Can you imagine a world where the Allies lost World War Two and the Germans and Japanese had won? That's the frightening concept at the heart of Amazon Prime's new thriller series The Man in the High Castle, created by Frank Spotnitz, writer/producer of The X-Files.
Frank explained the scenario to What's on TV: "So the series is set in 1962 and the Allies have lost World War Two, so the United States, the eastern half is occupied by the Nazis, the west coast by the Imperial Japanese and there's what's called a neutral zone running down the Rocky Mountains between the two... And the series starts when one of the characters, Juliana (Alexa Davolos), is approached by her sister and hands her a bag and says 'Take this!' and then gets shot."
He continued: "She opens the bag and there's a film showing us winning the war... How could that be?"
That intriguing, scary premise was also the subject of celebrated novelist Phillip K Dick's 1962 novel of the same name, which the series is based on. It stars British actors Rupert Evans as an earnest part-Jewish character, Frank Frink, and Rufus Sewell as a Nazi officer, John Smith.
There is a Cold War escalating in the series, except it's Germany versus Japan rather than the United States versus the Soviet Union.
The mystery at the heart of the thrilling series is who exactly is The Man in the High Castle and could he be a saviour for the occupied people.
Frank explained: "The films are so good that it seems impossible that they could be fakes and what we discover is the films are bound for a man who is only known as the Mman in the High Castle, so Juliana goes after [him], which starts the narrative..."
Watch the interview with star Rupert Evans and Frank Spotnitz, above. "]
Watch the pilot episode here (opens in new tab).
Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.
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