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Tag Archive: borgs


Review by C.J. Bunce

If the third season of AMC’s/UK Channel 4’s sci-fi series Humans had a single theme this year it was sacrifice and heroism.  After Lucy Carless’s Mattie set off the course of events to give sentience to the show’s thousands of cyborg servants, who knew what direction showrunners Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley would take us?  Mattie had the series’ greatest crisis of conscience–her actions resulted in the deaths of thousands of humans and synths–yet she brought freedom to her friends and so many others.  With the shocking events at season’s end, she became poised to have an even more significant role next season.  As the lawyer and sole voice for synth rights among the humans, her mother, Katherine Parkinson’s Laura Hawkins, became a symbol for the oppressed and a metaphor for civil rights struggles beyond the television screen.

The cyborg characters were no less powerful, coupling strong acting with a talented group of writers, to create what may be the most thought-provoking look at the “life” of borgs yet–showing a sympathetic and dramatic view through their eyes.  Gemma Chan’s Mia stepped forward to be the target of hatred among those trying to eliminate all the “damaged” green-eyed synths.  Defying all sense she became the figurehead for synth rights and brought on attack after personal attack.  From another approach, Ivanno Jeremiah’s Max stepped forward as leader of a gated community of synths, clinging to the vision that peaceful cooperation was the only solution to bridging the gap with humans.  This left Emily Berrington’s Niska in the role again as vengeance seeker, and more violent means to assist both synths and her human lover (Bella Dayne’s Astrid) harmed by ant-synth activity.  With these three characters the writers provided a mirror of society from different approaches, only to introduce other levels of modern reality: terrorism via new synth Holly Earl’s troubled Agnes and the covert acts of Laura’s newly assigned orange-eyed synth, Dino Fetscher’s Stanley.

But the writers didn’t leave out the impact on humans of a society divided, and that was most poignantly revealed through Laura’s flawed ex-husband, Tom Goodman-Hill’s Joe and his encounters with a familiar synth in hiding, Ruth Bradley’s Karen Voss.  Karen discovers a young boy synth (Billy Jenkins’ Sam), an experiment left behind by the synth inventor, and she chooses to live in the open as human with the boy as her son in the heart of the anti-synth area of town.  Her performance and her character’s choices result in the most powerful and gut-wrenching segments of the season.

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Spoilers!

By C.J. Bunce

Diehard Doctor Who fans will already know this, so this is more for you almost-diehard fans–If you watched this weekend’s explosive (or “explodey-wodey”) Doctor Who season premiere episode “Asylum of the Daleks,” you might have missed that the character Oswin was played by actress Jenna-Louise Coleman, and if you haven’t been paying attention you further might have missed that she will be replacing the Ponds as the new companion to Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor by year end.

If you had known this your watching experience may have gone something like this–Wait!  Isn’t she the new companion?  She looks familiar.  Did we know she was going to be in the first episode?  Which then went to:  Hmm… I’m not sure I like her.  Then, hmm… she’s really quick and witty.  Smart.  Sassy.  And by the end of the episode you feel guilty to so quickly give up your loyalty to the best companion ever (yes, Amelia Pond) for someone with the name.. Oswin Oswald?  But wasn’t the new companion’s name supposed to be Clara?  They wouldn’t do something so low and wrong as having the same actress play two parts in such a short timeframe, right?  Questions, questions.

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