In Review: Humans Episode One

Its been awhile since we have seen a good drama questioning the morality of our reliance on technology or whether it is possible for machines to achieve consciousness, but as we get more and more technologically advanced as a society it is a scenario that we always seem to revisit in television drama

Synopsis: Leo is a human on the run with his Synth (Android), Max, and the two unlikely companions are desterately searching for someone, but what or who are they running from? George is a retired Synth engineer who refuses to recycle his Synth Odi who holds precious memories of his late wife. Joe is a doting father who is trying to repair his marriage and buys a Synth to allow him and his wife Laura to spend more time together as a family.

Review: Its been awhile since we have seen a good drama questioning the morality of our reliance on technology or whether it is possible for machines to achieve consciousness, but as we get more and more technologically advanced as a society it is a scenario that we always seem to revisit in television drama and ‘Humans’ is the latest drama to do just that.

The story follows four different people and their relationships with Synths, which are the latest technological craze to hit in an alternative version of our present. A Synth by the way is a robot or android, which is used to perform tasks such as house work and laborious tasks, but as seen in this opening episode can also serve as prostitutes in brothels.

The first episode introduces us to the various characters and their lives and how the various different synths play a role in their day to day existence.

Fans of science fiction film and television will get a kick out of seeing Colin Morgan in a more mature role. He plays Leo, who seems to be a man of mystery and on the run. From the little we our given in this first installment. Leo is trying to reunite his family of Synth’s who have seemingly developed human emotions, which is perhaps why they are being hunted by Detective Peter Drummond (Neil Maskell), but the question remains. How have these Syth’s developed human like feelings and emotions. Have they achieved consciousness on their own and are they threat to us.

I think we’ll likely find out more in the coming weeks because Colin Morgan’s character seems rather central to the main narrative of this series.

A stand out performance in this opening segment and likely to be in the coming weeks is Gemma Chan as Anita who is the Synth that Joe has brought home for his wife and kids, but why does she seem so much more aware than other Synth’s and should the family trust her. Chan puts in a wonderful performance and catches the robotic stillness of a Synth really well to a point where it is damn right creepy.

Apparently all the actors that play Synth’s in this series went to what was dubbed Synth school in order to learn how to move like a robot, but in such a way that it is unique for this series.

Another good performance comes in from William Hurt who plays a retired and vulnerable Synth Engineer who the Government Health Agency are trying to push around by making him recycle his Synth Odi for the more advanced and up to date Vera that can also act as a nurse, but Hurts character George does not want to give Odi up because although out of date. Odi holds precious memories of George’s late wife.

This was fairly opening episode. Right off the bat I’m curious to see more and learn how some of the synth’s including Anita have began to become more human. It also raises several moral questions like all good science fiction does. And while the question of whether robots or machines can be self aware isn’t new. This is a pretty good investigation into the morality of it. And the fact that one of the characters is in love with his Synth could provide some interesting moments in the coming weeks.

While the premise of this series is hardly new to fans of the science fiction genre. It’s interesting to see it examined through a modern day lens given how our own technology is ever getting closer to achieving some of what we see here on the TV.

9
Humans Episode One
  • Interesting new investigation into whether or not machines can be self aware and nice performances from Colin Morgan and William Hurt
  • Not an original premise. But an interesting new take and the fact it is set in an alternate version of 2015 keep things interesting
  • Story
    8.5
  • Acting
    9.5
  • Incidental Music
    9.0

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth.

In the past few years he has written for ‘Star Trek’ Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: www.scifipulseradio.com

When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics.

Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net

You can contact ian at: [email protected]

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