Here we are again: another series and another chance to play Syfy versus BBC. At the end of season 1, I speculated that there were enough differences between the two that perhaps Syfy would be branching off in its own unique direction. One episode in and it definitely still looks that way. Just to be clear, I intend to spoil the ending of both BBC and Syfy’s first seasons, and the BBC second season. If you didn’t see either of those endings, don’t go forward—you’re supposed to be surprised. 🙂
Let’s start with the end of last season, which is important in order to understand some big differences that exist before the second season even begins. If you don’t recall and you missed the replay tonight, let me remind you that Sally tries to torture Josh via bitching and moaning so that he’ll use his wolf to kill Bishop for Aidan, since all three friends are veritably certain that Aidan will lose the fight. Josh reluctantly agrees, but then Sally and Aidan turn the tables on him in order to protect him from having to kill.
That was a huge surprise for BBC fans, which was great because I thought I could only be surprised the first time around. In ours, George pretends he intends to run away with Nina, when in fact he tricks Herrick into being locked in with his wolf. He changes and tears Herrick to shreds. The American version does offer a more satisfying fight, as the BBC focuses on a battle of words and the fight itself is a few blurry moments of audible savagery. Yet this is George’s attempt to accept his wolf in order to save his best friend. That’s why George and Josh begin their respective second series in completely different places.
This might be a good thing, since in the BBC version, George spends much of this season being kind of a dick and poor newly-turned Nina deals with most of her problems alone. Will this happen for Josh? Hard to say, but so far there are few similarities.
Both Nina and Nora keep having been scratched a secret until the first change. However, Nina can see Annie, so she asks for help and swears her to secrecy. I had hoped that Sally and Nora would have a similar bonding experience, which in my mind could have been done without allowing Nora to see her yet, but Sally continues to be solely immersed in her own ghostly realm. While it seems likely that Josh will find out about Nora, depending on how he manages to escape being shot by the vampire, Nina continues to keep her secret until the truth comes out in an argument. She has distanced herself sexually from George, which he interprets as her rejecting his wolf. (This may still happen with Nora and Josh, since the series starts with her gently refusing him.) Nina begs George for patience and support but he is overwhelmed with self-loathing and the new level of anger and violence that are the result of his having embraced his wolf in order to kill Herrick. He is also on edge because vampires are constantly attacking him in retaliation for Herrick’s death. This is obviously not part of Josh’s reality at this point, which may change the direction of the series.
BBC’s Being Human Season 1 ends with an introduction to the villain of the following series, and it has nothing to do with any vampire “Mother”. I’ve said before that the Old Ones were only introduced on BBC in Season 3, and the finale suggested that there would be a conflict with them next season. The villain for Season 2 is an old man who has apparently been searching for the trio, and found them with the help of mental patient and fiance-murderer, Owen. We find out in Season 2 that he’s a religious man who views all non-humans as abominations.
The environment between the roommates is fertile for a villain to exploit. Mitchell is overwhelmed with being the new vampire king; George attempts to separate himself further from his wolf and causes more problems with his denial; and Annie is threatened by the world beyond the door that she turned down and also begins to think about the implications of immortality as an unchanging ghost. Given Sally’s nightmare about a reaper coming after her and Aidan’s problematic attempt to keep the vampires clean, some BBC plot lines will clearly prevail. The future of Josh and Nora is much more unclear. I do hope Nora will go through the same anger and angst and love that Nina went through as she struggled to accept her new role.
One thing is clear, Syfy has an advantage because they’re two seasons behind. This gives them a chance to avoid the pitfalls that poor Toby Whithouse’s show has run into because three of the four main characters are leaving before the story is told. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, those are more spoilers than I really want to put here—Google at your own risk.