Channel 4 / AMC’s new 8-part series Humans is notable for a number of reasons beyond the transatlantic collaboration involved in bringing it to the tv screen. New, prime-time, network (in the UK, if not the US) sci-fi, based on Swedish hit Real Humans, starring William Hurt and built around the increasingly plausible (and completely terrifying) idea of synthetic humans being developed as a slave underclass to “serve” natural ones…. Whoa. This sounds like something I should be super-excited about, and I might be too, had the magnificent Ex Machina not already burrowed under my skin and freaked me the hell out a few months ago. I’m not convinced Humans will add much to the AI conversation – the trailer makes it look a lot more like a robot Hand that Rocks the Cradle than anything akin to Ex Machina’s serious, scary examination of identity, exploitation and what it means to be “alive.” But trailers can be deceiving, it’s summer, and it’s about to get kinda quiet around here, so I’ll be giving Humans’ first ep a go at least. It kicks off in the UK tomorrow (Sunday) night at 9pm if you fancy doing the same.
Thursday night (18th) meanwhile brings with it the return to UK screens of artificial intelligence of a different kind: Team Machine FTW! Yes, indeedy, unpopcult favourite Person of Interest season 3 is back on Channel Five at 10pm. This mid-season hiatus has been a lot shorter than we feared it might be, but since we’re already almost two seasons behind the U.S. thanks to Five messing around and the show should never have been yanked off screen mid-way through a three-part story in the first place, forgive me for being less than effusive about them “only” taking it off for a few weeks to show Big Brother. HURRUMPH. Anyway, better late etc and at least it’s actually coming back (*looks sadly at the ghosts of Justified and Parenthood*) so yay. Weekly reviews to follow as usual.