Friday, 16 January 2015

Amazon's amazing The Man in the High Castle



Amazon Pilot Season has a chequered history unlike rival Netflix. However, The Man in the High Castle, an alternate universe period piece from director Ridley Scott (Alien) and Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), deserves a series!

As a child I vaguely remember flicking through the pages of Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle and was immediately intrigued by the premise of alternate universes. What if World War II had culminated in the German and Japanese warmachines triumph?

Unlike big screen adaptations of the author's futuristic Minority Report and Blade Runner (based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?). The Man in the High Castle is set in a 1960s America divided into Greater Nazi Reich, Japanese Pacific States and Neutral Zone. Against which there's a growing schism within the Axis Powers.

A revelation following last year's risible The After created by Chris Carter. The look and feel of the pilot artfully exudes the creative pedigree of the production team. I, literally, paused scenes simply to savour the dense and murky mise-en-scène, which evokes Dark City and not simply because Rufus Sewell stars. A masterclass in world building.

If The Man in the High Castle is commissioned for an entire series, Amazon customers must vote on their favourite pilot, we may be in for a televisual treat that could garner more Golden Globes for the studio following the success of Transparent.

Well worth an hour of your time and don't forget to vote.