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 Post subject: PKD's Eclectic Dreams
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:12 pm 
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Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams is an anthology science fiction show that will get compared a lot to Black Mirror (and will likely be called a poor BM clone), though that's not really accurate since the show is based on short stories PKD wrote decades ago and the tone is completely different.

Philip K. Dick wrote about many similar themes you see in Black Mirror -- surveillance, technology creep, privacy, paranoia, etc. -- but his work tended to have a sharp line of satire throughout. The show reflects this.

It's currently on Amazon Video.

I've only watched three episodes so far. One was complete crap and I almost stopped right there, but I skipped around to ones with an interesting description and found the next two were really good.

The Hood Maker
Episode 1 on British TV, episode 5 on Amazon

Pure junk. Telepaths are a scorned minority in a war-torn dystopia. A telepath is drafted to assist a cop with an investigation, and the pair develop a bond. But all is not as it seems.

I kind of tuned out halfway through this and lost interest.

The reveal at the end was supposed to have impact, but it fell flat for me. It was a sort of, "So what?" Why should she care? I dunno, maybe I missed something along the way.

Was not impressed. This was a total bore - though to be fair, I usually dislike PKD stories that deal with telepaths, anyway.

Kill All Others
Episode 7 on TV, episode 10 on Amazon

Okay, this was a good episode. It's basically a political parable set in a future dystopia that looks like a utopia. A guy notices that a politician said some crazy shit about killing "others." He gets concerned over this kind of language. It spirals from there into a paranoid political satire that is VERY relevant to today's world.

Like PKD's work tends to be, it's a little twisted, a little weird, but has something to say.

Huge step up from that first episode I watched, which was hot garbage.

Safe and Sound
Episode 9 on TV, episode 6 on Amazon

The world is divided between 'safe' cities in which people are monitored by tracking technology that keeps tabs on them at all times, and remote 'bubble' areas of people they reject the technology. Political relations between the two regions are tense, and the cities are supposedly a victim of terrorist attacks by these anti-tech rebels on a regular basis, creating a climate of fear and 'rat out your neighbor' in the cities.

A political leader from one of the 'bubbles' and her daughter are in one of the cities for a year. The daughter gets caught up using the tracking technology.

Things start to go a little mad from there.

Like the excellent "Kill All Others," this does a good job of capturing both the paranoia and the subtle satire that characterized the best Philip K. Dick work. There are a lot of parallels to our actual modern society -- the impact of social media, the media pushing fear of being attacked, and other issues -- and that makes this a really relevant episode.

As the story twists and turns, you don't fully know where it's headed. Don't want to spoil anything, but there are questions as to where or not what you're seeing is real and what is actually taking place. They're tantalizing.

While it doesn't rise to the level of Black Mirror, so far I'm 2 for 3 with this show. So I'll keep going (though I can tell right off that I'm really going to dislike a few of these other episodes, which is why I'm skipping around to the ones with premises that catch my eye).

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