It’s always hard to lose faith in someone. The way I see it, it’s twice harder when you’re losing faith in a fictional character because they are supposed to be infallible. Not in the sense of being perfect or logical (that would be boring, wouldn’t it?), but because with enough dedication you can excuse their mistakes with poor writing, you can come up with a plethora of headcanons and fanon motivations to explain why they are suddenly acting in such a disappointing fashion. Once you’re comfortable with your newfound explanation, things get better.
Except it doesn’t always work.
Hal Yorke took three things from Rook: his job, his integrity and his faith.
To get them back, Rook gambles everything he’s got left.
Two wonderful authors; one great story. If you like Hal/Rook or Hal/Cutler, or just good writing in general, then go and read this.
For any London-based fans of Colin Hoult, he’s appearing tonight at The Invisible Dot, King’s Cross.
I watched a play called “Mrs Lowry and Son” last weekend. It was about the artist L.S. Lowry, and it was quite nicely written. The depiction of the artist’s mother started out as a wonderful piece of comedic characterisation but, as the play progressed, the unpleasantness of her character, and the deep unhappiness of the artist’s situation, became increasingly apparent.
There were only the two characters in the play, and both the actor and the actress turned in good performances. L.S. Lowry was played by Michael Begley, perhaps better known as the sarcastic vicar in Being Human. Anyone in London might want to see if there are still tickets available.
Andrew Gower in Murdoch Mysteries 7x04
First of all: I see the Good Hal/Bad Hal dichotomy as one of Hal’s own creation. It’s like a safety net; as long as Hal is clean, he can externalize his guilt and self-loathing onto the “other” version of himself. Likewise, when he does kill, he can see…
I’ve done my fair share of complaining about the “split personality” thing in the past. Don’t get me wrong — I think that the concept has a lot of merit. I believe that Hal has objectified his darker side to the point where he genuinely regards it as a separate part of himself, and one that is largely outside of his control.
What I have an issue with is the idea that the two sides of Hal’s character are completely separate. I prefer to see them as a spectrum, with various aspects dominating at any given time. After all, “good” Hal isn’t exactly an angel, and “bad” Hal isn’t entirely evil incarnate. I dislike the thought that his psyche is separated into two entirely different personalities, and certainly not to the extant that when one is in the driving seat the other is entirely absent. I don’t buy the idea that neither side of his personality knows what the other was doing while it was in charge. There is ample evidence that “good” Hal knows exactly what he did while he was being bad. That’s why he fights not to “relapse”. Similarly, “bad” Hal knows — and is oh so bored by — what his better side has been up to.
The other issue I have with the “split personality” thing is when people claim that the “bad” part of Hal is some sort of outside force. I’ve seen it suggested that vampirism is a sort of demonic possession, and that the vampiric force is what makes the affected person do bad things. For me, that view of vampirism belongs more to the Buffy-verse than the world of BH. I’ve also seen it suggested that Hal’s Jekyll and Hyde routine, when tied up in the cellar 5x04, was caused by the Devil possessing him, or influencing his actions.
I think that both of these things are attempts to absolve Hal — or the persona that we think of as “our” Hal — of the responsibility for his actions. That’s partly why I dislike those interpretations of his “split personality”. For me, one of the key themes of Being Human is the characters’ ability to make their own decisions and to control their own actions — together with the fact that they will have to face the consequences of those actions.
I don’t think that it was necessarily important that it was Hal’s blood. It’s the trinity part that’s important. The vampire, werewolf, and ghost have to be part of a willing trinity. That trinity could have been Mitchell, Annie, and George, or Adam and the werewolf and ghost fromBecoming Human. Hal, specifically, isn’t important. The fact that Hal has a bond with a ghost and a werewolf, who have also agreed to perform the ritual, is the important part.
The problem in 5x01 and the start of 5x06 wasn’t that Hal used another vampire’s blood. It was that he used the blood of a vampire who had no connection to the other two parts of the trinity, and he took that blood against the vampire’s will. I think it’s mostly a consent issue that negates the effectiveness of the ritual. Which, yes, lays most of the events of Series 5 at Hal’s door.
I also assumed that the incantations and magical trappings were mostly to summon the Devil in 5x01. Because the Devil was clearly already there, those parts of the ritual were no longer necessary. All that was left to be completed was the blood trinity portion.
I’d still really like to know where Hal got the idea that the Devil was behind his war with Lady Catherine in the first place though. Who told him that?
Well put — I totally agree. The three have to have a bond. That’s what made Hal special and what made the rare vamp/ghost/wolf trinity a big deal in all its incarnations.
Yes, though I don’t think it necessarily has to be a trinity with a super strong bond or anything either - like Hal/Lady Catherine/Emil, for instance. It’s not like they were all BFFs. Lady Catherine and Emil hadn’t even met before they came together and decided to do the ritual, but they still came to a mutual agreement to join forces as a trinity.
If Hal had suggested to them up front that he wanted to use a stand-in because he was a giant vampire coward, it might not have been an issue. He could have introduced that stand-in to Emil and Catherine, and then Emil, Catherine and Hal’s poor vampire stand-in could all agree together to move forward without Hal, all three aware of what they were trying to do (this is assuming that Hal managed to get someone to volunteer and wasn’t forcing them to step forward in his place. I think they had to want and agree to do it). It was Hal slipping in blood that was not part of the agreed upon trinity that was the primary issue, in my opinion.
I never thought about the idea that the ritual didn’t work in 5x06 because Hal was only agreeing reluctantly/had no other real choice,as psmith73 suggested, but that’s interesting. I just assumed that it didn’t ultimately work in 5x06 because they were already trapped in Hatch’s dream world at that point (I think theywereall trapped in Hatch’s dream world at that point, so it wouldn’t have mattered, but the idea that Hal wasn’t really agreeing and was maybe more just forced into conceding is a good point as well).
I don’t think that the events in HH with Rook/the Devil are a dream (at least they are not meant to look like that according to the canon)… I’ve thought about it and watched the episode several times – the cinematography of the “dream worlds” is quite distinctive, it differs from “reality”. The scene with Rook in HH is shot in the same way as “reality” and not the “dream worlds”.
Speaking on the topic of conscious “good will” of all the participants, I’ve based this theory on the Christian mythology, tbh. Correct me if I’m wrong – when Jesus made his sacrifice in order to save humanity, free will/conscious decision on his part was one of the important aspects, right? Without it he would’ve simply been another victim and not the Savior.
And season 5 did quote the Bible – what with the whole the Devil arc, the four horsemen… etc.
From my first viewing of 5x06, I’ve been convinced that the trio remained trapped inside the Devil’s dream world right up to the end of the episode. The final extra scene only made me more certain of that.
Now I’m intrigued by how many people believe that those events — Hatch’s death, Rook arriving at HH and the trio becoming human — happened in reality.
And I’m really curious about how those people explain the ending of 5x06. The presence of the origami wolf, and the camera tilt, both seemed to indicate that the characters were still in a dream world. More importantly, I’m curious about how they explain the extra scene. How was Hal able to pull that trick with the cards, and why was he using the cards that had belonged to Hatch? If the other diners are real live people living in the real world, then why did they stop eating and gather around the trio?
Hal was convinced that they were living a lie, and he managed to persuade Alex and Tom that that was the case. I’d like to know why some people are so certain that the opposite is true.
It’s a good question: did it really have to be Hal’s blood that was used in the ritual to destroy the Devil, back in 1918? If so, then it was Hal’s fault that the Devil escaped and, ultimately, many of the tragic events of series 5 can be laid at Hal’s door. But was it really so critical that it was Hal’s blood — and if so, why? I can think of various explanations.
Firstly, it’s possible that Emil was wrong. Maybe the blood could have come from any vampire, and the ritual was performed by a true trinity, after all. The reason that it didn’t work was that the ritual itself was flawed or inadequate, and that it never had the power to kill the Devil.
(The people whose blood was used in the ritual — Catherine and the unnamed vampire — died as a result. However, that only proves that a person was linked to the ritual once their blood has been used. It does not prove that a specific individual had to provide the blood in the first place. And those deaths don’t prove that the ritual went wrong. In 5x06 the Devil claimed that, even if it worked, the ritual would result in the deaths of all participants.)
Alternatively, Emil might have been correct. Perhaps it had to be Hal’s blood, not the blood of any other vampire — and that brings us back to the main puzzle: why Hal?
Maybe there was something inherently different, or more powerful, about Hal that made his blood more effective. I don’t see that as very likely, though. As far as we know, there is nothing particularly unusual about Hal. He’s not the oldest vampire in the world and there are no ancient prophecies about him. He’s not even the only vampire to periodically rediscover a conscience.
Perhaps it had to be Hal who performed the ritual because he was the leader of the vampires, just like Catherine was the leader of the werewolves. However, Hal was a local (or military) leader, rather than the overall leader of the vampires. (That would have been Mr Snow.) And surely Emil could not have been the leader of the ghosts. Unlike the vampires and werewolves, we’ve never seen the ghosts banding together to form communities and hierarchies. (Perhaps that’s because most ghosts only stay on earth for a relatively short time, while they complete their unfinished business.)
But if there’s nothing inherently unique or powerful about Hal himself, then why would it have to be his blood that was used in the ritual? Perhaps because the ritual named (or otherwise identified) the participants, and the blood had to belong to those participants. The parts of the ritual that we saw in 5x01 were quite elaborate, involving incantations and a magical circle on the ground. Maybe the participants were named in the incantation, or perhaps they had to stand in a particular spot. In this way, the ritual might have identified the specific individuals who were supposed to provide the blood, and so it would fail if the blood belonged to a different person.
But 5x01 was not the only time we saw the ritual performed … and this is where the waters become even muddier. In 5x06, the current trinity made two attempts to perform the ritual. However, both attempts happened when the trio were inhabiting the “dream world” created by the Devil. (To clarify, in case this differs from generally accepted wisdom, I believe that the trio inhabited a form of artificial reality from the moment that the Devil first “pulled the trigger” in the TV studio, and that they stayed in a form of fake reality for the rest of the series.)
But even if the dream world was not real, then it must have been realistic. Hal believed that he was facing the Devil, and he believed that he could use the ritual to destroy him. He carried out that ritual in a way that fitted with his existing knowledge of how the ritual worked. And the ritual as Hal performed it in 5x06 was a lot simpler than what we saw in 5x01. There were no incantations or other magical trappings, simply the act of mixing and drinking the vampire and werewolf blood. In 5x06, the ritual did not seem to include any way of magically identifying who would provide the blood. That argues that it was unimportant whose blood was used, as long as it belonged to a werewolf and a vampire.
Of course, there is another possible explanation for the questions surrounding the ritual: bad script writing. Given the very patchy writing that was the bane of series 5, I’m afraid that I find this explanation the most plausible of all.
Everyone needs a Lord Hal. This one can be yours! Only one week left so Ruuuunnn here to donate —>
Winners picked Sunday 8th Sept.
Details on this and all the AMAZING prizes at the donation site: Show No Mercy quilt exclusively signed by Damien Molony, S4E7 Script signed and personalized by Toby Whithouse, Fireguard from Hal’s room (donated by Laura Cotton, script editor S3-5) and a set of WEREWOLF claws (donated by Marcus Whitney, makeup designer S1-3)
Being Human fans have raised £1176.16 so far for Amnesty International, Toby Whithouse’s well chosen cause. Thank you everyone who has donated so far and GOOD LUCK!
BUT we are only 58% to our goal of £2000. That’s what we need to reach so that one lucky winner will get a signed copy of the script to the EPIC Episode 7 from S4 “History Maker”.
Come on fans, great cause and incredible, unique prizes! Lord Hal wants you to become a History Maker! So does Lord Toby!
Do you miss Being Human? Would you like the chance to win EXCLUSIVE, UNIQUE, INCREDIBLE prizes?
Ruuuunnnn here to donate —>
Click the links below for lots more photos and details:
1st Prize, quilt replica of the SHOW NO MERCY propaganda poster, signed by Damien Molony:
2nd Prize, signed and personalized script to the incredible S4E7 “Making History”, donated by Toby Whithouse, creator, Being Human:
3rd Prize, fireguard from Hal’s bedroom, donated by Laura Cotton, script editor, Being Human:
4th prize, set of werewolf claws, donated by Marcus Whitney, makeup designer, Being Human:
As if 3 EXCLUSIVE, UNIQUE and totally AWESOME prizes were not enough, we will be announcing an additional Fourth SPECIAL prize.
Watch this space and go donate for your chance to WIN the SHOW NO MERCY quilt signed by Damien Molony, the script to S4E7, signed and personalized by Toby Whithouse, the fireguard from Hal’s bedroom (topless vampire not included, sorry I know) OR somethingsomethingsomething from S1-3.
DONATE HERE: https://www.justgiving.com/MakingHistory
And Please help spread the word!
Honolulu Heights Floor Plan
I tried to piece together a floor plan/schematic of the house in Barry as best I could from what we see on the show. I made no attempt to come up with any kind of scale for this, just sort of guessed at relative room sizes and things.
Question mark = area that hasn’t been shown on the show
Red lines = doors/doorways
Blue lines = windows
1. I have no idea why there isn’t a room 1. Annie’s room has two doors…maybe it’s considered rooms 1 and 2? Not sure.
2. The footprint of the first floor should probably match the ground floor, but I couldn’t get it to work and still make sense with what’s going on inside. It’s clear from shots of the outside that the window in room 6/8 isn’t located right behind room 4, but I couldn’t make it fit otherwise, so I went with it. (The kitchen is definitely indented like that though, as Adam leaves the back of the house and then goes to stand outside the kitchen bay window during 4x05).
3. The footprints of the cellar and attic do not make sense when you take into account the footprint of the rest of the house and the location of the stairs. I’m guessing we’re just not supposed to think about/notice this. Basically, the cellar and the attic are partially above and below the house next door. Probably not up to code. Shh.
4. I think room 6 is the room that Annie offers to Pearl in 4x03 when she says “I’ll put you in the second guest bedroom, which is right next to Leo’s. It’s quite…well, it’s cozy, if that’s okay.” Cozy seems pretty accurate. I think I might have been a bit generous with the size of that room, based on what little of the hall/door we ever see on the show.
5. I have no idea what to say about the door marked room 5. I really can’t imagine it opening anywhere except back into the stairwell.
6. Also the door marked room 7 (I can’t think of any scenes where the number on this door is legible so I’m just inferring that it’s probably room 7 based on the rest of the door numbers) is essentially a cupboard with two doors as far as I can tell. Another spot that we probably aren’t supposed to think on too hard. I don’t see how they can fit much more than that behind either of those doors without some kind of ‘bigger on the inside’ TARDIS magic.
7. Not sure what’s going on behind the door at the end of the hall on the 1st floor, but I’m guessing, based on the bar handle on the door, that it leads to a back stairwell that comes out…somewhere. Maybe it’s an outdoor fire escape or something.
8. Based on the layout of the house, there’s no way that Herrick could poke a hole through the floor of his room in the attic during 3x06 (I think it was 3x06 anyway) and look down into the bathroom. They’re on opposite ends of the house.
(and I do have larger versions of this if you find it illegible even once you click on the images to make them larger)
In 5x02, just before the food fight, Hal tells Tom off for wanting to pour tea into a guest’s cup before the milk. A minor detail, you might think, but to dedicated tea-drinkers it’s a serious subject. George Orwell even wrote an article detailing his golden rules for making tea. (No, it wasn’t a spoof.) Orwell wrote that the issue of when to add the milk was “one of the most controversial points of all”. For anyone who’s interested, Orwell was firmly in the tea-first camp. (What I wouldn’t give to have seen Orwell arguing the point with Hal. Would Orwell have been the type of person to start a food fight, I wonder? But I digress.)
From a plot point of view, the disagreement over the tea in 5x02 served to spark the fight between Hal and Tom. From a character point of view, it nicely showed the differences between the two men: Hal, nitpicky, cultured, and with a strong sense of the “correct” way of doing things versus the rough and ready Tom, whose only concern is to get the job done. But Hal’s comment might also reflect the history of the character.
This brings me back to a conversation I had a little while ago with poetrywise, about why the British take their tea with milk, and whether that has always been the case. After all, it’s not the custom in China, where the drink originated. While I was doing some tea-related research (sue me, I’m British!), I came across a plausible answer to this question.
Shortly after tea drinking became fashionable in Britain, these was a phase when people drank it from imported Chinese porcelain cups. These cups were considered delicate, and people were afraid that pouring hot tea directly onto the porcelain would cause it to crack. As a result, they took to putting milk into the cup first, to protect the fragile – and, at that time, very expensive – porcelain.
That is precisely Hal’s reason for wanting to put the milk into the guest’s cup first. “Milk first, then tea,” he says. “So you don’t damage the china.” His concern makes sense, given that Hal would have been around at the time tea first became popular in Britain (from around the 1660s onwards). His first encounters with the drink would likely have involved the milk-first-then-tea ritual, using delicate porcelain cups — and Hal, as we know, is a creature of habit. I have no idea if this historical dimension to Hal’s comment was intended by the author, but I think it fits the character nicely.
Incidentally, when Tom disagrees with Hal, he uses the same argument as Orwell. “If you pour the tea first,” Tom says, “you can decide how much milk you want.” In fact, Tom’s words bear a close resemblance to Orwell’s, who wrote, “by putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk ” I’d like to think that Tom’s words are a little nod to a writer I very much admire.