Almost Human, S1 Ep 1 & 2 – Pilot & Skin

Clearly they're also not going to be shy about giving the show a Blade Runner look, and why argue with the classics?

Clearly they’re also not going to be shy about giving the show a Blade Runner look, and why argue with the classics?

I had high hopes going into this show, as I am a big of a fan of Fringe (executive producer J.H. Wyman’s previous show – if you haven’t watched it, get thee to Amazon or Netflix at once!). I am very pleased to say these first two episodes lived up to those hopes. My first happy moment was probably seeing all the Vancouver sights again, including a building I’d swear was Massive Dynamic, and familiar crew names in the credits. Long may you reign as the Mecca for sci-fi filming, Vancouver. I’m digging the soundtrack, too. Can’t complain about Crystal Method or Depeche Mode, and the new J.J. Abrams-composed theme for the show rocks.

The pilot was maybe a little heavy-handed with the whole “the android is more human than the man” angle, but it worked. I don’t yet feel a huge connection to the other characters, but both of the partners in this odd couple are very compelling. No one does the serious-but-soulful stare quite like Karl Urban, and Michael Ealy’s subtle acting mostly around his eyes is a great counterpart. Overall I was satisfied with Urban’s accent, although I did catch a few slips. Also pleased to see Mackenzie Crook playing a role with a little more depth than a rather empty-headed pirate.

At first I thought the police captain would be the one to betray John (although I suppose she still might). Having it be the ex-girlfriend was not exactly what I was expecting. Obviously at this point her motivations are a complete mystery, since we don’t know enough about her yet, but apparently she’s a member of InSyndicate (if that is in fact what the main group of bad guys John wants revenge on is called). I’m enjoying the way DNA is being used in these first episodes – futuristic without being over-the-top. There’s a lot of potential there. The spray that blocked the bad guys’ faces from showing up on the security camera was also awesome – looking forward to what other new pieces of nifty tech we’ll get to see.

Gross.

Gross.

The plot of the second episode was creepy in a wonderfully Fringe-y kind of way. I’m not a fan of the idea of sex bots as a trope, but this was an interesting take on it, especially with the tie-in to the discussion of what happens after we die. So far I enjoy the discussion of what Dorian knows about and what’s new to him.

I have to say, though I definitely didn’t mind the banter between the partners in this episode, I was a bit surprised that their relationship has become this friendly this quickly. I can only assume that John will still display some anti-synthetic prejudice, or I’ll find that a bit too much development all at once.

Oh, and I absolutely can’t forget to talk about John’s interactions with children. Loved his cluelessness about scaring the kids outside the crime scene, and Dorian’s quiet head-shake when he insists he’s fine with kids. And how cool was that giraffe toy he gave to Victor? Seriously.

I think this could be a winner right out of the gate, unlike some other new shows this season that have taken a while to warm up (ahem, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I’m looking at you). Of course one can never be sure, with a science fiction show on FOX, but I’m ready to hope for the best. How about you? Liking the characters? Wish this was a Fringe spinoff? Let us know in the comments.

 

Check out Almost Human on Amazon Instant Video.