What makes us human? Can a synthetic creation ever think and feel the way we do? And if so, what do we do about it?
From the makers of Utopia and Broadchurch, the brand new, ambitious eight-part drama Humans, released on DVD on 17th August 2015 by Channel 4 DVD, takes just such a scenario and turns it into both a hair-raising thriller, and a rumination on the nature of humanity. Featuring a top-class cast including William Hurt (A History of Violence, Damages), Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd, The Honourable Woman), Colin Morgan (Merlin, The Fall) and Rebecca Front (The Thick Of It, Just William), Humans is a riveting look at a question that gets just a little less hypothetical every day.
Joe Hawkins (Tom Goodman Hill) makes the decision to invest in the latest must-have gadget for any busy family - a Synth. His relationship with his wife Laura (Katherine Parkinson) is becoming increasingly strained. He believes the addition to the household of a highly-developed robotic servant almost identical to humans will give them back the time they so desperately need and help them re-connect both as a couple and as a family. Joe and the kids take the Synth (Gemma Chan) home, and name her Anita. Anita is an immediate hit, and a chaotic house is suddenly transformed into an oasis of tidy, organised, well-fed contentment.
On her return from a work trip, a threatened Laura seems less susceptible to Anita's efficiently chilly charms. There's just something about her. Every now and again she does something... almost human.
Others, though, long since abandoned any scepticism, and embraced their Synths as part of the family. Widower George Millican (William Hurt) has formed a close relationship with his out-of-date synth Odi (Will Tudor), who he treats more like a son than a piece of machinery. Using Odi's infallible memory, he is able to dredge up memories of his dead wife to fill his lonely void. But the authorities are keen to replace Odi with a more up-to-date model Vera (Rebecca Front), and when he starts to shown signs of malfunction, it seems he's destined for the scrap heap. Assuming, that is, George plays ball.
Meanwhile, Leo (Colin Morgan) is a human on the run with his synth, Max (Ivanno Jeremiah) and the two unlikely companions are desperately searching for someone. But who, and why? Who or what are they running from? And why does this synth seem to be so unlike the others?
Also starring Neil Maskell and Jill Halfpenny, Humans is written by Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley (Spooks, Spooks: The Greater Good), and based on the award-winning Swedish sci-fi drama "Real Humans". The series (8 x 60') is produced by Kudos (Utopia, Broadchurch, The Hour) in association with Matador Films (Real Humans).
Directed by Sam Donovan (Utopia), executive producers are Jane Featherstone (Broadchurch, Utopia, The Hour) and Derek Wax (The Hour, Occupation, Lip Service) for Kudos with Chris Fry (The Smoke) producing for Kudos, and Henrik Widman and Lars Lundström for Matador Films. Commissioned for Channel 4 by Piers Wenger, Beth Willis and Simon Maxwell, and Joel Stillerman and Kristin Jones for AMC, Humans Channel 4's first international co-production.
- Family matters
- Being a Synth
- Making of Humans
Please note - Disc special features are subject to change, may differ from format to format and/or may differ from region to region.