In comparison to recent US horror TV offerings like The Exorcist, Damien, Hannibal and American Horror Story, British-made horror shows have be practically non-existent. ITV is attempting to change that with its new ‘domestic horror’ mini-series, HIM.
Created by BAFTA winning writer Paula Milne, the series combined the mundanity of family life with the supernatural. When a 17-year-old boy, known only as ‘HIM’, becomes trapped in a flux between his two new families after his mother and father divorced and remarried, he’s forced to confront his own emotions and deal with them.
However, his situation is made a lot more difficult by the fact that he has to do all this while also concealing the supernatural powers he inherited from his grandfather.
“The interesting thing that I found while we were working on it was that HIM, we don’t know his name, and there are so many teenagers that parents talk about in the third person,” says actor Patrick Robinson (Casualty). “They literally talk about them without giving them a name. It’s fascinating that we go through his life and the project is about him, but we don’t know what his actual name is. He’s just called ‘him’.
Robinson plays the role of HIS mother’s new partner. “It’s just by chance that they got together, really,” he says. “Both their lives are enhanced by each other. They have children, and it’s just about how they dealt with that. My character is a gardener. He has a very basic life. [He and the mother] found love, they got married and had a child together. It’s a basic domestic, so when it unfolds it’s inspiring and enlightening and surprising what HIM is capable of doing.”
So what makes HIM a horror? Is it purely resting on the fact that supernatural powers come into play, or is it a blood-pumping thriller? “I think it’s a combination of both,” says Robinson. “You have the supernatural, which isn’t that sort of superhero thing. It’s more on the occult side. It’s something that we’re all interested in because we don’t understand it fully; some believe it actually can happen, whereas with superheroes we know it’s complete fantasy. I think that’s why it will be an interesting story… It’s a horror and a thriller.”
HIM premieres on 19 October at 9pm on ITV. Get all the latest horror news with every issue of SciFiNow.