|The standout of the show, Anita/Mia (Gemma Chan).|
The show initially takes its centre from the Hawkins family - workaholic mum Laura (Katherine Parkinson, finally getting a chance to show off her acting chops), work-shy dad Joe (Tim Goodman-Hill) and their kids Mattie (Lucy Carless, in an outstanding second outing), Tobey and Sophie. Joe decides, against Laura's best wishes, to buy a synth, Anita (Gemma Chan), who begins to show signs that there is something more beneath the surface of her programming. Running parallel are the stories of George Millikan (William Hurt, in a similar role to the one he played in A.I.), a retired scientist who is now being brow-beaten by the system, synth-prejudiced cop DS Pete Drummond, and a group of sentient synths led by Leo Elster (Colin Morgan, Merlin). Their storylines eventually begin to crossover and merge as the backstory of the show is revealed, eventually discovering that Anita was once a sentient synth called Mia, and that Leo's group of synths contain a code which can grant sentience to other synths.
Pretty much any and all concepts regarding the place of robots in our society has been explored in this show, within the first few episodes, as well as the various different ways they're used in science fiction. Synths here are used as substitutes - substitute family members, substitute workers, substitute sexual partners. George Millikan cares for his rundown synth Odi like a son, and early scenes between them often come across as someone attempting to converse with a dementia sufferer - a cruel irony considering Odi's original purpose of helping Millikan remember his life before the stroke which took a great deal of his memory. The rights of human workers are discussed, and the idea of human obsolescence in the face of machines which can replace them in every way, and the threat of synth reproduction.
|Watch Humans after A.I. and Millikan is even sadder.|
This series isn't quite over yet, but a lot of the show's backstory and mythos has been explored, so I'm wondering where the show will go and if it will go to a second series. Regardless of whether that happens or not, Humans has more than earnt a place in the telly history books. So, if you've never seen it before or just aren't caught up, go out and catch it while you still can. You won't regret it.
Edit (31/7/15): Humans has been commissioned for a second series!