The Man in the High Castle?
January 17, 2015 6:38 AM - Subscribe

It's just a pilot on Amazon at the moment, but an ambitious adaptation of a Philip K. Dick novel seems like our kind of thing, yeah?
posted by kittens for breakfast (9 comments total)
Thanks for mentioning. I will def take a look.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 7:11 AM on January 17, 2015

Though it looked pretty good and had a cool atmosphere... it's been ages since I read the novel but google tells me it does deviate from it (which is understandable tbh). However thought some of the writing and actors/acting a bit bland. Not quite a classic... but I'd probably try a couple more episodes at least if they made a series.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:35 AM on January 17, 2015

I enjoyed the pilot a lot. The novel is definitely in Dick's top three, and I always thought it was probably one of the most amenable to cinematic adaptation. I'd be up for discussing it.
posted by whir at 10:49 AM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Hey Kittens, I didn't see this before making my post, so please accept my apologies if I stepped on your toes.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 2:41 PM on January 17, 2015

Oh, no worries!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:15 PM on January 17, 2015

One of the things about Dick's writing is that the clarity of his prose and vividness of his settings makes his better works seem much more straightforward than they are. I remember reading Ubik and thinking, "Wow, this would make a fantastic movie!" And then years later, on rereading, deciding that, actually, bits of it would be gut-punching cinematic vignettes but the story as a whole would be incredibly difficult to keep together.

Hoping for the best with this adaptation, at least. The alternate-universe United States he created for TMITHC is rich enough to support entirely new, unrelated stories. So maybe it's worth hoping that the show will take its time and wander a little.
posted by ardgedee at 4:20 PM on January 24, 2015

I thought the pilot was pretty decent, but then I re-read the novel and now think it was pretty crappy.

One thing in particular seems to bode ill (beyond the other things that also bode ill, like the torture/Ze Chermans porn and the apparent absence of the I Ching and how will they work in the jewelry angle???): in the book, the alternate history depicted in The Grasshopper Lies Heavy is emphatically not our history. But in the pilot, it seems very much to be our history (we see FDR, Churchill, and Stalin at Yalta, for instance).
posted by kenko at 5:39 PM on January 24, 2015

The I Ching was not absent. It was alluded to and not shown in detail, true, but there were enough references to hexagrams (as well as a nice scene at the end of the episode) to show that it's an important reoccurring idea?

Maybe they just didn't have any good old-timey footage of Rexford Tugwell.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:37 PM on January 26, 2015

Tapping the screen on the Amazon Video app gets you X-Ray, which displays thumbnails of the actors on screen at that moment and their character names, music being played, and (for some scenes) trivia such as location of the scene, real history, or how the props, costumes, or set design in the scene highlight aspects of the timeline's history. After each trivia item is a link to the relevant scene.
Helped me through the "wait, who is that, again?" phase, and prompted me to rewatch scenes.
posted by otherchaz at 7:56 AM on December 15, 2015

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