Almost Human is Almost Original

Almost Human is Almost Original

Is Almost Human orginal? The year is 2048. Crime is on the rise in Los Angeles as mysterious crime syndicates floods the streets with weapons and drugs. In desperation, the LAPD has begun pairing its officers with MX-43, lifelike combat androids.

In the pilot episode, we meet John Kennex, an LAPD detective with a contempt for artificial life. Kennex survives a deadly ambush that killed his whole team and blew off one of his legs. He wakes up from a coma months later with some memory loss and a new leg–a talking synthetic leg. Kennex is forced to put aside his distaste for androids and get along with his new partner, Dorian.

Dorian is an older DRN android model that can feel emotion, but was discontinued for being too emotional, or having the wrong emotions, or something like this. While not as proficient at combat as the MX-43, the DRN has an extra human touch. At first glance, Dorian would seem to be a mash-up of Robocop and Star Trek’s Data.

By now the title of the series should seem like a double entendre, pointing to Kennex’s prosthetic limb and moody disposition as well as Dorian’s tenuous approximation of humanity. Next we meet Rudy, the mad architect of the “synthetic soul” that the touchy-feely robots are endowed with. It is obvious from the beginning that Rudy has a deep, complex attachment to his mechanical creations. Tidbits of plot details have been released, such as the appearance of “sexbots” in future episodes. There is no doubt that the series creators hope to explore the relationship between humans and technology.

Almost Human is a futuristic cop drama that just made its television premiere on FOX and is scheduled to air every Monday. The show was created by JH Wyman for Bad Robot Productions, the company that produced hit TV shows such as Lost and Alias. JJ Abrams, co-creator of Lost and director of the two most recent Star Trek films, is an executive producer. Abrams will also direct Star Wars Episode VII, the first part of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. The score for Almost Human is composed by The Crystal Method. There is certainly a lot of potential for Almost Human, but the premise is heavily steeped in buddy-cop cliché and sci-fi generica both at once.

“What I love about the show is it’s great characters in an incredibly unique situation, so the world is something that doesn’t feel like anything you’ve seen on TV,” says Abrams. How Abrams hopes to achieve this without drawing comparisons to shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation and Battlestar Galactica remains to be seen. If it turns out that Kennex is actually an android and Dorian is actually a human, try to act surprised. If Almost Human is so original, then why does it feel like I’ve already seen this show a thousand times before?

Editorial by K. Elsner

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