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Almost Human: The Complete Series (DVD SF TV series).

August 28, 2021 | By | Reply More

Just when you think there have been enough police officers teaming up with robots, we have this one, ‘Almost Human’, where in the future, 2148, police officers or at least detectives are supposed to have a robot colleague. They also have a tendency to obey the laws too well and leave injured human colleagues behind in a raid. This is how Detective John Kennex (actor Karl Urban) gets left behind protecting a colleague and gets caught in an explosion.

He wakes 17 months later with a mechanic leg and uses illegal means to get his memories back. Finally, returning to work and told by his boss, Captain Sandra Maldonado (actress Lili Taylor), that she thinks there’s someone or more on the inside giving info to the criminals and to keep an eye out, although that seems to be forgotten over the 13 episodes. Not keen on the robot assigned to him, Kennex kicks it out of the car where it gets trashed and gets a replacement, an older model, a DRN, called Dorian (actor Michael Ealy). Considered a lot more unstable because it has been given an emotional make-up and an ability to think. It takes the pilot episode for them to like and help each other each other.

In many respects, the dry-humoured Dorian comes over as an all-purpose Swiss army penknife, carrying all kinds of equipment and can contact anyone at their police station, including their forensic/IT expert Rudy Lom (actor Mackenzie Crook). He can relay messages instantly to police headquarters, instant chemical analysis, connect directly to any computer and often over-ride them, carries a lot of expert information and multi-lingual. In a traditional police series, Dorian is effectively removing several script pages in a trice.

I thought there was an absence of female looking androids until I saw one-off Danica (actress and martial artist Gina Carano) in action. Looking her up and this was the start of her career.

The future of illegal technology is interesting and certainly exploited. About the only episode comparable to earlier films, ‘You Are Here’ is the 1984 film ‘Runaway’ with its programable bullets in this episode.

It’s a shame that only 13 episodes were made because it did have some chops and there was some obvious chemistry between Urban and Ealy.

Another Canadian production from 2013-2014, with JJ Abrams as its producer but the showrunner is J.H. ‘Joel’ Wymen, this is an intense storyline, wowing with good special effects, comedy lines and drama and wanting you to find out what happens next.

For the extras let’s start with 10 minutes of ‘Unaired Scenes’, these lack music and are mostly character studies and notes where special effects are to be added. It also shows how good the actors are, often working to nothing. The nearly 3 minute ‘Gag Reel’ is tinier that I thought it would be but Michael Ealy is a gigglier and Karl Urban doesn’t always get it lines right. Finally, the opening 10 minutes of ComicCon 2013 with only the pilot being shown at to this time and showrunner Joel Wyman and actors Karl Urban, Michael Ealy, Minka Kelly and Lili Taylor being interviewed.

Since I bought this copy earlier in the year off the long river website, it has since sold out. At least it shows I’m not the only one with a multi-region DVD player in the UK. There are few copies Stateside from the looks of things. However, it is part of the Warner Bros Archive and I’m sure if enough of you email them they might consider getting a reissue out there.

GF Willmetts

August 2021

(region 1 DVD: pub: Warner Bros Archive, 2014. 3 DVDs 558 minutes 13 * 43 minute episodes with extras. Price: I pulled my copy for £28.00 (UK) but its sold out since which shows it’s got a secret following)

cast: Karl Urban, Michael Ealy, Minka Kelly, Mackenzie Crook and Lili Taylor

check out website: www.warnerbros.com/collections/warner-archive

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Category: Scifi, TV

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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