We don't just miss Fringe because of its insane worldbuilding and over-the-top science fictional ideas — we also miss the characters and their quirky, intense relationships. And the good news? Almost Human, from Fringe's J.J. Abrams and J.H. Wyman, looks like it has that in spades.
Until now, we've only known that Almost Human, coming to Fox this Fall, is about a robot-hating cop (Karl Urban) and his new robot partner Dorian (Michael Ealy), who have to learn to get along. But this new trailer reveals a lot more layers to the setup — Urban's "human" cop is actually kind of a cyborg, whose body has been partially replaced with machine parts after a bomb attack. And his partner isn't just any android — he's a special android, an earlier discontinued model, who actually has emotional responses and weird quirks of his own. So they're both kind of unusual, and nobody else understands either of them. The result looks surprisingly fun, and not like it's going to bog down in endless mythos right off the bat.
Here's the official description of Almost Human, from the press release:
The year is 2048. Meet JOHN KENNEX (Urban), a cop who survived one of the most catastrophic attacks ever made against the police department. After waking up from a 17-month coma, he can’t remember much – except that his partner was killed; his girlfriend, ANNA MOORE (guest star Mekia Cox, “Crazy, Stupid, Love.,” “Undercovers”), left him after the attack; and he lost one of his legs and is now outfitted with a highly sophisticated synthetic appendage. Suffering from depression, mental atrophy, trauma-onset OCD, PTSD and the “psychological rejection of his synthetic body part,” John returns to work at the behest of longtime ally Captain SANDRA MALDONADO (Emmy Award nominee Lili Taylor, “Six Feet Under,” “Ransom”).
By mandate, every cop must partner with a robot. And despite his passionate aversion to androids, John is paired up with a battle-ready MX-43. But he abruptly terminates his partnership after the robot discovers incriminating information about him. So technician RUDY LOM (Mackenzie Crook, “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise) introduces John to DORIAN (Ealy), a discontinued android with unexpected emotional responses. Although such responses were deemed flaws, it is in these “flaws” that John relates to Dorian most. After all, John is part-machine now, and Dorian is part-human. John and Dorian’s understanding of each other not only complements them, it connects them.
As he adjusts to working with his new partner, John also must learn to get along with his new colleagues, including the eager and somewhat starstruck Detective VALERIE STAHL (Minka Kelly, “Friday Night Lights,” “(500) Days of Summer”) and the distrustful Detective RICHARD PAUL (Michael Irby, “Law Abiding Citizen,” “The Unit”), who does not welcome John back with open arms. ALMOST HUMAN will follow the week-to-week missions of John and Dorian, as they fight crime across this futuristic landscape, while the mysteries surrounding his attack and the larger mythology of this new world unfold.”