HIM (ITV 2016, Fionn Whitehead, Simona Brown)


Fionn Whitehead stars in new three-part supernatural drama HIM from screenwriter Paula Milne. A 17-year-old boy, known only as HIM, is caught in the limbo between childhood and adulthood, but he is also trapped between the two homes of his divorced parents, each now remarried with new families. He is the cuckoo in both their nests, a reminder of the failure of their marriages and a threat to their new found domestic bliss. Like any teenager, he is riding a rollercoaster of confusing emotions, but his behaviour is also triggered by something else. He is engaged in a primal struggle to contain the terrifying secret of a supernatural power he has inherited from his grandfather. Only his ageing grandmother understands and urges him to use his gift only for good, for she knows that anything could end in tragedy.

When his 17-year-old stepsister Faith (Simona Brown) moves in, HIM finds himself irrevocably drawn to her. They both know that their mutual attraction could rupture the family. The turmoil this causes in HIM escalates out of control, as does his supernatural power – and those closest to HIM are in his line of fire. At the heart of the story is HIM’s rite of passage from boyhood to manhood as he struggles to retain his humanity and control his power.

HIM definitely has an interesting premise, a storyline that sounds like it could be a slice of classic 1970’s telefantasy by John Bowen or Alan Garner. Writer Milne says that she wasn’t interested in traditional horror tropes but more “the idea of some external supernatural force taking someone over, like poltergeists, ghosts or witchcraft simply didn’t interest me as much as the idea of someone fighting to control the emotional demons within them. The movie Carrie was a big influence in that respect, how it centres on an alienated teenage girl, using telekinesis to symbolise her struggle with puberty and the brutal reality of her life ahead. So she tries to take control. Then I started thinking about teenage boys, how they get a bad rap in these post feminist days: under achieving, acting out and in particular, their difficulty in articulating the emotional turbulence they face during their own burgeoning puberty… So I suppose I wanted to use the horror genre as a prism to explore all these powerful issues of family life that so many in the audience have either witnessed or directly experienced in these post divorce days…That’s why I gave him no name but HIM; in that sense he is all our brothers and all our sons.”

classic quote
“What’s that thing they say? There is no greater fear than fear itself.”

production details
UK / ITV – Mainstreet Pictures / 3×50 minute episodes / Broadcast from Wednesday 19 October 2016 at 9.00pm

Writer: Paula Milne / Script Editor: Gwen Gorst / Production Design: Dick Lunn / Costume Design: James Keast / Music: Nick Green / SFX Supervisor: Simon Tayler / VFX Producer: Double Negative TV / Producer: Chrissy Skinns / Executive Producers: Laura Mackie, Sally Haynes, Paula Milne / Director: Andy De Emmony

Fionn Whitehead as HIM
Simona Brown as Faith
James Murray as Edward
Katherine Kelly as Hannah
Patrick Robinson as Victor
Lucy Liemann as Beth
Alec Newman as Ross Brodie
Bobby Smalldridge as Jack
Aaron Phagura as Azfal
Angela Bruce as Fran
Susan Jameson as Rose
McKell David as Jamie
Anastasia Hille as Magda
Woody Norman as Young HIM (1)
Adam O’Reilly as Young HIM (2)