Visionary science fiction novelist Philip K. Dick once delivered a speech entitled “How to Build a Universe that Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later,” in which he admitted “I like to see them [universes] come unglued, and I like to see how the characters in the novels cope with this problem.” Dick’s work, like the best science fiction, examines our world– particularly philosophical and political themes through sci fi metaphor involving dystopian societies, altered states of consciousness and parallel realities.
Heady stuff. Can such themes work on TV? If you live in Australia, you will find out soon enough as ‘Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams’, a new anthology series which boasts Bryan Cranston (‘Breaking Bad’) as one of its executive producers. This series will be available on the streaming service Stan. It will later air in the UK on Channel 4 and at some point, we here in the U.S. will be able to experience it on Amazon Video.
The first season consists of ten standalone episodes. Unfortunately, that means the trailer, which culls footage from multiple episodes, makes no sense, but the visuals are incredibly striking and fittingly dreamlike and surreal.
Check it out below:
The cast is a mixture of actors from various countries, but American audiences should recognize Steve Buscemi (‘Boardwalk Empire’), Vera Farmiga (‘Up In The Air’), Terrance Howard (‘Empire’, ‘Iron Man’), Greg Kinnear (‘Little Miss Sunshine’), Janelle Monáe (‘Hidden Figures’, pop star), Anna Paquin (‘True Blood’, ‘X-Men’), Jack Reynor (‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’), Maura Tierney (‘E.R.’) and Sam Witwer (‘Being Human’) as well as Cranston himself, who stars in the tenth and final episode.
Eight of the episodes are based on Dick’s short stories. (Not sure what the other two are based on or if they are original tales.) There are nine directors, so apparently at least one is handling at least two episodes. (I say at least, since it’s possible some episodes are directed by more than one person.)
Joining Cranston among other executive producers are Ronald D.Moore (‘Star Trek’, ‘Battlestar Galactica’, ‘Outlander’) and Michael Dinner (‘Justified’, ‘Kidnapped’).
Are you intrigued to see some real science/speculative fiction in an anthology format?