The Man in the High Castle - Season One | Review
What if the Nazi’s had won the war? It’s a pretty scary question, but that’s exactly what The Man In the High Castle tries to answer. Throw in a bit of sci-fi as well and you’ve got yourself the premise for a historic thriller with a bit of a twist.
Some spoilers ahead.
The show is based on the novel of the same name by Philip K. Dick, who also wrote other similarly dystopian sci-fi novels such as A Scanner Darkly. I won’t lie though; the book had nothing to do with me watching this… it was the somewhat controversial poster that caught my eye. Just seeing the altered Statue of Liberty, the Nazi flags draped across the New York skyline and straight away I knew I had to give the series a go.
What's it all about?
The series is set in an alternate 1962 and is centred around a couple who become involved with “The Resistance” who are, unsurprisingly, unhappy about living under the Axis powers rule.
Nazi’s ruling the world, Hitler still alive, Americans buying in to the Nazi regime are all undeniably morbid thoughts. But what really connects you with the series is the struggle that the people of this world have to go through. Also, there’s that really interesting sci-fi element I mentioned.
Our main characters have seen a film-reel that contains “historical” newsreel footage of the Allies winning World War II. As you can imagine, they want to find out more about where this came from and learn more about how their world could/should be. I’m hooked!
What makes it so great?
The series has some great writing, superb production and features an awesome score. But at the heart of the series is a truly standout cast, featuring some of the very best character performances of any current TV series:
- Rupert Evans as Frank (a good guy, forced to hide his Jewish ancestry).
- Alexa Davalos as Juliana (Frank’s girlfriend, who joins the Resistance).
- Luke Kleintank as Joe (a Nazi double agent).
- Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Tagomi (works for the government, but he’s a good guy).
- Rufus Sewell as the Obergruppenführer (American born Nazi investigating the Resistance.
- Joel de la Fuente as Chief Inspector Kido (the head of the Japanese Kempeitai).
The cast performances combined with the quality of writing keep you on the edge of your seat and really connect you with the characters in a way that makes you truly appreciate your own freedom.
It really got me thinking how much I take for granted, how much we have to be thankful for and start to question myself; what I would do if I was Frank or Juliana? How would I cope in this world?
Season 1 is just 10 episodes long and it has a fantastic cliff-hanger that gets you asking even more questions. The series returns with Season 2 later this year.
- The tension and fear of living in this world is incredible
- Joel de la Fuente delivers an immaculate performance. Genuinely scary.
- The opening credits title design
- The sci-fi play on it all
- The cliffhanger ending
- The quality of the overall production is second to none
- Its only 10 episodes and the wait for S2 is taking FOREVER!