The Man in the High Castle TV series

ctg

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The Season 4 is currently streaming in the Amazon Prime.

It is kind of amazing that they have managed to get so much material out of a PK Dicks standard length novel. Nobody thought that it would be this long. So let's be happy that at the end of this great series has finally arrived, even if the ending a slightly tilting towards Disney traditions. Maybe we'll have to blame the current culture about needing some hope, even though the final season dives deeply into the dystopian settings.

I won't say that what you'll see is as depressing as the previous three season, because it's not. In fact, I did find myself cheering for the BCR (Black Communist Rebellion) when they delivered the oppressors some 'Murican' freedom. It is even more intriguing, when you'll find out that they didn't think about the consequences. Nobody does in Dick's world. Not even the heroes.

Yet, as you progress through the episodes you'll learn that they actually learn from the mistakes after they've happened and they don't repeat the mistakes that got the people in trouble. Usually in Dick's worlds the troubles are the salt among the prose. The people get in the bad way, because it's what always happens.

It is as if there is no hope. Not for anyone. And funny thing is, the heroes create their own. They go down on floor, in some cases bleeding badly, but they don't give up. There simple isn't enough of people left in the world after the Nazi's has been in power for so long time. Hundreds of millions has been purged everywhere. Yet, neither the Nazi's or the Japanese Imperium has been able to conquer the whole world.

It might surprise you that some of the nations you'd have thought that perished are actively raising up to fight the injustice. It is these immoral stories that gets played around a lot as the main characters try to find a redemption for their souls. There just isn't any. The evil cannot win, because if it would, it would also mean a slow death to the multiverse.

The multiverse term get through around quite a bit in the final season, and for the first time in a long, long while they actually show an actual model and it is very unlike anything that you might have seen in the Back To The Future blackboard or in the recent SF series like The Travellers and Netflix Nightflyers. What they did correctly was that they didn't go all the way into the other worlds and all the possibilities that presents.

There is just ours and theirs and it's lovely that ours is so nice compared theirs. Nobody really know what lies in there as they are closed with the current technology. Speaking of which, the amount of high technology they show in the show that we don't have or it has just arrived is astounding.

Although I had a little giggle when Panzer IV did break through the resistance lines, and at the background you'll see classical Hind silhouettes coming in to do the Close Air Support operation. That giggle turned straight out laughter when you later on find out what the Herr Himmler has to say about it. But that is also the thing, even though the Nazi's has superior technology, they have also stagnated their development.

A lot of their leaders think that the fascism is the superior way to rule the humanity as it was back in the actual history. They don't see the dangers in the superior race ideas or even that how depressed the actual people living inside their regimes are. Not even in the Imperial side. There is no real happiness. Not until the last five minutes.

When you think about it and you compared it to our current world, you start to wonder will we ever be in the same spot?

I would give four out five stars for this whole series. If you haven't seen it, be aware that you're going to feel sick in places. But if the mystery and dark material tickles your mind, I warmly recommend you to check it out. Also you might want to reread the classic novel first. It won't be available in the every library, but you will certainly find in the Amazon.
 

Al Jackson

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It is kind of amazing that they have managed to get so much material out of a PK Dicks standard length novel. Nobody thought that it would be this long. So let's be happy that at the end of this great series has finally arrived, even if the ending a slightly tilting towards Disney traditions. Maybe we'll have to blame the current culture about needing some hope, even though the final season dives deeply into the dystopian settings.
As far as I can tell everything after the first season is synthesized by the show writers. I know that Dick once envisioned sequels but I don't think he even left notes. The main thing the show did was to take a lot of off-stage story and run with it. About half the show story is Nazi East US and Empire of Japan West and the possible conflict between them. Well at least until this season 4. They drop the Japan vs Nazis part.

I would give four out five stars for this whole series. If you haven't seen it, be aware that you're going to feel sick in places. But if the mystery and dark material tickles your mind, I warmly recommend you to check it out. Also you might want to reread the classic novel first. It won't be available in the every library, but you will certainly find in the Amazon.
I would too. Tho the story shifts around a lot with a lot of loose ends... The 'Parallel Universe' machine gets sort of under used and in the end , what I thought was going to be a definitive end , gives a 'happy ending' but an ambiguous one. I am not clear what happened! I think Dick would have liked the ending , if not the body of the narrative in season 4. After all season 1 ended exactly where the book ended! (I think they did not know if the show would get more seasons.)
I think this story could have been told in 3 seasons , needed more imagination and less tap dancing... I got tired American rebel groups sort of looping on the same theme....
This was definitely sophisticated NON-space-opera science fiction, actually alternate universe SF , a rare thing for TV.
Oddly the first season implied , by way of the films, 4 alternate universes, Dick had only two in the novel, with the somewhat mysterious ending the 4 could still be there but it sure felt like just two in the end.

Odd how they mixed the I Ching in without any explanation... Dick's novel had a lot of exposition on it.

I did not buy the big conspiracy number in Berlin in episode 9 …

One thread that totally lost me was why did General Whitcroft call off the invasion of the Western states when Smith committed suicide?
I must have missed a story point.
 
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ctg

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One thread that totally lost me was why did General Whitcroft call off the invasion of the Western states when Smith committed suicide?
it was not important enough for them to develop and it would had to have screentime. All that means money that Amazon couldn't or wouldn't shell out. I don't want them to go back to that world and develop more, because we have seen enough. If the humanity turns dark then maybe. Even on positive light there is nothing that world can give, because it's one of the darkest ever developed for the small screen.
 

Al Jackson

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It was the oddest thing.

I am familiar with Dick’s works, short stories and his novels , I think Man in a High Castle is his best novel.


The first season is the novels story , rejiggered to put in more action, and with the parallel universe story told differently, by way of odd news reels instead of a book.

The first season ends where the novel did, I guess they thought they would get only one season.

The conflict between Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan , off stage in the novel, is on stage , and makes a good story, the American underground story , the other half, has got a lot of tap dancing.

Alas the Nazi-Japan story , even tho its ending in S4 is logical, is kind of a shaggy dog story.

A super science fiction artifact introduced in season 3, which seemed headed for a logical ‘happy ending’ is sort of under used… and we get a happy-ending but kind of a screwy ambiguous one , Dick probably would have liked it, but I found it a bit failure-of-imagination.

On balance , I have never seen a Dick concept done better, this is a fairly sophisticated ‘woven’ alternate universe story, I liked it, am hard put to know why it did , sort of, well commercially!

I think as this science fiction it is better than HBO’s Westworld, which is a bit of a muddle.
 
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ctg

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I think as this science fiction it is better than HBO’s Westworld, which is a bit of a muddle.
That is very true. WestWorld is very hard to understand, because you don't get to see the outside world. Not before next season. But in the science-fiction terms this series is harder. It does not explain how the main character can travel between worlds, but it establish some sort of science around it, and it even manages to present a science model about the whole, which is quite extraordinary.
 

Al Jackson

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That is very true. WestWorld is very hard to understand, because you don't get to see the outside world. Not before next season. But in the science-fiction terms this series is harder. It does not explain how the main character can travel between worlds, but it establish some sort of science around it, and it even manages to present a science model about the whole, which is quite extraordinary.
I thought Westworld on HBO is a better story than Crichton's 1973 film, which I found to be kind of thin with a McGuffin , like Solyent Green , that becomes the only remembered plot point.... the HBO story is more interesting back at Delos but 2nd season turned into a lot of tap dancing.
 

tegeus-Cromis

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Just finished it today. Season one was excellent, season two kept me watching... But ultimately I'm disappointed with this show and wouldn't recommend it. The whole alternative-worlds bit, so eerie in PKD's book, just got both more trivial and, paradoxically, more preposterous as the show progressed. In the end, they had no idea what to do with it, and the whole conceit turned out to be essentially incidental to the main plot. It would have been better to keep the show a strict alternate-history, than to promise so much that they couldn't deliver. As for the ending: they're coming? Who? Why? From where? And I suppose they were all properly triaged to make sure they're not still alive in this reality (or else, you know, they'd explode), or has that rule been suddenly suspended without notice? Of course, the show provides no answers to any of these questions. And not because it leaves us with any kind of intriguing mystery, but because the writers couldn't think of a proper way to end it and opted for a totally empty gesture, that does not grow out of anything the show had shown or hinted at before. It's pure humbug.
 

Don

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Just finished it today. Season one was excellent, season two kept me watching... But ultimately I'm disappointed with this show and wouldn't recommend it. The whole alternative-worlds bit, so eerie in PKD's book, just got both more trivial and, paradoxically, more preposterous as the show progressed.
The PSA and Rocky Mountain settings entertained me until season three, the Reich settings, not so much. This is my favorite PKD novel because the eponymous man lives in my home state of Wyoming. The Grasshopper Lies Heavy also enchants me. It's from a Biblical verse about your second childhood. It doesn't refer to a fun time as many people seem to think. Rather, it's a terrifying time when you become afraid of falling down stairwells again, as you feared them in your childhood.
 

Dave

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As for the ending: they're coming? Who? Why? From where?
I think I mentioned earlier in this thread that I thought it had turned into the TV show Sliders, but I didn't expand more upon that because I didn't wish to spoil. In the later series' of that show, the Kromaggs, who had conquered one alternate universe, then travelled to parallel universes to conquer those too. The PKD novel never had a time-travel machine and its introduction in this means that you can substitute Nazis for Kromaggs.

The one difference in this story was that to time travel to an alternate universe, you first needed to have died there..
 

tegeus-Cromis

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I think I mentioned earlier in this thread that I thought it had turned into the TV show Sliders, but I didn't expand more upon that because I didn't wish to spoil. In the later series' of that show, the Kromaggs, who had conquered one alternate universe, then travelled to parallel universes to conquer those too. The PKD novel never had a time-travel machine and its introduction in this means that you can substitute Nazis for Kromaggs.

The one difference in this story was that to time travel to an alternate universe, you first needed to have died there..
Except that in TMITHC the Nazis never actually do any conquering of alternate words, just talk about it occasionally, and the people who come through the tunnel during literally the last minute of the show aren't Nazis, but just... random people. From somewhere.
 
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ctg

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the last minute of the show aren't Nazis, but just... random people. From somewhere.
I thought they were the people who were eaten by the experiment. My mind explained that they'd been suspended in between the worlds. Maybe that is a Disney ending?
 

tegeus-Cromis

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I thought they were the people who were eaten by the experiment. My mind explained that they'd been suspended in between the worlds. Maybe that is a Disney ending?
Those people just died. We got to see their mangled remains. Maybe you're thinking of the end of Close Encounters, several shots of which were essentially copied on the ending of TMITHC.
 
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ctg

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Are they coming from all parts of the multiverse? Are they alt-world versions of those who died in Juliana’s world?

“There was a considerable amount of discussion between myself and my partner [director and executive producer] Daniel Percival, as well as others, in terms of how much we wanted to be explanatory in that final scene,” Scarpa says. “Part of the intention was to invite the audience to have their own interpretation of what they’re seeing on screen.”

However, he does reveal something. “What should be clear to any viewer is that the portal is, essentially, open and it is going to remain open. In effect, what that means is two worlds have become one. There’s a doorway from one world into the next, and now people can move freely between them. What does that mean? You have ordinary people, in some interpretations, who have been called to this event, who are moving through the portal, and these two worlds are going to be fused.”
 
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