|Based on||Real Humans|
|Theme music composer||Cristobal Tapia de Veer|
|Country of origin|
|No. of series||3|
|No. of episodes||24 (list of episodes)|
|Production locations||London, England, UK|
|Running time||46 minutes|
|Distributor||Endemol Shine UK|
|Picture format||HDTV 1080i|
|Original release||14 June 2015 –|
5 July 2018
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.
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 and the laws of robotics.
Main article: List of Humans episodes
|Series||Episodes||Originally aired (UK)||Avg. UK viewers|
|Avg. US viewers|
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||8||14 June 2015||2 August 2015||4.12||1.18|
|2||8||30 October 2016||18 December 2016||1.93||0.47|
|3||8||17 May 2018||5 July 2018||1.05||0.35|
The series was announced in April 2014 as part of a partnership between Channel 4 and Xbox Entertainment Studios. However, after Microsoft closed Xbox Entertainment Studios, AMC came aboard as partners to Channel 4. Filming commenced in the autumn of 2014, with the series premiering on 14 June 2015. The series' budget was £12 million.
The commissioning of a second, eight-episode series to air in 2016 was announced 31 July 2015. 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." 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." Filming of the second series began on 11 April 2016, with a premiere date of 30 October 2016.
A third series was commissioned in March 2017 and premiered in the UK on 17 May 2018, and in the United States on 5 June 2018. By August 2018, discussions were ongoing about a possible fourth series. Channel 4 announced in May 2019 that there would not be a fourth series.
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.
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.
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.
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. It started airing in Australia on ABC2, on 3 August 2015. It was shown on TV3 in New Zealand from 11 August 2015.
The second series premiered in the United Kingdom on 30 October 2016, in Australia the day after and premiered in the United States on 13 February 2017.
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, and employing actors who pretended to be synths around central London. 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.
Channel 4 DVD released the first series on DVD in the UK on 17 August 2015. Spirit Entertainment released the second series on DVD in the UK on 16 January 2017. Spirit Entertainment released the third series on DVD in the UK on 29 January 2019.
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. Humans – Season 2: Uncut UK Edition was released on 31 October 2017. 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." Metacritic gave the season a rating of 76 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
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." On Metacritic, the season has a rating of 82 out of 100, based on 8 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".
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."
The show is Channel 4's highest rated drama since the 1992 programme The Camomile Lawn. It has been described as having "universal appeal" and as being "one of 2015's dramatic hits." The show has been described as "a bit dystopian and Black Mirror-esque." 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."
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."
|2015||British Screenwriters' Awards||Best British TV Drama Writing||Joe Barton, Jonathan Brackley, Sam Vincent and Emily Ballou||Won|||
|Royal Television Society: Craft and Design Awards||Design Titles||Momoco||Won|||
|Trails & Packaging||4Creative||Nominated|||
|Television: Drama Series||Humans||Nominated|||
|Television Craft: Digital Creativity||Development Team||Won|||
|Television Craft: Editing – Fiction||Daniel Greenway||Nominated|||
|Broadcast Awards||Best Drama Series or Serial||Humans||Nominated|||
|Broadcasting Press Guild Awards||Best Actress||Gemma Chan||Nominated|||
|Best Drama Series||Humans||Nominated|||
|Breakthrough Award||Gemma Chan||Nominated|||
|National Television Awards||New Drama||Humans||Nominated|||
|Royal Television Society: Programme Awards||Best Drama Series||Humans||Nominated|||
|Satellite Awards||Best Genre Series||Humans||Nominated|||
|South Bank Sky Arts Awards||Best TV Drama||Humans||Nominated|||
|Televisual Bulldog Awards||Best Drama Series||Humans||Won|||
On 25 July 2018, it was announced Roland Moore would be head writer on a Chinese version of Humans in Mandarin, produced by Endemol Shine China and Croton Media. The series began airing on Chinese broadcaster Tencent on 19 February 2021.