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TOBY'S BLOG: THE WRITING HAS BEGUN

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Garret Keogh, Online Editor | 14:31 UK time, Wednesday, 29 April 2009

toby4.jpg

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

 

We thought it was about time we released Being Human creator Toby Whithouse from his isolation room to tell us about what he's been up to since his last blog. Over to you, Mr Whithouse...

 

Well it's been a hectic few months since I last did this. I peep into the website now and then and the loyalty and enthusiasm of the fans never ceases to amaze me.  So I thought I'd take this opportunity to say thanks again and give you a bit of a progress update.

 

Well, after weeks and weeks of scrawling on a white-board and fretting over storylines and series arcs and so on, a month or so ago I finally started writing scripts again.

 

The storylining process is always stressful. It's the most important bit, but usually I can't wait for it to be over so I can actually WRITE. By then I'll have produced endless rambling documents about so-and-so's journey or the tone of the show or whatever, but it always feels like I'm writing about writing. All I want to do is get those words "Int. Morning. The House. Living Room." onto the computer screen and hear the character's voices again.  And sure enough, the moment I start, I feel a massive sense of relief and excitement.

 

And terror.

 

The problem with having a successful series that gets re-commissioned is, you have to do it again. If one more person says the words "second album syndrome" to me, I'll punch them in the neck.

 

It would be ok if we knew how we made the first series any good. Despite what anyone tells you, a huge amount of it is chance. If there were a reliable formula for making good drama, there'd be more of it on TV.

 

It's like falling down a flight of stairs. All we know is we got to the bottom, bruised and a bit weepy, and when we stood up everyone applauded. We'd like to say it was carefully planned, but the fact is we were minding our own business on the landing and someone pushed us. 

 

So we're just trusting our instincts again. I'm writing, hopefully, the way I always did. And producers Matt and Rob and Phil  - not to mention Russell and Lenora and Aiden - will do the thing they did.

 

Oh did you like Being Human: Unearthed? I hope it answered some questions for you. I loved it. Though I did spend the whole hour thinking "Couldn't someone have told me my glasses were on wonky?"

 

I'm avoiding the point of this, aren't I. You want to know about series 2. Well if I say it's difficult to tell you anything specific, that's not me being mysterious, it's because I keep changing my mind. Characters surprise you. I've talked before about how the line in the pilot about the men with sticks and ropes came out of nowhere. Similarly in episode 5 when Owen said "Hey, Annie, is that the best you've got?" Well, things like that happen a lot. It makes writing exciting. So I'll come up with a new character and think "Oh yeah, he'll be a major player" ...and then he just kind of withers on the page. Conversely a bit-part character suddenly expands and becomes the guest lead. That's pretty much what's happened on episode 1 actually. So if I say anything now, the chances are by the time you read it, I'll have changed my mind and it'll be a show about psychic firemen.

 

Rest assured the next series will be bolder, darker, funnier and even creepier.  Hopefully.

 

Anyway. I'll be back soon. In the meantime, keep reading, keep posting and keep being nice to each other.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Hey Toby...chill...do you know what?...you don't need you to be specific...you know we love the very bones of you and will trust whatever you come up with. But if you feel the need to punch somebody.. 'go for 'it' Tell 'em a Mitchellette says so...and you know we have the blackest heart of us all!!

    Chill Toby...we love you, whatever you come up with!

  • Comment number 2.

    Hey Toby!
    I'm sure the second album syndrome won't happen, all we Being Human fans wish for is George, Annie and Mitchell bakc on our screens again :)Thanks for the post, and I can't wait to hear more about series two!!

  • Comment number 3.

    As far as I'm concerned we have one great British tv show to be very proud of and to obsess over. Whatever happens, our Toby FB appreication page will remain and besides we kinda have each other as a seperate entity to BH now so it's all good. Don't fret, we aren't. :)
    Thanks for the update.

  • Comment number 4.

    Yeah...super said what I meant....dont fret!!!

  • Comment number 5.

    second album syndrome...now you have to punch me so does that mean i get to come and meet you? :-) hey cant blame me for trying...

    Anyway as its already been said dont stress we have faith in you 100% (although tell the person who was in charge of the dvd he's a pillock...unless its you in which case ill just shut up but thats another story :-S)

    Ok so loving "the very bones of you" may be a little too extreme for me lol (although vampfan - whatever floats your boat :-D) but I do think you're brilliant and can't wait for the second series and we will love it im sure... and until then we have plenty of fan fiction (im not normally a fan of it and have never written any until recently but for some reason BH fans seem to be good writers - myself not included lol) and fan videos to be going on with...

    Thanks for the update Mr W - you lot really are good to us and we do appreciate it :-)

  • Comment number 6.

    Thanks, Mr W, good to get an update. I second what's already been said.

    Yes, we LOVED Unearthed too. Please can it be on Series 2 DVD?

    LOL re psychic fireman..FanFic anyone? :-)

  • Comment number 7.

    eagle ALWAYS gets in just before me!!

    Second that too though

  • Comment number 8.

    ooh, also, thanks BH Prod team - you kept that treat under wraps, didn't you? :-)

  • Comment number 9.

    I'll take the psychic firemen fic and add it onto my all time favourite vampires fight sequence fic. ;)

  • Comment number 10.

    Lol psychic firemen...another great idea how do you do it?! :-)

    Ok you dont know what made first series so good?

    Hmm...Well for a start I think its the first comedy drama ive seen in AGES if not ever actually, that IS a comedy drama - i.e. gets the balance and not just a comedy with iffy storylines that are trying to be serious or a dark drama with a one liner every couple of episodes.

    And of course the cast are brilliant (although if even you spell Aidans name wrong lol what hope does anyone have :-))

    Brilliant music which really was such a key part of the show (trying my hardest to not mention the dvd there but..eugh ok i wont...)

    George's squeaking - Ok thats a silly one but just makes me smile everytime

    Characters that get everyone argu...erm talking - everyone can either relate to them or know someone like them despite the supernatural element

    The fact that it gets people guessing - Ok so i have come up with a ridiculous amount of theories (if none of them are right by the way I will not be impressed Mr Whithouse lol) but it does it gets everyone talking

    There are loads more but ill get told off if i write another epic:-D

    Ok so I know you werent asking for a list lol but hey any excuse to say how much I love the show and am feeling guilty now for getting so annoyed about the dvdvd :-(

  • Comment number 11.

    eagle (5)'...the very bones of you'.....it's a vampire thing!

  • Comment number 12.

    Yeah Barry how dare you keep this from me?! But lovely suprise thank you :-)

    Oh and yeah sorry Mr W got carried away but LOVED unearthed :-)

    Sorry it was a bit late for us to warn you about your glasses...:-) but dont worry Russells are in most scenes so being human fans are used to it already :-)

  • Comment number 13.

    vampfan...i wont ask :-)

    lol its ok i was only messing. oh sodding youtube :-( cant get this new video to go up my internet keeps cutting out and if it does that i have to start right over...rargh.

    oops sorry wont take over Toby's page.

  • Comment number 14.

    I was gonna say, eagle, you don't half do a lot of 'dropping in' that you do vids and write and wanna work in TV etc! lol ;-)

  • Comment number 15.

    Hey? Why what did I say? Sorry I just waffle a lot :-( will shut up now

  • Comment number 16.

    And I don't half go off-topic a lot! Omg, I've just read that Russell sodding Brand is going to star in a remake of Drop Dead Fred! Grrr. The thing which bugs me is when people who are too young to remember the original of films/songs rave about the new versions. Grrr. Right, sorry. That's it. No more off-topic stuff.

  • Comment number 17.

    Omg, that was soooo weird. As I posted mine, I thought 'I bet eagle will have got in there just before me again' and you did!! Sorry, eagle, no need for sad face :-(

  • Comment number 18.

    That was great Toby thanks so much. I can't wait for series 2 but hell I'm really gonna miss Herrick.

  • Comment number 19.

    God...so wrapped up in the vampire...forgot about Drop Dead Fred... My kid's fave....HIYA SNOT FACE (unfotunately with the actions!!)

  • Comment number 20.

    Hey Toby.

    Loved Unearthed. I love behind the scenes-y stuff. :)

    I spent hours talking to my friend last night about what makes the show so good. Technically we weren't talking about Being Human but I found myself bringing it up all the time when saying how to do it right. So I'll talk about what we thought.

    The thing that it really comes down to is that it's so human. Which for a show about supernaturals is quite hard. But it's down to earth. When Annie, Mitchell and George go home in the evening, barring the occasional vampire uprising or full moon, they live normal lives. They watch tv, have a laugh, drink tea. It's human. It's normal.
    Most people make the mistake that the viewers want big out of the ordinary things. Take a look at Supernatural or Doctor Who. Although I love Doctor Who I can't help but see how they're trying to make it bigger and better every season. I mean look what they did with the season four finale! Daleks taking over the earth, everyone knowing about the existence of aliens. And it's just too out there.
    Being Human is just so much better than that. And I think that's what makes it good. I'm sure there are people who disagree with me but I'm just putting my thoughts down.

    Don't worry about not being able to give us much. We're happy for anything you have to offer us. :)

    I feel the urge to write that I'm hopelessy in love with your writing though that sounds a bit insane when I come to say it. :/

  • Comment number 21.

    Oh the fan fic thing you mean?

    I just meant its sparked a lot of creativity - oh and the youtube thing was just a moan about my rubbish internet connection :-(

    Sorry Sperk

  • Comment number 22.

    vampfan - heehee

    eagle, no need to be sorry, silly

  • Comment number 23.

    yay thanks for the up date toby im sure what ever you do is going to be great

    oh and its good because although there supernaturals you can relate to them
    and as someone else said there just so human

  • Comment number 24.

    I'm someone else now am I Katy. :P lol

  • Comment number 25.

    sorry i couldnt remember who wrote it and didnt wana go and check im sorry cieria i wont do it again

  • Comment number 26.

    It's fine. I was joking. Hence the ":P" And the "lol" ;) I'm only just noticing how long my post actually was...

  • Comment number 27.

    Yay Mr W!!!!
    Don't stress... we trust you. Unearthed was good, didn't notice the glasses. And to second what vampfan said if you feel the need to punch somebody.. 'go for 'it' Tell 'em 2 Mitchellettes say so. :)

  • Comment number 28.

    Toby.... That's it then...2 Mitchellettes...a democracy(?) punch their lights out!!!. Anything to help the jiuces flow.

  • Comment number 29.

    Vampfan: yup!

    oh one question... how did Barry keep quiet about this one? Seriously how?

  • Comment number 30.

    singing...because we weren't expecting it...or maybe we are back to our old friend Pavlov (because we weren't expecting it)..if you know what I mean.

    Which reminds me singing....WOOF WOOF

  • Comment number 31.

    vampfan: lol WOOF WOOF to you to!

    Still very impressive that he kept quiet about it.

  • Comment number 32.

    Is it just me or does Toby come across to you as being totally amazed by the whole success of BH and the fervour of us loopy fans?

  • Comment number 33.

    You're right he does seem to be amazed.

  • Comment number 34.

    Ahhh, sweet Toby - just relax, immerse yourself in your characters, let your imagination flow and you'll be able to give us yet another fantastic series. I'm in no doubt of that at all - stairs notwithstanding. Hehe.

    And, as always, many thanks to you, our dear BH Production team, for keeping us fans up to speed and looking after us so well. :D
    KC

  • Comment number 35.

    singing:: If you and I are carrying out two different conversations on two different pages, does that mean that we are bi-lingual?? and more importantly, do you think the vampire will be impressed??

  • Comment number 36.

    Vampfan: lol bi-lingual? more split personality lol

  • Comment number 37.

    Split personality
    What ever you call it, you, me and brooksie are safe in the knowledge that we are the chosen ones. But this particular chosen one is shattered, so I am going to bid you a fond farewell.

    Hope you don't have S--- dreams(NO MODS DON'T PANIC) it is nothing rude, but if I say it she will have the dreams!!

    Night night....dream of that accent

  • Comment number 38.

    Night vamp, here's to no dreams about certain other vampires. *day dreaming about the accent*

  • Comment number 39.

    Thanks Toby, series 1 was just fantastic- I have about a million theories running around my mind about what may happen in series 2. It'd be ace to be right, but I like to be surprised and I don't think you're gonna have a problem with it. I love the little teaser that the threat will be 'human' this time, I think that'll make it scarier. Like that Dr Who episode 'Midnight' where the real threat was the mob mentality of the passengers and not the noise outside at all. I think that humans can be far scarier sometimes than fictional monsters. I suppose that's hinted at slightly in the title as 'human' covers all sorts of traits, evil, mean and nasty included.
    I'm really interested in what's going to become of Owen next series, I reackon that he'll be quite important.


    Oh and Psychic Firemen... I wanna see that show!!

  • Comment number 40.

    TOBY - I'd be afraid! very afraid! It doesn't matter what scenarios we suggest, what fanfic gets written, or if we just close our eyes & try to think really hard about Seth surviving his staking - you are god, once you've made the next episode that's it. It's real (as far as the BH world is concerned) & once you've decided George dies or Annie & Mitchel end up hating each other - that's it, it will be the truth - so you'd better make series 2 equally amazing, no it should exceed the amazingness of series 1.

    - No pressure.

  • Comment number 41.

    Hey Toby,
    So that would be from the unused pilot pshchis Fireman Sam would it(I'm only teasing you)
    We all have those kinds of fears with our writing Toby, just do what I do. Take a page out of Ten's book, take a deep breath and tell yourself 'Allons-y'(always works for me, mind you having a bit of a problem at the mo with the sequel to my BH fanfic 'Analogue of the Wolf', but am sure that will pass)
    (P.S what about that new werewolf mentor played by Paul McGann, would be nifty:))

  • Comment number 42.

    psychic, I meant pshchic

    (my brain is fried from exams, GAH!

  • Comment number 43.

    See I did it again
    Best of luck with the writing Toby
    (ginger is good for concentration, that might help)
    BTW Being Human Unearthed was v.good, v.informative


    ooh,btw, more wolf senses like in the pilot

  • Comment number 44.

    The only thing im worried about for series 2 I guess is the fact that the vampires fascinate me the most - and although I loved most of the characters and they made the show greatand gave it a depth - it was the vampires that made me go oh my god I need the next episode now! And in series 2 im guessing that the vampires aren't going to have such a starring role as they aren't going to be the main threat:-(

    But saying that - I'm so into the show now and really want to find out what happens so I think I'll be constantly dying for the next episode anyway and I trust you enough to make the new guy intersting even if he isn't a vampire lol

    So yeah I think it'll be fine :-)

  • Comment number 45.

    I never actually saw it as a vampire show tbh.
    The supernatural element was secondary to the fun, domestic side. The characters trying to be human is the draw and the heart of the show.
    Even if Seth or Owen never return- I'll stay loyal. That's how great I am. :D

  • Comment number 46.

    hooray for Toby! you could write a series about paint drying and I think we'd all watch it!!
    and don't worry about your glasses - I spent most of the time watching the reflection of the lights on the edge of the frame, and thinking "that light must be a bit bright!!"

  • Comment number 47.

    eagle - it was only one vampire that made me think "omg I need the next episode now!" and I'm not talkin bout Mr Cockbottomley, bless him.

  • Comment number 48.

    39 - bunnybiter - yeah, I totally agree. That episode of Dr Who was clever, like with episode 4 of BH. Humans have potential to be farrr more scary and dark than supernaturals. I am really looking forward to seeing what Mr W does with it, as I think his observations of human characteristics, emotions and cultures seem to be very sharp.

  • Comment number 49.

    I didnt mean I saw it as a vampire show - I liked the fact that there wasn't one main character and that there was always a balance just meant that the vampires fascinate me and I hope they are in it quite a bit still in series 2 - would be interesting to see how they manage without Herrick - we've all had a stab at it in fanfiction but want to see what "really" happens lol

  • Comment number 50.

    Just to see it on our screens again be enough to make us swoon. Such a long wait til the next series. Can't wait to see it, look what talking to Toby does - it just reminds us how good BH is and how much we miss it!!

  • Comment number 51.

    I don't miss it at all.......but perhaps that is because I watch it constantly....how sad do you have to be to know every line!!!

  • Comment number 52.

    Lol vampfan you obviously havent heard about my 99% recall erm talent? talent may be pushing it lol but couldnt really think of another word!

  • Comment number 53.

    eagle: I usually can't even remember what I had for breakfast (just after breakfast!!) And yeah, why not call it talent.

  • Comment number 54.

    eagle is our resident quote checker! someone should give her a job

  • Comment number 55.

    Aww Vampfan, you're not alone, I'm beginning to know every line too. When I was six I knew every line to the Neverending Story... actually, I believe I still do.

    Oh dear.

  • Comment number 56.

    vampfan unfortunately it doesnt mean i have an especially good memory - couldnt tell you half of what i should know for this exam next week :-S but i tend to have BH on in the background when im doing other things so it kinda gets stuck.

    oh and yes someone should give me a job...please? lol getting worried now - as of July I am officially out of work :-S well i have another job lined up although dont really want to do it - but if i wasnt working i think id go insane...i mean even more so...

  • Comment number 57.

    I can't wait for the next series! What will happen with Nina? Was that man part of a secret government agency? So many unanswered questions. I love this show, I love the actors and the music is fantastic. I won't say hurry up because I know it has to be just right but damn I miss my George!

  • Comment number 58.

    Hay Toby, The First series was exellecnt when will the second series be out and stop stressing you all are doing exellecnt work. Chill out.

  • Comment number 59.

    hey don't worry just keep doing what you do best...writing! I find if you keep worrying or fretting, it will make you lose focus. Just stay positive and remember, chocolate solves everything!
    Can't wait to see what a sensational job you've done!

  • Comment number 60.

    Hi Toby just wanted to say that the first series is back on bbc three and I love every minute watching it good work to everyone.

  • Comment number 61.

    Heyy peeps, yeah topy first series was mintass ! i think we would all like to see more of it too! and even... just....maybe .... that we could have a oneoff in the mean time ! xx ^.^ yeah and happy b'day Aidan for the 18/6 :P

  • Comment number 62.

    Series 2 will be just as good, if not better than the first. Just make sure there is still plenty of werewolf action, and we'll all remain friends. :)

  • Comment number 63.

    When are we likely to see series 2 in Oz? Andvwhen will the dvd be available down under?

  • Comment number 64.

    What can one say about such a terrific show? Mere words cannot describe it, I really enjoyed the first series, so much so that I've ordered the dvd so that I can watch it again and again

 

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