I’ve been watching the TV show Almost Human for a while now. It’s set in 2048 and the main premise is a future where crime has soared and an undermanned police force has turned to synthetic cops to restore a bit of balance. It stars Karl Urban and Michael Ealy and has apparently been cancelled before a second series in the way that so many promising science fiction series are… (Yes, I’m looking at you Firefly).
There have been some comparisons drawn (first off by a friend of mine who’d seen a bit more than me) about the world of Almost Human and the world of Judge Dredd. After that seed had been sown I saw other people on the internet thinking along similar lines… Let’s forget the obvious issue first of the series and the latest Dredd film sharing the same main star and instead concentrate on some other similarities.
A few episodes into Almost Human the fact that the city is walled was first mentioned. It was never made clear what was on the other side exactly, just that you wouldn’t want to go there… A little bit like the cursed earth outside Mega-City One.
And while we’re speaking of Mega-City One, the setting of Almost Human is rather annoyingly refered to as “The City” throughout.
Just like the Psi-Division of Judge Dredd, there are psychics in Almost Human – specifically the episode “Blood Brothers”. A pre-cursor to pre-cognitive Judge Anderson and her fellow officers perhaps?
Prisons (or solitary confinement at least) are refered to as cubes in both universes. “Isocubes” in Dredd and simply “Cubes” in Almost Human.
Judge, Jury and Executioner
The police in Almost Human have already taken the step of using cybernetic law enforcement officers and Urban’s character also performs an incredibly “Judge Dredd-ian” execution of a corrupt police officer in episode 4 thereby avoiding all of that pesky time tied up in unecessary arrests and trials.
Judge Dredd himself was genetically engineered and cloned from Chief Judge Fargo. Genetic engineering already exists in Almost Human as embodied by “Chromes”, engineered humans. The Judge Dredd timeline starts with this cloning in 2066 – only 18 years after the events of Almost Human. Oh, and Chief Judge is the title used to describe the senior law enforcement officer in both universes (apparently – This is so far unconfirmed by me at least… I’ll let you know when I get that far).
The problem is – I’m only 2 episodes away from the end of series 1 and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get that all important make or break second series…
Hopefully we’ll get a sequel to the latest Dredd film soon though. Or even a Psi-Division spin off…