Humans Series 2 begins in Berlin where Niska (Emily Berrington) cops off in a nightclub with Astrid (Bella Dayne), yet it’s a situation with an ulterior motive, and at this point, it’s good we had a recap of the first series’ events, since while I remembered most of it, I forgot the one that links to this as it’s been almost 18 months since that was on.
The Hawkins family are still coming to terms with things, yet still owning a new synth (wouldn’t you just get rid?), with Joe (Tom Goodman-Hill) and Laura (Katherine Parkinson) attending counselling sessions to save their marriage after he did the business with sex-bot Gemma Chan, which brings me to Josie Lawrence in a brilliant and amusing turn as synth counsellor Barbara. You’d think a human would be better at that job, but as she states, she can access the results of 38,000 previous counselling sessions that have taken place at the company.
In fact, as synths have become an accepted part of society, they’re replacing real humans in the workforce, causing the country to sink further into recession.
When we first meet Ms Chan’s character, now known as her original name of Mia, she’s back to bot-mode and cleaning a run-down seaside cafe, so what’s happened to her? Well, you’ll find out when you see it, but the main emphasis in this episode, as shown very early on, is that more synths are ‘waking up’ and breaking free.
Leo (Colin Morgan) and Max (Ivanno Jeremiah) are back, the latter of whom having a great line towards the end of the first series, “If I die, it means I’ve lived”, and this opener also introduces The Matrix‘s Carrie-Anne Moss as AI expert Dr Athena Morrow.
I loved Series 1, but was left wondering where the story would go, as all the main characters had broken free and like them running in random directions, it felt like it had lost its way a bit, turning into a chase movie. I haven’t seen any further episodes, nor any of the original Swedish programme on which this is based, entitled Real Humans, but at an educated guess, ultimately, I would expect with the synths would take on the world, or someone will find a way to completely stop them and humanity returns back to normal.
Either way, while it’s good to have them back – and I liked the conversation between a synth and a human about creating a life (with the human thinking they were talking about having a baby), we need a bit more than just being ‘on the run’. In fact, it feels like it’s heading the way Utopia did – an incredible opening, but then started tailing off, and then completely falling apart at the end of series 2, leading to its cancellation when a third one could’ve finished off the story.
Humans Series 2 begins tonight on Channel 4 at 9pm, and is available to pre-order DVD, ahead of its release on December 26th, and click on the packshot for the full-size image.
After the programme has aired, you can watch it on All4, and you should also check out How To Build A Human, presented by Gemma Chan, which aired last night and was very entertaining as she got to meet her robot equivalent, but could it convince real human beings that it was her?
Episode 1 Score: 7/10
Director: Lewis Arnold
Producer: Chris Fry
Writers: Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent
Music: Sarah Warne
Mia: Gemma Chan
Niska: Emily Berrington
Joe Hawkins: Tom Goodman-Hill
Laura Hawkins: Katherine Parkinson
Sophie Hawkins: Pixie Davies
Toby Hawkins: Theo Stevenson
Mattie Hawkins: Lucy Carless
Dr Athena Morrow: Carrie-Anne Moss
Leo: Colin Morgan
Max: Ivanno Jeremiah
Astrid: Bella Dayne
Ten: Raphael Acloque
Ed: Sam Palladio
Hester: Sonya Cassidy
Rowan: Lauren Carse
Barbara: Josie Lawrence
Dr Aveling: Claudia Harrison
Jansen: Anthony Flanagan
Gavin: Ian Burfield
Engineer: Callum Adams
V: Chloe Wicks
Artie: Sam Woolf
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.