Woot! AMC is breaking into my favorite genre: roboty robots who robot. Okay so not really a genre, but from the time I first encountered Asimov and Clarke, I’ve been fascinated with the future. Of course, since we all know artificial intelligence spells the end of humanity; perhaps the true curiosity is about our own existence and death.
Where in the hell was I? Oh yes, AMC and the future! A while back, the network that brought us Walter White and Don Draper partnered with UK Channel 4 (Utopia, Black Mirror), to produce Humans, an eight-part series based on Sweden’s Äkta människor (Real Humans). The series imagines a not so distant future where many households include synthetic beings (“Synths”) aka “Hubots,” who perform duties that range from housework and chores to companionship and sex (different models provide particular services). Of course, as any avid science fiction reader knows, the lines between species will inevitably become blurred on one side or the other, and all hell is bound to break loose. In the case of Humans, the androids’ “far-reaching and chilling effects” will be seen through intimate focus on a couple of families. Academy Award winner William Hurt (Bonnie and Clyde, Damages, A History of Violence, A.I. Artificial Intelligence) will play widower George Millican, a man who has developed a close relationship with a Synth named Odi. Hurt joins a positively grand cast that includes Colin Morgan (The Fall, Merlin, Doctor Who), Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd, Sherlock, The Honourable Woman), Utopia’s Arby, Neil Maskell, Tom Goodman-Hill (Mr. Selfridge, The Hollow Crown, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), Rebecca Front (Inspector Lewis, The Thick of It), and Gemma Chan (Sherlock, Fresh Meat, Secret Diary of a Call Girl) — Chan and Front play “synths”. Amazing, right?
Written by MI-5’s Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley, Humans will air simultaneously on AMC and Channel 4, sometime in 2015. I’m already parked in front of the telly.