'Being Human' exec producer Toby Whithouse talks 'The War Child'
We said goodbye to several characters in last night’s finale. Some we already knew had to go. Mr. Snow (Mark Gatiss) was blown to smithereens. Milo (Michael Wildman) disappeared. Cutler (Andrew Gower) melted—then got staked for good measure. The Old Ones are seemingly gone forever. But if you claim to have guessed that Annie (Lenora Crichlow) was going to murder Baby Eve along with Snow and co., and then walk through her door and off into the white light, I simply don’t believe you.
Below, exec producer Toby Whithouse chats about Lenora’s shocking exit, the addition of Kate Bracken’s Alex to the main cast, the death of Baby Eve, and that short glimpse we got of next year’s likely villain, the fixer Mr. Rook.
Are you prepared for Being Human fans to hate you?
Oh God, they’ve hated me on and off since the pilot. Believe me, I’m used to it. They hated me when I got rid of Herrick. They hated me when I brought Herrick back and when I got rid of Mitchell. And then when I got rid of George and Nina.
I despised you when you killed Ivan.
That’s what happens with long-running dramas, there has to be a turnover of characters. You never give the fans what they want. You always give them what they need.
So you needed to lose Annie. Was that your plan from the start of the season?
Yes. The thing is, Annie does go through the door. But when she asks if there is a rule that prevents her from come back, Eve points out that rules have never stopped her before. As I’ve said, the future of Being Human is always in flux.
But Annie was the show’s heart—not to say that Alex hasn’t been a great addition.
Yeah, she’s amazing. From my point of view, it’s a great opportunity. With those three new characters, there’s a completely new dynamic and just tons of ideas and stories you can tell. Don’t get me wrong; it’s sad when we lose characters. But, in many ways Being Human is such a Mexican daytime soap. People can return.
And no death is final.
I’d say nothing is ever final on Being Human.
I’ve wondered why characters on Being Human nearly always leave the show by dying, rather than just moving house.
I know. But, to be honest, that’s usually because we can’t afford another set.
When Eve told Annie that George and Nina were waiting for her on the other side of her door, I was totally hoping to see them reunite.
Again, we wouldn’t have been able to afford it. That single scene would’ve probably cost us one hundred grand. And I think it’s best left up to the audience’s imagination. That story finished then. We’re moving on now. I didn’t want the audience to be distracted at the last minute by a quick scene of characters past.
I was positive you weren’t going to kill Baby Eve, by the way. When did you make the decision to just do it?
We hadn’t really made it until we got to that moment in episode 8. Did we really think we had the courage to go through with it? There wasn’t another option. Weirdly, the BBC didn’t have a problem with it.
At least she didn’t get her intestines pulled out by Mr. Snow.
Oh, I loved Mark’s performance. I loved how he played the character slightly bored. That having lived for thousands of years, he has seen everything, experienced everything, and is now just weary of it all.
How’d you pick his name?
I came up with it when I was a kid, like 10 or 11. I’d started writing a comic in my head, because I was an obsessive comic fan. I invented this superhero, and invented a backstory for him. His nemesis was called Mr. Snow.
NEXT: Meet Mr. Rook
Where did you get the idea to have him yank out a man’s guts?
That was just the voices in my head.
The voices in your head say, ‘Toby, you should disembowel that guy’?
Yeah. A character’s first scene is his first introduction to the audience. For Mr. Snow, he’s the most evil vampire that ever lived and we wanted to show that he had a capacity for extreme violence and horror. That felt like an appropriate way to do it.
Should we watch out for Mr. Rook (Steven Robertson) now? That shot of the empty shelves, where he’ll keep more records of the supernaturals whose existences he covers up, seemed to imply there is more to come with him.
Is it possible that he could be next season’s baddie?
Yes, all of those things are possible.
He tells a colleague that he’s going to have lunch with the Secretary of State. Does that mean the government has knowledge of supernaturals?
I’m more than happy for people to draw their own conclusions on that.
Then can you tell us if we should expect Hal and Alex to rekindle their romance next season? That’s my last question of the whole year.
Who knows? To be honest, we’re still in the storylining process. Sometimes I can’t answer a question because I genuinely can’t answer it.