Re-watched #1 and watched #2 last night. Can’t wait for the rest of the season!
Damn, that second episode was amazing. I didn’t re-watch the first one, but maybe those who did can answer this question:
Can someone remind me what the deal was with the fake Swedish businessman who keeps meeting with the Japanese governor? Are they in secret back channel negotiations to avoid a war between the Germans and Japanese when Heydrich dies (he’s supposed to be the current Führer, IIRC). BTW, I think I heard both “Hail Heydrich” and “Heil Hitler” in this second episode (although I may be getting my alternate histories confused). Also, unrelated, as soon as I saw the “comfortable waiting room” had plastic slipcovers on the furniture, and a heavy door, I was all OMG they’re going there.
BTW, mighty convenient that that old abandoned movie theater still had power, eh?
Thanks for noting that. In that case, I think I’ll just wait until 11/20.
Yeah, Im waiting until the full release. It will make for a great Thanksgiving weekend binge watch.
Just watched both episodes. Haven’t read the book, so no basis of comparison there, but I really enjoyed this on its own merits. A few years ago it would have been impossible to imagine a Web-only series with production values like this.
Response to Papageno:
The fake Swedish businessman’s mission does seem to be to avoid a war, but it hasn’t been made explicit exactly what he’s supposed to do. Hitler is still alive, although very ill. Heydrich was mentioned only once as someone the SS officers report to, but they didn’t say if he’s replaced Himler as head of the SS, since Himler is still alive too. I heard only “Heil Hitlers” not “Heil Heydrich.”
Yeah, I think I’m confusing my alt-history fiction franchises with the Heil Heydrich stuff. Actually, isn’t that the guy who’s supposed to have succeeded Hitler in Wolfenstein: TNO? Or what am I thinking of? One of Harry Turtledove’s novels?
According to IMDB, Heydrich, portrayed by Ray Proscia, will appear in 5 episodes.
more specifics for Papageno
The exact reasoning is that Hitler is near death, sometime in the next few (6?) months they expect him to die. However the line of succession is such that there is a high likelihood of war between Japan and Germany, since one potential incoming regime is highly antagonistic towards Japan. The fake Swede is trying to prevent that by playing to the internal divide within Germany, if I recall correctly.
Both Eps 1 and 2 are still up as of 10/29. Really whet my appetite; this should be great. And despite a long time love of Science Fiction and alternate history I only have a passing familiarity with Philip K. Dick; that mostly from Bladerunner (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep). I don’t want to be spoiled if there is a bigger, better reveal to come later but I’m intrigued by how little they showed of the news reels which are apparently the work of “The Man in the High Castle”. Did I miss something important or will more/all be revealed later? What I got was they appeared to show a WWII where the Allies won. I get that this would be considered ‘subversive’ in the Reich and the Japanese Pacific but why are they so dangerous and why are they so feared?
The book, which they have already structurally diverted from, does indeed have some answers. Where the show goes with it? Not sure.
I have decided to read the book before the full series comes out, but this appears to be the central question to the series.
As for why the ideas should be feared. . .it’s a popular concept in many other works of fiction. Was discussing this with a friend on the phone just two days ago, but the first two things that sprang immediately to mind were Bakshi’s Wizards and Moore’s V for Vendetta. The concept that ideas can carry with them a weight is something that transcends fiction, though. I’m not sure where either the novel or the TV show is going to go with the concept but I am eager to find out.
Based on the two episodes so far, I’d say there are two possible answers that aren’t mutually exclusive:
Showing a conquered people a world where they are the conquerors and not the vanquished would encourage resistance and subversion, if not outright revolt; and
The references to Hitler fearing the newsreel films and the Japanese minister consulting the “oracle” seems to hint at some kind of knowledge of the alternate time line that they understandably wouldn’t want to become common knowledge.
The book actually has more questions than answers.
Discussion of things from late in the book
Abendsen writes a book about how the Allies won, and we the readers initially want to say, “OK, so Abendsen is able to see what really happened, not this clearly wrong Axis-wins timeline.” But then we learn that Adbendsen’s Allies-win world gets all the details “wrong”, with no USSR and Great Britain as the strongest post-war power. It’s not our world at all. This (as well as Mr. Tagomi’s vision of an alternate San Francisco) seem imply that maybe our world could be just as as “wrong” as the Axis-wins world of the story - that maybe there are alternate worlds which would consider our world to be a nightmare, just like the Axis-wins one.
I hope the series keeps Dick’s broad uncertainty about what reality is the “right” one … though given how far most adaptations of his stuff stray from the source material I’m not exactly counting on it.
Dick’s Broad Uncertainty is my new band’s name!
I didn’t realize this was based on a book. And hey, I actually own it! I must have grabbed it during a PKD super sale on Kindle.
So I don’t think I saw any links to this recent trailer, so will put it here:
Season is live! 97% on Rotten Tomatoes!
So after watching the first two episodes during the free preview weekend (well, the second ep was up briefly), I read the actual book and really enjoyed it. I can see where the series is already changing a lot and it seems like a reasonable development given that the book ends merely hinting at greater things and Dick never got around to a sequel (he tried a couple of times, in fact). I am curious to see where the series goes, beyond certain expected avenues.
Also it jumped to 98% on Rotten Tomatoes some time after Woolen Horde posted it was at 97%. The momentum is real!
I’m watching and really digging it. I had forgotten how the first episode ended, so that was a nice surprise.
I’m a huge Rufus Sewell apologist, so it is cool seeing him in a slightly different role - still a dick, but an awesome Nazi dick this time. Is it odd that I was rooting for him in the gunfight in episode 2? God damn cowardly resistance thugs!
Looking forward to watching the rest - 10 episodes in total.
I’ve watched through episode four now, and it keeps getting better and better. One minor niggle: I wish they didn’t keep insisting on calling it The Greater Nazi Reich, the Nazi Embassy etc. The Nazis themselves were fond of emphasizing their Germanness–I don’t think that that would have gone away in less than 20 years.