The best, most surprising television of 2015 came courtesy of Channel 4 and AMC’s Humans. Whereas the former’s Utopia had been imaginative and innovative, it was perhaps too offbeat – too weird – to secure a broader audience. This series though effortlessly fused – no pun intended – human drama with a fresh twist on familiar science-fiction trappings.
A star-making turn from Gemma Chan as Anita – a human-like android known as a Synth, whose true identity has been suppressed – was but one of a roster of incredible performances.
William Hurt, Katherine Parkinson, Will Tudor and more did wonderful work with Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley’s smart, stirring scripts – though special mention should be reserved for Emily Berrington as the cold yet somehow sympathetic Niska. That girl’s going places.
Telling a broadly fantastic story for a mainstream audience, Humans‘ ambition was huge. But it was matched by the show’s faultless execution, with the US co-production delivering a sheen and polish that set it apart from other UK series.
Though loosely inspired by a Swedish series, Vincent and Brackley took their show in enough new and interesting directions that even those familiar with the show’s origins would have a reason to keep tuning in.
Humans managed 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.