No one was singing “Ding-dong Mitchell’s dead” at the end of Being Human’s third season, when the complicated Irish vamp was killed off so that actor Aidan Turner could depart the show for New Zealand and Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. So it was a stake in our hearts to find out that between then and yesterday’s fourth season premiere… [If you haven’t watched last night’s Being Human on BBC America, teleport out of here immediately if you don’t like spoilers] …werewolf Nina (Sinead Keenan) — mother to fellow lycan George’s human daughter — had been beaten to death. And then, by the time the episode was over, George (Russell Tovey) had sacrificed himself to save his newborn — whom we now know is also the “war child” (i.e., the human who will wipeout vampires).
We also learned that royal vamps, the Old Ones, were coming to the U.K. in two months to start a full-on vampire takeover (hence, the episode title, “The Eve of War”) out of an import/export warehouse called Stokers on the edge of Barry. And that George’s kid, whom he named Eve, will stop them only if ghost Annie (Lenora Crichlow), the sole original roommate left, can keep her alive. Yet, Being Human isn’t Being Human without a werewolf and a vampire to fight alongside Annie, so creator Toby Whithouse promoted 20-year-old lycan Tom (Michael Socha) — whose vampire-hunting dad McNair (Robson Green) also died last year — to the main cast. And he added an all-new bloodsucker, the very posh, very persnickety Hal (Damien Molony), whom we met yesterday as he tried to save his own werewolf friend — who’d been keeping him off plasma for the last five-and-a-half decades — from destruction.
The premiere was thrilling but complicated, with all its portents, new characters, and scrolls made out of human skin (more on those later). That’s not to mention the flash forwards to 2037 when vampires, humans, and werewolves are caught in an apocalyptic war. So EW got Socha, Crichlow, and Molony to answer our questions about the episode, tease the rest of the season (including info about the guest stars and the returning favorites), and share their fears about starting over with new leads. They were also game to explain an exclusive spoiler (i.e. one you wouldn’t know yet even if you lived in the U.K.) about the return of the Box Tunnel Massacre and Hal’s upcoming investigation into the vampire(s) and the coroner involved with its complicated cover up.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Cast changes are always tricky, especially in a long running, beloved show. How nervous were you?
LENORA CRICHLOW: I was apprehensive but I have a lot of faith in the production team behind Being Human, so I think I was more excited than nervous. Well, I can say that now because they pulled it off, but probably at the time I was terrified.
What about you men, were you afraid of being compared to your predecessors?
DAMIEN MOLONY: You can’t avoid comparisons and comparisons are the biggest fear I had. But the writing is so good — they had to reinvent the show. Obviously, they had to maintain the fact that there’s a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost living together. But Mike developed a character so different to Russell’s and I hopefully have gone a completely different way than Aidan. That comes from performance, but also from the writing, from the directors, and the crew. Everyone was trying to bring this new story alive.
MICHAEL SOCHA: I completely agree. At first, I was quite nervous because I thought, well, Being Human is definitely not going to be the same. And Being Human has got such a massive group of fans — a very hardcore, loyal group of fans. I thought that they had the potential to lose all of them. But I think now that people have actually watched the show, they’ve gotten themselves back into it and trust us nearly, if not as much, as the previous cast. And the fact that none of the characters are similar, that we’ve been able to come onto the set with a fresh character and fresh ideas, has helped us dramatically.
Did it tear your heart out to film George’s death scene?
MS: For me, it was hard work because I really like Russell and think he’s a brilliant actor. And obviously, Lenora was with him for years so it must have… well, it was obvious on the day how upset we all were. I think it helped with the scene. The sadness of Russell leaving really helps the feeling of George actually leaving for good.
What is Annie thinking now that she’s lost Mitchell, Nina, and George, and has a newborn to care for?
LC: She’s a bit like, “Thanks very much.” No, she takes to the responsibility quite well, actually. A huge hole in her life is fulfilled by having Eve to look after. And it’s obviously still a connection to her old life and to George and Nina and the way it was before. It’s a way of handling her grief, really, and it stops her from slipping into major depression. She doesn’t have much time to dwell on her own feelings and that’s pretty convenient. Hal touches on it quite a bit when he first meets Annie. [He picks up that] she’s quite hysterically getting on with it with the focus on Eve.
NEXT: How old is Hal and when will he meet Tom and Annie?