Amazon Originals Review – The man in the high Castle


(Amazon synopsis) Based on Philip K. Dick’s award-winning novel, and executive produced by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), The Man in the High Castle explores what it would be like if the Allied Powers had lost WWII, and Japan and Germany ruled the United States. Starring Rufus Sewell (John Adams), Luke Kleintank (Pretty Little Liars) and Alexa Davalos (Mob City).

I can’t say that I have read this book, nor did I know of its existence, shame on me, however I wish that I had because as a bit of a history buff I have always wondered, what if? What if one or two little things could have changed the course of history altogether? Well evidently I am not the only one who thought this.

On writing this I am unaware if this show has been picked up, but if it hasn’t then shame on Amazon as this pilot is fantastic, it’s well written by Frank Sportnitz (X-Files, Strike Back) and executive produced by Ridley Scott, so it already has some star power.

I do think that not having read the book put me at a slight advantage to the people that had, I had no expectations and could be surprised or shocked by goings on, the premise is that the Axis powers won World War II and then divided up America into separate totalitarian regimes. Though I know it is just an alternative version of History it was still oddly unnerving to see it, I must admit it took me a good few minutes to grasp what was actually going on, there wasn’t really an explanation or a pretext you were just thrust into this unknowing world and left to figure things out on your own, and surprisingly I think it worked.

It’s 1962 and Nazi Germany now rules the East Coast, Japan runs the west coast and Alaska, it’s been a 20 year severe dictatorship rule with all of the ghastly ethnic cleansing and not just that but also the mentally ill and infirm, and to make things even more interesting Japan and Germany are in the midst of their own cold war, each waiting for one another to make a move.

There is such a huge landscape that can and is used within this show, from the pilot it seems that we’d follow two separate stories but, two will inevitably combine as their paths will meet and stories will intersect, we have Joe Blake in New York and Juliana Crain in San Francisco, both with dangerously intriguing stories and ways in which they are entangled into the story.

Overall I need to see more of this show, there is so much going on in the main story but you still feel enthralled by the side plots, plots being the operative word as everyone in power seems to be plotting in some way or another, then there is the rebellion and the unseen figure the “titular” (Man IN The High Castle) looms over proceedings, inspiring the rebels with controversial film reels. I felt uncomfortable and uneasy throughout but again I think this was the shows intention and it worked, because this awful alternative reality could have easily occurred.

Gavin Tones

Genre:TV Series, sci-fi Distributor: Amazon Original Rating: 15 Director: David Semel Cast: Rufus Sewell, Alexa Davalos, Luke Kleintank, Rupert Evans, DJ Qualls