I’m currently glued to the Channel 4 drama Humans. For those in the USA/those who don’t know, Humans is about synthetic humans which have become an integral part of our day to day life. They are our servants, doing menial jobs, looking after our children, even serving as prostitutes in a brothel. Five of them an feel. They are anomalies and they are hunted by the government because of who they are.
I love Sci-Fi. I’m a huge Blade Runner fan, I dig the old Star Wars films (the new ones sucked big time, for so many reasons), I love my Star Trek and Prometheus blew my mind. So, Humans was always going to be on my “must -see” list.
What I didn’t know was that it was going to be so deep.
Niska, one of the feeling synths, is forced into hiding in a brothel. She endures countless encounters with awful men until she snaps and kills one of them, a particularly horrible perverted man who wants her to “act young and scared”. She becomes hardened to violence and pretty terrifying.
Mia has her whole personality buried deep in the meaningless code of a household synth. She is given a new personality, and Anita is born. Mia struggles to break past the mask of Anita to get the message through that she is not like normal synthetics.
Leo, once a normal human boy, has an accident which changes him irreversibly. His memories are digital code, his brain wired and chipped, his means of staying alive bizarre- a hash of human and machine.
Niska affected me the most originally. I was torn apart by her suffering and I understood her pain so well.
Tonight, tears poured down my face for a different reason.
(Spoilers, please look away now if you haven’t see the latest episode!)
A childlike and wonderful synth named Max sacrificed himself for his “brother”, Leo. He let himself die so Leo could get away.
He smiled as his eyes shut for the final time, his innocent face awash in bliss that he had saved his brother. He was innocent and adorable and saw the best in everything and everyone.
I found myself sobbing like a child.
I know why I was crying. That sweet, innocent person was like the childhood me. I was so naive and loving and I cared so deeply for pretty much anyone. I wanted everyone to be happy… Just like Max.
I feel like watching Max die explained something to me. The innocent child in me died when I was fourteen, that horrible night that I thought I would be safe with the boy I loved. She died and I miss her. She was uncomplicated and sweet and thoughtful, and I miss her purity of spirit and her desire to be good and helpful.
I am lucky that some of that child lingers in me, that some traits we both have. I still want to believe the best of everyone, I still care for everyone, and I hate to see anyone suffer. But the innocence has gone and I don’t like the experience that’s been left in its place.
It’s funny, how these things come to you in a flash. I think tonight I will curl up and mourn the child I was, the little girl who was so similar to Max.