Anna Fricke and Jeremy Carver Talk Being Human Season 2 (Part Two)
Last week we brought you Part 1 of an in-depth interview with "Being Human" executive producers Anna Fricke and Jeremy Carver, and as promised, we now have Part 2 ready for your reading pleasure. Fricke and Carver continue discussing what we can expect in Season 2, if any other creatures make an appearance in the series, the ins and outs of vampire politics, and lots more!
Q: Some of the fun of the show has been seeing what carries over from other vampire, werewolf, and ghost stories and also where you guys decide to take the lore of these three monsters with your own original spin - whether it's powers or debunking myths or what have you. How much do you get to play, or how much do you enjoy playing, with the traditional knowledge of these monsters and then adding new stuff to it?
Jeremy Carver: Well, it's always a balance, right? Because there are certain expectations. Part of the fun that goes back to the BBC series was particularly how they played with the vampires in that they could exist in sunlight, etc. And staying with the BBC version, they took great, great liberties with their ghost character, Annie. Not only could she touch things, but she could be seen by people if I'm not mistaken. I think in their Season 2 she's totally able to be seen by folks.
Anna Fricke: Yes, she is.
Jeremy Carver: We took our ghost character in much smaller steps, but you'll remember at the end of last season one of the sort of immediate good-bad things that happened after Sally missed her door was that she discovered she was able to connect more to earthbound objects, which of course also implies that she is more earthbound now. So we'll see in Season 2 Sally is able to basically interact with inanimate objects more, but we get a huge kick it out. One of our favorite, if not the most favorite, scene from Season 1 was Josh and Aidan in the bathroom in Episode 7 when Aidan has that reaction to garlic. We spun that to be the garlic doesn't actually ward off vampires, but it was something that if a vampire eats garlic, it would expose him even more.
Anna Fricke: We always tried to take the lore and just do what makes sense to us. We like to be able to follow it in a way that is going to make sense to us in a logical way. And like we said earlier, we have some new writers, and they span from huge genre geeks to straight-up character writers. And so we'll have a lot of notions flying around the room. And there's always one guy who's like the BS detector, and it would be like, "Does this make sense to you?" So we all have a lot of notions that we like to play with, but we try to rein it in and make sure that it's following some kind of logic that keeps with what we set up before. We tried to be careful about that.
Q: Is there any chance that you'll be looking at other kinds of monsters, variations, etc., or are we going to be rooted basically with these three monsters through the series?
Jeremy Carver: Well, I wouldn't speak for the whole series, but I'll speak for the season in that this season you're going to see variations like I was trying to say before. You're going to see variations of the species we've already introduced, but we're not necessarily seeing new monsters. You might see a third cousin type of werewolf that you have seen before or it's in the same family tree of monsters, but we're not introducing, for example...
Anna Fricke: Fairies. [everyone laughs] It's a tough call, though, because once you're in a supernatural world, you're saying that vampires and werewolves exist, but you don't have to say other things do also. But we're not closed.
Jeremy Carver: No, no, as a series notion we're definitely not closed to it.
Anna Fricke: As a series notion we're totally open to it, but we're not going to see that this season.
Q: How much are we going to see Terry Kinney as Hegeman, and will we get more information about the Dutch?
Jeremy Carver: Re the second question, I think the Dutch play a pretty big role; we'll be introducing new Dutch characters this season. And as for Terry Kinney, you'll definitely be seeing him - he will be involved in a very explosive storyline kicking off our season.
Q: You mentioned the vampire politics that we've seen so far, and we're going to see more of that. We've seen versions of that in other stories like "True Blood", and we've gotten other versions of vampires and supernatural creatures in "Teen Wolf" and the Twilights and all of the different types of stories that are out there now. What efforts are you making to differentiate your supernatural creatures from all of those other versions?
Anna Fricke: Well, just speaking to the vampire politics question first - and I wish I could use a different term than "politics" because it sounds like it's so dry, which it's not - for me it makes sense that vampires do have a structure because they are this sub-culture that has existed for thousands of years and they have to have their own sort of rules and society so that makes sense to me. In terms of how it's differentiated, how the creatures are different, I'm just trying to focus in on what the question is. Because I'm a huge fan of all those shows so I'm aware of what you're talking about, but are you asking how we differentiate our monsters?
Q: Yes, because there are only so many different things that you can do with vampire lore as your starting point. What efforts are you making to not get lost in the shuffle and not be like all of the others?
Anna Fricke: I think what we try to do most, and what we always try to focus on, is the core of the show, which is "being human". Which is sort of keeping everything grounded on an emotional level for these characters and keeping them in touch with their humanity and trying not to get too caught up in fantastical or arch storytelling, right? And even in terms of the Mother character we have, who is sort of like a Queen Elizabeth character in this vampire society, she and her daughter are actually a biological mother and daughter, meaning that she turned her own daughter into a vampire. And so [that's] something I think sets the show apart a little bit in that there are actual blood ties there.
Jeremy Carver: Yes, I think Anna's hitting on it nicely. It's not necessarily a question of how do our politics differ, but how do our characters differ? When we introduce this sort of new line on the vampire hierarchy, we do so by focusing very heavily on the characters themselves. We have this mother and daughter who have a very, very, very complicated mother-daughter relationship spanning hundreds and hundreds of years, and we had to deal with the "politics" underneath it all and above it all, and affecting all of it is the relationship between this mother and this daughter, who Anna noted are actually biological mother and daughter from, again, hundreds and hundreds of years ago.
So while we're dealing with their very complicated relationship, Aidan himself, as the season progresses, will realize has an extremely complicated relationship with each that spans back decades that he has to navigate while, again, always sort of trying to acquire his freedom, which was promised to him at the beginning of this new season.
Anna Fricke: I think what sets this show apart from some of these other genre shows, again of which I'm a big fan, is that they - our monsters - are trying their best not to get enmeshed with their other monsters. You know, Aidan sort of wants nothing to do with the other vampires, Josh wants nothing to do with the other werewolves, and Sally just wishes she had taken her door. And all they want, just to hit it home, is to be human. And so they're always trying to do that, trying to have human relationships, trying to have normal lives. I think that ultimately is what differentiates it.