Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams Season One Review and Spoilers
This ten episode Sci-fi anthology was quietly released at the end of 2017, you can watch a trailer here. It is based off of Philip K. Dick’s lesser known sci-fi short stories, though it greatly expands on the stories and updates them as they were all written during the 1950's. I believe it is Amazon’s attempt to cash in on the name Philip Dick following the success of the first two seasons of Man in the High Castle. Which if you have not seen it, do so- immediately. It is brilliant, you can watch a trailer for it here. It is much the same as other sci-fi anthology series which are making a come back partially in thanks to Netflix’s Black Mirror. While I wasn’t a fan of episode one, you can see my rant here. I did enjoy the rest of the series.
The series isn’t as dark or startling as Black Mirror, gearing more towards the mysterious rather than unsettling. Each episode is a stand alone episode, there’s no need to watch them in order nor do they overlap in any way. There is undeniable star power on the screen and off the screen with notable producers, directors and actors. Out of the ten episode arc of season one, two episodes really stood out to me. [Spoilers]
The most political episode of season one, and is based off one of my favorite of Dick’s short stories- “The Hanging Man”. However, in Electric Dreams there is no alien invasion. Mel Rodriguez plays an employee at a auto factory that is mostly automated. He begins to suspect he is losing his grip on reality when he seemingly is the only person disturbed by a presidential candidate (Vera Farmiga) suggests that citizens should “Kill All Others.” Rodriguez then begins to fear that he is an other, even though the ‘other’ is never defined. Political leanings aside, it is a resounding episode and undeniably relevant.
The CommuterBased off a short story by the same name, it revolves around an employee of a train station, Ed Jacobson (Timothy Spall) who discovers a secret stop on the train line. This ‘stop’ is an alternate reality where the troubles of his actual reality never occurred. His wife never had their son, who is violent and mentally unstable. Touching again on one of the abandoned plot points of episode one. However, this episode follows through and Ed (Spall) notices that this reality is comprised of people who are running away from their strife and problems. Ed pleads to return to his son and his imperfect life, in spite of a mysterious woman telling him all the troubles that are yet to come. Ed still wishes to return because ‘dreaming doesn’t make it real.’ Upon his return to his reality, he sees his son unchanged, and yet he smiles because he has returned.
Bio: Emma Beazley is a pickle hating, caffeine addicted super mom who spends her weekdays playing paralegal and her weeknights absorbed in science fiction/fantasy and horror. Whether tv shows/movies or books she doesn’t discriminate. Her weekends are spent chasing waterfalls, exploring abandoned houses, cooking eleven-teen meals a day and on her newest sci-fi obsession.