Fox’s new cop drama Almost Human is half police procedural and half science fiction tale. The series doesn’t premiere for another two months, but the network is already starting to build awareness for the new series. Fox recently released a new promo video highlighting one of its main characters, Dorian the android cop.
Played by Michael Ealy (Underworld: Awakening), Dorian is an android cop who wants to be human. It feels like the series is trying to make the point that Dorian is more human than Karl Urban’s character John Kennex, who is an unfeeling cop who hates androids. Nevertheless, the two have to work together to keep the mean streets of Los Angeles safe for its citizens.
The promo video also highlights the future world set in Almost Human. Los Angeles in the year 2048 looks like a mix between Blade Runner and Minority Report, while its more advanced android cops look like they’re from rejected Robocop concept art.
If Almost Human had been released 15 years ago, its premise wouldn’t have been taken seriously at all. The idea of a cop partnering up with a robot would have been played for laughs, but with today’s geek-friendly pop culture, Almost Human is one of the brightest spots in Fox’s new primetime lineup. A lot of that good faith has to do with the people making the sci-fi TV show: creator J. H. Wyman (Fringe), producer J.J. Abrams (Star Trek Into Darkness), and lead Karl Urban (Dredd).
You’ve got to it hand to Fox for giving a show like Almost Human a chance to thrive on broadcast TV. Sci-fi genre shows like this are usually relegated to the Syfy. Hopefully, Almost Human will live up to the promise of its premise — and not get an early cancellation like Firefly, Dollhouse, Dark Angel, and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
Recently, Almost Human’s co-showrunner Naren Shankar left the series. While Fox didn’t disclose why he left Almost Human, Shankar says that he is still on good terms with the series’ now sole showrunner, J. H. Wyman. It’s believed that Shankar was brought on to Almost Human because of the series’ police procedural elements — Shankar has experience producing and writing a crime drama with CSI. Shankar was also a writer on top-tier sci-fi TV shows such as The Outer Limits, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Farscape
Almost Human is set in the year 2048 and follows John Kennex, a respected LAPD police officer who, after a failed assignment that cost the lives of nine of his fellow police officers, is left injured and emotionally distant from his family and friends. Although Kennex dislikes androids because of the life-changing event, he is partnered up with Dorian, a humanoid robot with unexpected emotional responses.
Almost Human also features Lili Taylor, Mackenzie Crook, Michael Irby, and Minka Kelly, and premieres on Monday, November 4 at 8/7c on Fox.