Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Man in the High Castle — Series 1 — Episodes 1 and 2: The New World and Sunrise

21st July, 2017

You know, I really should be trying to maybe — maybe — get out and about, at some point.

Press the flesh, give the flesh an airing, what have you.

On the other hand, though?

I had a lot to try and get done, today.

In fact?

I still have laundry on the go, as we speak.

You’d think bedsheets would bend, sometimes, wouldn’t you?

At ANY rate … ?

I now have cleaner clothes than I did.

Cleaners clothes … and more of a TV series to work through.

You see, I faced a dilemma, tonight.

Should I go for the third series of American Horror Story?

Or should I go for something a little different?

Should I go for the Amazon produced, alternative Cold War history drama that is The Man in the High Castle.

I went for the latter.

I’d read the Philip K. Dick novel, many years ago.

And wanted to see what the show could tell me.


Episode 1 — The New World — introduces us to the show’s ensemble: an ensemble living in an alternative history where World War 2 ended in 1947: when the Allies lost to the Axis powers.

It introduces us to Joe Blake (Luke Kleintank), a man volunteering to help the Resistance in the Nazi-run Eastern part of the US: by volunteering to smuggle an illicit cargo into the Neutral Zone between the Nazi Reigh And the Japanese Pacific States.

Introduces us to Juliana Craine (Alexa Davalos). Juliana’s sister, Trudi, leaves her with a mysterious piece of newsreel footage: and asks her to take it to a very specific diner in Canon City, in the Neutral Zone.   Only to see Trudi shot down in the street by the Japanese dominated Secret police.

We met Juliana’s lover, Frank (Rupert Evans): Frank works in a machine shop making reproduction antiques for the Japanese occupiers.   And scared for his life: not only is he Japanes, living in a country with friendly relations with the Reich … but who’s seen the film Juliana has.

All this … ?   In a 1962 where Adolf Hitler is dying of Parkinson’s: and San Francisco is due a visit from The Japanese Crown Prince.

Episode 2 — Sunrise — sees Juliana having reached Canon City: and met a man she believes is the Resistance agent she is due to met.

Sees SS Obergruppenführer John Smith (Rufus Sewell) ambushed by Resistance agents in revenge for an raid he’s led in Episode 1.

Sees Frank arrested and tortured by Chief Inspector Kido (Joel de la Fuente) of the Kempetai: the Chief Inspector is ALSO after a reel of film … 


Now …

Good … 

And Cold War … ?

Yes, I think Cold War is an accurate war of putting in.

Granted,  The Man in the High Castle is set on a parallel Earth were the Axis powers one the Second World War.

But it strikes me that the setting is well after the close of a hot war: but showing us a Cold War that could have happened …

Had history developed differently.

Good … ?

I don’t know I could tell you whether the series is good.


American Horror Story grabbed me from the get go: and threw me headlong into its first and second series with a certain amount of gusto.

The Man in the High Castle hasn’t quite grabbed in the same way: yet.

But it HAS intrigued me: and struck as being not an AHS-style show, grabbing my throat, shaking me and yelling “LOOK AT ME, LOOK at ME … !”

But a show that’s going to slowy draw me in: and, hopefully hit me with a big pay off.

I think I’ll have to watch: at least until the end of the first series …

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