Sigrid Bernhoerster Staff Writer
Who says the entertainment industry is a fickle thing? Well, we all know the geeks are a loyal bunch and it’s just one more reason to appreciate them. That Joss Whedon hires and re-hires the same actors from project to project is a well-known fact. Now we can add a couple more names to the list.
JJ Abrams, fresh off directing a ‘little flick’ called Star Trek Into Darkness, will be reunited with Karl Urban on his new project Almost Human (previously known as Human). Now the show’s co-creator and writer Joel Wyman has also promised viewers of Almost Human that they will definitely (Wyman uses the word ‘guarantee’) be seeing actors from his previous show Fringe on the new one. Names that immediately come to mind are those of Joshua Jackson, Anna Torv and John Noble, but we cannot rule out appearances by Jasika Nicole or Lance Reddick should the material be “worthy of them”, and naturally, schedules coinciding.
Already part of Almost Human are Michael Ealy (Common Law) playing Dorian, Urban’s android partner in the Los Angeles police force of the year 2048, Mackenzie Crook (The Office, Pirates of the Caribbean) is Rudy Lom, the “eccentric inventor” instrumental in putting Urban’s human character John Kennex together with Ealy’s non-human one, Lily Taylor (Six Feet Under) looks to be their boss, and although Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights) was part of previous press releases in relation to the show, she’s not in the trailer.
Speaking of which, after seeing the trailer from the pilot episode, I’m rather looking forward to Almost Human’s debut on Monday, November 4. Sci-fi fans may remember a show called Total Recall 2070 from the late 1990s in which a human cop (played by Michael Easton) was partnered with a non-human (played by Karl Pruner) – let’s hope Almost Human has a longer run that the 22 episodes its TV forerunner did. Where Ian Farve was naive, Dorian has been described as having “a better understanding of humanity than his … partner”. It almost begs the question which of the two (or both) can be considered as being the titular near-human: the android different from other LAPD android or the human with the short fuse and antisocial tendencies? Ah, the eternal question, not just in sci-fi, of “what does it mean to be human?” will be explored amidst plenty of action and partner-banter. Shall we make a wager that they are meant to bring out those qualities in each other? Almost Human will be paired with Sleepy Hollow, which also has a Star Trek connection – they have the same writers in Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. If these shows deliver as promised, viewers will have no reason to dread Mondays this fall and winter.