The Return of ‘Humans’: Episode One Review

Channel 4’s hit drama series returned to our screens last Sunday and thankfully, it picked up where it left off. Series 1 had thrills, twists & shocks in abundance and after Sunday’s episode, there is much reason to hope for even better this season.

Based on the award-winning Swedish science fiction drama ‘Real Humans’, Humans delves into the world of robots, artificial intelligence and quite frankly, what it means to be human. Now as I’m sure you’re all aware, a little old HBO programme sounds like it’s exactly the same but don’t be dismissive of either one. Whilst Westworld also deals with similar issues, it’s a lot more sci-fi action based with its bigger budget and creative freedom shall we say. On the other hand, what Humans did in its first series was arguably a lot more poignant.

Series 1 told the story of a few sets of characters whose storylines eventually intertwined, a technique which if done well pays off superbly like it did then. In summary, the audience was presented with a world where robots called ‘synths’ are a reality and are made to serve our every need. This creates a whirlwind of consequences both positive and negative from helping those in need to replacing humans in their jobs. The world seems to be split in their opinion on synths but the story turns into something much more: what if synths could become sentient? This question drove these groups of characters, humans and synths alike, across 8 enthralling episodes which flew way past the bar of what measures a great TV show: leaving us wanting more.

Now they’re back and even from just this first episode, there is much reason to be super excited for what’s to come. Cast members, both returning and new, were all brilliant to watch. The Hawkins family alone could lead a drama after what happened to their lives last series. Apart from the son Toby who didn’t have a lot to do this week, all the Hawkins clan were on top form and a joy to watch again. The core group of synths who the show focuses on were all also a delight to see again. Usually it’s easy to pick out a particular character or two to highlight as a standout performer but in this show, it’s hard to choose since the writing and acting are both of a high standard.

There have also been a few changes to the cast which has both something to do with the events of the last series as well as creative decisions for this one. One of the new cast members to join the hit series is Carrie-Anne Moss, star of the Matrix & Jessica Jones. Given her illustrious entertainment career, we can certainly expect big things from her in this series. Her introduction as a know-it-all scientist was a solid one so she should be a compelling watch this year.

Returning with a bang, the first episode of Humans series 2 reminds us why we missed it so much.

Review by Adam Chowdhury

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