This week’s Humans sees the return of a fan-favourite character, with malfunctioning synth Odi – last seen at the end of series 1 headed to the scrapheap after his owner George (William Hurt) died – rejoining the action in a crucial role.
Recently RadioTimes.com got the chance to chat to actor Will Tudor on the set of Humans series 2 while he was bringing Odi back to life, so we asked him the big questions: what is the meaning of life? What does it mean to be human? And just how much apricot jam is too much apricot jam?
Luckily for us, he was functioning JUST well enough to respond…
Hi Will, and welcome back! Were you surprised to get the call to bring Odi back for series 2?
I think I always had faith that I was going to be back. There were various storylines being talked about that I remember even in the first rehearsal, of things that might happen in this series to Odi, so I think I expected to. But I didn’t know in what capacity it would be.
Obviously the last we saw of him, he’d been taken away and told he’s going to be scrapped. He’s alone in the world, a synth that just can’t function in that world because all he knew was serving George. And to explore what that’s like when your reason for being is removed, even as a synth, is a fascinating journey.
Odi was pretty old and broken when we last saw him – what state is he in now?
He’s been left alone outside for about five months, so you can imagine what that would do to his circuitry and his physical capabilities. So when you see him his body has really become affected by the elements. And I like to think, by the lack of a caring figure.
Will Tudor (Odi) and William Hurt (George) in Humans’ first series
Was it difficult to get back into the synth spirit?
No! And I’ll tell you for why. I’d missed it so much since series one that I’ve sort of… gone back into it on various occasions. The movement is very unique, and I think that makes it very easy to keep the ideas in your head.
That stays in your memory, and it can’t be erased. I’ll be a synth until I die!
Your particular style of robotic movement is quite different to other synths in the series. Do you have to do any extra warm-up?
There was a lot of prep, standing in front of a mirror, and actually just thinking, “What would be affected after being essentially left for five months? How can we degrade the synth body?” And I had to think, “What is going on, how do these muscles work? And how can we break that down further?”
One does have to get in the zone with it, I think, because it is so different. But then that’s quite helpful as well, knowing that it is so different.
Will Tudor (Odi) with Lucy Carless (Mattie) in the latest episode of Humans
Odi was a bit of a hit in series one – how have you found the public reaction since it came out?
Oh gosh! People have been lovely. They’ve been really really nice. The thing that got me to start with was how pure the relationship was between George and Odi. And people really seemed to get that too, and really respond to it. There’s nothing cynical about that relationship. They both need each other.
And finally, the most important question of all – will you be offering more people apricot jam this series?
I really hope so! I don’t know actually, I don’t know. Maybe he’ll move onto different types of jam. Different condiments!
What I like about the character is he latches on to things, because if you were to broaden his horizons too much it would be too much information, it would be sensory overload. And so he comes back to these same things again and again. It’s what he knows.
I hope he goes shopping and stocks the Hawkins house with lots of apricot jam. That’d be excellent.
Humans continues on Channel 4 on Sundays at 9.00pm