Last year Channel 4’s Humans was a surprise hit, breaking records for the broadcaster’s drama ratings and attracting viewers around the country with its creepy marketing campaign and innovative “robot servants come alive” concept.
Now, a new series is coming with expectations higher than ever – but there’s a blip on the horizon. The field has become more crowded, because they’re not the only robot show in town any more.
In other words: are the team behind Humans worried that new and expensive HBO series Westworld (which also deals with androids becoming sentient) has stolen their thunder?
“I welcome it, actually,” Humans co-creator Sam Vincent told the crowd at a Humans series 2 preview screening.
“I think that this area is so at the forefront of the public consciousness that there is room for two shows about it. And it’s really exciting to look at it and see what they’ve done differently, and conclusions that they’ve arrived at that are similar.
“If there’s room for 156 shows about cops there’s room for two about this.”
Series star Gemma Chan, who plays conscious synth Mia in the sci-fi drama, agreed.
“I watched the first couple of episodes [of Westworld], and I really loved it,” she said. “These questions are so rich, and the answers are kind of infinite. I think there’s definitely room for more than one show in this area."
Executive producer Derek Wax added, “Of course [Westworld]’s very different – it’s a theme park. I think what we have – and I’m not trying to say ours is any better or anything – what we have is a world that feels very grounded and real, and set in an almost mundane suburban world on some level.
“We are dealing with the most domestic, intimate sort of issues, so we’re not trying to set it in a more sci-fi-ish world. So I think that really remains the DNA of Humans.
“I mean there’s been thousands of movies from Blade Runner to Terminator to RoboCop. Hundreds of movies have explored AI. It’s just an accident that Westworld should have aired in pretty much the same week.”
So it sounds like for now there’s no hard feelings. Here’s hoping THESE violent delights don’t have violent ends.