Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams

Dave

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#82
I see it is at 10pm on a Monday now, rather than 9pm on a Sunday. Still, it could be worse. Usually, science fiction is shifted to 2am on a Thursday, and with recording and catch up TV you can watch it anytime. It does beg the question though, that if it wasn't getting the audience figures, why stop it for 2 months. Nothing is more certain to kill off a programme than messing around with the schedule.
 

AlexH

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#83
I see it is at 10pm on a Monday now, rather than 9pm on a Sunday. Still, it could be worse. Usually, science fiction is shifted to 2am on a Thursday, and with recording and catch up TV you can watch it anytime. It does beg the question though, that if it wasn't getting the audience figures, why stop it for 2 months. Nothing is more certain to kill off a programme than messing around with the schedule.
That's what I was thinking. It got to the stage where I forgot to look out for it, and now I'm not so bothered it's returning and have to get invested in it again.
 

Dave

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#84
Channel 4 have also scheduled it against The X-Files on Channel 5! :devilish:

Anyway, watched this and recorded the other. I have read this story before - The Father Thing. Also, it is incredibly similar to the film Invaders from Mars, a film which scared the **** out of me as a child. :alien:

I've read next week's, Autofax, before too. it seems like they are keeping some of the best for last. (y)
 

J Riff

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#85
Yes, Invaders from Mars was definitley scary on 60s TV. The music when people walked out to the sand pit and just fell out of sight, bad dad with the scar, the brain in the bubble. Brrr. *
 

Kylara

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#86
Autofac is what I've been waiting for THE MILK IS PIZZLED

I thought this one was interesting, bit different to the short, but just modernised it a bit and I enjoyed it, and the homages to all the body snatcher stories of the era.
 

Vince W

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#87
Just watched The Father Thing. It's not one of Dick's best stories. This adaptation was pretty faithful really, but like the story it's based on it was pretty dull.
 

Kylara

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#88
Oh yes AUTOFAC
I had PIZZLED, I had two fabulous female leads. I thoroughly enjoyed it. And a brilliant soundtrack. Beautiful CGI on the robot brain too.
 

Vince W

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#89
Autofac, what happens when Amazon becomes the only source of goods in the world and is allowed to run amok with no restraints. Makes you rethink that Prime membership.

Once more the adaptation is greatly altered from its source. Still, it was an enjoyable episode for what it was, and it did manage to touch on Dick's favourite themes on the nature of reality and identity. The ending was too happy for Dick's taste though.
 

Kylara

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#90
Yes, it definitely wasn't the Autofac I was hoping for, but it was good on its own merit. And I agree it dealt with reality/identity in a way I think Dick would have liked.

I much prefer the ending of the short story though! Tiny factory eggs!
 

Kylara

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#91
Well this one was interesting. I can't decide if it's good or not. It veered heavily away from the source story - I was intrigued when I saw they had chosen Foster, you're dead and this was not what I expected. It felt a little bit like they'd brought elements from we can remember it for you wholesale and minority report. With the plot, but I was somewhat astounded by the MC's stupidity/gullibility, especially considering her mother's vibe.
Like I said I can't decide whether I liked it or not, or whether Dick would be impressed (as I'm sure he would have been by Bryan Cranston's episode!), or if I'm disappointed they didn't follow the short more and focus on the consumerist aspect rather than the faux war scenario...
 

Ursa major

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#92
There were two things I really didn't really like about "Safe and Sound". Unfortunately, these are about the last couple of parts of the show, so I'll have to put them inside a spoiler tag.
A. Scene where Foster gives a speech
  1. I thought that there was an enormous leap from the paranoid Foster being ruthlessly driven down the rabbit hole by Ethan to the Foster who got to make a speech. There is nothing to explain why she has changed so much (more of which later).
  2. There seems to be no sense (in terms of the story, as opposed to the story telling) in putting someone who has been pushed to, if not over, the edge in front of an audience. Even if they could explain her odd musings as a "result of her mother's indoctrination", that still provides a distraction. And what was the upside? To put a human face to the story? Did that really need a personal appearance? In a society where reality is more created than experienced directly, why didn't they show a recording of her giving a speech? She wasn't there to answer questions.
B. Flashbacks to Ethan
  1. Did we really need to be spoonfed what was happening at the other end of Foster's communications with Ethan? Wasn't it pretty obvious what was happening long before the main story reached its dénouement. The only thing it added was showing that Ethan had, for a few brief seconds, something of a conscience. So what? Does anyone care about that? Are we meant to feel sorry for Ethan? I still didn't after seeing that.
  2. Once they had included the scene where Foster got to make a speech (which wasn't needed), it might have been an idea not to tell us what we could already have guessed (see B(1) above), but how they turned the paranoid child they'd created into the self-assured, but still obviously damaged, Foster. (And if they couldn't do it in the time available? Then don't show a live version of Foster.)
 

Dave

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#93
Yes, I agree with @Ursa major - especially about B1. I also found it quite odd that they thought it was felt necessary to explain this us.

I've also just binge watched the four seasons of Black Mirror which does a much better job of these 'kind' of stories.
 

Kylara

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#94
I felt the whole thing wavered and fell off the knife edge of believability. I too disliked the final scenes. I was, until that point, thinking maybe it would be a reader/watcher aware of that which the character is not sort of thing but then that totally got trashed and all assumptions of intelligence in the audience vanished.

Thinking back on it now, I really wish they'd focused on the consumerist aspects of the short story.

It was a disappointing one.
 

Vince W

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#95
Just watched Safe and Sound and I wonder where they got that from the original story. While Maura Tierney is completely believable as an angry, alcoholic pseudo-activist the rest of the story was a wash. They seemed to be focusing (again) on Dick's paranoia and questions on reality. It didn't bring anything new to the story or the series. A filler episode to make up numbers to be sure.

@Ursa major hits it spot on, those scenes were pointless and a little insulting to the viewer to think they needed to be told what 'happened'.
 

Dave

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#96
I thought that final episode K.A.O. was the worst of the series. Just a re-tread of old SF ideas. Some of them very old.

In any case, a society needs free-thinkers. It cannot exist if everyone is a drone. Removing all the Others would be a recipe for its demise. I quite liked the idea in the book, This Perfect Day, that those very people who escaped the system, and attacked the supercomputer that now ran the world, were the people who were hired as programmers to administer it.
 

Ursa major

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#97
I thought that final episode K.A.O. was the worst of the series.
It was definitely quite poor. Well, very poor.

While I had my complaints against last week's episode, I thought the main part of it was rather good in its depiction of a newcomer (a fish out of water introduced into a manipulative society where the usual social pressures to conform are even stronger than we have in our parts of the world) being played to achieve a specific goal.

This week's effort was all over the place. In terms of the story itself.... Some of the time, it seemed to be playing with the idea that the main character was being singled out** in terms of what messages he saw. But given that he was not the first to act on those messages, that didn't seem to be the case. (Unlike with last week's plot, I would have liked this to be at least partially explained, because it wasn't at all clear.)

The world being depicted didn't make a lot of sense. People drive around in old cars when free new ones are available...? Yeah, right.... If there are a handful of "token" workers, what is everyone else doing? How do they pay for all the stuff being agressively advertised in every room of their homes? A few hints might have been helpful (or, if they were there, made a bit more obvious).

I daresay there might have been the germ of an intriguing idea in there somewhere (perhaps it's in the PKD original, but I haven't read that, so don't know), but if it existed, it was buried under so much dross that I expect it died early on in the production.


** - So it was like last week's episode, but in a completely different situation. In last week's episode, there was a reason the target was selected... and only when the target put themselves on the radar. This week, was there anything special at all about the target? Was his reaction to irritating adverts stronger than anyone else's. (Answer: only if the rest of the population of MexUsCan is drugged with sedatives.) I could imagine that a scenario where the MC was aware of subliminal messages when others were not might have worked (if we'd be shown that this was the case). But enormous billboards with people (real or otherwise) hanging off them with a noose around their necks is not exactly my idea of subliminal messaging.
 

Kylara

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#98
I was so sad. The Hanging Man, whilst not a favourite is quite clever and very well written. Succinct even for Dick. Here is a link to the store on Gutenberg - well worth a read The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Hanging Stranger, by Philip K. Dick.

This could have been so good! But it really wasn't. Like ursa said the world wasn't fleshed out, the purposef people wasn't clear, the adverts which seemed so important in the first few minutes quickly vanished... Bit of a mess really.

The whole concept of bait and mind control and the two layers of failure of Loyce in the short were completely missed. It was just a mash up of old tropes that was quite lazily put together.

@Ursa major in the short there is a very good reason why the MC notices things are weird. And who the other people are who notice. And the reason is very good. It could have been something very special.
 

Vince W

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#99
A dreadful ending to the series. Simply a terrible adaptation with very little in common with its source. It seems all you need to be an 'other' is not be a supra-consumer in a poorly thought out Orwellian North America. Yet why the need for this consumption? No one ever says.

I think it's safe to conclude there will not be another series.
 

Al Jackson

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Watched this . How strange! Every story was from an SF zine and all were published before 1956!
It was ok, better if this had been done in 1965!
The best story they did , Dick's Autofac, they radically changed, it was not happy with that one.
 

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