William Hurt and Katherine Parkinson Star in AMC Series Humans

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AMC and the UK’s Channel 4 are teaming up for a new eight-part drama with a sci-fi twist titled “Humans,” which is set to star Academy Award-winner William Hurt (Kiss of the Spider Woman, A History of Violence) and Katherine Parkinson of England’s cult comedy “The IT Crowd.”

“Humans” is set in a parallel present where the latest must-have gadget for any busy family is a ‘Synth’ – a highly-developed robotic servant eerily similar to its live counterpart. In the hope of transforming the way they live, one strained suburban family purchases a refurbished synth only to discover that sharing life with a machine has far-reaching and chilling consequences.

Hurt plays George Millican, a widower who has formed a close relationship with his out-of-date synth Odi, who he treats more like a son than a piece of machinery, while Parkinson plays Laura, a woman with a great career and family struggling with her own demons. Her husband Joe (Tom Goodman Hill) buys a Synth named Anita (Gemma Chan) who is a pliant, servile automaton who begins to show inexplicable signs of humanity.

Written by Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley (“Spooks”), “Humans” is based on the award-winning Swedish sci-fi drama “Real Humans” and will co-star Colin Morgan, Rebecca Front and Neil Maskell. The show is set to premiere sometime in 2015, and begins shooting in the UK this week.

This is not the first time Hurt has dealt with this subject matter, having played Professor Allen Hobby in Steven Spielberg’s 2001 film A.I. Artificial Intelligence, in which he builds a robot boy named David (Haley Joel Osment) modeled after his own dead son, who begins to mimic human emotions.