Humans is an eight-part series that looks at the relationship between humans and androids. A sort of ‘science faction’, this UK-US co-production (Channel 4 and AMC) tackles a lot of questions which we may not face in the present – but that we will likely face in the future. It’s the latest in a long line of high concept shows that (thankfully) fails to pander to its audience.
Humans plays-up the rich sci-fi elements but the show is firmly grounded in the reality of having synthetic humans walk among us. The world of the show is very human and it never feels that it’s because of budget limitation – instead it’s as if the makers want us to fully understand the world in which it is set. This isn’t an overtly stylised science fiction show – it’s one firmly rooted in the world that we know.
There’s a cold and clinical feeling to this English adaptation of the Swedish series, Real Humans that makes it feel more like an art-house drama than a television show. A debt is owed to the late great Stanley Kubrick in the off-centre feeling that permeates this Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackle (Spooks) created show. There are elements of the Kubrick and Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence here but this series tries to break new ground, while hints of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner echo through this slow paced drama.
Most of the cast do good work in Humans and the only person resembling a ‘star’ is the always superb William Hurt. He’s perfect for this type of role and his slightly aloof everyman quality brings a wonderful richness to an already impressive show. It’s a shame there wasn’t more of him.
Humans has already been renewed for a second season and it’ll be interesting to see how this develops as a stunning series. Let’s just hope the show is able to keep the quality and continue to push a few more genre boundaries in the process.