The Revolving Door of British Actors Strikes Again
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR MISFITS SERIES 1-4 and BEING HUMAN SERIES 1-4
Nathan, Alisha, Simon. Mitchell, Nina, George, and Annie. Shows like Misfits and Being Human have been haemorrhaging cast members for the last few years, and this week the bleeding continued – Lauren Socha and Misfits have parted ways. In a statement released Wednesday, Clerkenwell Films revealed that “A mutual decision was reached between Clerkenwell and Lauren…that she would not be returning for the fourth series.”
Which means that, out of the original five cast members, it’s only Curtis who lives on. There’s no Nathan, Simon, or Alisha, and now there’s no Kelly. But the interesting part comes later: “Misfits [series 4] has been in production for a number of weeks now and Lauren is not part of the lineup.”
“Not part of the lineup.” It’s a curious way to put it, and fairly definite. When they announded that Robert Sheehan (Nathan) had left, Clerkenwell Films made sure to tell us that he’d be back in a one-off online short, a proper send-off for a popular character. With Lauren Socha, there are no such assurances.
If Socha had, like Sheehan, simply decided to leave because it was time to move on to other things, a proper resolution for her character might not feel like so much of a question mark. But BAFTA winner Lauren has just been sentenced to four months in prison (a 12-month suspended sentence) and 80 hours of (real) community service for racially abusing and assaulting a taxi driver on a night out in Derby. Her case came before the court this week, the same time that Clerkenwell Films – who stressed that the decision had been made before the outcome of the case – released the news.
Iwan Rheon (Simon) and Antonia Thomas (Alisha) were both written out of the show but if, as they claim, Clerkenwell Films and Socha has agreed to part ways at the same time, why wasn’t she written out at the end of series three, and more importantly written out properly? The series ended in a now-iconic rooftop shot with Kelly, Curtis, Rudy, and Dark Rudy seemingly ready to perform their community service for another day. It’s eerily similar to the shot that ended Being Human‘s third series, after which it lost central cast members Sinead Keenan (Nina) and Russell Tovey (George). Already suffering from the loss of Aiden Turner (Mitchell), Keenan’s off-screen death – unavoidable as it was – left fans feeling cheated. Tovey returned for one final episode, giving at least some sort of closure on the character that fans had come to love so much. Clerkenwell Films have made no such promises in regard to Socha, and in light of the (suspected) reasons for her departure it could be that we never get one. Kelly may simply have to disappear and leave someone else to tell us why.
Being Human managed to rebuild itself step by step; the shock of departure was measured out in bits and pieces, one cast member at a time, and Tovey’s curtin-call episode worked in the same way as Robert Sheehan’s online short. Misfits has proved itself once – Rudy is a triumph – but with both Socha’s departure and her court case hanging over it, it may be twice as much work to rebuild this time around.