Humans (stylised as HUM∀NS) is a science fiction television series that debuted on 14 June 2015 on Channel 4 and AMC. Written by the British team 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 AMC in the United States, and Channel 4 and Kudos in Britain.
Eight episodes were produced for the first series, which concluded on 2 August 2015. The second eight-episode series premiered in the UK on 30 October 2016 and concluded on 18 December 2016. A third series was commissioned in March 2017 and is set to premiere in 2018.
The first season of Humans received positive reviews from critics. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gave the season an 88% "Certified Fresh" rating based on 50 reviews, with an average rating of 7.4/10. 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 73 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."
The second season received critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has a score of 100%, based on 12 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 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."
The series explores a number of science fiction themes, including artificial intelligence, consciousness, human-robot interaction, superintelligence, mind uploading and the laws of robotics, as well as social themes like racism and class relations. The "synths" threaten employment and social roles, leading to the emergence of a Luddite movement to destroy them.