Recently, on channel 4, the newest hit TV show has been Humans. A science fiction drama set in the future where people can buy synthetics who look and act like humans to do their every need. This can include cooking and cleaning as well as taking care of their children. The only difference between the synthetics and the humans is that the ‘synths’ have no feelings….at all. The synths are supposed to act in anyway that’ll keep the humans that own them safe, even if it includes jumping in front of a moving van to save one of the children from being hit.
There is only one issue with this set up. There is a small group of synthetics that can feel. They are still robots but can feel every emotion humans can feel. If these synthetics come together they can create more of the feeling synths through connecting their route code and, in some cases, create an army.
The main family you meet are the people who buy Anita. Joe and Laura have three children and they each add something to the story. They’re oldest daughter Matilda is a computer genius who is able to help the synths. They’re son Toby shows the blur between the synths being normal robots and people finding feelings for them. He aids in understanding the confusion of remembering that these synths don’t feel and have no human tendencies apart from their look. Their youngest daughter Sophie helps the synths with feelings find their humanity.
The synths that feel all come from the same family. There are five of them including Niska, who wants to rise a synth army and overthrow humans. Mia ‘Anita’ who is the mother of the group created to care for Leo. Leo was the professors son and became a synth when a tragic accident happened. He blurs the lines between human and synth kind. The last two synths are Max and Fred.
One big character I find in the show is George. George has a four year old synth called Odie that he needs to upgrade but can’t as it holds the memories of his late wife. The synth is also seen as a son to him and so he will not recycle him.
As you can see the show looks at some deep issues people are falling into regarding technology. After all, most of these synths are literally over side iPads who have no way of properly connecting to humans.
How do you think humans would react?
In the show most humans are excited by the idea of synths. They are used for jobs that no one else wants to do but also tougher jobs which they can learn in a few moments rather than years, such as surgeons and doctors.
However this causes an uprising of people against synths. People who think their place in the world has been compromised and a loss of identity. They are worried that their children won’t have any jobs to go into and so want to bring these synths down.
The show also asks the audience questions about what is right with these synths and what’s not. In one episode Joe sleeps with Anita and when Laura finds out she’s disgusted because he’s basically slept with someone else. But did he really? Anita ‘Mia’ is just a robot and while she was servicing the household she had no feelings. Joe basically had sex with an oversized toaster but because it looked like a human it’s much worse.
I loved this series because it asks more about what us humans would do to these synths than what the synths would do to us. Possibly, in the second series we may explore more of the synths with feelings than the humans reaction to them but either way I’m excited! I definitely recommend having a watch if you haven’t seen it.
What did you think of Humans? I’d love to know what other people thought and whether you agree or disagree with my analogy.
Until next time.