Being Human: Review: Series 4 Ep 8: The War Child (Spoiler-free review)

The Old Ones arrive, and the endgame begins…

Chances are when you finish watching this episode you won’t know exactly what to make of it. There’s so much in it that ties right back to the very original pilot (the one that didn’t have the same actors in it), let alone to the earlier parts of this season, that it feels as if every scene has some extra meaning to it.

Mark Gatiss does appear to be turning up in every British fantasy series at the moment and he’s a lot more restrained than in some of his previous roles (Professor Lazarus in a David Tennant Doctor Who being a particular case in point where a bit of restraint might have really helped sell a not very good story!) He gets good scenes with all of our principal cast, as well as helping us to understand a part of Hal’s back story that wasn’t making much sense otherwise.

Kate Bracken continues to impress as the ghostly Alex, and there’s a spark between Alex and Hal in death that simply wasn’t there in life (one now suspects a deliberate move by the directors to counterpoint last week and this week’s scenes). There’s also a terrific scene between Hal and Tom in the kitchen of the café, as they finally realise a few things about each other.

But the episode quietly belongs to Leonora Critchlow as Annie. We know from last week the terrible choice she faces, embodying that old dilemma about wondering what to do if you’re told that a child will grow up to be an evil dictator (or at least, a variant thereof). Could you kill that child? Critchlow is often portrayed as the weakest of the original trio of actors, which I’ve always felt came down more to the writers not knowing what to do with her, rather than weaknesses in the actress her self. Here she is given the material, and she steps up to the plate.

She’s not the only facing choices of course: Cutler, Hal, Tom… and there are some surprises, and shocks in store.

Verdict: A totally appropriate ending to a different season of Being Human.  8/10

Paul Simpson

<<<7: Making History

 

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