Amazon has taken a unique approach creating original content. They produce pilots and let folks watch them and vote for which ones get a full series order. It’s an interesting, egalitarian approach, though it has yet to result in any huge hits—though Transparent is supposed to be marvelous. Around these parts, we have high hopes for one of their latest endeavors, an adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle. Today brings news that it is moving forward as it is among the five new series Amazon has given the green light.
When the pilot arrived on the scene earlier this year, our review called it an “oddity-filled masterpiece”—it certainly made an impression. But you don’t have to take our word for it, as it was also well received outside of our narrow little confines. Amazon Studios Vice President Roy Price says, “During the latest pilot season, Amazon customers made The Man in the High Castle our most watched pilot ever.”
Based on Dick’s Hugo Award-winning 1962 novel, The Man in the High Castle tells an alternate history where the Allied Powers came out on the losing side in World War II. Two decades later, Germany and Japan are the two global superpowers and split control over the United States and much of the planet. Tension builds between these two hegemonies, and much of this plays out in the western states. As all of this is going on, an underground resistance builds and they work to destabilize these regimes. It’s a big, sprawling conspiracy full of tons of characters and interweaving storylines that seem tailor made for the long form storytelling available in an episodic format.
Alexa Davalos plays Juliana Crain, Luke Kleintank is Joe Blake, and Rupert Evans plays Frank Frink. The rest of the cast of characters includes Tagomi (Cary-Hiroyuki), Inspector Kido (Joel De La Fuente), John Smith (Rufus Sewell), and Ed McCarthy (DJ Qualls). There’s also a solid creative team working behind the scenes. Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files) wrote the pilot, which David Semel (The Strain, Person of Interest) directed. And also there’s this guy named Ridley Scott, you may have heard of him, who serves as one of the producers.
We don’t know exactly when we’ll see full series of The Man in the High Castle, but the Amazon shows will premiere for Prime members later this year and in 2016. This is definitely one series that we’re super stoked about and you can bet we’ll be keeping our eyes out for any news.