In the year 2048. Crime is at dangerously high levels and the cops are forced to pull out all the stops in order to keep up with the criminal underclass. Luckily, since this is the future, the police ranks have been swelled by the presence of robot cops who show no fear and are perfect at obeying orders – even if it means leaving an injured officer behind.
In Fox’s new sci-fi series Almost Human, Karl Urban (Star Trek Into Darkness) plays a police officer who finds himself struggling to settle back into his work after being wounded and having his leg replaced with synthetic parts. When he is assigned a compulsory robot partner, he responds by throwing the poor thing out of his car and letting it get crushed under the wheels of a truck.
Seen in this new trailer for Almost Human is John’s introduction to his new partner: an older synthetic model called Dorian (Michael Ealy), who has been designed to be able to experience normal human emotions, unlike the rest of the cold-hearted law enforcement machines. Thus begins a partnership that has been described as a “robromance” between human and synthetic, though presumably there are some shootouts and car chases involved as well.
Based on some of the interviews with the cast and creative team, it sounds like Almost Human is designed to portray a very near future and a potentially realistic representation of what law enforcement might be like in the future – kind of like Minority Report, except on a smaller budget. In this trailer, for example, a criminal is shown using a “DNA bomb” that seems to either remove all evidence of his presence from a crime scene, or flood it with a mix of different DNA traces that would make it near impossible for the police to pick out the right one.
One of the criticisms that people who saw the pilot at Comic-Con had was that, aside from the occasional exposed wiring, Dorian doesn’t really have much that distinguishes him as a robot rather than a normal human being. This might be deliberate (as the show’s title seems to suggest), but Almost Human will probably be a more interesting show if we’re occasionally able to see the cracks in his AI programming. Alternatively, he could just show off some cool robot superpowers a few times in each episode.
Almost Human begins with a two-night premiere on November 17th & 18th, 2013.