Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams is finally making its U.S. debut and promises to make us question our very existence.
While the world is still binging on Netflix’s Black Mirror, Amazon Prime is preparing to release its own sci-fi anthology series, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams. With a splash of dystopia and a pinch of fantastical sci-fi, this series will dive into worlds, unlike anything we have ever seen before. With the creative minds of Outlander EP Ronald Moore and Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston behind this Channel 4/Amazon Studios production, we are surely in for a mind-boggling treat.
The series will present its dystopian thriller through 10 stand-alone episodes, each one based off a story by sci-fi writer, Philip K. Dick. And in Black Mirror fashion, each episode will explore the depths of humanity, life, and technology and present endless conundrums over perception and thought.
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The allure of this series doesn’t limit itself to the addicting appeal behind dystopian drama but extends to the phenomenal cast that is the soul of it. The cast includes Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), Terrence Howard (Empire), and Anna Paquin (True Blood) amongst many others.
While the U.K. has born witness to the first half of the series already, the U.S. can look forward to bingeing it in its entirety on Amazon Prime come January 12th. While we anticipate the release of this new sci-fi thriller, let’s jump into the top 5 reasons why you should be watching it!
1. Bryan Cranston, Terrence Howard, and Steve Buscemi–need we say more?
What makes this thought-provoking series even more exciting is the all-star cast behind it. With each episode standing on its own, the cast brought on to tackle the stories was equally important to bring life to Philip K. Dick’s stories. And the actors mentioned above are just the icing on the cake.
Along with starring in the episode, Human Is, Bryan Cranston is also an executive producer for the series. Acting alongside Cranston in Human Is will be Game of Thrones’s Liam Cunningham.
“I bumped into Michael Dinner, who was a director that I knew, on the Sony lot. And he said, ‘Your company might be interested in joining us to develop an anthology series about Philip K. Dick’s short stories.’ And I thought, ‘well, I love Philip K. Dick, so let’s talk about this.’ And so we started talking about it more.” – Bryan Cranston (Executive producer and actor)
In episode, The Commuter, we can look forward to seeing Timothy Spall (Harry Potter series) and Tuppence Middleton (Sense8). Benedict Wong (Doctor Strange) and Geraldine Chaplin (Doctor Zhivago) will appear in The Impossible Planet while Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire) will be seen in Crazy Diamond. And if you thought that was the end of it, we can’t forget to mention Empire’s Terrence Howard and True Blood’s Anna Paquin who will be the leads in the episode, Real Life.
Suffice to say, this cast is ample reason to give this show a try.
2. It’s similar yet so different from Black Mirror
With the recent release of Black Mirror’s fourth season, the world is tripping out on the technological mind games of each episode. And with this, one may begin to wonder what exactly will make Electric Dreams set itself apart from its counterpart. While Black Mirror explores the world’s dependence on technology and the repercussions of it, Electric Dreams takes the same idea but adds a level of humanity to it.
“And while Black Mirror, a similarly structured anthology show, is about the world’s dependence on technology, Electric Dreams takes a more humanistic approach. It’s more about the nature of reality and what it means to be a human.” – Liam Cunningham (actor)
While both shows take a similar approach to meshing together the world of sci-fi and reality, Electric Dreams hopes to take it up a notch with thought-provoking episodes and storylines.
3. Each episode is based off a Philip K. Dick story–author of sci-fi novels and short stories including Minority Report and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Philip K. Dick was a sci-fi author at heart, creating the stories that many of us have seen on screen–such as Minority Report, Man in the High Castle, and Total Recall. It is no surprise that the tradition continues in the form of Electric Dreams which will base each episode off of a short story he wrote. Being the sole writer behind over 100 short stories, Electric Dreams hopes to breathe life into some of Philip K. Dick’s phenomenal work.
Knowing the task at hand, showrunner Michael Dinner, wanted to pay homage to Dick’s work while allowing the writers and directors to interpret it in their own way. This creative freedom allowed for equal representation of modern times while incorporating the message he intended to send across.
“This was the best way to approach Dick’s short stories, the gems of his ideas, in a way that both honored his work but also made the messages relatable to a modern audience.” – Isa Dick Hackett (Executive producer and daughter of Philip K. Dick)
4. The creative team–yes, they’re that great
If you thought the cast was unreal, then the creative team will kick it up a gear. Known most recently for his work on Outlander as an executive producer, is Ronald Moore, who will continue his EP work on Electric Dreams. He has also worked on Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica to add to his nerdy resume if you had any doubts.
Showrunner, Michael Dinner, most notably known for his work on The Wonder Years, Justified, and Sneaky Pete, is also an executive producer on Electric Dreams. In his approach to bringing justice to Philip K. Dick’s stories, Dinner allowed for a collaborative effort when selecting which stories to film and allowed for each writer/director to explore their unique take on each story.
“We encouraged unique points of view, and they all stand alone on their own very well. But I do think they all link together really well. With The Twilight Zone when I was a kid, the title would come up, and the music would come on, and it would tilt up to the stars, and I was ready for that ride. I kind of knew what to expect. I didn’t know what the story was going to be, but I expected to be whisked along and to have a twist at the end. But this was like making ten films. It’s been an interesting process, and each director has brought their own vision to it.” – Michael Dinner (Showrunner)
With Moore, Dinner, and Cranston behind this sci-fi thriller and the endless list of talented writers in tow, Electric Dreams is sure to surpass all expectations.
5. The unbelievable production and visual effects that will blow our minds
We think we’ve seen it all until Electric Dreams comes along and illustrates its fantastical world of sci-fi and humanity. It is no surprise that with the worlds that have been created for Electric Dreams, there is equally impressive production and visual effects to go along with it.
With companies like Milk VFX and Outpost VFX responsible for the magic seen in these episodes, we can expect a visual treat like nothing we’ve ever seen. From alternative realities to futuristic worlds, to androids, Electric Dreams promises to stimulate our minds and brains with a visual treat. The effort and complex work brought forth by the creative team will be reflected in each episode, exuding sci-fi at its best with every moment of the show.
“That’s a very complicated production and the creative is just as complicated because again none of these are strung together so you’re having a completely different conversation on every single episode where you’re tackling the fundamental questions that are usually a given on a TV show, who are the characters, what’s the style of the show, the rhythm, the tone, how’s it going to look, what kind of music will it be. So you are creating 10 little movies, it is very complex.” – Ronald Moore (Executive producer)
Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams is sure to knock us off our feet as it explores humanity on the deepest levels
Prepared to dive into the world of Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams yet? This show promises to have us on the edge of our seats with each and every episode. As each story explores the deepest corners of humanity, life, and what encapsulates our very being, it will push the boundaries of reality and imagination. In Electric Dreams, Moore, Cranston, and Dinner have brought forth stories that are equal parts unique and visionary.
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With the premiere date around the corner, we are looking forward to seeing the magic unfold with each and every tale. With a cast like Cranston, Howard, Paquin, and others, it will surely be an epic experience. The deep insight of each episode, the whimsical plots, and sensational visual effects encompass the heart and soul of Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams–and we can’t wait to watch it all come to life!