Humans becomes Channel 4’s biggest drama hit in 20 years

Channel 4’s sci-fi thriller Humans has become the broadcaster’s biggest original drama hit since the Camomile Lawn more than 20 years ago.

The £12 million fantasy series, which stars William Hurt, Gemma Chan, Katherine Parkinson and The Thick Of It’s Rebecca Front, had a consolidated audience of 6.1 million viewers, a 23% share of the audience, for its opening episode.

You have to go back to 1992 – a pre-digital age when most homes had only four channels in the UK – to the last time an originated Channel 4 drama had a bigger audience.

Wax said: “A lot of science fiction takes place in a hugely futuristic landscape and we wanted it to be in a parallel present with just one twist. Instead of a nightmare vision where robots were taking over, we wanted the jury to be out, for the audience to be torn.”

Torn, that is, between the “attractions of having someone in the house who can do all the menial functions and make our life easier, and the costs and implications that may come with that”.

The series, which combines family drama with action thriller, may also have benefitted by coinciding with a surge in interest in artificial intelligence and technology’s impact on the human race.



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