was short-lived American science fiction/crime drama that
aired from November 17, 2013, through March 3, 2014, on Fox. The
series was created by J. H. Wyman for Frequency Films, Bad Robot
Productions and Warner Bros. Television. Wyman, Bryan Burk and J.
J. Abrams are executive producers. After one season, Fox canceled
the series on April 29, 2014.
Despite the series being
cancelled, it was nominated for the Emmy Awards for Outstanding
Special and Visual Effects. Series
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In 2048, the uncontrollable evolution of science and
technology has caused crime rates to rise an astounding 400%. To
combat this, the overwhelmed police force has implemented a new
policy: every human police officer is paired with a lifelike
John Kennex (Karl Urban - Star
Trek, DREDD, Chronicles of Riddick, Doom), a troubled detective,
has a reason to hate these new robot partners. Almost two years
previously, Kennex and his squad were raiding the hideout of a
violent gang known as the Insyndicate, but ended up being ambushed
and outgunned. Kennex tried to save his badly injured partner, but
the accompanying logic-based android officer abandoned them both
because the wounded man's chances of survival were low and it
wouldn't have been "logical" to save him. An explosion
then took off Kennex's leg and killed his partner.
After waking up from a 17-month coma, Kennex has to deal with a
cybernetic prosthetic leg and huge gaps in his memory, which he tries
to recover through visits to a black market memory-recovery doctor
called a Recollectionist, in the city slums. Besides trying to
remember as much as he can about the raid and the Insyndicate, he is
also coming to terms with being abandoned by his girlfriend Anna.
Kennex is then recalled to the force
by Captain Sandra Maldonado ( Lili Taylor ), and partnered with a
standard-issue MX-43 android, which he soon throws from a moving
vehicle, when it threatens to report his unusual behavior. He is
assigned a replacement android, an older DRN model originally
decommissioned for police work and about to be transferred to the
Space Station. Created to be as close to human as possible, the DRN
androids have trouble dealing with some of their own emotional
responses, which was the reason they were replaced by the logic-based
MX units. Kennex's unit, known as Dorian ( Michael Ealy
- Common Law, Barber Shop ), immediately proves himself unique, with a
clear dislike of being referred to as a "synthetic", and a
dry, friendly sarcasm-oriented wit. Key to the story arc is the growth
and development of Kennex and Dorian's relationship.
The series first appeared as part of
Fox's development slate in September 2012. In January 2013, Fox
green-lit production of a pilot episode.
On May 8, 2013, the series was added to the network's 2013–14
schedule. On September 9, 2013, it was announced that executive
producer and co-showrunner Naren Shankar, who joined the series after
the production of the pilot, would depart the series due to creative
differences. Creator J. H. Wyman will continue as sole showrunner.
The series was originally scheduled
to premiere on Monday, November 4, 2013. Fox announced a two-week
delay and that the series would instead premiere with a special
preview on Sunday, November 17 before moving to its regular time slot
starting on Monday, November 18.
The order of the episodes that aired
on Fox differs from the order intended by J. H. Wyman, the series'
showrunner. However, due to the (largely) self-contained nature of
these episodes, this does not create significant discontinuity.
losing his team and his leg in a devastating ambush and
spending seventeen months in a coma, Detective John Kennex is
using a black-market Recollectionist doctor to try to remember
exactly what happened before the bomb went off. After being
pressured by his captain, he returns to active service and,
against his will, is assigned a mandatory MX android as a
partner to investigate a biotechnology robbery, which his
captain suspects has been perpetrated by the Insyndicate, the
same criminals who had ambushed him. In frustration, he then
throws the MX out from his moving car, destroying it. He is
then assigned an old DRN unit called Dorian, whose software
was based on a 'Synthetic Soul' program, which gave them
emotions. Meanwhile, Detective Vogel (Toby Levins) is captured
by the Insyndicate. With Dorian's help, Kennex gets an address
from a captured robber. When the police raid the address, it
turns out to be a set-up. Vogel is killed by a mysterious gas,
while the robber is freed by his accomplices. Dorian later
discovers that one of Vogel's case files, number 6663, is
missing from the database. Technician Rudy Lom discovers that
the criminals used the stolen biotechnology to create a weapon
that targets cops specifically by attacking the mandatory
inoculations they have in their bodies.
Kennex decides to undergo
treatment under the Recollectionist again to try to find more
clues on the Insyndicate, and discovers that his ex-girlfriend
Anna (Mekia Cox), was one of the criminals at the ambush. He
then has a seizure, but is saved by Dorian. They discover the
criminals are planning to steal evidence related to case 6663
at the police precinct. John warns the captain, but the
criminals are already there and manage to disable all the MX
units. The police are able to stop the attack on their
headquarters and capture the leader, but due to the sabotage,
they are not sure what the gang intended to steal. However, it
is revealed that 6663 is in fact the head of a female android
unit, which is seemingly still functional. In the aftermath,
Kennex asks his captain why she assigned him Dorian
specifically (as opposed to another DRN or MX unit selected at
random); the captain hints, "Because he's
special..." Now more at ease and slowly warming up to his
new partner, Kennex tells Dorian to call him by his given
Kennex and Dorian investigate
the murder of a businessman in a motel room and missing
persons case involving robots, as it is discovered he makes
synthetic skin for robot prostitutes (termed Intimate Robot
Companions, or "sexbots"), which are allowed as
human trafficking has declined more than 40% since the
technological advancements. While synthetic skin has advanced
greatly in realism, it pales in comparison to genuine human
skin. As a result, there is a market for improved sexbots with
human skin. In order to make these sexbots, engineers harvest
skin grafts from women previously abducted from the streets.
By tracing the life history of one of the sexbots, Vanessa
(Ella Thomas), the location of her first activation leads
police to the warehouse where the women are being held. It is
revealed that the businessman was murdered as his partner had
joint intellectual property rights in a line of sexbots, which
are inferior to the IRCS incorporating human skin. In the
meantime, Kennex tries to find closure in a piece of his
troubled past, by visiting the family of his dead partner.
ARE YOU RECEIVING? "
Kennex and Dorian are faced
with an intense hostage situation where terrorists bomb the
server room of a building. Captain Maldonado is hoping to
protect the hostages by meeting the terrorists' demands, and
hoping Kennex and Dorian can get close enough to stop the
hostage takers. During a brawl with one of the criminals, a
face projection device is masking some of the criminals with
false IDs of known terrorists. Dorian's CPU is damaged as a
result of the fight and is put together with trash bin
materials. The pair discover the plan for the terrorists was
to distract police, who use jamming tech to block
communications, from noticing a heist at a nearby palladium
bank- worth millions in raw metal ore. When Dorian distracts
the hostage takers, Kennex neutralizes them and alerts police
to their plot. The day is saved, hostages alive, the heist
stopped, and Dorian and Kennex hailed by their co-workers.
THE BENDS "
A deadly new drug called 'the
Bends' is wreaking havoc on the streets, supplied by a
mysterious criminal called "Bishop". The only way to
take him down is from the inside, which means Kennex and
Dorian need to help Rudy infiltrate the Bishop's organization
as a drug cook. The murder of undercover narcotics detective
Cooper causes the initial assumption that he was a supplier,
as there is no official report of his undercover work, but
Kennex knew the victim and works to clear his name. Kennex and
Dorian follow the leads, and Rudy makes a batch of 95% pure
'Bends' which has him meet the 'Bishop'. 'Bishop' is actually
Alexio Baros the captain of the 25th precinct narcotics who
was supposedly investigating the Bishop. Kennex catches him
and 'neutralizes' him for his corruption and for killing an
old friend of his.
BLOOD BROTHERS "
When one of two witnesses in
the trial of genius philanthropist Ethan Avery (who stands
accused of murdering a fertility geneticist) is killed, Kennex
and Dorian are tasked with keeping the remaining witness, Maya
(who underwent a procedure which allegedly allows her to talk
with the souls of the dead), safe, and solving the murder. It
is later discovered the geneticist once was a specialist in
cloning before legislation banned the science. When Kennex and
Dorian are taking Maya to the precinct, they are intercepted
by gunmen. Kennex kills one who is the spitting image of Ethan
Avery, which leads to the belief that Avery knew Dr. Fuller
because Fuller cloned Avery. Maya was shot in the shoulder and
hospitalized, where she bonds and shares with Dorian. She got
the procedure to be psychic to talk to her parents on the
other side, but a fire destroyed their possessions, so now she
never can. The gunmen found Maya because the MRX guarding the
witnesses was destroyed and its police comm-link was taken.
Detective Stahl goes to see Dr. Fuller's mother, where she
finds the evidence of cloning, but is captured and used as a
hostage by Avery's clones. Ethan had killed Dr. Fuller because
Fuller wanted to publish his findings. At the rendezvous, the
clones see through the ploy and attempt to escape, only for
Dorian to catch up and flip their van, killing the clones.
Maya testifies and Avery goes to prison, Dorian visits Maya
later and tells her that he looked into the arson case
involving her parents. He returns a box of possessions
recovered from the fire, allowing Maya to finally contact her
parents on the other side. The episode concludes with Kennex
and Stahl watching a soccer game and drinking bourbon, an
event that Maya had predicted earlier.
When a man walks into a
hospital with a gun demanding medical treatment, predicting
his exact time of death and then collapsing at that exact
time, Kennex and Dorian are called in. The man died in
possession of a mechanical heart he should not have had. The
partners embark on a investigation into the seedier side of
the human replacement organs black market.
SIMON SAYS "
A man is killed by a cyber
criminal (David Dastmalchian) who straps bombs onto his
victims and shows their demise live in order to get viewers.
During this time, a solar flare had disrupted the power grid,
and the androids receive limited charging, which leads to
Dorian having personality issues.
YOU ARE HERE "
Kennex and Dorian investigate
assassins using bullets with auto-guidance capabilities that
can track, target and kill a specific person at any time.
Maldonado looks into the ambush that almost killed Kennex.
An advanced XRN combat
android named Danica (Gina Carano - NOT THE NASCAR DRIVER -
LOL) that operates like a soldier goes on a rampage, resulting
in Kennex and Dorian seeking help from the man who created the
DRN androids, Dr. Nigel Vaughn (John Larroquette). As they
continue to search to stop Danica's rampage, Dr. Vaughn may
know more than he originally leads them to believe.
(genetically engineered) girls are killed by a new designer
drug, which is related to a previous accidental drowning of
another girl. Kennex and Stahl (a "chrome" herself)
investigate the case, which leads them to the Mendel Institute
for "chromes". When they find a sample of the drug,
the pharmaceutical printer used leads them to a former Mendel
Institute student, who acknowledges making the drug, called
"Vero", but swears the printer was hacked to create
the fatal doses. The cues finally lead them to the mother of
the first girl—who had killed herself after taking
Vero—and who hired the hacker for revenge. Meanwhile, Kennex
uses drugs and a black-market Recollectionist doctor to try to
remember more things about his traitorous ex-girlfriend Anna
Moore and the ambush where he lost his leg, despite Dorian and
Maldonado's warnings. He finally remembers a detail which
leads him to discover his home had been bugged.
One year after a teenage boy
was killed by an automated house security system, the owners
of the house are killed when the security system is hacked.
Soon after, the city's power grid is hacked with a message in
memory of the teenager. Afterwards, the attorney for the
company that makes the security system is killed in the same
way. With Rudy's help, Kennex and Stahl find the hacker of the
grid, but he's not the killer and he agrees to help them in
exchange for immunity. When the killer targets another person
from the company, Kennex and Dorian enter the company's HQ to
save her and find the killer, a teenage girl with exceptional
hacking skills who was in love with the teenage boy.
Meanwhile, Rudy finds some alien files in Dorian's memory
which were planted there. He lies to Dorian about the files,
but tells Kennex to keep an eye on him.
After a healthy chrome is
reported to have died from natural causes, Detective Stahl
suspects foul play. Upon further investigation, they find that
the dead chrome has the DNA of seven other victims all with
good looking facial features. Kennex and Dorian are called in
to track down a serial killer (Michael Eklund) who has been
using a nanobot surgical system to take facial features from
his victims and transferring them to his face for the woman
that he loves. Kennex makes a move and is about to ask
Detective Stahl out for a drink, only to find out that he is
STRAW MAN "
Kennex and Dorian revisit the
past when a string of murders are similar to those committed
by a serial killer who was put in jail by Kennex's father.
Elsewhere, Dorian gets his first performance review after
END OF LINE
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