Starburst Magazine - - TV Zone -

Chan­nel Four are rightly proud of the suc­cess of their Sun­day night eight-part drama Hu­mans; it’s cap­ti­vated around four mil­lion view­ers a week, which is im­pres­sive enough in it­self and es­pe­cially as­ton­ish­ing for Chan­nel Four. There’d be even more cause to celebrate if Hu­mans was an en­tirely orig­i­nal se­ries - it is, of course, based on the ac­claimed 2012 Swedish drama Real Hu­mans - but such con­cerns are ul­ti­mately swept away in a se­ries which deftly nails the dif­fi­cult prob­lem of how to cre­ate a science fic­tion se­ries which will ap­peal to an au­di­ence re­ally not in­ter­ested in the genre. I’d be will­ing to bet my se­cret stash of Wispa Golds that many of the show’s au­di­ence didn’t even re­alise they were watch­ing a science fic­tion show un­til about episode four or five.

Set in the near fu­ture (no sil­ver space suits, hov­er­cars or jet-packs in sight) or a par­al­lel-world present-day, Hu­mans tells of a so­ci­ety which has be­come re­liant on the do­mes­tic as­sis­tance of dis­turbingly re­al­is­tic an­droids known as ‘synths’ and, across its taut, well-paced eight episodes, ex­plores the po­ten­tially ten­u­ous re­la­tion­ship be­tween hu­mankind and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and what might hap­pen should the lines be­tween the two be­come blurred. It is, dare I say it, about ‘what it means to be hu­man’ as a group of synths, pro­grammed with hu­man feel­ings and sen­si­bil­i­ties, bat­tle for the right to stay truly sen­tient in a sus­pi­cious world, and fight to re­main free as the sci­en­tific es­tab­lish­ment and the more mun­dane

Doc­tor Who; Con­tact me via the magic of email - paul.mount@star­burst­ or do the Twit­ter thing - @PMount

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