Here we are in the midst of the engrossing second season of the UK original version of Being Human, airing on BBC America, and now we must contend with the approach of the North American version that's entered into production. I still can't decide whether to look forward to it or not, and it will be very hard to top the excellent British version (which you should be watching), but the casting is intriguing.
Sam Witwer and Sam Huntington are starring in Syfy's redo of Being Human.
© Getty Images
By the way: A lot of writers are referring to this as the U.S. version, which is actually kind of misleading: it's being backed and distributed by a U.S. network, Syfy (which is, however, trying to increase its global profile with shows like this and Haven), but it's being made in Montreal by a Canadian production house, and part of the cast is Canadian. To be more accurate we should say "the North American version of Being Human." Oh, and hi, Canadian readers! I'm still jealous of you because you get to keep The Listener, but that's another story.
This version of Being Human caries over the premise and the inherent conflicts of the three supernatural beings trying to room together and live human lives that were present in the original, but the characters are not necessarily going to be the same. The creators have signaled this by changing the names, and of necessity new actors will take their functional place in the story in new directions.
As Aidan, the conflicted vampire (Mitchell in the original), they've cast Sam Witwer. Witwer recently pulled a (largely thankless) full-season stint as Davis Bloome/Doomsday, but he was even more impressive in a couple of fascinating and juicy recurring roles not long before: as Neil Perry, the guy who falsely confessed to being the Ice Truck killer in Dexter, and as the ill-fated raptor pilot Crashdown on Battlestar Galactica. He's certainly capable of the intensity and introspection that Aidan Turner has brought to his vampire in the British version. He's a just little too buff to play a vampire, but American TV shows always have to have a buff guy, right?
Sam Huntington is playing Josh the nerdy werewolf (George in the original). This is very intriguing: although I'm not a huge fan of his portrayal of Jimmy Olsen in Superman Returns, he played the comical role more or less as written; and in other films (Freshman Orientation) he's showed greater range and subtlety, and if you were to ask a casting agent to get you an American Russell Tovey, Sam Huntington is probably of the names you'd get.
The ghost, here named Sally (Annie in the British version), is played by the Canadian actress Meaghan Rath, who was nominated for a Canadian Gemini Award for her role in 15/Love; more recently she's been starring in The Assistants on The N.
More interesting casting: Mark Pellegrino, who just got off a recurring stint as the Devil in Supernatural, will play Aidan's "charismatic but menacing" mentor, Bishop—which sounds like a version of Herrick, the local vampire leader in the British version with a long relationship with Mitchell.
Thirteen one-hour episodes have been ordered. The air date on Syfy has not been set, but it's expected to run later this year.
The Canadian house Muse Entertainment is behind the series, a fact that sheds little light on the projected quality of the production: past television projects range from the much undervalued Crusoe, which had outstanding production values, to the dismal Jensen Project for Wal-Mart and Procter & Gamble. They've also done The Pillars of the Earth and The Kennedys, and the producer on those miniseries, Michael Prupas, is executive producing the U.S. Being Human along with writers Jeremy Carver (Supernatural) and Anna Fricke (Met in Trees, Everwood). The director in the pilot, at least, is Adam Kane, who's directed episodes of Pushing Daisies, Supernatural, Heroes, and Haven (the pilot).
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