Archives for June 2009

BH BLOG SPECIAL: Q&A WITH TOBY WHITHOUSE

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Garret Keogh, Online Editor | 12:59 PM, Tuesday, 30 June 2009

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

 

Being Human creator Toby Whithouse has been working away on series two like a machine, going without food, water or sleep for months.  (Seriously, he looked like he'd gone ten rounds with Rocky...)  So, being the kind souls that we are here at the BH Blog, we thought we'd let him out into the daylight for a quick Q&A about series two.  Only a quick one, mind you. After all, there's writing to be done...

 

What's your writing environment like? 

I work from home, in a converted attic. I have everything I need up here. Computer, fan (not an air conditioner, I mean a little guy I keep in the bathroom who *really* likes my work), sofa (all writers will tell you the importance of the nap) and shelves heaving with books, comics, plays etc.

 

What's your average day like at the moment? 

At the moment, my time is split between meetings and writing. We're sort of at the half way point, script wise. I've finished episodes 1 and 2. The writers of episodes 3, 4 and 5 have 'gone to script' and their first drafts are starting to come in. The writer of episode 6 is about to start her script, while I've now started the script for 7; and when that's done I'll start the storyline for episode 8.

 

Is it a calm before the storm?

Yes, I guess it's the calm before the storm. We're about 6 weeks away from the start of filming. This week we start proper Pre-Production. Locations are being scouted, the various Heads of Department are sitting down, and Matt Bouch and Colin Teague (the director of episodes 1, 2 and 3) will have their first casting session.

 

Have you had 'writers block' and, if so, how do you deal with that?

I've always found the best cure for writer's block is a deadline. The blocks don't tend to come with the writing, but in the plotting. Take episode 7. We couldn't find a story for Mitchell. I was starting to panic, as we simply didn't have time to humm and hahh. But after a few meetings, a few speculative pitches, we constructed a story we were really happy with, and I could start the script. Of course there will be tiny blocks that I'll spend a few hours scratching my head over, like "How do I get him to accidentally reveal that piece of information...?" But the big scary blocks have usually happened by the time I sit down.

 

Are you nervous about revealing your ideas to the world?

It's part of the process. I constantly have to pitch ideas for stories or sequences or characters to Matt and Rob and Phil, and their reactions are essential. They're three of the smartest guys I've ever met, and they know the show inside out. Consequently if something isn't going to work, they'll tell me. Then again, it's terrific to come up with an idea that surprises or excites them. Again, episode 7 is a good example. I had an idea for a sequence and pitched it to the guys, and their response was "Oh my God, that's creepy..." Which was nice.

 

What's your process of writing like?  

The storylining process will start with me jotting down a few ideas in my notebook. These might be entire (albeit sketchy) storylines, or just a sentence. Then we meet up, divide the whiteboard into a grid. 8 episodes x 4 characters (our three main guys and 'the villains'). I'll take them through the ideas I've got and we'll write them all up on the board. It's at this point in the process I first actively consider faking my own death, because rather than the 'embarrassment of riches' I thought I had come up with, all I've managed to do is fill up three of the boxes on the whiteboard. This is also the first time that Matt tells me "It's all going to be fine." The desire to change my name and run away to sea, and Matt telling me not to worry, will have happened maybe 4 or 5 hundred times by the end of filming.

Anyway, back in the storylining room, once I've calmed down, it then becomes a question of filling the remaining boxes for each character in each episode.

Once we have a very rough arc for every episode, I'll start to flesh it out, concentrating on episode 1 first; and when we're all happy I'll start the script.

 

Do you plan the whole series before you start writing dialogue? 

To an extent I'll have the whole series mapped out in my head, though it becomes vaguer as the series goes on. On series 1, all I knew about episode 6 was Herrick had to walk into a room, the door would shut and George would step out from the shadows. In this case, for episode 7, all I knew was two of the characters had to agree to go to a specific place. And in episode 8 all I know is someone dies. Hahahahahahaha.

 

Is it a similar experience to writing series one? 

I'm hopefully writing the scripts quicker. I'm at the stage now where I can deliver a first draft in 3 weeks. I have no idea if that's fast or slow, but it's certainly faster than I used to be.

 

Has the success of series one influenced the writing of series two in ways you wouldn't expect?

It's a mixed blessing. There's a weight of responsibility. But I guess we had a taste of that on series 1 after the campaign to get the series commissioned. I don't know, maybe we're attacking it with more confidence. It's nice to know that the viewers like what we do, so even though we are throwing new things at the characters and telling different, challenging stories, we're not mending what ain't broke.

 

Are the characters behaving the way you expected or do you find them changing as you write?

The characters have evolved, so to an extent it's like writing a new show. They've been hardened by their experiences in series 1, but at the same time their friendship has become firmer. In episode 1 of series 2, one of the characters is very different to how they were in series 1. And that was interesting to write. But before anyone panics, the character soon sees the error of his or her ways...

 

HOW THEY GOT THE PART

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Garret Keogh, Online Editor | 17:20 PM, Thursday, 25 June 2009

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

 

Imagine you're an actor.  You're sitting at home eating biscuits when your agent calls, offering you a part in a new show.  If you're anything like us over at BH Blog Towers, this is exactly what would happen... 

 

AGENT: "I've got you a part in a hot new show."

YOU: "Mega!  What is it?"

AGENT: "It's a drama about a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost sharing a flat in Bristol.  The script is great...  and you get free biscuits."

YOU:  "I'm IN!"

 

Surprisingly, however, that's not how it happened for the stars of Being Human.  Here they are in another BH Blog exclusive, explaining exactly what happened when they got the part.

 

(PS - Our 'Herrick's Most Evil Moment' video will be coming next week - stay tuned!)

 

THE BIG QUESTION: HERRICK'S MOST EVIL MOMENT

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Garret Keogh, Online Editor | 10:00 AM, Friday, 19 June 2009

 

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

 

Oooh, he's a bad one, that Herrick.  Between the killing sprees and the attempts at world domination, he also managed to fit in a healthy dose of Mitchell-fighting, George-taunting and the odd bit of cafeteria-employee-snogging.  (His diary must have been chocca).  With some brilliant one-liners and a wicked sense of humour, he's a classic baddie.  In fact, we've been inspired to assemble some of Herrick's greatest, most-villainous scenes in one ('super-eeeevil') BH Blog exclusive video... and we need your help.

 

So this week's big question is... What's Herrick's most evil moment?

 

The better your justification and the more passionate your argument, the better the chance of us featuring your evil Herrick moment in our video, so get forming your arguments now. We'll analyse all the comments and come back to you with THE definitive video listing Herrick's 'official' most-evil moments. Remember, the BH Blog team's decision is final and we are waiting for your suggestions...

 

GIRL MEETS WEREWOLF...

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Garret Keogh, Online Editor | 14:41 PM, Monday, 15 June 2009

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

 

He was the awkward hospital porter with a twinkle in his eye and a deep, dark secret.  She was the acting ward sister that you wouldn't want to mess with.  So how did these two opposites end up attracting?  Featuring never-before-seen interview footage, we chart the history of George and Nina's whirlwind romance...

 

THE BIG QUESTION - GEORGE AND MITCHELL: CHANGING PLACES?

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Garret Keogh, Online Editor | 16:47 PM, Friday, 5 June 2009

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New to BH? This post does not contain spoilers, but the comments might...

 

Mitchell is a Vampire, George is a Werewolf.  It makes sense, but we at BH Towers thought it might be fun to mash things up a bit, and started thinking...  What if George and Mitchell swapped roles?

 

What if George was a vampire and Mitchell was a werewolf?  If George was the Blacked-Eyed-Pea, and Mitchell the Super Furry Animal?   Would Mitchell be happier with a part-time role...? Could George cope with the blood lust...?  

 

This is definitely one BIG issue, and one BIG Question...  George and Mitchell: What would happen if they swapped curses?

 

GILBERT INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVE

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Garret Keogh, Online Editor | 17:23 PM, Thursday, 4 June 2009

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

 

He's miserable, he's morbid and he's intense... but somehow he's also utterly fantastic.  Yes, Gilbert really is an unusual sort of fellow. 

 

In this exclusive BH Blog interview Alex Price, the man behind the ghost, tells us what it was like getting inside the mind of the sour-faced 80s spirit... and about the truth behind his feelings for Annie.

 

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