We Like to Watch

The Man in the High Castle pilot is streaming on Amazon

The current crop of pilots for Amazon original series is up and includes the pilot for a series based on Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle. It's been a while since I read the book so I watched this and judged it on its own merits as opposed to how closely it followed the book.

Spoilers ahead.

The basic premise is that the Allies lost World War 2 and the United States has been partitioned. Nazi Germany occupies the eastern portion, Imperial Japan the west and there is neutral territory in between roughly along the Continental Divide. The Cold War of this alternate 1962 is between Germany and Japan. Hitler is still alive but ailing. His likely successors like Himmler are jockeying for position. The geopolitics of this version of the Cold War will clearly be important to the show.


A show about an occupied country made today will provoke thoughts about freedom fighters versus terrorists much like the New Caprica episodes of Battlestar Galactica. Of course since the occupiers are Nazis the argument is rather one sided. As a reminder of how bad the Nazis are there is a scene where someone asks what the ash falling from the sky is. The trooper replies that it's from the hospital where "Tuesdays they burn cripples, the terminally ill...drags on the state." Not very subtle. And the Imperial Japanese are just as bad.

The pilot doesn't really veer into phildickian mind games territory except for the mysterious film shows a world where the Allies won the war. But since The Grasshopper Lies Heavy is a movie instead of a written work (like it was in the book) that raises some questions about the source of the footage.

I like this sort of stuff so I liked the pilot and hope this gets picked up as a series. If The Man in the High Castle sounds interesting to you give the pilot a watch.

I don't think you need Amazon Prime to see the pilot. I didn't last year to see Amazon's previous pilot season.


ETA: You can read io9's more in-depth review here.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter