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October 9, 2015

BBC America getting more sci-fi

by Brad Trechak, posted Feb 5th 2009 3:02PM
BBC AmericaBBC America has added two new science fiction shows to their line-up, along with a new season of Primeval.

The first is a show called Being Human, which focuses on the "lives" of a werewolf, vampire and ghost. Where's the zombie roommate? My guess is that each supernatural character will represent some sort of minority. That didn't work so well for a series called Cavemen.

The second is called Survivors, which is similar in theme to Stephen King's The Stand. This is a remake of the original 1970's series of the same name. It was created by Terry Nation (who started it as a book), who is famous in England for creating sci-fi cult hit Blake's 7 and the Doctor Who aliens The Daleks. My only question is: who created the concept first, King or Nation? This is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Both shows have already broadcast in England. Having not seen them, I can offer no opinion. If anybody has seen them, let us know in the comments if they're worth catching.

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I have been looking forward to seeing "Being Human" over here. I am still waiting for the third season of "Hotel Babylon" to either be shown on BBC America or put out on DVD.

February 06 2009 at 8:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Toby O\'B

I caught the pilot for "Being Human" on YouTube. I thnk you can still see it there (in 3 parts). Adrian Lester ('Hustle') was the guest star. I liked all three leads and was sorry to hear only Russell Tovey is staying with the series. But the same writer is doing the series, and that's what's important - and the story was pretty good.

February 05 2009 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Being Human sounds a bit like the idea behind Halo & Sprocket, a totally awesome comic book about an angel, a robot and a cute girl that are all room mates.

Now I want a Halo and Sprocket TV Show, preferably from Bryan Fuller

February 05 2009 at 5:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Woot - I'd been hoping we'd get the pickup for these series. Looks like I'm going to need to make some room on the DVR.

February 05 2009 at 5:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'll tune in. They sound fun and interesting. A great departure from US crime dramarama.

February 05 2009 at 4:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The new version of Survivors isn't as strong as the original, but low-budget seventies grimness doesn't play well with US audiences anyway. It's still thought-provoking stuff. Imagine a zombie movie without any zombies -- that's pretty much the dynamic. That may not sound interesting, but it is.

The Being Human pilot was extremely good -- long on character development, with minimal reliance on special effects. The series follows this aesthetic path, but suffers initially due to two of the three core roles being recast (supposedly due to actor availability). Even so, it's very promising.

February 05 2009 at 4:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've seen both, and really like Being Human. Russell Tovey is great on that show.

I'd agree with the other commenters on Survivors. It's a bit slower paced, but worth it.

February 05 2009 at 4:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Both "Being Human" and "Survivors" are very good, but also very different. I only saw the original pilot for BH, but it did strike a really good balance between drama and comedy, plus I suppose the quirkiness of the concept itself makes it just a little more interesting.

Some might find "Survivors" to be a bit slow, but I think that's because it takes a fairly realistic view of the aftermath of a global disaster. Personally, I found the low-key approach to be more entertaining than the "zombie hordes" style of post-apocalyptic storytelling. It pulled me in because I could imagine myself in such a situation. Zombie hordes are entertaining, but I don't think I've ever truly wondered what I might do if I were hunted by the undead salivating over my brain.

All in all, these 3 shows covered make up a nice bundle of entertainment for scifi fans.

February 05 2009 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Speaking of BBC America. I saw there is a show debuting in two weeks called Mistresses. Is it worth checking out? I see that Anna Torv is even in it.

February 05 2009 at 3:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tony's comment

Mistresses is worth watching and is starting series 2 over here in the UK in a week or so.

Survivors I cant be so charitable about. It is so badly paced, the plots a little cliche and predictable and it just had no grab about it.

February 05 2009 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Being Human is a really cool show currently 2 episodes into a 6 episode run after a successful pilot last year albeit with two thirds of a new cast. It's gaining good ratings for digital channel BBC 3. The tone varies from extremely dark comic drama to single camera comedy and finds a balance surprisingly well.

Survivors was screened on BBC1 and has already been renewed for a second series. The cast was excellent but the pacing was a little slow and the balance of certain story elements wasn't quite right. However, it's great to sci fi and fantasy shows on mainstream UK channels. Something Dr Who has really helped promote.

On a side note, the Stand was first published in 1978 and the original Survivors began in 1975. The killer virus concept a pretty generic concept anyway.

February 05 2009 at 3:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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