“Humans,” AMC’s upcoming new drama series, asks what would happen as we become more and more reliant on our devices.
The thriller takes place in a similar time to ours, except that robot technology is more advanced and its use is widespread.
“They share our homes, our jobs, and our lives and so become objects of our fear, love, and lust, and hatred,” “Humans” executive producer Derek Wax told Business Insider.
“We just take them for granted,” he continued. “I mean I just love the idea that they’re as normal to us as an iPhone or a tablet is today what would have seemed very odd 50 years ago. We’re all looking at our phones every five minutes now seems completely normal. The idea that in 50 years’ time this could be completely normal.”
The drama focuses on three groups: Two human families and a connected group of human-like robots or “synths” as the series calls them. One family struggles with owning their new synth. In another, a man (played by “Captain America: Civil War’s” William Hurt) creates a fatherly relationship with his and can’t allow it to be replaced by a newer, more effective model.
“I think what we want to do is keep the audience torn and divided in their response to robots,” Wax said. “They’re performing an incredible function. They are performing many of the things that humans don’t want to do and therefore they’re providing an incredible service. But at the same time, they’re also making certain people obsolescent.”
The third group is a tightly connected band of synths led by a man named Joe (“Merlin” star Colin Morgan) whose backstory unravels over the course of the season.
“What we’re really doing is asking a big question, what makes us human?” Wax explained. “Can conscious machines ever be thought of as human or at least worthy of human level status and rights? At what point if a machine is capable of thinking and feeling, is capable of love and being loved? The Synths in the forest, there’s a real bond between them. They’re like a family.”
The series will certainly get viewers to think about our relationships to the things that make our lives easier, like a vacuuming Roomba, or like the “Battlebots” competition, which has robots ripping into each other for our entertainment.
“Already we are a gadget and machine dependent society,” Wax pointed out. “iPhones, tablets, we call up the bank and we get an automated teller, we speak to a robot essentially. There’s drones that are flying planes and it’s robots that are operating on people in hospitals. Already people are talking about driverless trains, driverless cars, planes within a few years, people are saying there will not be any human pilot in a plane.”
“Humans,” a co-production with Channel 4, has already premiered in the UK earlier this month and it scored Channel 4’s highest-rated show launch in at least 13 years.
It will debut here in the U.S. on Sunday, June 28 at 9 p.m. on AMC.
Watch a featurette on the series below:
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