For a long time, I was in doubt whether or not I would write a rewatch blog about my recent rewatch of Humans! Because I rewatch this with my wife, it took nearly 6 months (!) to complete. Only 24 episodes. I do have to point out that we (re)watch perhaps too many shows at the same time and we have too little time, so some shows are spread out over multiple months and in case of The X-Files, even a couple of years! The reason why I was in doubt was because I knew beforehand it would took longer and because it is a complex show, no episode titles so more difficult to point out certain episodes which is easier when you actually have episode titles.
Anyway the British / American series which was produced by Channel 4 & AMC in the UK and AMC in the United States. It actually is a remake from the Swedish TV show Real Humans, which I haven’t seen yet and I am not sure If I will ever get the chance. Humans is about set in the present day, only here the technology has been way further than in real life. For a number of years now, synths (anthropomorphic robots) are amongst us, they have taken over many jobs, like bus drivers, construction workers, hairdressers, you name it. They are also servants in the homes of a family, doing laundry, cooking dinner, cleaning the house etc. At that point, these synths are nothing more than appliances. However there are a few synths who are aware, who are self-conscious and they mostly keep to themselves, hiding in plain sight, to avoid being found out that they do have a conscious. Their creator, David Elster, his son Leo Elster (Colin Morgan), is part human, part synth. After a car accident, his father developed synth components to cope with the damage to his brain. In the first series he spends most of his time trying to reunite the conscious synths made by his father. In the second series he mainly is trying to help synths adjust to the spread of the consciousness program. He and Mattie (Lucy Carless), daughter of Laura (Katherine Parkinson) and Joe (Tom Goodman-Hill), have released the program, which results in lots of deaths because of the chaos that arose when the synths all of a sudden woke-up at the same time. Which causes plane crashes, car accidents and so on (at the end of series two).
In the first series you mainly see them trying to stay out of government hands, because some know that they are conscious, people who knew David Elster, who worked with him. Synth Mia (Gemma Chan) mostly brought up Leo, synth Max (Ivanno Jeremiah) is Leo’s best friend, Niska Elster (Emily Berrington) is Mia’s “sister”. Karen Voss (Ruth Bradley) is a detective inspector and the partner of Detective Sergeant Pete Drummond (Neil Maskell). Those around her have not discovered that she is a conscious synth and was created by David Elster to replace his deceased wife, Beatrice. Karen wants to end her life but her programming forbids suicide. Peter Drummond really has a problem with synths because his handicapped wife Jill (Jill Halfpenny) is being taken care of a synth and does this perhaps a bit too well, he knows his wife finds her synth more important than him. In the first series meet George Millican (William Hurt), who is a retired artificial intelligence researcher and widower who suffers memory loss and physical disabilities secondary to a stroke. He previously worked with Leo Elster’s father. George has a special bond with his outdated caregiver synth Odie (Will Tudor).
So in series two, Niska releases a code which should wake-up synths. With waking-up synths I mean that they get consciousness. However it takes a while before this is showing and apparently it does not wake-up all synths at the same time and some stay as they were. Mia lives at the beach, working at a beach-house, she feels something for the owner. Niska had a girlfriend, she breaks up with her because she decides she wants to be tried as human being because she wants to come clean about her killing. She asks Laura to be her lawyer. A few new characters are introduced: Marshall Allman as Milo Khoury,a techno-entrepreneur and owner of Qualia, a synth research corporation, who seeks to harness the sentient synthetics for himself. Carrie-Anne Moss as Athena Morrow, an AI researcher based in San Francisco who has been invited to reverse engineer the consciousness program. She presents herself as unconcerned about the conscious synthetics, but in reality she has already independently developed her own sentient AI, who she refers to as "V" (for Virginia, her daughter), and is attempting to provide V with a new body. Although the character Athena Morrow is there only for series two, the sentient AI “V”, will become important towards the end of the series.
Sonya Cassidy as Hester, a synth who becomes self-aware from the consciousness program unleashed across the world. She is rescued from a synth-labored facility by Leo and Max, but soon starts to exhibit disturbing behavior. Thusitha Jayasundera as Neha Patel, a government lawyer whose initially hostile stance towards the synth cause will eventually prove to be more sympathetic. Billy Jenkins as Seraph Sam, Sam is, as far as is known, the first kid like synth. Karen Moss and Peter Drummond take them under their wing. While his master George Millican has died already, Odie is still around after he had been wondering in the forrest where George left him there because he didn’t want Odie to be destroyed. Mattie takes him in as a science project, he too becomes conscious but he cannot cope with this new found “power”. Towards the series two finale it has become clear that Hester has few screws loose, and you perhaps cannot blame her because the she was treated by humans. She tries to kill Laura, Mia, Leo, Mattie come-up with a plan to de-activate her remotely. But when Mia gets involved, comes too close, she is also victim of her own action. To save her, they need to wake-up every synth. Joe has enough of being surrounded by synths and moves out to a town, where there are no synths.
In series three we learn that this action, to wake every synth up, has caused many deaths because the woke-up all at once, all at the same time and this caused chaos in the streets and in the air. The synths got the blame and they had no place to go but in special camps, away from the cities, where they live amongst each other but the humans really hated them and rather would have them all killed. Karen Voss still lived among the humans, hiding with Sam. She even went to live in the same town Joe moved to, where there weren’t any synths. She did this on purpose because it was harder to them to be caught as long as they didn’t get caught. When they did get caught, it was very uncomfortable to watch what humans can become, really turned my stomach.
In trying to mend the open wound after all these deaths, and because Mia wanted to have the same rights as humans, she applied for an apartment to live among the humans. Again we see humans being the aggressor, humans showing traits that we regularly see on tv, on news reports in real life. Mia grew a following without her even knowing it, she had an ever growing fanbase who were following everything she did. The synths also became divided, there was a group, of which Max was the leader, who wanted to keep the peace, no violence. And another group, under the leadership of Anatole, were sick of how they were being treated and they wanted to use violence to their oppressors. There is a plan to kill most of the synth at once, Laura finds this out, a project called Basswood. Mia goes to the compound and is able to save all but one, but then the humans enter the compound and their want a fight. A filming crew sees and shows, how again the humans behave very crude and even when Mia reaches out her hand towards a human, she gets beaten to a pulp! Among the synths there was talk of a synth that sleeps, this synth might have the knowledge, might have the power to help.
After a long journey, she arrives at this place where the man who sleeps reside. It turns out to be Odie, but it’s only Odie’s body, inside, it is V, the AI version of Athena Morrow’s daughter. She took over Odie’s body because Odie was conflicted, didn’t want these feelings, Odie is at peace now, V says to Niska. V also tells Niska she is the leader and there is only one way to live on as a synth, through relations with humans and Mattie’s baby, of which Leo is the father, is very important! New series three characters: Holly Earl as Agnes, a synth in Mia and Max's group. She is suspicious of their leadership and sympathizes with the terrorists; Ukweli Roach as Anatole,a former courtesan synth who believes in a higher power, namely David Elster, and that synths were always meant to be given consciousness; Mark Bonnar as Neil Sommer, a charming scientist on a government commission with whom Laura develops a strong personal connection; Dino Fetscher as Stanley, an "orange-eyed" synth given to a reluctant Laura by the Dryden commission group as her personal synth and protector.
This is it, wrote it from memory, therefore it is only a general view of what happens throughout the three series, which characters we meet and so on. As I started this blog with, in part because of this, I wasn’t sure if I would ever write this rewatch blog. I wrote it with the help of the Wikipedia page, mainly for the new characters that were introduced. It is a really good series and it is beyond me why this was cancelled. Yes I understand, because of declining ratings, but it is good TV, it was uncomfortable at times, it had very interesting characters, an interesting story-arc. Still people rather watch standard procedurals and reality TV. Shame this didn’t get a chance to complete its story. Although the series finale is a very open ending, it still it worth watching this, it has good rewatch value. Highly recommended!