Warning: This article contains major spoilers for Humans series 1-3
Humans closed its spectacular third series with a whole string of game-changing bombshells, guaranteeing that any follow-up would bring us a radically different show.
Mia (Gemma Chan) is dead, leaving Niska (Emily Berrington) as the de-facto leader of the Synths. Except no one quite knows what Niska is anymore, after Odi / V (Will Tudor) helped her reach a new stage in Synth evolution.
Mattie (Lucy Carless) is pregnant with Leo's child – some sort of human / Synth hybrid – and Laura (Katherine Parkinson) is stuck in jail for committing treason, unless Mattie's confession that she unleashed the consciousness code on Day Zero can secure her mother's freedom.
Where on Earth does Humans go from here? Here's everything we know so far.
Humans season 4 cast: Who's returning?
It's a safe bet that all of the following major cast members will be back.
Emily Berrington as Niska
Lucy Carless as Mattie Hawkins
Pixie Davies as Sophie Hawkins
Tom Goodman-Hill as Joe Hawkins
Ivanno Jeremiah as Max
Colin Morgan as Leo Elster
Katherine Parkinson as Laura Hawkins
Theo Stevenson as Toby Hawkins
With Mia having been beaten to death by violent bigots, it looks as though Gemma Chan won't be back for a fourth series. Addressing her very permanent exit, series co-creator Sam Vincent told Digital Spy, "We certainly considered, 'Could we be ambiguous about it? Could we do a twist? Could we end on a mysterious note, leaving the possibility open for her return?'
"But ultimately we felt that to do something like that is just hedging your bets, and you're not really committing to the story that you're telling."
"And ultimately, it weakens the power of what we're doing," added co-creator Jonathan Brackley. "It dilutes it somehow. It's kind of a cop-out, really – a storytelling cop-out. To have real power, you've got to be bold and definitive."
Karen (Ruth Bradley) won't be back either, after being... erm... beaten to death by violent bigots.
We've almost certainly seen the last of Sam Palladio as Ed, too, especially now that Mia's out of the series. "We think he's done," Vincent told us. And to think, Mia would've been OK if she'd just run away with Ed like they'd planned! *sob*
There are also secondary characters who could well reappear in future episodes: Sam (Billy Jenkins) and Stanley (Dino Fetscher) both survived the events of the third series, while Neil Sommer (Mark Bonnar) is locked up with Laura and Niska's Astrid (Bella Dayne) is out of hospital after being caught up in a bombing.
With omniscient artificial intelligence V having occupied Odi's body, it's also possible that Will Tudor could return as the Yoda to Niska's Luke Skywalker.
Vincent and Brackley also told us that they've always wanted to bring back Sope Dirisu as Fred from the first series of Humans. "He was a core member of the Elster 'family', as it were – one of the original prototypes. And again, the fans constantly say, 'Where is Fred? Where is Fred?' 'Fred's still in the crypt?!' – it's become a bit of a running joke!
"That was one where there was willingness from all sides to do it, and we just couldn't make it work, because of schedules and production stuff and things like that."
Could the stars finally align for season four, giving us Fred's long-awaited comeback?
Humans season 4 release date: When will it air?
The first series of Humans premiered in June of 2015, with a second landing on Channel 4 after a 16-month break, in October of 2016.
The most recent run of episodes arrived another 17 months later in May 2018.
Using that data to extrapolate, we can roughly guesstimate that a fourth series would be ready to launch by late 2019. (In the States, AMC tends to air new episodes within a month or two of UK transmission.)
Humans season 4 episode 1: What will happen next?
"Because of the events at the end of episode eight, again, we're going to be coming back to a changed world," Jonathan Brackley said of a possible fourth series. "We join a very different world. The world is going to evolve again into series four, if we're lucky enough."
"Yes, it would be quite different," echoed Sam Vincent. "We know what our theme is, but I don't want to say it just now."
With Mia serving as a martyr for the Synth cause, her final pleas for peace being broadcast to the entire nation, it's probable that human / Synth relations will be less hostile going forward. (But that's not very interesting or dramatic, so maybe a a new threat will emerge that a united human / Synth front will be forced to stand against?)
The end of the third series implied that Niska would step up to replace Mia as "mother" of the Synths, so it'll be interesting to see how that affects her relationship with Max, who'd assumed command of the Synth community at the railyard.
Not to mention how Niska's new powers bestowed on her by V will complicate matters. "Niska now has a kind of similar all-seeing eye, and other abilities, perhaps, that we wanted to keep in our back pocket," Vincent teased.
One of either Laura or Mattie could also be behind bars in the next series. Laura was jailed for revealing the details of the government's anti-Synth operation Basswood – basically, a covert plot to wipe out all artificial life in the United Kingdom – but Mattie later offered to trade her mother's freedom for a full confession regarding her own involvement in Day Zero.
Of course, that was before Mattie discovered that her unborn child was some sort of Synth / human hybrid – or "Turbo Baby", as the writers are calling it – which, again, does complicate matters somewhat.
"We've always had in the back of our mind that eventually there would be a synthesis – no pun intended – between humans and Synths," explained Vincent. "The great truth, the answer that we wanted to have, is that we're not different to them and the future relies on mixing and melding [with] them.
"It of course pushes the boundaries of just how science fiction we can be within the parameters of this show. But we wanted to find a way to examine how Synths and humans can come together."
Humans season 4 renewal: Is it officially happening?
Channel 4 and AMC have yet to officially order a fourth series of Humans.
"We definitely have a story to tell, if we're lucky enough to get a fourth series," said Brackley, while Vincent added, "We're excited about the ideas that we have, so we just have to hope, really, and do our best to communicate those ideas to the powers that be."
A final decision on the show's future likely won't come until the third run has finished airing on AMC – the finale airs in the US on July 24. Then, all the final audience numbers can be tallied up, including overnight ratings but also catch-up figures via All4 and AMC's website.
In the meantime, let's get #Hum4ns trending!
Humans season 4 trailer: When will it land?
It hasn't even been officially announced yet, which means that any potential filming is a way off, so the release of any new footage wouldn't happen until even further into the future.
(Going by previous series, any trailer for a fourth series would probably drop about a month before transmission.)
You Might Also Like