The BBC and Me

This year, I’ve really gotten into a number of BBC TV shows. It started earlier this year when I saw some ads for Being Human, the story of a werewolf, a vampire, and a ghost. I started checking out the first season and really enjoyed it. The characters were very appealing and enjoyably, especially after they replaces 2 of the 3 actors from the pilot. The one who stayed was Russell Tovey who plays George the werewolf. Not only is he incredibly cute but as the show’s werewolf, he is often naked from his shape changing. (For a view of one of his more revealing scenes from the morning after a full moon, click here From the start, he came off a bit gay. Later when I was looking him up online, I found out he is actually an out gay actor which I thought was really cool and another plus for this sexy guy. The character of Mitchel (the vampire) was replaces with someone who was a bit more brooding and rugged over the original actor’s more boyishly handsome look. The ghost, Annie, was replaced with a black actress, mixing the cast a bit more. She was also much easier to connect with having a touch more naivete. I got caught up on the episodes between the end of season 2 and the start of season 3. This also corresponded with the U.S. trying to make their own version of the show. This version paled greatly in comparison. They tried to rush through a lot of the same events that happened in the British version with some events (and even scenes) being exactly the same but with others being quite different. The characters’ names changed and it was harder to connect with them. The vampire (now called Aiden) was more of a pretty boy. Josh, the werewolf, is a much dorkier with even less confidence. The character of the ghost Sally was closest to the original but still not as appealing as the BBC version. It should be interesting to see how things progress on both shows and if they grow further apart as the seasons pass or if they still periodically parallel each other. The new seasons won’t be on until next year. [Side note: While searching for pics of Russell Tovey, I found this site: with a lot of pics from various sources if you want to check it out.]

With the help of Netflix, I moved on to the next BBC show that had caught my eye, Robin Hood. I’ve always enjoyed the concept of Robin Hood which has been worked over in various ways through the years, so I was interested to see how this version would go. Robin Hood is played by the very handsome Jonah Armstrong. Beyond the great eye candy, he has great chemistry with the other actors on the show. The show starts with Robin of Loxley coming back from the war and leads into the forming of his “merry men” and the formation of his connection with Marian. The show goes for 3 seasons and the first 2 are definitely worth watching. Some major changes happened in season 3 and the show went downhill. I would definitely recommend the first 2 seasons though. There’s some great levity as well as action and characterization.

During this time, I also finally decided to check up on one of the most popular BBC shows among geeks, Doctor Who. I was never into the old version around the time of Tom Baker. The new version had been recommended to me and I had picked up the first season and it wasn’t bad but I hadn’t gotten to see past that. Netflix again came to my rescue and allowed me to catch up on things. I’ve watched through season 5 and just need to watch what’s come out of the current season. With the addition of David Tennant in season 2, the show really picked up. A lot of interesting recurring characters keep it interesting along with David’s great comedic timing. It was sad to see him leave as the show moves into season 5. Matt Smith isn’t bad but isn’t as good as David was. Some of the doctor’s companions were better than others too. Rose, the first of the new series, was fun. Martha was good and Danna had her times. The current one, Any was ok but not great though having her fiancee/husband at parts made it interesting.

This show lead me on to Torchwood, a spin-off from Doctor Who. The recurring character of Captain Jack from Doctor Who is the central character of this show. He has a team of agents who work with him to deal with alien and temporal issues. The series is fun but a more serious and adult than the Doctor Who series. One of the interesting thing about Jack is the fact that his sexuality is so fluid. He’s not homosexual or heterosexual; he’s just sexual. (If it has a pulse, he’ll probably shirt with it.) Through the extent I’ve seen so far in this series, he’s mostly exploring the homosexual side of things with the character Janto who also works in Torchwood and previously had a girlfriend himself. It’s a very interesting show and the character dynamics really keep things going.

All four shows are really enjoyable. I would definitely recommend them all to anyone looking for good shows to watch. One thing I’ve really found interesting while watching the shows, especially Doctor Who and , is the way that sexuality is tossed around so much easier than it is here in America. Comments like “your girlfriend… or boyfriend” are easily thrown around and having Captain Jack hit on or even make out with guys isn’t even blinked at. It’s nice to see things handled so openly and candidly. Seeing a couple of hot guys making out on an enjoyable show is always a big plus. Pick a show depending on your tastes — supernatural, historic fable, or sci-fi — but check at least one of them out. They are all worth it. (Well, the BBC ones at least. The US Being Human is only worth it if you really want to see how it compares to the superior BBC one.)

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