Recently in conjunction with Ridley Scott and the Electric Shepherd Company Amazon’s TV and film production arm Amazon Studios produced a pilot based on Philip K Dick’s 1962 Hugo Award Winning novel, The Man In The High Castle, which explores an alternate reality in which the Axis Powers, Germany and Japan, not only won WWII, but divided up America and the rest of the world between them.

The pilot was shown as part of Amazon Prime’s Pilot Season, in which viewers were asked to view, comment and vote on a range of pilots. The Man In The High Castle proved to be the most compelling production Amazon Prime has delivered so far.

“During the latest pilot season, Amazon customers made The Man In The High Castle our most watched pilot ever,” said Roy Price, President of Amazon Studios.

You can read an in-depth look at the program, and find links to see the show for yourself, in our previous article.

Despite some differences to Philip K Dick’s masterpiece, it was an intense, compelling and intriguing vision; the America of the 1960s, under Japan and Germany, was beautifully realized. Performances from Rufus Sewell, Alexa Davalos, Luke Kleintank, Rupert Evans, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and the rest of cast captured the tension of post-war occupation, and the script by Frank Spotnitz, who worked on The X-Files, and is also an executive producer, realized the vision of the original, while adapting a difficult text to suit a modern audience.

With the advice of Isa Dick Hackett, executive producing for Electric Shepherd, who will hopefully keep the program’s direction in line with her father’s original vision, we are sure the ongoing series will be brilliant.


About The Author

C S Hughes

C S Hughes is a proud member of the TV generation, studied film and communications, collects the paperback books of Philip K Dick, loves science fiction and fantasy books, B grade movies and cult TV, American thrillers and British noir, restoring vintage watches, reading poetry, creating innovative illustrated poetry books which are available in Apple’s iBooks format, and cake. Especially cake. He has also written short stories, and has a collection of horror stories coming out in 2015.

4 Responses

  1. M.E. Lawrence

    I’m afraid I can’t resist bragging that I live two blocks from what is locally known, of course, as “The Dick House,” the pretty Edwardian cottage where PKD lived as lad:

    A close friend who bought the house some years back said that from time to time she’d find people of various nationalities out on the sidewalk, gazing reverently at her home and taking photographs.

    Another boast: Dick attended Berkeley High School just up the street – alma mater, as well, of our two daughters! I hadn’t realized, though, that Dick and Ursula K. Le Guin were classmates, although they apparently weren’t acquainted at the time.

  2. C S Hughes
    C S Hughes

    One does not expect genius to emerge from such a conventional looking but very cute suburban cottage. I’m sure it looked a little different back in PKD’s time.

    • M.E. Lawrence

      It might well have looked much the same; a lot of cute cottages went up in these parts just after the 1906 earthquake. But the Dick Nabe was/is not a suburb; it’s a few blocks from what passes for downtown Berkeley and, more important, the U.C. Berkeley campus–and also an easy drive or bus/ferry ride to San Francisco.

  3. Olga Hughes

    Your friend must be very patient to put up with all of those geeks 🙂
    What I want to know is, it’s 2015, where is my flying car?