In my opinion, the first three series of Being Human will take some beating. From the sublime first series (how can vampires and werewolves be so endearingly charming, while being so dangerous?), through the increasing threat of series 2 to the depressingly inevitable culmination of series 3, the series was a stand-out show even while consigned to the backwater of BBC3. Despite the target demographic of 16-34 year olds, Being Human attracts a far wider age range, and fans as passionate about the show as those from any fandom.
Enter Joanne Black. Clearly a dedicated fan herself, she has written an indispensible guide. Picking up on the humour of the show and injecting a fair dose of her own, here is an episode guide, a "where do I know him from" and a compendium of information gleaned from the BBC blog, magazine interviews with cast and writers and anywhere else a shred of information might possibly be hiding. You may not always agree with her opinions, and there are always topics in any fandom which inspire heated debate, but you can't deny that all the opinions are fair and may give a side to the argument you hadn't previously considered.
If you're a fan of the show, you need this book. If you aren't, buy the DVDs and then buy this book. Being Human looks set to become one of those shows like Firefly that inspire devotion in its followers and this belongs on BH fan's bookshelf.
This book is the definitive guide to series 1-3, and is jam-packed with detail, including thoughtful episode synopsis and analysis, information about the artists and crew who work behind the scenes, actor bios, and commentary from Black, whose distinctive, wry wit is evident throughout. She's an ardent fan of the show, but not an uncritical one, and both gives praise and notes flaws where deserved.
If you like the show but want to know more, or if you are a fanatic (like me) who wants to recall a plot detail without hauling out the DVDs, this book is for you.
One quibble: time marches on, so the book needs a sequel! Being Human will be airing its fifth series in early 2013, and there's a whole new set of characters and actors to learn about, as well as some addenda to the existing bios of the actors in the first three series. I really hope this book gets a companion volume after series 5. We fans tend to be completist about such things.
Being Human is one of the BBC's recent gems and well deserves the praise heaped on it for the quality of the writing and the performances which far outstrip the premise of a ghost, werewolf and vampire sharing a house first in Bristol and then Cardiff.
Fans of the show will be relieved to know that this Guide to series 1-3 does the show justice, being just as witty and well written. Taking a detailed look behind the scenes and by-episode it is packed with information and interest. The author is willing to put her own affectionate perspective on the show and is always entertaining.
Recommended for all fans of the show - and if you're not a fan yet, why not buy this and the box-set?