TOBY'S BLOG: THE MYTHS AND MORE
New to BH? Watch out, this post contains spoilers from series one...
Toby Whithouse, the creator of Being Human, is back to answer more of your questions about the series. Toby, over to you...
I've been pouring through the comments on the website and here's a few questions I've found...
How did I decide which bits of mythology to use and which to ignore?
I chose whichever ones offered the best story potential. For example, I liked the tradition of vampires not being able to have their image captured on film. I felt this could throw up some exciting and unsettling visual moments, such as the CCTV at the beginning of episode 1, and the Vampire Porn in episode 2.
Then I found the rule about vampires being unable to cross a threshold unless invited. There was something about this I liked, so threw it into a script. It wasn't going to feature heavily and might have got cut, but suddenly when I got to episode 5 I could use it in a really interesting way...
Because there are so many rules about supernatural creatures, we could pick and choose what ones we wanted. But the bottom line always had to be "What gives us the best story?"
Werewolves crossing water. This has its roots in folklore, when lycanthropy was connected with madness. The insane were often placed on islands, as this was considered an effective way of cutting them off from the rest of society. I guess they thought if you were mad you couldn't build a raft. But over time it's got twisted up with hydrophobia, the fear of water, which is supposedly a symptom of rabies.
A question about George's transformations. After all this time, why isn't he secreting a spare set of clothes somewhere?
Once transformed, George has all night to lope around. Consequently he could wake up 10 miles away from where he started. So he'd have to have sets of clothes hidden away in dozens of locations.
I then ventured into the world of internet forums. Man, that was scary. But here's what I found...
Is that an amulet of some kind that Mitchell looks after for George?
No, it's George's Star of David. George is Jewish and his faith is very important to him. It's worth clearing this up now because in future episodes, the 'religious symbol' thing becomes really important...
Will we explore the line from the pilot "the men with sticks and rope"? (basically what Annie and Mitchell saw when they died)
Death is obviously a major topic for the show. We saw Gilbert pass over in episode 3, and we'll see something similar later in the series. The image of the men with sticks and ropes is a line that seems to have struck a chord with a lot of viewers and I've been asked a couple of times where it came from. This sounds very indulgent and pretentious, but I had no idea I was going to write that line until I wrote it. It took me completely by surprise. But yes, it is something that we will revisit later.
Speaking of the pilot, here's an interesting one.
Is the pilot 'canon'? (i.e. does the series follow on from the pilot?)
Yes. I'd like it to be. I know three of the characters have new heads and there's been a tonal shift in terms of the vampires, but I tried to make sure nothing in the series contradicted anything in the pilot. Some people have said, in episode 1, it appeared that Annie hadn't met George's ex, Julia, when in fact she had. I disagree. I wrote episode 1 pretty soon after the pilot, so for me it was a direct pick up. There's nothing in what Annie says that (at least to my mind) says she hasn't met Julia.
Ok, back to you. Keep those questions coming, otherwise the next blog will be about my kitchen extension.