94% Rotten Tomatoes
Genre Science fiction
First episode date 14 June 2015
Predecessor Real Humans
Based on Real Humans
Networks AMC, Channel 4
|Created by Sam Vincent
Starring Manpreet Bachu Emily Berrington Ruth Bradley Lucy Carless Gemma Chan Pixie Davies Jack Derges Sope Dirisu Rebecca Front Tom Goodman-Hill Jill Halfpenny Ivanno Jeremiah Neil Maskell Colin Morgan Katherine Parkinson Theo Stevenson Will Tudor Danny Webb William Hurt Marshall Allman Sonya Cassidy Carrie-Anne Moss
Theme music composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer
Composer(s) Cristobal Tapia de Veer Sarah Warne
Nominations British Academy Television - Radio Times Audience Award
Awards British Academy Television Craft Award for Best Digital Creativity
Similar Real Humans, Black Mirror, Fear the Walking Dead, 12 Monkeys, Almost Human
Humans (stylised as HUM∀NS) is a science fiction television series that debuted on 14 June 2015 on Channel 4 and AMC. Written by the British team Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley, based on the award-winning Swedish science fiction drama Real Humans, the series explores the themes of artificial intelligence and robotics, focusing on the social, cultural, and psychological impact of the invention of anthropomorphic robots called "synths". The series is produced jointly by AMC in the United States, and Channel 4 and Kudos in Britain.
- Humans trailer
- Humans tv series trailer
- Broadcast and release
- Home media
- Critical reception
Eight episodes were produced for the first series, which concluded on 2 August 2015. The second eight-episode series premiered in the UK on 30 October 2016, and concluded on 18 December 2016.
Humans tv series trailer
The series was announced in April 2014 as part of a partnership between Channel 4 and Xbox Entertainment Studios. However, after Microsoft closed Xbox Entertainment Studios, AMC came aboard as partners to Channel 4. Filming commenced in the autumn of 2014, with the series premiering on 14 June 2015. The series' budget was £12 million.
The commissioning of a second, eight-episode series to air in 2016 was announced 31 July 2015. Gemma Chan had previously said, in an interview with Den of Geek, that the first series is "not completely tied up at the end" and "there are definitely still areas to be explored for a second series." Similarly, C4’s Head of International Drama, Simon Maxwell, told Broadcast’s Talking TV podcast that: "We've got a story that is told over a great many episodes and is very much designed to come back and return. We’ll be following those characters on a really epic journey." Filming of the second series began on 11 April 2016, with a premiere date of 30 October 2016.
During rehearsals, Gemma Chan and her fellow robot actors were sent to a 'synth school' run by the show's choreographer, Dan O'Neill, in a bid to rid themselves of any human physical gestures and become convincing synths. "It was about stripping back any physical tics you naturally incorporate into performance", explains Chan, who adds that it was a "relief to go home and slouch" after a day on set.
Katherine Parkinson began filming six weeks after giving birth to her second child; her part in the series was filmed on 10 separate days, between 10 days' rest.
For series two, the production visited Thanet in Kent where they used Botany Bay and West Bay as the location where Anita (Gemma Chan) has taken a job.
Broadcast and release
The first episode of the series was broadcast in the UK on Channel 4 on 14 June 2015 and premiered in the United States and Canada on AMC on 28 June 2015. It started airing in Australia on ABC2, on 3 August 2015. It was shown on TV3 in New Zealand from 11 August 2015.
The second series premiered in the United Kingdom on 30 October 2016, in Australia the day after and will premiere in the United States on February 13, 2017.
For one week in May 2015, the series was marketed using a fake shopfront for Persona Synthetics on London's Regent Street, inviting passers-by to create their own synth using interactive screens, and employing actors who pretended to be synths around central London. An accompanying Channel 4 trailer for the series in the style of an advert for Persona featured "Sally," a robotic servant described as "your new best friend." In addition targeted website banner adverts appeared on the eBay uk website leading to an eBay "buy it now" listing for a Persona Synthetics Robot.
Channel 4 DVD released the first season on DVD in the UK on 17 August 2015. Acorn Media released Humans - Season 1: Uncut UK Edition on DVD and Blu-Ray in Region 1 on 29 March 2016.
The first season of Humans received positive reviews from critics. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gave the season a 88% "Certified Fresh" rating based on 50 reviews, with an average rating of 7.4/10. The site's critical consensus reading: "Humans is a mature, high-octane thriller offering emotional intrigue and thought-provoking suspense that should prove irresistible to sci-fi fans while remaining accessible enough to lure in genre agnostics." Metacritic gave the season a rating of 73 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."
The second season received critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has a score of 100%, based on 12 reviews, with an average rating of 7.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Humans continues to quietly distinguish itself in the sci-fi drama category -- and prove better than most of its flashier AI competition." On Metacritic, the season has a rating of 82 out of 100, based on 8 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim."
The show is Channel 4's highest rated drama since the 1992 programme The Camomile Lawn. It has been described as having "universal appeal" and as being "one of 2015's dramatic hits." The show has been described as "a bit dystopian and Black Mirror-esque." A review in the Telegraph praised the show's performances but said that the story is "conceptually ... old hat" and "wasn't breaking any new ground philosophically."
In December 2015, Humans was voted Digital Spy's "Top Show of 2015," described as managing "to stand out as something totally different in a TV landscape awash with cop shows and crime thrillers... And its fearlessness, its creativity and its quality all deserve to be recognised."
The series explores a number of science fiction themes, including artificial intelligence, consciousness, human-robot interaction, superintelligence, mind uploading and the laws of robotics, as well as social themes like racism and class relations. The "synths" threaten employment and social roles, leading to the emergence of a Luddite movement to destroy them.