Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Man in the High Castle (Pilot Episode)


The Big Debate

Up until the time I left for college, I only had one friend who read science fiction and fantasy.  We drifted apart and do not stay in contact.  But in college I met, and eventually became a roommate with, my second science fiction and fantasy friend-Terry Kissinger.  We still talk and email on a regular basis.  Most years we meet up at conventions.   The first friend and I had similar tastes in authors.  We both liked Isaac Asimov.  To a lesser extent he also liked Roger Zelazny.  When I met Terry, in many ways I had found a kindred spirit.  In addition to those authors, his favorites were Frank Herbert and Philip K. Dick.  We spent many hours debating who was better.  We had similar debates in comic book authors.  I was a Marv Wolfman fan while he preferred Chris Claremont in the heyday of the X-Men and Teen Titans.  Our friendship is such that we both like all of the authors I named but we liked to debate which was the best.  During our debates, Terry introduced me to the work of PKD (Philip K. Dick).  In many respects, PKD is an amazing writer who seems more popular now than ever before.  Although I have read "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" three times and enjoyed it every time, I still have many of his novels to read.


A Short History

Despite having published 44 novels and roughly 121 short stories.  Unfortunately, for him, his stories did not start earning big money until after his death.  Since then 11 movies have appeared based on his work (Blade Runner, Total Recall, The Adjustment Bureau, Next, Paycheck, and others).  More are in the works included an Disney animated production of his short story "The King of the Elves", a live action adaptation of UBIK, and the television series I am getting around to discussing.


Through a Glass Darkly


Many moons ago, I remember being mesmerized by Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner".  It was a loose adaptation of "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?".  The stories were different but Scott gave us a great movie, in my opinion.  Skip ahead to 2010 when rumors came out that Ridley Scott was working on a BBC production of "The Man in the High Castle".  It ended up with Amazon's new production company as part of the 2015 Pilot Season.  The pilot debuted last week to very good reviews.

I watched it over the weekend and would love to see it become a series.  Scott is working with Frank (X-Files) Spotnitz.  Spotnitz wrote the pilot.  The basic idea of it being an alternate history where the Axis won World War II is still there.  Nazi Germany controls the eastern part of the United States, Japan the west coast, and a neutral zone is the buffer between them.  One of the main characters is given a copy of a news real film (the story takes place in the 60s).  The film shows our history.  Some in the story think it is a fantasy propaganda piece.  Others think differently and are willing to kill to get it.  


New York City in "The Man in the High Castle"
The pilot does a great job of establishing the characters while telling a compelling story that starts to reveal this world to us.  I recommend watching the pilot.  If, like me, you enjoy it you will be voting to continue the series.




Challenges

42 Challenge 2015

The 2015 Sci-Fi Experience

1 comment:

Allie McCarn said...

I voted for it, too! I really hope they make the full season. I think the things they changed so far made sense in terms of adapting the novel to a season-length tv series, and I'd like to see how they have things play out.