1 Annie Confronts Owen
When: Series 1, episode 5
Why: A perfect mixture of brilliant dramatic writing and humour. The way it turns from being Annie trying to scare Owen into confessing he killed her to him twisting into the abusive boyfriend we know him to be, taunting her from behind the grave is beautifully played. Meanwhile, tucked in there it also has one of Annie’s funniest moments: “I am darkness, I am death. Vengeance and fury! Fire and blood! Diamonds and bones! Sapphire and… Steel.”
2 George Kills Herrick
When: Series 1, episode 6
Why: Jason Watkins’ performances as Herrick were always a great mixture of urbane normality and chilling horror. Here, he manages both. George’s plan to lock himself in the basement with Herrick to save Mitchell, Annie and his new girlfriend Nina is both heroic and a little daft, or at least it seems so until those final moments, when Herrick realises finally he’s bitten off more than he can chew.
3 Nina Tells George She’s A Werewolf
When: Series 2, episode 1
Why: Being Human has always been great at those moments where supernatural elements are almost extraneous to the emotions of the plot, and this is a great example of this. Nina’s disgust and devastation, and George’s horror and inability to cope with the guilt of hurting the woman he has grown to love could as easily have been about him infecting her with an STI as the werewolf curse. Two of the best performances by Sinead Keenan and Russell Tovey and tight claustrophobic direction makes this brilliant.
4 The Real Hustle Rescheduled
When: Series 2, episode 3
Why: Being Human does drama very well, but there have been a lot of standout comic moments too. This is one of the funniest – a house meeting descending into ranting when George and Mitchell discover The Real Hustle has been rescheduled, made all the funnier because at the time BBC Three were messing around with the Being Human timeslots in similar fashion.
5 Box Tunnel Massacre
When: Series 2, episode 7
Why: Ivan and Daisy were a great addition to series two, funny and yet dangerous in equal measure as well as being both a cautionary tale and a temptation to Mitchell. When he finally cracks and goes on a killing spree with Daisy (most extreme reaction to finding out your girlfriend is trying to kill you ever ) it is gory, frenzied and jaw dropping. Of course even when it happened, the audience knew there would be consequences, which made it even tougher to watch.
6 Annie Dragged To Purgatory
When: Series 2, episode 8
Why: Lenora Crichlow’s Annie was in many ways the emotional heart of the show. When the dust clears from the final battle between the odd fundamentalist Christians, Annie is missing. Suddenly the TV switches on in the corner and they hear her quavering voice from purgatory. The horror and despair at the loss of their friend is beautifully played, as is Mitchell’s stern promise: “We’re going to get her back.”
7 Tom Realises McNair Killed His Parents
When: Series 3, episode 4
Why: When Robson Green was announced as a recurring guest star for Being Human it felt genuinely mind boggling. This was the man whose albums your nan loved, all sharp suit, cheeky grin and (in later years at least) fishing anecdotes. What could he bring to the Being Human party? Little did we know. A beautiful mixture of kickass and gentleman, McNair’s stay at Honolulu Heights made for cracking viewing. There are so many lovely moments with McNair and Tom – from discussions about The English Patient to McNair’s attempts to get Tom to behave well in proper society, while still keeping a stake on him at all times. But this moment, when George and Nina break the news that Tom’s real parents were murdered by the man who has brought him up at a son and Tom confronts him, is one of the best.
8 Herrick Stabs Nina
When: Series 3, episode 7
Why: Nina has spent the whole series trying to convince the others to give amnesiac Herrick a chance, looking after him and treating him with kindness. When the moment comes when his vampire tendencies come back to the surface for precious moments he seems torn between some kind of compassion for his nurse and protector, and the need to get his revenge on George, who killed him in the first place after all. With a typical Whithouse double bluff, you think the danger has passed, just in time for him to come back and stab her in the kidneys. The week spent wondering if she’d survive to give birth to her baby was a long one.
9 George Kills Mitchell
When: Series 3, episode 8
Why: From the moment the Box Tunnel Massacre happened, it was inevitable that it would come to this, that Mitchell was irredeemable, despite his best efforts. Pair that with the announcement that Aidan Turner had been cast in The Hobbit everyone and knew an exit of some kind was coming. But even with all that expectation weighted on the moment, when it came it was shocking, thanks to a another double bluff where the tension had been ratcheted up to a point where you thought it was going to happen, and then it didn’t, so you dared to hope that maybe it wouldn’t and he’d head off in whatever the Being Human equivalent of leaving town in a taxi was (probably leaving town in a taxi). And then he was dust. Heartbreaking stuff.
10 Tom Acts As Hal’s Wingman
When: Series 4, episode 6
Why: The first glimpse we see of the new trinity on screen together. Hal giving Tom dating advice from a different time that goes somewhat over the young werewolf’s head (“I don’t know, it’s fun training her and that, but we haven’t even held hands yet.”) is a great example of the banter that developed as their friendship blossomed while working in the café. Meanwhile Alex coming in, seeing through their awkward bluster (and Hal hiding under the counter) and taking it all in her stride is a definite sign of things to come.
11 Annie Blows Up The Warehouse And Kills Eve
When: Series 4, episode 8
Why: This kind of bleak victory is something Toby Whithouse has become famed for. The Old Ones are defeated, the apocalyptic future doesn’t happen, and all it takes is Annie killing the baby she’s grown to love. An epic moment, with a side order of “I can’t believe they’re going to blow up a baby!” Of course, this being Being Human , they do.
12 Happily Ever After?
When: Series 5, episode 6
Why: The world didn’t end. They’re all human again. They’re watching Antiques Roadshow and drinking tea. Everything should be wonderful, we get a happy ending. But then, the camera pans back and moves across the mantelpiece. It’s a lovely shot – George’s Star of David necklace drapped round the handle of a mug, Eve’s bib, one of Hal’s dominos, the sheet Alex wrote her number on in the café, all lovely detritus and nods to the past. But then at the end of the row, an origami dog made with Honolulu Heights notepaper, last seen in the dream future Captain Hatch made for Tom. And then the world shifts…
Read our Toby Whithouse interview about the end of the series.
Read all our Being Human series 5 reviews .
Read our interview with Being Human production designer Andrew Purcell.
Subscribe to our Being Human series 5 Spotify playlist .