only some of the events to be in continuity.

    "Release the hounds..."

    Oh, hell... (starts running)

  • Comment number 22.

    (pant... pant... still running... leaps into a tree in hopes of temporary safety... damn, hounds are still circling)

    Actually, talking about 'Buffy', they also had a child vampire in their first and second season. They were forced to kill him off though as the actor was begining to age.

    Are there any plans for Bernie to return at a later date? And if so, would the actor aging hinder such a planned return? Or can child vampires mature in the world of 'Being Human'?

    I blame my attention to detail on the fact that I'm currently in 'editor mode' on my own writing (currently studying screenwriting at university, which I love).

    As a fan of fantasy and sci-fi, I have to ask, do you think that the British television industry is more accepting of fantasy and science fiction ideas than they were a few years ago?

  • Comment number 23.

    Oh sorry PaulP must have read it wrong - eagle eyes by name only im afraid lol im glad you're enjoying your course I did a media studies GCSE/A level and it kinda ruined films for me for years lol couldnt stop over analyzing everything but i try not to now......not going well though :-S it a good job i was never very good at it :-D

  • Comment number 24.

    RE comment 20 i think mitchell means that he was scouting ahead in order to see if there were any Germans in the forest (im just speculating here) and thats when he ran into Herrick
    Also somewere on this site it mentions that mitchell found george being beaten by other vampires and mitchell decided to save him

  • Comment number 25.

    Yeah, analyzing the fun out of things can be a problem. However, since 'Being Human' is so entertaining I still find myself enjoying it no matter how much I analyze it.

  • Comment number 26.

    In relation to Bernie aging, i've read a vampire story somewhere, can't remember where now, where if a child becomes a vampire they start aging super super fast and till they become an adult and then remain like that, so i guess they could chose that option if the writers of Being Human wanted to bring Bernie back.

  • Comment number 27.

    Hmm I hope he can grow up somehow but I guess that would be to sort of nice and cosy and a bit cushy for the plot? Although it would be quite nice to have a happy ending of sorts - the vampires do have the ability to grow somehow - Mitchells hair has been cut and grown over the years and hes had a moustache/beard then shaved it and grown it again etc (beginning of episode 4) so there might be some wiggle room there...

  • Comment number 28.

    To Being Human Team/BBC - Any thoughts on my idea of having a Comic Relief competition/auction type thing? Loads of fans would opt in I reckon and Comic Relief is a very good cause.

  • Comment number 29.

    Think thats a good idea sperkii its a great cause and there are a lot of people who absolutely love the show. Auction would be great for comic relief but im absolutely skint so just doing a sponsered thing rather than donating...any chance of a competition for us poor folk lol ok thats just on a selfish note - think an auction or something would be a good idea :-)

  • Comment number 30.

    I don't think I have ever been 'into' a show that has such good interaction with the fans.

    Thank you so much Toby for answering all these questions.

    "Release the hounds!" ROFL

  • Comment number 31.

    Ok, so you have explained about vampires not appearing on cctv, and in mirror etc. And that all makes good and perfect sense...however. I was just wondering about the equipment they are using and/or the clothes they are wearing.

    When the guy is having sex with evil vamp girl (which made one of my house mates almost wet himself!) where were her clothes? And if Mitchell does not appear on the cctv why don’t people get a bit concerned about mop buckets rolling themselves around? Cars must still appear if they are being driven though right? Although I can’t remember there being an incident where that actually important. So I was wondering if the vampires aura perhaps infected the stuff they are wearing/using if it’s quite small...for example a mop, or their clothes. And then when a normal person uses it, or the item is left for a while the aura is dispelled.

    It’s not really that important I guess, it’s just something I was thinking about and I thought it might be amusing to watch mops floating around the halls or miraculously appearing.

    Any hoo, great show! Best thing I’ve seen on TV for a good long while.
    xx

  • Comment number 32.

    the mop bucket thing i never actually considered but it made me laugh lol i guess people just dont sit watching the cctv - its kinda only used if something happens for police evidence or whatever? The clothes thing again i never thought about i guess it works the same way as with annie? i never thought about the clothes in laurens dvd i guess she could have got undressed off camera? :-S I dunno. hmmm you've got me thinking now :-)

  • Comment number 33.

    Annies clothes - if ghosts only wear what they die in, how come she wears gilberts headphones - and if the answer is because he's a ghost too, how come she wore Tully's hat in episode 2.
    If she can wear hats why can't she change her clothes & or is it she can have extra clothes, but she can't ever take off her own clothes - which is going to make any impending sex scenes (hopefully between her and Mitchell) tricky.

  • Comment number 34.

    Oh & I like the idea of Bernie aging to adult vampirehood - perhaps you could bring him back played by Guy Flanagan....

  • Comment number 35.

    Okay so some of the questions i asked earlier were answered with episode 5. But episode 5 did raise another question. I was wondering about Death as a door. The door's that came for Annie and Gilbert were different so i was just wondering how you chose the doors to represent death for each character and whether they represent anything.

  • Comment number 36.

    Well ok then Toby i understand why you didnt answer some of my many vampire questions it may have given away episode 5 a bit so im sorry for pestering you :-) episode 5 really was brilliant though even if very frustrating - just wanted to say that here in case you dont read all of the pages :-) cant beleive the cliffhanger though!! i just hope to god there isnt one like that on the last episode otherwise i dont know what ill do!! cant believe we only have one more episode! its cruel really really cruel :-(

    But thanks despite that for the episodes we have had i get more and more hooked every week and have convinced pretty much everyone i know to watch it! Thanks so much for a great show and for all the regular updates and things we have on the website its nice to know the team cares about the fans :-D

    by the way any chance of a job as an extra or tea and coffee maker on the next series lol (i know itll be a no but hey theres no harm in trying now is there :-D)

  • Comment number 37.

    I love this show. But I reckon Toby, that you should do one more series (an extra long one). Sort of like Life on Mars or The Office. Leave people wanting more. Go out on a real high. It`s guaranteed that it is a cult show anyway. You don`t want to be Americaising it and milking it. The standard of the show is very high and it would be a shame to lose that.

  • Comment number 38.

    I agree about not milking it however, the writers really have prioved themselves and if they can come up with enough storylines for more than one more series then why the hell not. There has to be a series 2 though there has to be - if ep 6 is written with a second series in mind then they cant leave us on a cliffhanger forever!!

  • Comment number 39.

    Hello, could you please explain the issue of religious symbols and their power.

    Was Seth affected by the Star of David because of George's faith, or because he himself was Jewish in his pre-vampire life?

    I was thinking it was the latter because of it's lack of effect on Mitchell who was probably raised Catholic.

    If that's the case, however, why was it's affect later weakened by the number of vampires present.

    Thank you very much.

  • Comment number 40.

    Just want to say how much I love the show and I hope there's another series.
    If there is, will we get to see more of Mitchell's backstory?
    I thought it was interesting when he tells Bernie he used to get bullied and he used to be the dorkiest kid. So does he go back to confront the bullies --- and then find out they've all been killed in World War 1 anyway?

  • Comment number 41.

    I have just thought of another writer, or perhaps director, related question -

    Did you adapt the characters/the lines to suit the individual actors? Particularly with Russell, as you would have seen his portrayal in the pilot

  • Comment number 42.

    absolutely brilliant series, best thing on tv in a long time!!

    Just a little query - I could be completely wrong here, but in episode four I remember Mitchell saying to Fleur that there were far older things than religion (ie vampires). However in episode five doesn't he say to Josie that Bristol was where the first vampire settled in the seventeenth century? Have I got mixed up here somewhere?

  • Comment number 43.

    Hi Toby,

    All credit to you, your show is fantastic!
    I love the plot, sub-plots and the characters.
    Brilliant work...keep it up!

    I was wondering what your influence for writing the show was.
    Is it due to your wild imagination or do you RPG in your spare time?

    Thank you for your time. Keep writing great material!

  • Comment number 44.

    acharne - the question was probably meant for toby but thought id help out - vampires have been around for thousands of years but in episode 5 he refers to the first vampire who had a double life ie. pretending to be human and killing in private like Herrick, Seth and all the others do rather than just running round killing willy nilly lol. Hope ths helps :-)

  • Comment number 45.

    Okay.
    Am i really the first person to notice this?!
    "Mitchell will discuss it furthur in ep 6. . ."
    Don't you see what this means?!
    Ahhh i'm dying to watch the next episode now lol. . .
    3 more days till it's on the site.
    Can't wait!

  • Comment number 46.

    I am so happy that this has been signed for a second series. I was beginning to think that other than Dr Who / Torchwood the UK no-longer did Sci-Fi and certainly couldn't produce something new which was up to the quality of the many US shows. How happy I am to have been wrong!
    I like many others are very surprised that you've never seen an episode of Buffy - the premise of exploring humanity through "monsters" is very similar. In addition the humour, intelligence, character development and acting are fantastic. In my mind Being Human is the true "UK Buffy" (not a copy - but done in the same spirit) - which really is a huge compliment from someone like me who's a massive Joss Wheedon fan.
    I will continue to watch and very much hope series 2 is lnoger than 6 episodes.....how about 22 like the US series?

  • Comment number 47.

    Hi Toby......having seen many comments about the show being for younger people, I have to let you know that my husband an I are forty something and just can't get enough of Being Human. I think the show appeals to a wider audience than is being projected and it's all I hear talked about at work. Just love it and can't wait for more of the same. You've finally made us look forward to Sunday nights!Six episodes a Season just isnt enough! Keep it comin....pleeeeese

  • Comment number 48.

    Hi Toby,
    I totally agree with MistedWindow, my partner and I are both in our 40's and completely besotted at the moment with "being human"!! Love it love it love it!!!!!!! Will be pre-ordering series 1 from Amazon and can't wait for the next series!!! Good luck to you all for the future.

  • Comment number 49.

    Thank you Toby and everyone involved in being human, you've made me believe in the BBC again. Thank you thank you thank you, for the greatest, most wonderful, scary, funny, moving series that has been on telly for ages. Roll on series 2!!!

 

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