Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Humans: Season 2, Episode 1

"If I was here to kill you all, I wouldn't have rung the bell..."

It's always been interesting to speculate how the second season might go; the first season, after all, was based on a Swedish original. This season is uncharted territory and seems to be exploring very real themes. There's the very real threat to our jobs from robots, for a start- even Joe's management job isn't safe. And then there's the ever-present Singularity, which here has only just occurred and which, with Niska's uploading of the disk, is beginning to spread.

This in turn raises further questions about using synths as slaves- here we see a hellish Bolivian mine (poor Ten), and factory worker Hester, whose owners see her simply as property much as slave owners once did. These are rich themes.

We begin, though, in Berlin, as Niska starts an abortive relationship with poor Astrid while reading lots of philosophy- this being Germany, we naturally get a bit of Hegel. And the episode ends, of course, with Niska asking the Hawkins family to try her for murder like a human, an interesting twist. Oh, and Max is alive, a cause of much rejoicing, and still with Leo and Mia, who is as kind as ever.

Laura and Joe are still working through their relationship ship, and it's fascinating to see them with a synth relationship counsellor, played by an excellent Josie Lawrence. And the whole family is, of course, suffering with not being able to reveal what they know.

There's a new sub-plot in San Francisco, too; none other than Carrie-Ann Moss plays Athena, a professor who has secretly created an AI, eventually agreeing to help the very rich Khoury (Tommy from True Blood) to study the newly sentient synths.

As ever for a first episode this is all really set-up. But the world-building is brilliant as ever. I'm excited...

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