It’s time to get excited about TV science fiction again, as US cable network AMC partners with UK broadcaster Channel 4 to produce Humans – an eight episode series to be co-produced by UK company Kudos (Broadchurch). The project is an adaptation of the Swedish science fiction-drama titled Real Humans that aired in 2012. That source material was written by Lars Lundstrom and was described by critics as “creepy as hell,” so this English language version – from the pens of Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley (Spooks) – looks very promising indeed.
Originally developed for release on Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment platform, the show is set in an alternative, current reality, in which the must-have gadget for households is a “synth,” which are highly developed robotic servants that are incredibly realistic in terms of their resemblance to mankind. Such hardware is not always within easy financial reach for the average suburban family, however, and the series follows one such group who opt to purchase a more reasonably priced refurbished model. The consequences of this choice prove to be chilling.
Today, Academy Award winner William Hurt has joined the project in the role of widower George Millican, whose relationship with his outdated “synth,” Odi, is more akin to that of father and son than machine and owner. His casting bolsters an already impressive list of acting talent involved, which includes Katherine Parkinson (The I.T Crowd, An Honourable Woman), Will Tudor (Game Of Thrones) and Rebecca Front (The Thick Of It).
The collaboration between US and UK production companies and talent makes Humans the latest of a growing number of such projects – most of which have proved successful, albeit in the arena of TV comedy. Episodes, The Office, and Sirens have all transferred across the pond, from Europe to the United States, and the casting of an actor of William Hurt’s stature would indicate that this script is also of significant quality.
Though we have no confirmation of when we can expect the show to reach our screens, Humans is certainly one to watch for.