Views from the Stalls and Views from the Sofa - My reviews and thoughts on all things theatre and television. Follow me on Twitter @LikeTheMonth_

Monday, 28 February 2011

Being Human Series 3 Episode 6 - 'Daddy Ghoul' - Review

What’s the Story?

George learns that his father has passed away and so attends his funeral, discovering his father hiding behind a tree.  By trying to help George Senior ‘go through the door’ the two get to spend time together and it is clear they truly are Like Father, Like Son.  Meanwhile, a detective turns up at Honolulu Heights to speak to Mitchell, following up on Nina’s anonymous tip off.  Annie decides to help solve the Box Tunnel mystery, blind to the fact the killer is right in front of her.  Oh and the madman in the attic? Still there, still creepy. 

What’s the Verdict?

‘Daddy Ghoul’ is an enjoyable, supremely entertaining and at times downright hilarious episode of Being Human but after the drama and angst of the previous two weeks, returning to a primarily comedic episode at this point in the series seemed, well, just a little odd.  It felt a little like the writers had the idea for George’s family reunion and just randomly dropped it into the box marked ‘Episode 6’; such was the difference in tone to last week I couldn’t help thinking I might have appreciated this episode more had it come earlier in the series.  Perhaps however we were in need of a breather after the fingernail destroying intensity of last week and this was by no means a bad episode.  In fact, it was in many ways classic Being Human.  A touching and very human story told in a bizarre, eccentric and humourous way, coupled with a darker, tense B-story that cast a threatening shadow over the house and its inhabitants.

This episode was similar in tone and structure to Episode 2, ‘Adam’s Family’, and as per that episode, both couples essentially had their own separate plot threads.  When attending his father’s funeral, George bumped into none other than the man himself and presuming him to be a ghost, they began a quest to identify the unfinished business that would allow him to pass over.  James Fleet was wonderful as George Senior, taking on the mannerisms, speech patterns and fetching fleeces of George in a classic case of Like Father, Like Son.  With three years to catch up on, the sheer mundanity of how they chose to spend their time was hilarious with Fleet, Russell Tovey and Sinead Keenan pitching the comedy perfectly (the scene in the park particularly brilliant). There were many lovely little touches (‘Sandscastle’) and his list of unfinished business was genius (Not having seen Titanic, an unpaid newspaper bill and the fact he told Auntie Linda she could eat pasta on the Atkins Diet).

The twist that George Snr was not in fact dead came as a genuine surprise, but makes his reaction to George’s matter-of-fact supernatural revelations even funnier second time around, with George Snr believing his son & potential daughter-in-law to have met in a psychiatric hospital. There were some very sweet and touching scenes in the caravan and it was lovely to see George’s parents reunited, driving a caravan into the sunset in typical British fashion but I couldn’t help feeling that it seemed like George had only been away for three months not three years. The joy on his father’s face was plain to see, but it would have been nice to have spent a bit more time with his mother.  We know that Russell Tovey is heartbreakingly good in emotional scenes and George being the sensitive soul that he is, I thought we could have seen both he and his parents react more to his reappearance after three whole years.

As George’s life seems really to be coming together, Mitchell’s is falling apart.  Following Nina’s anonymous tip off, a police detective, Nancy Reed, turns up at the house to question Mitchell on the Box Tunnel 20.  Following last weeks confrontation between Nina and Mitchell it might have been good to see more of how they are with each other now, as it was we were only treated to a brief scene with Nina looking particularly worried and potentially feeling guilty, plus nothing of Nina's relationship with Herrick.  Last weeks events seemed completely game changing at the time, but at the beginning of this episode you could be forgiven for thinking none of it had actually happened. 

 Outraged that someone would give Mitchell’s name to the police, Annie has taken it upon herself to help solve the crime, particularly when she stumbles upon the information that Lia was a victim of the massacre.  Annie is ditzy but not stupid, and as blinded by love as she is at the moment, surely it won’t take much longer for the pieces to start to slot together.  Nina’s actions last week seem to have polarised opinion in the fan community, but wouldn’t it be ironic if it was in fact Annie that brought about Mitchell’s downfall? Heartbreaking of course, but it is looking increasingly more likely.

In some respects it was a shame to see Annie returning to her ditzy, comedic role this week after her confident dismissal of Herrick last week.  Although I would still like to see more of her all powerful self, I can have few complaints when her scenes are as funny as they were in this episode. A personal highlight was her behaviour in the police station, as if she and Nancy were partners in their own buddy cop movie.  Then of course there was the Cheryl Cole incident. 

This scene was not only laugh out loud funny, but led to a genuinely sweet scene between Mitchell and Annie where they behaved more like a couple than they have previously.  Entering the room, with an amused expression on his face, Mitchell was funny, charming and eminently likeable here. Very much the Mitchell we know and love.  Elsewhere in the episode however, his behaviour was erratic, violent and genuinely quite scary.  Seeing Mitchell attack a defenceless Herrick is difficult to watch, regardless of who his victim is, and upon discovering Nancy leaving with the incriminating book I thought he might actually attack her.  His behaviour is so destructive he is becoming harder to defend and I suspect this is a deliberate ploy by the writers that will lead to his redemption at the end of the series.    
Nancy may lack evidence, but by the end of the episode she knows Mitchell is involved and the sense of impending doom around the character only grows. 

Overall, this was a very entertaining episode of Being Human that I enjoyed very much, with all actors doing a brilliant job to bring the material to life in a genuinely funny way, with George and Nina forming a warm & solid partnership.  I would not be surprised however if opinions are divided by ‘Daddy Ghoul’.  For those that enjoy the comedy element of the show it will have provided a welcome relief but for others, coming at this point in the series, the episode may have felt a little out of place, with only the secondary plot thread moving the main arc forward.  The pieces are all in place however for what I have no doubt will be a stunning end to a very strong third series.

Best Scene

A number of contenders here again, Nina’s exasperation with George Senior in the park had me laughing out loud and Annie quoting Cheryl Cole in an effort to be comforting was hilarious and typical Annie.  I loved that she was so particular about making sure she had the correct number of ‘back’s!

However once again, I think Jason Watkins stole the show at the last moment with another mesmerising performance as Herrick.  With less screen time this week he still made the biggest impact and Herrick’s growing self-awareness of what he needs can only spell trouble.  Encountering Nancy in the bathroom and already having tasted her blood, I felt sure that he was going to bite her.  The tension here was palpable and it really could have gone either way.  It was scary stuff and made up the most compelling scene of the week.

Best Lines

With less angst this week the quips flowed thick and fast in a very quotable episode!

George: Me & you. Mum & Dad.  We’re going to be the ones that have to teach them how to ride a bike, we’re going to have to set their curfew, we’re going to have to-
Nina: Relocate to 1950s America where they actually use the term curfew. 
Mitchell : ‘It’s difficult to find the right words at a time like this.  Why not rely on the literary greats like Auden....and Cheryl Cole’.  – Mitchell, attempting to reassure Annie after she quoted ‘Fight For This Love’ to comfort George.

George Snr : Kick ball change is a jazz step isn’t it?
George: No they do use it in Latin American too. I’m sure I’ve seen it on Strictly.

George: It’s just him living in our house and you shacked up here like King of the Gypsy’s.

George: Oh God not another ghost who makes tea they can’t drink.

Nancy: ‘Thank you for your time and for a truly extraordinary cup of tea’ – Nice to see Annie’s tea making skills finally getting the recognition they deserve.

George Snr: Well couldn’t she have moved over a bit, that piece of wood she was floating on was massive. -  George Snr has same thought we all had when watching Titanic for the first time.

Nina: Ooh it’s a torch. A torch with a spoon. A spoon torch.
George Snr: Sporch! *laughs* - We all want a sporch now right?

George: The name of the cult was The Church of Earth...the Church of Earth, Wind and Fire.  – Another classic tall story from George, accompanied by Nina’s increasing Faces Of Incredulity.

Nina: Oh again with the threefold! – Nina getting increasingly exasperated at having to deal with effectively a second George!

George: No No we’ve tipped completely the other way now
Nina: Yeah you’re a bit...rapey now. 

Marcus: I’ve only got five burgers on the grill but if you’re expecting any more dead relatives to drop by do let me know, I’ll put some more on.  – Ah sarcastic PE teachers, don’t you just love them. No? Me neither!

 Nina: GET IN – Nina’s reaction to George Snr punching Marcus in the face.

George: I’m a werewolf.
George Snr: Now you are taking some form of medication at the moment aren’t you George – The moment George finally plucks up the courage to tell his parents the truth & we realise they have been talking at cross purposes all along.


WHY DIDN’T YOU BURN THE BOOK ORGINALLY MITCHELL AND NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED? Ahem, sorry, had to get that one out of my system there.  Will Mitchell keep control & rid himself of Nancy without resorting to desperate measures? Will Annie realise the killer is right in front of her & what will she do if she does? How much longer will Herrick resist the temptation for blood? We had another mention of the Old Ones at the beginning of the episode, will we see them this series?

Tune in Sunday nights, 9pm on BBC3 to find out, check out the Being Human blog at  for chat and and behind the scenes videos and follow @bbcbeinghuman @russelltovey and @sineadkeenan on Twitter.


  1. A really well written review and I thoroughly agree with you. I think the subtle way that Russell Tovey and James Fleet played off each other during their scenes together shows what great actors they both are, and I'm continually astonished by Russell Tovey's talent for comedy.

  2. Thank you Dorian, for following the blog & for being the very first person to comment on here!

    I am glad you have enjoyed the review, I have only just started & BH is currently the only thing capturing my imagination enough to make me want to write about it.

    So similar were Tovey & Fleet that I wondered how long they had spent before filming discussing their character, or whether Fleet had studied lots of footage to incorporate George's mannerisms as well as he did. It is the sign of great casting, writing and acting when you can immediately believe two characters are father and son before they have even spoken to each other.

  3. i have been following your reviews of Being Human series 3, for a while (mainly because i am a massive fan of this amazing show!!) but i just wanted to take this opportunity to tell you that you are an incredibly good writer. your reviews are clear, well structured, interesting and gripping to read. if you are not already then i would seriously recommend pursuing a career in journalism, your natural talent should not be wasted :)

  4. Did no-one else notice the mention of Lucy Jaggat, and her theory of who might be behind the Box Tunnel massacre, in the newspaper that Mitchell was reading? It's around 05:15.

  5. @loz_burge Thank you very much for such a lovely comment and for coming back to read regularly! Journalism was something I thought about a while ago and then moved away from, but now I can't get a job in my chosen field I thought I'd try and get back into the writing. Writing about TV for a living would be pretty amazing I have to admit! And what better to write about at the moment than BH?

    @friendsaroundthewrekin I have to admit I didn't notice at all at first, but having freezeframed I can see the mention now. A lovely bit of continuity that just proves what attention to detail this show has.