AMC has unveiled the first trailer for its upcoming sci-fi drama series Humans, which takes place in “a parallel present” in which artificial intelligence has been achieved and humans start to form close relationships with said A.I.s. The central conceit finds Synths, artificially intelligent servants that are eerily similar to humans, all the rage in the gadget community. The show is an ensemble piece, with one story revolving around a widower (William Hurt) who forms a close relationship with his out-of-date Synth Odi (Will Tudor) before being forced to upgrade.
The series, which is a co-production between AMC and UK’s Channel 4 and Kudos, hails from Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley (Spooks) and is based on the Swedish series Real Humans. It’s described as an “eight-part drama series,” so it’s unclear if this is a miniseries or if the first season is just eight episodes in length.
Ex Machina has set a really high bar with regards to A.I. stories, and AMC hasn’t exactly been knocking it out of the park with its new original series in the wake of Breaking Bad and Mad Men’s departures, but I’m willing to at least give the pilot of Humans a shot.
Check out the new trailer below. The show also stars Katherine Parkinson, Gemma Chan, Tom Goodman-Hill, Lucy Carless, Colin Morgan, Pixie Davis, Ivanno Jeremiah, Theo Stevenson, Emily Berrington, Neil Maskell, Rebecca Front, Danny Webb, and Sope Dirisu. The series will premiere on AMC June 28th.
Here’s the official longform synopsis for Humans:
TODAY – In Nagasaki, Japan, a hotel staffed primarily by robots will be opening this summer. These robots won’t just clean your room and pick up your laundry. They’ll check you in, make your dinner reservations, mimic human behaviors and speak four languages. TOMORROW – Your Saturday afternoon errands could result in purchasing a fully functional robotic domestic helper that will get your kids ready for school or take care of an ailing parent. Whether that’s a good or bad decision is the question “Humans” sets out to explore. It’s not about what this technology is capable of; it’s about the impact that this advanced technology will have on the human population. Will this new way of navigating life be detrimental or beneficial to us as a human race? And who will we become when this technology arrives?
At the center of the four concurrent storylines explored throughout “Humans” is the flawed but loving Hawkins family. Joe Hawkins (Tom Goodman-Hill) makes the decision to invest in the latest must-have gadget for any busy family – a Synth. His relationship with his wife Laura (Katherine Parkinson) is becoming increasingly strained and he believes that the addition of a robotic servant to the household will give them back the time they so desperately need and help them re-connect both as a couple and as a family. The Hawkins’ new Synth, Anita (Gemma Chan), is an immediate hit, and their chaotic house is suddenly transformed into an oasis of tidy, organized, well-fed contentment. With hesitation, Laura gives in to the family demand, but soon senses there’s something different about Anita. There’s something not right.
Others, though, have long since abandoned any scepticism and are embracing their Synths as family members. Widower George Millican (William Hurt) has formed a close relationship with his out-of-date Synth, Odi (Will Tudor), whom he treats more like a son than a piece of machinery. When Odi begins to malfunction, the National Health Service forcefully upgrades him with a new stern elder-care model named Vera (Rebecca Front) and George must hide the bond he has with Odi or risk forfeiting him to the authorities.
Meanwhile, a young man named Leo (Colin Morgan) and his Synth, Max (Ivanno Jeremiah), are desperately searching for someone from Leo’s past. But who is it, and why? And why does Max seem to be so unlike other Synths? On their heels is a mysterious man named Hobb (Danny Webb), who is determined to uncover a secret before it can destroy humanity as we know it.
Finally, D.S. Peter Drummond (Neil Maskell) works for the Special Technologies Task Force, solving Synth-related disputes to get away from his frustration over his wife’s flawless Synthetic physical therapist. Pete spends most of his days pushing papers and solving petty incidents, as Synths rarely, if ever, malfunction, until one day he investigates a case that defies all possibility.