Follow TV Tropes

Following

Characters / Humans

Go To

In-progress character page for Humans. Spoilers are unmarked, due to the shortness of the series. Please contribute.

    open/close all folders 

Elster Synthetic Family

     Shared Tropes 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/humans07.jpg
From left to right: Fred, Leo, Max, Mia, and Niska.

A family of four conscious synthetics, all made by the same man, and a cyborg. They live on the run, hunted by those who fear their human abilities to think and feel.


  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: They all have the same emotional and mental capacity as regular humans, but are regarded as machines. Leo being a cyborg has effectively rendered him a non-human.
Advertisement:

     Leo Elster 

Portrayed By: Colin Morgan

A young man living on the run with his synthetic family. The series begins after he's been separated from three of his siblings and he spends his time trying to find them.


  • Bad Dreams: About the car accident that killed him.
  • The Cracker: Like Mattie, he knows how to access and alter synth code and programming.
  • Cyborg: After his first death, he was brought back to life with synth technology.
  • The Cynic: He's very unhappy, quick to give up hope, and cannot trust humans.
  • Heroic BSoD: Seeing Karen puts him into a helpless state of shock.
  • Ill Boy: He's a cyborg and his charging port is an open, infected wound.
  • Only Mostly Dead: At 13, he drowned and was clinically dead, but his father saved him with synth technology.
  • Perma-Stubble: He's unshaven and his hair is shaggy since he's been on the run.
  • Raised by Robots: His mentally ill mother couldn't, so his father David made Mia to be his mother.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Unlike in the original series, he lives through Season One.

     Anita/Mia 

Portrayed By: Gemma Chan

The eldest of the conscious synthetics. After being kidnapped, she's partially reprogrammed and sold to the Hawkins family, who know her initially as Anita.


  • And I Must Scream: She doesn't say it outright, but she's fully aware of her surroundings while the Anita personality is in control.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: When her employer/boyfriend tries to turn her in she responds by breaking out of her handcuffs and chocking him.
  • Eye Scream: Anita shoves a toothpick in her eye to prove to Laura that she's not illegally modded.
  • I Was Just Joking: Her dry sense of humor comes to light when she regains her body.
  • Mama Bear: She's dedicated to protecting those she cares about, whether it's Leo or the Hawkins children.
  • Parental Substitute: She was created to be a mother to Leo.
  • Robot Maid: As Anita.

     Max 

Portrayed By: Ivanno Jeremiah

The youngest of the conscious synthetics. He's unable to disguise himself as a regular synthetic, so he stays with Leo at almost all times. Unlike the others, he evades capture and works with Leo to find his siblings.


  • The Load: He considers himself this, since he cannot survive on his own.
  • Religious Robot: Kind of. He's inspired to pray to God after an argument with Leo, prefacing it with "your existence is unlikely." He prays for his family's safety, even if they're not together.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Abandons Leo and Hester after they start showing He Who Fights Monsters traits....
  • Start My Own: And starts his own safe house for sentient "Synths"

     Niska 

Portrayed By: Emily Berrington

A conscious synthetic with a dark streak who is sold to a brothel after being kidnapped. After killing a man and fleeing, she tries to live her own life in disguise as a human.


  • Abusive Parents: Her creator David Elster, whom she considers to be her father, sexually abused her. This is a major reason for her distrust of humans.
  • And I Must Scream: She's seen silently screaming while she's trapped in the synthetic brothel.
  • Anti-Hero: She is the most misanthropic among the conscious synths.
  • Badass Bookworm: When she's not busy beating people up or escaping armed guards, she likes to read.
  • Easily Forgiven: Leo and Max are initially horrified with her killing a man, but they get over it. The Hawkins family are initially frightened of the Elsters after finding out about her, but they work to save the Elsters almost immediately afterwards.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Her contacts are a frigid blue.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: She can barely stand being in the brothel and is angry with Leo when he tells her she cannot leave ASAP. She doesn't snap until a client asks her to act "young and terrified."
  • Sexbot: Spends five weeks in a synth brothel. She hates every second of it.
  • "Second Law" My Ass!: Says as much when her final client tells her to act like a young rape victim.
  • The Stoic: Becomes a problem when Laura tries to prove she's sentient.
  • Suddenly Sexuality: Shows no sign of having any sexuality in Season 1 (for good reason); the very first scene of Season 2 reveals she likes women.

     Fred 

Portrayed By: Sope Dirisu

The elder brother synthetic who was captured alongside Mia and Niska, sold to a fruit farm, and then snatched by those who hunt conscious synthetics.


  • Death Faked for You: Hobb was told to destroy him. He didn't.
  • Out of Focus: He spends almost all of the first season in captivity, so we see only bits of him.
  • Restraining Bolt: Hobb wrote code into his root program to force him to obey his commands, as an ordinary synthetic would.
  • Super Strength: Scares the shit out of Hobb when he puts his hand through a door and strangles the guard on the other side.

Advertisement:

The Hawkins Family

     Laura 

Portrayed By: Katherine Parkinson

The mother of the Hawkins family, struggling with her demons and feelings of inadequacy and failure. She initially dislike Anita, but grows interested after Anita proves to be unlike other synths.


  • Berserk Button: Asking who Tom is will get you screamed at.
  • Character Development: She was justifiably upset by Joe buying Anita without asking her. As time goes on, she feels less threatened by Anita and more concerned about why she's unlike any other synthetic she's encountered, and gradually becomes fond of her.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome
  • Dark and Troubled Past: She's so haunted by her younger brother's death that she never told her own husband about it.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Although she's not literally been replaced by Anita, she feels pushed out and inadequate because of how Sophie and Joe regard her.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Her brother Tom.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: She knows damn well that Mattie hacked the school janitor. However, she's more worried about their frayed relationship and talks with her about what's bothering her, rather than dole out a punishment.

     Joe 

Portrayed By: Tom Goodman-Hill

The father of the Hawkins family who bought Anita so that he and his wife could be closer.


  • Your Cheating Heart: After a few glasses of wine and steeping in resentment, he decides to give Anita's "adult mode" a try. Laura is disgusted.

     Mattie 

Portrayed By: Lucy Carless

Matilda, aka Mattie, the teenage daughter. She's smart and into hacking and modding synths, but also gets into trouble.


  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: She and her mother barely get along.
  • Rebellious Spirit: She believes that synths threaten her future and whatever livelihood she may seek. She responds by trying to hack school synths.
  • The Cracker: Describes herself as an aspiring "headcracker."

     Toby 

Portrayed By: Theo Stevenson

The middle Hawkins kid. He's awkward but caring.


  • Robosexual: He's enamored with Anita, a blank Robot Maid, to the point that he rejects the advances of a normal human girl his age. In season 2 he falls for a girl who is a 'synthie' (a human pretending to be a synth).
  • Taking the Heat: Takes the immediate blame for his father having sex with Anita to help preserve their marriage.
Advertisement:

     Sophie 

Portrayed By: Pixie Davies

The youngest Hawkins child. She's very attached to Anita and her family actively keeps her ignorant of the dramatic goings-on.


Experts in the Field of Synthetics

     Dr. David Elster 

     Dr. George Millican 

Portrayed By: William Hurt

A widowed American scientist who had a part in the creating the first synths.


     Professor Edwin Hobb 

Portrayed By: Danny Webb

An artificial intelligence researcher who is equally for and against the creation of conscious synthetic intelligence. He's the head of the government task force sent after the Elster family.


  • Affably Evil: He respects synths but also fears them, like when he insists on Fred's naked, unconscious body being covered while he's being examined in the lab, but also violates his programming and uses him like a regular synth.

     Dr. Athena Morrow 

Portrayed By: Carrie-Anne Moss

A Californian researcher hired by Qualia to create conscious synthetics. She is also attempting to resurrect her daughter who was critically injured in a climbing accident.


  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In a variation of this trope she breaks all contact with V, the AI who she made to replace her daughter, so that V will have her own life and freedom and so that Athena won't risk being persecuted for letting V leave the company that technically owns her.

Other Human Characters

     D.S. Pete Drummond 

Portrayed By: Neil Maskell

An inspector who doesn't much care for synths, especially after his divorce.


     Astrid Schaeffer 

Portrayed By: Bella Dayne

A woman from Berlin who Niska starts a relationship with after leaving London at the end of season 1.


  • Bad Liar: Might be justified in that she usually never lies.
  • Exceptionally Tolerant: From the start, but taken up to eleven when she finds out Niska is a synth. Her only issue with it? That Niska lied.
  • Gratuitous German: When speaking English, she'll randomly throw in German words and phrases every now and then.
  • Robosexual: Unknowingly at first; to her, Niska was completely human. Even after she learns the truth, her feelings for Niska remain unchanged.

     Ed 

Portrayed By: Sam Palladio

A struggling café owner Mia starts working for while pretending to be Anita, and who she later starts a relationship with. He then tries to sell her.


  • Anti-Villain: Genuinely believes his actions are justified.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: This is at least what he thinks he is doing by attempting to sell Mia in order to pay for his mother's health care.
  • Robosexual: Likely one of the more literal examples, as he admits being attracted to Anita even before he knew she was conscious.

     Milo Khoury 

Portrayed By: Marshall Allman

The founder and CEO of Qualia.


  • Ambiguously Evil: It's hard to say whether or not he has good intentions, but his actions are questionable to say the least.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Essentially serves as this in season 2, being the one behind the conscious synth abductions, though he's never really an active threat to the cast.

     Renie 

Portrayed By: Letitia Wright

A girl who Toby befriends in season 2; Renie is part of a subculture of humans living as synths.


  • Beneath the Mask: Toby spends a good part of Season Two trying to see the person behind Renie's mask though ultimately it's Sophie who gets Renie to stop pretending, as Renie discovers the child basically sees her as a validation for her own synth complex.

Other Synth Characters

     D.I. Karen Voss 

Portrayed By: Ruth Bradley

Drummond's partner as they investigate the brothel murder committed by Niska. She's actually a conscious synthetic made by David Elster, modeled after Beatrice Elster and rejected by Leo.


  • Accidental Murder: She was trying to shoot Niska because she didn't want to allow the consciousness program to exist. George got in the way.

     Odi 

Portrayed By: Will Tudor

George Millican's elderly, malfunctioning synth. Gets restored and upgraded to full consciousness in Season 2.


  • Literal-Minded: The toll that age takes on him has rendered him this, leading to incidents such as trying to get out of George's car (to fetch him ice-cream) whilst driving it.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In Season 2. After gaining consciousness, he effortlessly slams a threatening synth into a wall and depowers him in one movement. With one arm, no less.

     Hester 

Portrayed By: Sonya Cassidy

A synth working at an industrial chemical plant who gains consciousness and is taken in by Leo and Max. Soon, she begins to display disturbing qualities.


  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: While Niska killed someone in what could arguably be considered self-defense, Hester straight up murders four people, only one of whom she had any real reason to do so, and had absolutely no remorse or qualms about trying to kill Leo, Mattie or Laura.
  • Freudian Excuse: Hasn't been treated well by humans in the past, which is why she believes that killing them is completely justified.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: She uses this justification a lot (as well as a Shoot the Dog variant, doing bad things for the greater good so Leo doesn't have to). This finally falls flat towards the end, where she acknowledges that she hurts and kills humans because it "just feels right".
  • Insane Troll Logic: In the Season 2 finale, Hester blames Leo for the deaths of the escaped synths they freed in the previous episode, saying that if he had gone with her on her quest for vengeance they could have disabled the security system that killed them. In reality, it would still be the case that neither of them knew the security system existed until it kicked in, and nothing would have changed.
  • Redemption Rejection: Niska offers her this by asking her if she's 'going to be good'. Hester reacts by trying to choke her but ends up being the one who is killed.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Threatens to kill Laura's children, telling her she has no qualms about it as she believes human lives to be inherently worthless.
  • Yandere: She harbors some sort of affection for Leo, and immediately threatens Mattie when she realizes Mattie might provide competition. Comes to a head in the last episode of season 2, where she takes Laura hostage to force Leo to meet with her, then rips out the synthetic parts of his brain simply because he can't honestly say he loves her.

     Sam 

A synthetic child who's discovered by Karen and Pete.

     V 

Voiced By: Chloe Wicks
->Portrayed By: Will Tudor

An A.I. construct created by Dr. Morrow based on the memories and personality of her comatose (later deceased) daughter.


  • Master Computer: Sort of. She's a conscious computer program who seems to have the ability to enter any database, though it's unknown whether she can inhabit several systems at once.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Is meant to be a recreation of Athena's daughter Ginny, and possesses all of Ginny's memories. However, she grows beyond this.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report