TV Goodness Reports: Creator J. H. Wyman Talks FOX’s Almost Human [INTERVIEW]
Last night, the saga that is FOX’s Almost Human hit the airwaves and received solid numbers. Over nine million viewers tuned in to the futuristic cop drama. What did you guys think? For us, the show has a lot of potential and what’s most intriguing is the core relationship between the human with the synthetic leg — Detective John Kennex — and Dorian, the synthetic (although he hates that word) with the penchant for being more human than his partner. Karl Urban and Michael Ealy are pretty wonderful in the pilot.
At this year’s Comic-Con,Â Almost Human showrunner (and former Fringe EP) J.H. Wyman talked to the press about his new series.
On the aesthetics of the Almost Human future which is Blade Runner-esque
J.H. WYMAN: I think anybody who’s into science fiction understands the whole concept of Blade Runner. To me and I’m sure to others [it] is kind of the guidepost and the benchmark of this incredible, visual style. There was one thing I was really concerned about. I didn’t want it to sort of be dystopian — I wasn’t interested in that. Because I don’t believe that. I believe that the human race will get wise and will be able to interact with technology in ways that aren’t necessarily going to make it rain all the time.
On filming on the old Fringe sets
WYMAN: I was so fortunate because I had literally, to the person, the Fringe crew. After Fringe was over, they said, ‘Are you gonna do this show? Is it gonna go?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I think I’m gonna do it. And, don’t worry.’ And they’re like, ‘Okay, well, you gotta let me knowâ€¦’ And so they all sort of stuck around and waited, which is so awesome because, you know, when you spend five years with people you become like a family. I’m so glad to have everybody back.
On Karl Urban
WYMAN: Karl was the first to be cast. And I knew he was the guy. And we had a nice, great conversation and he was very interested in the things that we were trying to say with the program and he was very interested in the vision. So he committed right away. And I thought that was a really good coup because, to me, he’s a remarkable actor and he probably — I mean, I know — he has options to do features and stuff like that. And so for him to want to be a part of this is pretty lucky, huh?
On Michael Ealy
WYMAN: And then came Michael. I had seen Michael in the past on many things and I was looking for somebody that sort of wasâ€¦humanâ€¦and the thing about Michael Ealy that I don’t know if you guys know, but he is, legitimately, one of the greatest people I’ve ever met in my life. And he’s just such a kind person. And he has such a gentleness about him and he’s so authentic andâ€¦he cares, you know? Deeply. About everything. Once I sat down with him and I was just sort of looking at him and thinking how to photograph himâ€¦what’s he going to look like? I just realized, I can’t do this without him. So we had like a three-hour meeting. It was a great, intense meeting. At the end of it was I was like, ‘Okay I really want you to do this. You have to do this.’ And he was like ‘Yeah, yeah, I really want to do this.’ So, it was great.
On whether he would want any Fringe alums to make an appearance
WYMAN: All of them. Every single person. I mean, you’re like opening up my heart and stabbing me right now. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about Fringe in some way shape or form. And I keep in touch with everybody and, of course, you know, I want to bring them all back. But it’s justâ€¦all I really ever said was it’s gotta be worthy. It’s gotta beâ€¦I mean, you bring John Noble back and you better do something pretty good. So, yeah, they’ll be back.
On being more character-driven than straight up procedural
WYMAN: The fundamental difference is, when you watch NYPD Blue, it’s not so much about the cases, it’s kind of like about the people. It’s aboutâ€¦you’re invested in John Kelly and Sipowicz and you kind of want to see what’s going onâ€¦um, cop shows inherently have a week to week thing that’s very — I mean, they’re cops. That’s what they’re doing. They’re on a case. [With Almost Human], every single episode you catch a little bit of their story and you become invested in the drama. At the end of the day, this is about very brave people who are here to protect us in a world that’s rapidly changing and very, very dangerous. So you get involved with them and their lives and it’sâ€¦actually, they’ve got some deep journeys.
On showcasing “little” bads vs. big bads
WYMAN: It wouldn’t be a show of mine if it didn’t have a mythology that was a little bit more sinister, maybe. You know, somewhere. I’m trying to stay away from the moustache-twirly, big bads of it all. And I mean that sincerely in the best possible way. I feel like the world is the big bad. And we have a whole bunch of little bads. And it’s about humanity. It’s aboutâ€¦something big. We’re trying to keep it on that frame.
Part two of the Almost Human season premiere airs tonight at 8/7c on FOX.
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