If you were on the fence about whether or not to get Amazon Prime, I have one compelling reason, it’s the only place in town to watch an amazing television pilot called the Man in the High Castle, based on the 1962 sci-fi novel by Philip K Dick.
What would have happened if the Allied Powers lost World War II? The United States East Coast would be occupied by German Nazis and the West Coast would be under the rule of Japan. Could resistance fighters take back the former United States? Or after twenty years of occupation, does anyone have any fight left in them? These and so many more questions are explored in this alternative history storyline.
I must confess that I hadn’t heard of the Man in the High Castle until I had watched the pilot, which ends on such an intense cliffhanger. Plus, months ago, there was no information about whether or not there would be more episodes so I had to know what happened next in the story and I drove straight to my local library. Oh, it’s such a good story.
So which one did I enjoy the best? Drum roll please… the Pilot!
Under the direction of executive producers, Ridley Scott, who needs no introduction and Isa Dick Hackett, Philip K. Dick’s daughter, this story has been brought to life with such care and attention-to-detail. The pilot has the best elements from the story so fans won’t feel as if the show has veered too far off course but it adapts one character in a significantly positive way. The book was written in 1962 by a male science fiction writer. I applaud him for making Juliana Crain such a major character but the 21st century is able to give female characters an equal share of emotional depth and storyline purpose. Since I don’t want to reveal too much of the story, let’s just say that the complex relationships between Frank and Juliana and Juliana/Trudy and Joe will have people talking at the water coolers.
Would you like some Sake or a Hefeweizen?
That was the choice presented to me at the once-in-a-lifetime experience of attending the Man in the High Castle Screening at the San Diego Civic Center during the 2015 San Diego Comic Con. The event transformed the theater in the 1963 version of the story where movie guests were treated to Japanese and German beverages, staff wore matching 1960’s red outfits and everyone received copies of the limited edition 2015 book and special lanyards. The event was live streamed on Amazon, the audience was treated to Q&A with the director, and the cast joined the audience in the front row to watch the pilot episode AND the 2nd unaired episode of the season. This television show just keeps getting better and better.
The most exciting moment of the evening was opening my complimentary book to find a hole had been cut out in the middle, just enough room for a flashdrive to be buried within the pages. After I got over my gut reaction of shock that someone destroyed a book on purpose, I found myself acting like the flash drive was a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
Our monthly poll revealed that most of you have not heard of the Man in the High Castle but I suspect all of that will change very soon. Mark your calendars for November 10, 2015 as the new season with 10 episodes will begin on Amazon Prime. If you don’t have Prime, do what I did and invite yourself over to a friend’s home that has it. Bring popcorn and be prepared to be astonished by this thought provoking pilot and to be extremely grateful that the Axis powers did not win World War II.
Since next month is October, let’s spotlight a paranormal book-to-movie. For me and millions of other muggles, the most magical books are the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Which version do you like best?
The Books – I solemnly swear that I love the books more that Jenny loves Harry.
The Movies – I wish my school years could have been spent at Hogwarts.
Both – I own all the books, the movies, and Potter merchandise.
Neither – I live under a rock and I have never heard of Harry Potter.
Columnist: Jessie lives in Oregon and writes to avoid the rain. She only feels compelled to kill her characters when she starts a new diet and if she hates the ending of a TV episode she’ll rewrite it to give everyone a happily ever after. Currently Jessie is an unpublished author but she works tirelessly to removed two letters – un – from that word.
Column book and movie tape drawn by Evangeline Owen