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“Real Humans”, Swedish TV drama about robots, getting English language remake – Ahrvid Engholm (Sweden)


“Real Humans” (“Äkta människor” in Swedish) series from the swedish national broadcaster SVT (Sveriges Television AB, Sweden’s Television, is the Swedish national public TV) and produced by Matador Films, is a TV drama series in so far two seasons about human-like robots in a near future or parallel present. It’s been exported to more than 50 countries and won wide acclaim. Now an English language remake, titled just “Humans”, is underway. Shooting starts this summer in England and it will be eight one hour episodes, ready in 2015. It will be shown on Channel4 in the UK and on the Xbox platform in North America (and it is likely this new version will also be exported here and there). It is produced by the indie company Kudos.
(Decision is due shortly about if the Swedish series will get a season 3. SVT in late March couldn’t yet tell.)
Script is by Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley of Britain.

“Real Humans” follows several robots, interacting with ordinary families, encountering discrimination, getting threatened by computer viruses and anti-robot groups – there is love, action, tragedy. It seems the robots in the English language version will be called “synths”. In the original Swedish series, scripted by Lars Lundström, they are called “hubots”. But such a little detail couldn’t possibly destroy what’s been one of Sweden’s biggest exports in TV entertainment.

“Real Humans” (“Äkta människor”) second season on ARTE TV from Thursday, from the 15th of May 2014, french and/or german subtitles.

“Real Humans” first season is rebroadcasted on ARTE TV from the 10th of April to 8th of May 2014 :




“Real Humans” (“Äkta människor”) premiered on SVT 1 on 22 January 2012. The series was written by Lars Lundström and directed by Harald Hamrell and Levan Akin. As of 2013, the series have been sold to about 50 countries, including Australia, France, Germany, and South Korea.

Original title :  “Äkta människor”

Created by Lars Lundström (2012)

With :  Lisette Pagler, Pia Halvorsen, Johan Paulsen,  Andreas Wilson

Format  : 55 minutes episodes

No. of seasons   : 2

No. of episodes : 20

Trailer : “Real Humans”, second season :




© Ahrvid Engholm

Ahrvid Engholm

Ahrvid Engholm is a swedish author, editor, journalist and SF fan.


Charley Jane Anders (io9) : “The Amazing Swedish Show Real Humans Is Getting An English Version” :

“It’s a crime that the Swedish android show Real Humans (“Äkta människor”) hasn’t gotten aired in the United States yet. It’s widely hailed as one of the best science fiction shows of recent years. But at least, we’re getting an English-language version from the writers behind Spooks.

Here’s the synopsis of the English version, via Variety:

Show is set in a parallel present where the latest must-have gadget for any busy family is a “Synth” — a highly-developed robotic servant that’s so similar to a real human it’s transforming the way people live. When a rushed-off-his-feet suburban father of three buys a refurbished second-hand Synth, he hopes it will relieve some domestic pressure, and paper over the cracks of his marriage. But sharing their life with a machine has far-reaching and chilling consequences — for this Synth, the cuckoo in the nest, is harboring a secret.”

And there’s a quote from Channel 4 Head of Drama Piers Wenger, who used to be a producer ofDoctor Who:

In ‘Humans,’ Sam and Jon have not only crafted an ingenious and imaginative thriller, but they’re also asking big, thought-provoking questions about how we live. I’m thrilled to be working once again with the team at Kudos and to be partnering with Xbox to bring this extraordinary and epic series to the screen.”

Do you think this could possibly live up to the Swedish original ?”


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  1. I love the Swedish version and can’t wait till series 3.I think the english language version will fall far short of the Swedish one.This is from someone who was rivetted by “The Bridge” and the had to endure “the Tunnel”.

  2. Fascinating and enthralling. Almost believable. Philosophically interesting. Great talent of creation of narrative as well as make up of humans.

  3. Shame they felt the need for an English-language remake really, because the original is so good (and other Scandinavian drama has been exported as-is). I guess it’s because it’s about doing an American co-production, and subtitles don’t work so well there vs the UK.

    Also a shame: Channel 4 and Kudos ditched making a third series of the great show ‘Utopia’ in order to make this…. so it really better work, otherwise they’ve destroyed two great ideas.

    At least they’re not calling them “replicants”.

  4. I live in Argentina. We speak spanish here, and even It’s not necessary a spanish version of this AMAZING Swedish TV show!
    I think people that speak english are enough intelligent to read subtitles from the swedish version.
    I recommend strongly to english people to see the original Swedish version… It’s always better the original than the copy!
    Regards from Argentina and congratulations to swedish original authors of the story!

  5. Count this as another vote, but from Canada. I would also much prefer to see a sub-titled Swedish season 3 than an English reboot. It’s been great experiencing Swedish language, humour and culture via this excellent SF program.

  6. wife and I just watched first ep. of english version, it is way less catching then the original Swedish version … we won’t be watching the rest of the english remake, but we do hope/ whish for a season 3 of the Swedish original series.

    best regards to the cast and crew of the original series,
    a fan

  7. Utopia (the original) was too controversial for an average american viewer and could potentially wake up too many people (the vaccine controversy and all the bigpharma-goverment relations, …) so they had to buy the whole show to stop it …and now they plan to make a version for dummies. Oficially UtopiaUK was stopped not to spoil the fun when watching the american version 🙂

    Now, the same will happen to Akta Manniskor. There is too much controversy regarding religious / ethical issues in the swedish version. I bet that some topics will not even be mentioned in the american version. So the official reason is to avoid subtitles (because the dummy audience don’t like to read subtitles). The true reason is to have a better control over the content of the series.

  8. After having watched the first three episodes of the English TV Series “Humans” (remake attempt), in my opinion it is subpar and no replacement for the Swedish TV Series “Real Humans”; “Real Humans” is superior in every way, and the writers, directors, and actors, and all involved in its making, ought to be acknowledged and applauded for breathing ‘real’ life into such a captivating Sci-fy series. I deeply hope that a “Real Humans” season 3 is on the very near horizon.


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