"Can't we just talk to the humans?" the robotic lyrics from the comedy-singing group Flight of the Conchords come to my mind every time I see a promo for AMC's new show Humans. The series about robots infiltrating households looks a bit old hat when it comes to robot stories, but fascinating when it comes to TV, so how many episodes of Humans will there be? The new show premieres on AMC on Sunday, June 28 and will have a relatively short run with only eight episodes. But, that doesn't mean the robots couldn't return to TV screens across the globe after the first season.
As AMC is always a network that I feel confident in turning to for quality TV programming, I am pumped for a sci-fi-friendly show from a network I trust. Yes, AMC has The Walking Dead, but Humans will highlight technology, so expect Humans to be more like Orphan Black on BBC America than The Walking Dead or the dearly-departed AMC shows Mad Men or Breaking Bad. And, just like Orphan Black — Humans is not strictly an American-made show. Humans was produced with AMC in conjunction with UK’s Channel 4 and Kudos. So, if you can feel the British-ness (I could detect it from the first glimpse I got of the show), your robot senses are calibrated correctly.
The first episode already premiered in the U.K. on Sunday, June 14 and while writers Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley are British and wrote for the British series Spooks, Humans is actually based on a Swedish series called Real Humans. In the promotional video above, Vincent and Brackley explain that the series takes place in a modern world, but there are "synth" androids available to purchase. These synths are humanoid robots with piercing-colored eyes who do not seem to be as complacent as the initially appear in serving humans. So although Humans is on TV, think less Small Wonder and more in the vein of films like I, Robot and Blade Runner. (And, to make you officially feel old, Blade Runner is set in 2019 — so us humans are apparently only four years away from that future full of replicants.)
Although Humans will be short with only eight episodes, the show should be perfect for a summer series. Plus, there is the possibility of a second season. Gemma Chan, who plays household synth Anita, told Den of Geek that "There are definitely still areas to be explored for a second series. It’s not completely tied up at the end."
It's exciting to see AMC collaborate with international TV writers to bring in fresh programming. When Orphan Black premiered its Season 3, AMC aired the initial episode alongside BBC America, so it has already been opening up its programming to cross-pollination. But, maybe I should be leery of such mixing since as Humans is bound to show, cross-pollination of human beings with robot synths doesn't always end well. As Flight of the Conchords also sang, "Once again without emotion: The humans are dead."
Images: AMC; that-alonzo-kid/Tumblr