July 2, 2019  (Web Review)

Humans 3.0

Acorn, 391 min., not rated, DVD: 3 discs, $39.99; Blu-ray: 2 discs, $39.99

Reviewer rating: 3.0/4

This third season of the British science fiction series set in a near future where human-looking robots serve as domestic help/menial workers tackles ethical issues related to what it means to be “human,” after the synthetics (or synths for short) are “awakened” to a state of sentience and self-awareness. The human race feels threatened by these beings that are stronger, smarter, and potentially dangerous. Angry hate groups attack the synths, who are still learning to manage their new emotional dimensions, and a group of synth-rights terrorists complicates the efforts of synth leader Max (Ivanno Jeremiah) to conduct a campaign of nonviolent resistance. While human lawyer Laura (Katherine Parkinson) challenges the government to extend the same civil rights to the synths, benevolent synth Mia (Gemma Chan) rents an apartment and lives openly in a human community to show that coexistence is possible. There is also a new “safe” model of non-sentient beings (identified by orange eyes) and a synth child—previously thought to be impossible—who Laura’s anti-synth husband agrees to foster and teach to act human. This is a smart show that, like most good sci-fi, uses its premise to examine contemporary issues—from racial bigotry to fears of immigration and technology displacing workers. Originally aired on British TV, this release compiles all eight episodes from the 2018 third and final season. Extras include behind-the-scenes featurettes. Recommended. (S. Axmaker)