Humans Series Intertitle.png
Title card for the second series
GenreScience fiction
Created by
  • Sam Vincent
  • Jonathan Brackley
Based onReal Humans
Theme music composerCristobal Tapia de Veer
  • Cristobal Tapia de Veer
  • Sarah Warne
Country of origin
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Original languageEnglish
No. of series3
No. of episodes24 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Jonathan Brackley
  • Jane Featherstone
  • Lars Lundström
  • Sam Vincent
  • Derek Wax
  • Henrik Widman
ProducerChris Fry
Production locationsLondon, England, UK
  • Stuart Bentley
  • David Rom
Running time46 minutes
Production companies
DistributorEndemol Shine UK
Original network
Picture formatHDTV 1080i
Audio format5.1
Original release14 June 2015 (2015-06-14) –
5 July 2018 (2018-07-05)

Humans is a science fiction television series that debuted on Channel 4. Written by Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley, based on the Swedish science fiction drama Real Humans, the series explores the themes of artificial intelligence and robotics, focusing on the social, cultural, and psychological impact of the invention of anthropomorphic robots called "synths". The series is produced jointly by Channel 4 and Kudos in the United Kingdom, and AMC in the United States.

Eight episodes were produced for the first series which aired between 14 June and 2 August 2015. The second eight-episode series was broadcast in the UK between 30 October and 18 December 2016. A third series was commissioned in March 2017 and aired eight episodes between 17 May and 5 July 2018. In May 2019, Channel 4 announced that the series had been cancelled.[1]


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2020)

The series focuses on the social, cultural, and psychological impact of the invention of anthropomorphic robots called "synths". It explores a number of science fiction themes, including artificial intelligence, consciousness, human-robot interaction, superintelligence, mind uploading[2] and the laws of robotics.[3]



Introduced in series 1

Introduced in series 2

Introduced in series 3



Main article: List of Humans episodes

SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired (UK)Avg. UK viewers
Avg. US viewers
First airedLast aired
1814 June 2015 (2015-06-14)2 August 2015 (2015-08-02)4.121.18
2830 October 2016 (2016-10-30)18 December 2016 (2016-12-18)1.930.47
3817 May 2018 (2018-05-17)5 July 2018 (2018-07-05)1.050.35



The series was announced in April 2014 as part of a partnership between Channel 4 and Xbox Entertainment Studios.[15] However, after Microsoft closed Xbox Entertainment Studios, AMC came aboard as partners to Channel 4.[16] Filming commenced in the autumn of 2014, with the series premiering on 14 June 2015.[16] The series' budget was £12 million.[17]

The commissioning of a second, eight-episode series to air in 2016 was announced 31 July 2015.[18] Gemma Chan had previously said, in an interview with Den of Geek, that the first series is "not completely tied up at the end" and "there are definitely still areas to be explored for a second series."[19] Similarly, C4's Head of International Drama, Simon Maxwell, told Broadcast's Talking TV podcast that: "We've got a story that is told over a great many episodes and is very much designed to come back and return. We'll be following those characters on a really epic journey."[20] Filming of the second series began on 11 April 2016, with a premiere date of 30 October 2016.[21][22]

A third series was commissioned in March 2017 and premiered in the UK on 17 May 2018,[23][24] and in the United States on 5 June 2018.[25] By August 2018, discussions were ongoing about a possible fourth series.[26] Channel 4 announced in May 2019 that there would not be a fourth series.[27]


During rehearsals, Gemma Chan and her fellow robot actors were sent to a "synth school" run by the show's choreographer, Dan O'Neill, in a bid to rid themselves of any human physical gestures and become convincing synths. "It was about stripping back any physical tics you naturally incorporate into performance", explains Chan, who adds that it was a "relief to go home and slouch" after a day on set.[28]

Katherine Parkinson began filming six weeks after giving birth to her second child; her part in the series was filmed on 10 separate days, between 10 days' rest.[29]

A number of scenes for the second series were filmed in Thanet, Kent. The production team used Botany Bay and West Bay as filming locations, while shots of the farm and fields overlooking the factory were filmed in Dagnall. The scenes were predominantly centred on Anita at work.[30]

Broadcast and release

The first episode of the series was broadcast in the UK on Channel 4 on 14 June 2015 and premiered in the United States and Canada on AMC on 28 June 2015.[31] It started airing in Australia on ABC2, on 3 August 2015.[32] It was shown on TV3 in New Zealand from 11 August 2015.[33]

The second series premiered in the United Kingdom on 30 October 2016,[22] in Australia the day after[34] and premiered in the United States on 13 February 2017.[35]


For one week in May 2015, the series was marketed using a fake shopfront for Persona Synthetics on London's Regent Street, inviting passers-by to create their own synth using interactive screens,[36][37] and employing actors who pretended to be synths around central London.[38] An accompanying Channel 4 trailer for the series in the style of an advert for Persona featured "Sally", a robotic servant described as "your new best friend". In addition, website banner adverts appeared on the eBay UK website leading to an eBay "buy it now" listing for a Persona Synthetics Robot.[38]

Home media

Channel 4 DVD released the first series on DVD in the UK on 17 August 2015.[39] Spirit Entertainment released the second series on DVD in the UK on 16 January 2017.[40] Spirit Entertainment released the third series on DVD in the UK on 29 January 2019.[41]

In Region 1, Acorn Media has released the first two seasons on DVD and Blu-ray. Humans – Season 1: Uncut UK Edition was released on 29 March 2016.[42] Humans – Season 2: Uncut UK Edition was released on 31 October 2017.[43] As of 2022, the third season is unavailable in Region 1.


The first season of Humans received positive reviews from critics. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gave the season an 89% based on 62 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. The site's critical consensus reading: "Humans is a mature, high-octane thriller offering emotional intrigue and thought-provoking suspense that should prove irresistible to sci-fi fans while remaining accessible enough to lure in genre agnostics."[44] Metacritic gave the season a rating of 76 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[45]

The second season received critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has a score of 94%, based on 17 reviews, with an average rating of 7.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Humans continues to quietly distinguish itself in the sci-fi drama category – and prove better than most of its flashier AI competition."[46] On Metacritic, the season has a rating of 82 out of 100, based on 8 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[47]

The third season received critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has a score of 100%, based on 13 reviews, with an average rating of 6.0/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Humans gains new sociopolitical dimensions in its third season, mining deeper insight from its sci-fi premise without diluting the potency of its well-drawn characters."[48]

The show is Channel 4's highest rated drama since the 1992 programme The Camomile Lawn.[17] It has been described as having "universal appeal" and as being "one of 2015's dramatic hits."[49] The show has been described as "a bit dystopian and Black Mirror-esque."[50] A review in the Telegraph praised the show's performances but said that the story is "conceptually ... old hat" and "wasn't breaking any new ground philosophically."[51]

In December 2015, Humans was voted Digital Spy's "Top Show of 2015", described as managing "to stand out as something totally different in a TV landscape awash with cop shows and crime thrillers... And its fearlessness, its creativity and its quality all deserve to be recognised."[52]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2015 British Screenwriters' Awards Best British TV Drama Writing Joe Barton, Jonathan Brackley, Sam Vincent and Emily Ballou Won [53]
Royal Television Society: Craft and Design Awards Design Titles Momoco Won [54]
Trails & Packaging 4Creative Nominated [54]
2016 BAFTA Audience Award Humans Nominated [55]
Television: Drama Series Humans Nominated [56]
Television Craft: Digital Creativity Development Team Won [57]
Television Craft: Editing – Fiction Daniel Greenway Nominated [57]
Broadcast Awards Best Drama Series or Serial Humans Nominated [58]
Broadcasting Press Guild Awards Best Actress Gemma Chan Nominated [59]
Best Drama Series Humans Nominated [59]
Breakthrough Award Gemma Chan Nominated [59]
National Television Awards New Drama Humans Nominated [60]
Royal Television Society: Programme Awards Best Drama Series Humans Nominated [61]
Satellite Awards Best Genre Series Humans Nominated [62]
South Bank Sky Arts Awards Best TV Drama Humans Nominated [63]
Televisual Bulldog Awards Best Drama Series Humans Won [64]

Chinese adaptation

On 25 July 2018, it was announced Roland Moore would be head writer on a Chinese version of Humans in Mandarin,[65] produced by Endemol Shine China and Croton Media.[66] The series began airing on Chinese broadcaster Tencent on 19 February 2021.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ "Channel 4 sci-fi Humans has been cancelled". Radio Times. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  2. ^ "AMC's 'Humans' Is Closer To Reality Than You Think". Popular Science. 29 June 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  3. ^ "Review: AMC's 'Humans' explores the laws of robotics yet again". Uproxx. 25 June 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Humans – Series 1 Episode 1". Radio Times. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Hegarty, Tasha (10 January 2015). "Humans: Channel 4 and AMC's sci-fi drama releases its first image". Digital Spy.
  6. ^ a b c "Humans: New AMC TV Show to Debut". TV Series Finale. 14 May 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  7. ^ "HUMANS – Professor Edwin Hobb". AMC. Archived from the original on 6 November 2018. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  8. ^ "HUMANS – Dr. George Millican". AMC. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Production Begins on Humans Season 2". 21 April 2016.
  10. ^ "Humans : Series 2 - Episode 2 : EPISODE GUIDE". Radio Times. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  11. ^ a b c d e "Humans Series 3 Episode 1". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 14 July 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  12. ^ "Humans – Series 1 Episode 5". Radio Times. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  13. ^ "Humans – Series 1 Episode 8". Radio Times. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  14. ^ "Humans Series Three Press Pack – Channel 4 – Info – Press". Channel 4. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  15. ^ Fullerton, Huw (15 October 2014). "William Hurt and Colin Morgan to star in new sci-fi drama series". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 10 July 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  16. ^ a b Finbow, Katy (22 September 2014). "Channel 4 teams up with AMC for sci-fi series Humans". Digital Spy. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  17. ^ a b Plunkett, John (22 June 2015). "Humans becomes Channel 4's biggest drama hit in 20 years". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  18. ^ Barraclough, Leo (31 July 2015). "AMC, Channel 4 Renew Sci-Fi Drama 'Humans' for Season 2". Variety. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  19. ^ Meller, Louisa (12 June 2015). "Humans: Colin Morgan and Gemma Chan interview". Den of Geek. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  20. ^ Kanter, Jane (10 July 2015). "C4 in talks over second run of Humans". Broadcast. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  21. ^ "Production Begins on Humans Season 2". ComingSoon. 21 April 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
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  23. ^ Petski, Denise (28 March 2017). "'Humans' Renewed For Season 3 By AMC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
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  26. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (30 August 2018). "Humans season 4 is still 'a possibility' with talks 'rumbling on'". Digital Spy.
  27. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (20 May 2019). "Humans will not be returning for season 4". Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  28. ^ "TV: Humans on Channel 4, all you need to know about the robot drama". Gloucestershire Echo. Archived from the original on 19 June 2015. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  29. ^ Francis, Pam (7 June 2015). "Humans' Katherine Parkinson: When I started the job I had a six-week-old baby". Express. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  30. ^ "Humans Series 2 (2016)". Kent Film Office.
  31. ^ Bibel, Sara (14 May 2015). "New Drama Humans to Premiere Sunday, June 28 on AMC". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on 16 May 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  32. ^ "Humans: ABC TV". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  33. ^ TV preview: Humans, The New Zealand Herald, 2 August 2015
  34. ^ "Humans: ABC TV". ABC. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  35. ^ "'Humans' Season 2 Gets Premiere Date On AMC". Deadline Hollywood. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  36. ^ Love, Ryan (12 May 2015). "Channel 4 explains innovative Humans marketing campaign". Digital Spy. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  37. ^ Walker, Danny (9 May 2015). "Channel 4's Persona Synthetics ad for Humans could be the best TV promo we've ever seen". Mirror. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  38. ^ a b "Channel 4 dupes viewers into thinking robot servants for sale". ITV. 13 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  39. ^ "Humans". Amazon UK.
  40. ^ "Humans 2.0". Amazon UK. 16 January 2017.
  41. ^ "Humans". Amazon UK.
  42. ^ "Humans DVD news: Announcement for Season 1: Uncut UK Edition". Archived from the original on 17 April 2016.
  43. ^ "Humans DVD news: Box Art for 2.0: Uncut UK Edition". Archived from the original on 26 August 2017.
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  51. ^ Wilson, Benji (20 June 2015). "There's something slightly robotic about Humans". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
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