Set in a parallel present where the latest must-have gadget for any busy family is a ‘synth’ – a highly-developed robotic servant eerily similar in appearance to humans. These incredible machines share our homes, our jobs and our lives and so become the objects of our fear, hatred, lust and even love.
The Hawkins family struggles to put past events behind them. Their efforts are complicated further when they are unexpectedly drawn into battles being waged by their old conscious synth friends. As their emotional capabilities expand, the synths are pushed to the limit as they confront huge moral questions about their place in the world.
Humans stars Gemma Chan, Katherine Parkinson, Lucy Carless, Tom Goodman-Hill, Ivanno Jeremiah and Colin Morgan.
As it stands our family of synths are divided, both physically and mentally. Niska is abroad experiencing life as a human while Mia is simply trying to blend in by pretending to be a synth. Leo and Max are on a mission to save other conscious synths which puts them in danger of being caught. They’re caught between wanting to blend in and have a hidden existence, or fight for their rights to live alongside humans as themselves.
This theme of finding and understanding our place in the world is key to this season. Synths and humans are faced with challenges that bring out the best and worst in them.
This season could have been in danger of feeling like a filler season, but the intriguing plot and new additions to the cast make it feel like the story goes in an unexpected direction. Ultimately the cast of Humans is what makes this such a compelling watch. This is such a strong core group of actors who play off each other perfectly.
There’s a distinctive but subtle visual divide between the humans and ‘awake’ synthetics. Their movements and mannerisms seem more fluid and deliberate, whereas the humans seem messy and erratic in comparison.
Gemma Chan and Emily Berrington both excel as Mia and Niska respectively this season. Berrington brings a sense of calm and determination to Niska, she’s much more focused and centred, she wants the world to know she exists. In comparison, Mia seems to want to hide herself away and fit in with the world around her. Their journeys throughout this arc were the most compelling thing to watch.
Colin Morgan’s Leo also sets himself down a dark path this season, it all goes a little ‘Empire Strikes Back’ for him as he struggles with his identity, is he synth or human? What cause does he really believe in and want to fight for?
The only weaker points were some of the new additions and plot arcs. Carrie-Anne Moss is introduced as a scientist consumed with creating digital consciousness, for compelling personal reasons as it turns out. Her storyline does feel a little forced and stretched across the episodes, but Moss plays her character beautifully.
The Finale feels a little familiar, with the ultimate ending mirroring the previous season, but on the larger scale we expected from season one. There’s some cliffhangers that keep us interested in what happens to our family of humans and synths. We are hopeful this show will get a third season to tie up loose ends and show us if we can ultimately come together to create a peaceful coexistence.
Humans 2.0 released on DVD on 16th January 2017. The Humans Series 1 & 2 boxset will be released on the same day.
GS Rating : 4/5
GS Blogger: Sarawezzie