That was fast. Just the other day, we posted up news that FOX had picked up the latest J.J. Abrams pilot Almost Human for a series.
Now, Fox has just released a trailer for the show, and it looks pretty good.
The first impression that I had of this is that someone’s watched I, Robot a few too many times. While the Alex Proyas film wasn’t anything to write home about, the idea of partnering up a human detective and a robotic partner is a solid one. I wrote before that it’s something that’s long been done with science fiction – go read Isaac Asimov’s novel Caves of Steel - but we’re optimistic for this one.
Here’s the plot synopsis that FOX released:
Starring Karl Urban (“Star Trek”) and Michael Ealy (“Sleeper Cell,” “Common Law”), the new series is an action-packed police drama set 35 years in the future, when police officers are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids. The year is 2048. Meet JOHN KENNEX (Urban), a cop who survived one of the most catastrophic attacks ever made against the police department. After waking up from a 17-month coma, he can’t remember much – except that his partner was killed; his girlfriend, ANNA MOORE (guest star Mekia Cox, “Crazy, Stupid, Love.,” “Undercovers”), left him after the attack; and he lost one of his legs and is now outfitted with a highly sophisticated synthetic appendage. Suffering from depression, mental atrophy, trauma-onset OCD, PTSD and the “psychological rejection of his synthetic body part,” John returns to work at the behest of longtime ally Captain SANDRA MALDONADO (Emmy Award nominee Lili Taylor, “Six Feet Under,” “Ransom”). By mandate, every cop must partner with a robot. And despite his passionate aversion to androids, John is paired up with a battle-ready MX-43. But he abruptly terminates his partnership after the robot discovers incriminating information about him. So technician RUDY LOM (Mackenzie Crook, “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise) introduces John to DORIAN (Ealy), a discontinued android with unexpected emotional responses. Although such responses were deemed flaws, it is in these “flaws” that John relates to Dorian most. After all, John is part-machine now, and Dorian is part-human. John and Dorian’s understanding of each other not only complements them, it connects them. As he adjusts to working with his new partner, John also must learn to get along with his new colleagues, including the eager and somewhat starstruck Detective VALERIE STAHL (Minka Kelly, “Friday Night Lights,” “(500) Days of Summer”) and the distrustful Detective RICHARD PAUL (Michael Irby, “Law Abiding Citizen,” “The Unit”), who does not welcome John back with open arms. ALMOST HUMAN will follow the week-to-week missions of John and Dorian, as they fight crime across this futuristic landscape, while the mysteries surrounding his attack and the larger mythology of this new world unfold.
The show comes from the folks who created and produced Fringe, and we’re pretty excited to see them hard at work at another SF show. It doesn’t look like it’s going to take on Asimov as much as we thought originally (robotic cops abandoning their human counterparts in the heat of a shootout is certainly against the 1st Law of Robotics), but we’ll be interested in seeing where they can take this. It looks as though there’s a lot of fertile ground to play with. Count us in!