The beloved holidays, perfect for spending time with friends and family. So naturally, I saturate mine with all the series I failed to keep pace with during the rest of the year, among them Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle. I caught the pilot when it premiered back in the beginning of 2015 and was anxiously awaiting November for the release of the rest of the series. I wasn’t disappointed. The shows premise is a simple one – imagine the Nazi’s had won the Second World War. Interested yet? You should be.
The show is based upon a novel with the same name by Phillip K. Dick. Now, there are a variety of difference between the book and the show, and I am not really interested in contrasting the two mediums. I will however add that I have found the shows creation of the character the SS Obergruppenführer John Smith (played by Rufus Sewell) is really a brilliant addition.
The show is very different from most of the other shows on television. The show is deliberate, in its decisions to create characterization and unravel the plot, something that is a real treat in this era of ADHD inspired storytelling and contrite characterization that is modern television. The period nature of the show, makes it different and memorable.
What I found most I enjoyed most from the show, was the not-so-subtle political dialog unfolding on the screen. The show presents three separate interpretations of the United States as it could have been and in doing so forces the viewers to consider many of the most pressing political issues of today. Characters find themselves living in a surveillance state, robbed of their right to bear arms, and deprived of their freedoms of speech and assembly. Some of these themes are concepts which Dick explores in his original work; but liberty minded individuals cannot help but recognize that many of these issues are the same political issues with which libertarians currently grapple. The show is worth a serious look (if you have seen it already it is worth watching again) as it has just been renewed for a second season. For liberty lovers everywhere, defenders of natural rights and the rule of law, you cannot afford to miss it.