Real Humans Johan Paulin
Real Humans Foto: Johan Paulin

Real humans returns

The first season of the drama series Real Humans garnered a broad and enthusiastic audience when it aired in spring 2012. Newspapers and the social media saw intense discussion – to such a degree that the word ‘hubot’ was included in the Swedish Language Council’s list of new words for the year. Now shooting has finally begun of the second season.

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 Douglas (Alexander Karim) and Claes Janerus (Lars-Erik Berenett). Johan Paulin
Douglas (Alexander Karim) and Claes Janerus (Lars-Erik Berenett). Foto: Johan Paulin

The first season followed a group of people whose lives were dramatically changed by the new generation of robots – hubots. Many existential questions arose about what happens in our lives and relationships when robots become so human that they can barely be distinguished from actual human beings.

In season two, some time has passed since the end of the first season. It is the continuation of a story of a world in transition. A world where the boundaries between human and machine are being erased and at the same time intensified. A virulent virus is spreading like a pandemic, making infected hubots uncontrollable and dangerous. The general public is advised to have their hubot units tested and not to download programs or updates from unsafe sources on the net. This is a threat that will have dire consequences for our main characters.

Many of the main characters and actors from the first season will be returning, but we will also see many new faces.

Mimi (Lisette Pagler) has become a welcome member of the Engman family, but she struggles with her identity. What is she? Does she belong among hubots or humans? Reality encroaches on the Engmans’ lives when Inger (Pia Halvorsen) is drawn into a complex legal case which might lead to hubots gaining equal human rights in the eyes of the law.

Flash (Josephine Alhanko), or Florentine, as she now calls herself, makes her dreams come true, finding a home and a man when she meets Douglas (Alexander Karim), who falls for her beauty and cool charm. Douglas is the son of wealthy Claes Janerus (Lars-Erik Berenett), the founder and owner of the law firm where Inger works.

Bea (Marie Robertson) is searching desperately for David’s lost code – the code that can liberate all hubots. She is bound and determined to free her kind from the tyranny of humanity. Jonas (Måns Nathanaelson) is also searching for the code, but for a completely different reason. Disabled and disfigured, he dreams of re-creating himself as a clone – a free and beautiful hubot. To finance his project, he opens ‘Hubbattle Land’, a kind of amusement park where people can pay to viciously hunt down hubots. With no other job opportunities in sight, Roger (Leif Andrée) finds himself working here, running the macabre business alongside Odi (Alexander Stocks).

Public resistance to hubot integration is growing ever stronger. Roger’s son Kevin (Fredrik Silbersky) becomes involved in the Real Humans youth association, a militant, but also politically well organised group with the ultimate goal of eradicating hubots.

The series was created by writer Lars Lundström and director Harald Hamrell, who is currently directing episodes 1–4 of season two. Episodes 5–7 are being directed by Kristina Humle. As before, Lundström is writing the scripts, this time in collaboration with Alex Haridi.

Other names in the cast include Johan Paulsen, Anki Larsson, Peter Viitanen, Happy Jankell, Nanna Blondell, Shebly Niavarani, Sten Elfström, Kjell Wilhelmsen, Natalie Minnevik, Louise Peterhoff, Thomas W. Gabrielsson, André Sjöberg and Ellen Mattsson Jelinek.

The series also became an international hit when Kudos Film & Television and Shine International bought the remake rights and the rights to distribute the series internationally. As of this date the series has been sold for distribution in almost 50 countries including Great Britain, Australia and Latin America. German and French television begin airing in April.

Real Humans is a co-production between SVT and Matador Film. Shooting will continue until August and ten new episodes will air on SVT1 in autumn 2013.

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