C4’s creepy Synth drama sure to be a resounding hit!
At the start of the month Inside Media Track sent Nick Pearmain to the Channel 4 Humans press screening, which was followed by a Q&A with the writers and cast. Read what he had to say below…
Based on the Swedish series, Real Humans, Channel 4 proudly brings us the C4/AMC sci-fi series, Humans, a creepy new drama which is directed by Utopia’s very own, Sam Donovan.
The series focuses on Laura Hawkins (Katherine Parkinson), who due to work is always away from home. In her absence her husband, Joe (Tom Goodman-Hill), decides to buy a Synth: A human-like robot who serves and takes care of the family home. However, all is not what it seems… The Hawkins family decide to call the new servant, Anita. With Laura disapproving of the whole idea of having a robot in the house, she agrees that she’ll try and accept it for the family’s sake. But as each day goes by, Laura begins to see that Anita (Gemma Chan) can act human, without her even realising that she’s acting like one. But the one thing they don’t know about Anita: She was a Synth who was kidnapped by a gang of men and her boyfriend Leo (Merlin’s Colin Morgan) is searching high and low for her.
Meanwhile, George Millican (played by American actor William Hurt) continues to hide his old graded Synth and dismisses the doctor’s wishes of having an upgrade. Odi (Will Tudor), the hideaway synth that George sees as his own son, is used to fill his lonely void and remember his dead wife. But are these Synths really the friendly robots that they let on to be? Or are they planning a deadly attack on humanity?
There is nothing particularly scary about the episode, but it did leave me with this creepy feeling inside of me, telling me that this could be based on a true story, any day now! We rely on technology so much, we can easily forget who we are and this is what Humans is all about. Every robot/AI films and TV programmes that I’ve seen, always gives a timescale; a year in the future when the story is set. But this excellent channel 4 drama, Humans, doesn’t provide an unknown future but is set now, in 2015. The IT Crowd‘s, funny lady Katherine Parkinson revealed during the Q&A session that she wanted to take on the part as soon as she read the first line: “This was the first thing I had appeared in since I gave birth to my child and after reading two pages of the script, I gave it to my husband and said that I needed to take up this part,” Katherine revealed.
As I was sitting there watching the first episode on the big BFI screen, I was so immersed in it, I actually forgot that I was surrounded by people. What I found fascinating about Humans, is how human-like the Synths are. As you watch it, you actually forget that these are actors playing the robots and that brings a normal human nature to it. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that William Hurt has a big role in this. Sam Donovan explained that he and the writers teamed up with AMC and looked at who would be spot-on to play an elderly man who has lost his wife, and has short-term memory loss. Donovan spoke of how William read the script and ended up falling in love with it.
Channel 4 seems to be doing extremely well for itself lately, and I have no doubt Humans will continue the channel’s award-winning trend.
Humans begins on Channel 4, Sunday, 14th June at 9pm.