Airdate: Humans

Next week ABC2 begins the UK adaptation of Swedish sci-fi Real Humans.


Next week ABC2 begins Humans, the UK adaptation of Swedish sci-fi Real Humans which has aired on SBS.

The cast includes William Hurt, Colin Morgan and Katherine Parkinson.

The 8 part series is produced by Kudos (Utopia, Broadchurch, The Hour) in association with original producers, Matador Films (Real Humans).

What makes us human? Can a synthetic creation ever think and feel the way we do? And if so, what do we do about it?

This brand new, ambitious eight-part drama, from the makers of Utopia and Broadchurch, takes just such a scenario and turns it into both a hair-raising thriller, and a rumination on the nature of humanity. Featuring a top-class cast including William Hurt (A History of Violence, Damages), Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd, The Honourable Woman), Colin Morgan (Merlin, The Fall) and Rebecca Front (The Thick Of It, Just William), Humans is a riveting look at a question that gets just a little less hypothetical every day.

Joe Hawkins (Tom Goodman Hill) makes the decision to invest in the latest must-have gadget for any busy family – a Synth. Terrified he is losing his wife Laura (Katherine Parkinson), he believes the addition to the household of a highly-developed robotic servant almost identical to humans will give them back the time they so desperately need and help them re-connect both as a couple and as a family. Joe and the kids take the Synth (Gemma Chan) home, and christen her Anita. Anita is an immediate hit, and a chaotic house is suddenly transformed into an oasis of tidy, organised, well-fed contentment.

On her return from a work trip, a threatened Laura seems less susceptible to Anita’s efficiently chilly charms. There’s just something about her. Every now and again she does something… almost human.

Others, though, long since abandoned any scepticism, and embraced their Synths as part of the family. Widower George Millican (William Hurt) has formed a close relationship with his out-of-date synth Odi (Will Tudor), who he treats more like a son than a piece of machinery. Using Odi’s infallible memory, he is able to dredge up memories of his dead wife to fill his lonely void. But the authorities are keen to replace Odi with a more up-to-date model Vera (Rebecca Front), and when he starts to shown signs of malfunction, it seems he’s destined for the scrap heap. Assuming, that is, George plays ball…

Meanwhile, Leo (Colin Morgan) is a human on the run with his synth, Max (Ivanno Jeremiah)and the two unlikely companions are desperately searching for someone. But who, and why? Who or what are they running from? And why does this synth seem to be so unlike the others?

Also starring Neil Maskell and Jill Halfpenny, Humans is written by Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley (Spooks, Spooks: The Greater Good), and based on the award-winning Swedish sci-fi drama “Real Humans”.

Directed by Sam Donovan (Utopia), executive producers are Jane Featherstone (Broadchurch, Utopia, The Hour) and Derek Wax (The Hour, Occupation, Lip Service) for Kudos with Chris Fry (The Smoke) producing for Kudos, and Henrik Widman and Lars Lundström for Matador Films. Commissioned for Channel 4 by Piers Wenger, Beth Willis and Simon Maxwell, and Joel Stillerman and Kristin Jones for AMC, Humans Channel 4’s first international co-production.

8:40pm Monday August 3rd ABC2.

8 Responses

  1. “This brand new, ambitious” remake of a Swedish show! The first series was badly written and not exactly a “hair-raising thriller”. It was mostly about Grandpa wanting to have lasagna every meal while bunch of hubots walked through some woods looking for a powerpoint while they took forever to set up action for the 2nd (after which it was cancelled).

    Interesting to see what Kudos do with it. They’ve cut it down from 10 eps and appear to have gone for less cupie doll more sexy hubots from the get go.

  2. Why would anyone want to watch a British ripoff of a brilliant Swedish show like Real Humans? The Poms have often suffered the Yanks remaking some of their best shows for no discernible reason (usually, but not always, stuffing them up in the process), lately however they’ve taken to playing the same game. Shame Kudos, shame.

    1. Haven’t watched the UK/US version yet, but the Swedish version was definitely an interesting mess for most of the first series – it really only pulled it together towards the end (the second series was better, if a little less interesting).

      If the Brits/Yanks have cut it down to 8 episodes rather than 10, it could well be the better for it.

  3. We’re just heading into the final episode here in the UK and I can safely say it’s the best UK drama series in years – every episode has been superb and it also captivates you in a way you probably don’t expect. Watch it – you won’t regret it.

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