Humans 2.0 (Blu-ray) (2016)
|Year Of Production||2016|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||None Given|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
This television series from the UK is set in a parallel present where synthetic humans, known as "synths", have been invented and mass produced. They provide services that humans don't want to do such as cleaning, factory work, housekeeping, being companions, massage therapists, sex workers, road workers, call centre operators and more. This means that opportunities for young people are reduced with only the most brilliant being able to easily find jobs. The show has now completed its second season, the Blu-ray release of which is the subject of this review. The first season had a tighter focus being mostly concerned with a specific family and their interactions with the synths, however this second season brings in more storylines whilst also keeping track of the family from the first season. They are the mother Laura (Katherine Parkinson) who is a successful lawyer and the main bread winner of the family. Her husband Joe (Tom Goodman-Hill) is also working, however he takes on the majority of the house and family work whilst his wife is away on various cases. They have three children, older teenager Matilda (Lucy Careless) who is a bit of a technology wizard, younger teenage son Toby (Theo Stevenson) who is going through puberty and young daughter, Sophie (Pixie Davies). At the start of this second season, the family have moved to get a new start after the events of Season 1.
Anita (Gemma Chan) has left the family and is trying to go back to anonymity by acting like a normal synth, working in a struggling seaside cafe. Other synths who have consciousness include Niska (Emily Berrington), who is struggling with her status and her desire to change the world, Max (Ivanno Jeremiah) who is trying to help and protect any conscious synths along with Leo (Colin Morgan), the son of Dr Millican. Important new characters this season include Dr Athena Morrow (Carrie-Anne Moss), a scientific researcher who is trying to work out how to transfer a human consciousness into a machine, Hester (Sonya Cassidy) a newly conscious synth and Renie (Letitia Wright) a young synth who Toby is attracted to.
The season kicks off with Niska in Berlin, trying to work herself out. She meets a young woman in a nightclub who is attracted to her and they start a relationship. She decides to release code into the network of the synths which will make them gain consciousness which sets off the chain of events which drive Season 2. At the same time, Leo and Max are trying to find other conscious synths and become aware that more are conscious than before. DS Peter Drummond and DI Karen Voss are now in a relationship but they are struggling to understand each other. Hester and others come to consciousness in various places around the world and Hester desires a more direct and violent rebellion than the others.
Lovers of thoughtful and thought provoking sci-fi should definitely take a look at this excellent series which combines some great sci-fi ideas with a believable family drama. This brings out the potential impacts of scientific discovery and invention on society and the family unit which makes for interesting viewing. In addition there is significant thriller and mystery material here which adds another whole dimension to the story. The cast are universally excellent and it is great to see Carrie-Anne Moss in a different and interesting role, fighting the corporate powers but also with an agenda of her own. This show was a joint production by the UK’s Channel 4 and the AMC network from the US and is based on a Swedish television series called Äkta människor. This second season feels like it might be the last which is a shame but the quality here is up to the quality of the first season with some interesting new ideas and plotlines. The 8 episodes are spread across two Blu-ray discs.
The video quality is very good.
The series is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced and in 1080i high definition as it was shown on television.
The picture was nicely sharp throughout. The shadow detail was good.
The colour was very good showing off the pretty locations.
There were no noticeable artefacts other than some minor motion blur.
There are subtitles available in English for the Hearing Impaired which are clear and easy to read.
There are no obvious layer changes during playback.
The audio quality is excellent for a television show.
The discs contain an English soundtrack in DTS HD-MA 5.1 plus an Audio Descriptive track in Dolby Digital 2.0.
Dialogue was clear and easy to hear and understand. The music used added to the show and sounded great on this lossless transfer. Generally the sound was full and rich, significantly better than the DVD I reviewed of Season 1.
The surround speakers were used for music and some directional effects along with significant atmospherics.
The subwoofer supported the music and added rumble to thunder and cars.
|Surround Channel Use|
A small set of featurettes which lack a little substance.
The menu included music and motion.
Covers the themes of Season 2, including going into more depth with the characters and the darker ideas. Unfortunately this featurette doesn't go into much depth.
Promo for the new series.
Covers Athena Morrow, Milo, Hester and others but only superficially.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This show is available in the UK in the same format.
The video quality is very good.
The audio quality is very good.The extras are few and lack substance.
|DVD||Panasonic DMR-PWT500, using HDMI output|
|Display||Sharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer|