Being Human: Season One Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: VC-1
- Resolution: 1080i/60
- Audio Codec: English Dolby Digital 2.0
- Subtitles: English
- Region: ABC (Region-Free)
- Rating: Not Rated
- Discs: 2
- Studio: Warner BBC
- Blu-ray Release Date: July 20, 2010
- List Price: $39.98
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
What happens when three classically paranormal creatures try to make a go at living normal, human lives together? That’s the question that Being Human asks. This hip series from the BBC updates supernatural lore as it takes three very unusual friends, George (Russell Tovey), a werewolf, Mitchell (Aidan Turner), a vampire, and Annie (Lenora Crichlow), a ghost, and places them in flat in Bristol.
The three struggle against their natures and the pressures of the modern world in this smart drama that refuses to pander to the expected clichés of science fiction and fantasy. For instance, in one particularly difficult episode, when our three anti-heroes are “exposed” as monsters, it is not as what one would expect, but rather them being falsely accused as being pedophiles — true latter-day monsters.
Being Human finds the series’ vamp struggling against his nemesis Herrick (Jason Watkins) who is pleased to expose all vampires and “recruit” all worthy people, the werewolf fighting his inner animal for a shot at true love, and its ghost fighting what keeps her anchored to world.
It’s smart, witty, and just geeky enough to win over the fantasy crowd.
The original high-def production for Being Human shows up on this Blu-ray set in a 1.78:1 1080i/60 VC-1 encoding from the BBC. Foregrounds look vivid and detailed, but there is some motion judder evident and a slight softness to the picture. Video noise crops up in some spots, but it is very slight.
The audio is almost an afterthought on this release. With a series like Being Human, there was certainly ample opportunity to exploit a lossless 5.1 mix, but, alas, we are given a claustrophobic Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack that barely escapes the center. There’s a bit of exaggerated sibilance in dialogue and everything generally sounds tight and dynamically squeezed.
Being Human is packed with just enough extra scenes and interview segments to make this set feel like there’s some true added value. Most of the supplements will not inspire multiple viewings, but they are informative nonetheless.
The supplements provided with this release are:
- Alternate Scene (1.78:1; 480i/60)
- Character Profiles (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:20.03)
- Vamping it Up (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:04.06) — The rules and physics that apply to vampires.
- Toby Whithouse on the Journey (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:07.03)
- Locations (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:09.50)
- Costumes and Make Up (1.78:1; 480i/0; 0:02.37)
- Deleted Scenes (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:08.41)
- Extended Scenes (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:15.22)
- Stunts Package (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:10.03)
- Our Journey’s End (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:04.11)
- Becoming a Werewolf (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:05.03)
- Video Diaries (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:14.47)
The Definitive Word
Being Human is the best paranormal series to come out of the BBC since Torchwood and may be the best paranormal series since Buffy, if given the opportunity to grow. I’m sure fans of the genre will appreciate this series and the strong effort on Blu-ray from the BBC.
Additional Screen Captures: