- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: VC-1
- Resolution: 1080i/60
- Audio Codec: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448kbps)
- Subtitles: English
- Rating: Not Rated
- Discs: 3
- Studio: BBC/Warner Home Video
- Blu-ray Release Date: September 21, 2010
- List Price: $59.99
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)
The BBC’s paranormal sci-fi series Being Human was a breakout hit for the channel in its first season. The series, focused on the lives of three twenty-something supernatural beings struggling to reintegrate into human society, brought a refreshing twist to the genre free from the current overwrought sensibilities of franchises like Twilight or excessive darkness like True Blood. It entertained with an easy going casualness, realism and offhanded humour that brought a surprising humanity to the creatures that go bump in the night.
For Season Two, the creatures are back, they’re just a little bit darker, and their struggle is a little bit harder. Imagine the series as rehab for supernatural creatures, and begin at the ending of Season One, with the leader of the vampires, Herrick, now dead. Our recovering vampire, Mitchell (Aidan Turner) has now become the leader of the local vampire coven, George the werewolf (Russell Tovey) has lost his true love to lychanism, is now struggling with a new relationship and to keep his inner-wolf inside, and Annie the ghost (Lenora Crichlow) is being hunted by “the other side.” Add to these new struggles a mysterious new religious group determined to bring down the supernatural “demons,” led by a fanatical priest with a grudge and an attractive doctor, and just as the three friends lives were beginning to seem more human, the world comes crashing in on them.
No doubt helped out by a strong showing in the first season, the second season turns up the budget, the action, and the special effects, making it an intensely visceral, yet always clever and humorous ride down the quirky side of the creatures we love to be scared by.
It’s a solid 1080i/60 high definition VC-1 transfer for Being Human: Season Two. The low budget quality of the series doesn’t always look the greatest, but the lighting and color look good in HD. Sometimes the image looks just a tad soft and some slight motion jutter can be detected.
The audio is weak on this release, coming only in a Dolby Digital 2.0 (448kbps) mix that is a bit scratchy sounding in the high frequencies and nasally in the dialogue. There’s a decent spread of sound across the stereo field, but special effects and ambient trails sound unnatural and tight.
There are some good standard definition featurettes on discs one and two that pull back the curtain and provide lots of behind-the-scenes looks at the special effects and makeup with interview segments of the cast and crew.
The supplements provided with this release are:
- Blood Bursting (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:08.51) — Producers discuss the first episode’s pressure chamber special effects.
- The Caves (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:06.28) — On location in Bristol catacombs.
- Unleashing the Beast (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:07.02) — All about George the werewolf.
- The Swinging Sixties (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:08.52) — Reproducing the look of the Sixties in episode 5.
- Behind the Makeup (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:07.16) — The makeup team discuss their work on the series.
- Making the New Werewolf (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:11.05) — The creators discuss the revamped werewolf visual effects for Season 2.
- Train Carnage (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:07.31) — Visual effects for carnage on a train with the character “Mitchell.”
The Definitive Word
Being Human: Season Two turns a good series into a great one, with more powerful drama, stronger visual effects, and a harrowing story arc that will leave you routing for the anti-heroes at every turn. Pick up this copy on Blu-ray for good picture quality and a solid amount of behind-the-scenes featurettes.
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