Already climbing to the top of IMDB and we are only on episode five, Channel Four’s Humans fills a gap that others like A.I and I, Robot left us. Science Fiction at its best (and most real) – Humans tackles the idea of consciousness, while causing unsettling thoughts about where machines are going; and ultimately taking us. What if Siri could really understand what we were saying? And what would that really mean for us?
The series explores human emotion with a disturbing realness and the latest episode is no different; in this episode we see the ‘chosen synthetics’ continue their quest for love, acceptance and a place in this world, while at the same time knowing that if their true nature is discovered, it could mean their end; or possibly a machine war – which we have seen glimmers of – as ‘killer synthetic’ Niska’s bitterness continues to grow.
We see the breakdown of Laura’s family, as secrets and lies continue to surround all the characters – both real and robotic – and their failings, of course, begin to unravel; Joe and Laura’s relationship hangs by a thread, as both the past and the present catches up with them. The boundaries are hazy, as Joe’s infidelity is addressed. Does it count as cheating if it’s with a machine? With all this going on, the suspense of the next episode seems almost unbearable.
So, episode five entertains, while leaving us with some lasting philosophical questions: What does it really mean to be alive? What does it really mean to be human? The next episode of Humans airs on Channel Four on July 19, keep up to date here.