Electric Dreams - new Channel 4 & Amazon anthology

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Deesky, Jul 1, 2017.

  1. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Amazon and Channel 4 are teaming up on Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams - an anthology series of short stories, arriving this autumn. Each episode of the ten-part first season will adapt a different story, giving it an ample budget and an hour of screen time in which to develop its themes. Expect a Black Mirror type of vibe.

    On board are Ronald D. Moore, Bryan Cranston, Michael Dinner (Sneaky Pete).
    Check out the link below for stories to be adapted in the first season.

    This sounds promising.

    Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams: 7 reasons to get excited
    smilin ed likes this.
  2. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Some more info on this has surfaced:
    Here's your first look at the Philip K Dick TV show Electric Dreams

    "Electric Dreams is a sci-fi anthology series of ten epic, ambitious and moving standalone episodes, each set in a different and unique world – some which lie in the far reaches of the universe and time and others which are much, much closer to home. While the stories may be worlds apart, central to each is the poignant and warm exploration of the importance and significance of humanity."

    Can't wait!
  3. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Forum Resident

    Little Britain
  4. JAuz

    JAuz Forum Resident

    So another show with the same title as the 1984 film and the 2009 UK TV series. The question is though, will they use Philip Oakey's song like those two did?
  5. Lonson

    Lonson Just An Old Disestablishmentarianismist

    I'm hopeful they'll be respectful of the Dick stories they use. TV has not been kind imo. I'll check it out on amazon when available. . . .

    There's a new collection of Dick's stories coming out in November called "Electric Dreams." I assume these are stories to be used in the TV series.
  6. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Musical Omnivore

    Victoria, Canada
    It's been picked up by a specialty channel Space in Canada (unlike Man In The High Castle so far as I can see but able to get that online). Can't wait for November 12th!

    Electric Dreams
  7. inaptitude

    inaptitude Forum Resident

    I am a HUGE PKD fan and find his short stories to be, for the most part, far more consistent than his novels. Any fan of vintage sci-fi would do themselves a favour in picking up his 5 volume set of complete short stories. Just start at page one and read every single one of them. Looking forward to this show, will probably read the story prior to watching the episode.
    beccabear67 and Encuentro like this.
  8. Encuentro

    Encuentro Forum Resident

    I've only read The Man in the High Castle. I'd like to give his short stories a shot.
  9. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Musical Omnivore

    Victoria, Canada
    I still remember Roog!, Oh To Be A Blobel and The Days Of Perky Pat short stories decades after reading them. He really stood out even among all the great writers of the '50s -'70s. If Cyril M. Kornbluth hadn't died so young he might have cut a Dicksian or Vonnegutian figure in film/TV. If you can, check out his short stories somehow too, The Marching Morons was particularly memorable.
    wayneklein and inaptitude like this.
  10. Encuentro

    Encuentro Forum Resident

    For those of you who recently finished Black Mirror and feel that 6 episodes just isn't enough, this new series will drop on 1/12! Very cool!
  11. Looking forward to this. Finally somebody will do Dick's short stories justice.
    Encuentro likes this.
  12. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I'm not so sure about that, alas...
    Solaris likes this.
  13. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt especially with the talent behind the camera (Ronald Moore, etc.) who are pretty talented writers. Some of the stories they've chosen are excellent although ( personally would have selected some others like The Electric Ant, the basis for the story that was used in Payday which was far better as a short story--adding the action elements didn't help the story IMHO, etc.)

    The good news is that, with the success of The Man In The High Castle, I think that Amazon will hopefully give the producers and writers on the show a bit more leeway than the average network might and the budgets should (hopefully) be substantial enough to realize the potential of the story.
  14. Dick was a very prolific writer (courtesy of speed which early in his career he used to increase his output--it helped him complete his stories in a timely fashion so he could make as much money as possible given the pennies per word they paid in the pulps) and his ideas, even if the story wasn't completely realized, were always fascinating. Decades before the "what is human and how do we define it?" question (best realized in film--so far--with Blade Runner and to a lesser degree with adaption of the short story Second Variety). Way before the folks that question reality became fashionable, Dick was expressly pushing the envelope particularly in novels like Martian Time Slip, Flow My Tears The Policeman Said and Ubik. I'm glad to see this simply because so many other writers have pilfered his work for movies, TV, etc. that he should finally get his due. I love what Amazon has done with The Man In The High Castle--my only complaint is that the subplots for that show almost overtook the main narrative (although establishing the Nazi world and Japanese world in America was important).
    Gumboo, wwaldmanfan and Encuentro like this.
  15. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I've seen the first six episodes and you're right about leeway, substantial budgets and great production values. However, the results could have been better. I will put my general critique in the following spoiler tag, if you don't want to read about it now:

    There are a number of problems. First of all, they chose too many of Dick's obscure stories or short-stories to adapt. Many of the themes touched on are now very familiar in the scifi landscape. Perhaps because the stories are so old now, the writers massively changed the original story to the point that the episodes are merely loosely based on the original story.

    The other big problem is that too many of the endings just kind of fizzle out and you're left asking yourself, is that it?

    So from a story telling point of view, it's been very disappointing. It burns me to say that because there can't be enough good scifi on TV as far as I'm concerned. On the positive side, the show does look very good indeed and the actors acquit themselves well, but that's not enough. We'll see how the final four eps shape up.
    wayneklein likes this.
  16. Thanks for the preview. I'm going to watch it just to see if we can get a second season and maybe better written episodes. That is a bit disappointing. Sounds like they pulled from similar time frames for the stories as well. They should have chosen the first ten stories from something like the old Ballentine Books The Best of Philip K. Dick--none of the stories were similar in that anthology.
    Deesky and beccabear67 like this.
  17. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Musical Omnivore

    Victoria, Canada
    I've seen two of the adaptions and they seem like something that might've worked better back in the Out Of The Unknown/Twilight Zone/One Step Beyond days of tv. The format itself is kind of old hat now, at least to us, and the original stories are reactive to a '50s-'60s worldview, but the series could stimulate newer to sf viewers. Hopefully they might seek out print sf. The two I saw haven't made me excited to watch more. I think the endings have been in line with questioning what you just read/saw/thought, which some hate and some like, something to think about in the sense of trying to make things fit that aren't entirely spelled out. Or it all could just be more 'skim milk masquerading as cream'. :cool:
    Deesky likes this.
  18. The episode "Crazy Diamond" was horrific. Whomever wrote that adaption shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a keyboard again. The fidelity to the themes from the original stories sometimes works well while others such as this horrible episode just completely fail to gel.
  19. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I've seen them all now and would say that the season, as a whole, was disappointing. The most common weakness for me (and I'm not familiar with any of the original stories - never been much of a PKD fan) has been weak endings. You expect something to happen, perhaps a twist or a reframing of what came before, but nothing happens. The most egregious example of this surely has to be The Father Thing.

    But, I did find one or two eps that I quite liked. My favorites were Safe & Sound and Kill All Others. I also quite liked Autofac.
  20. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    New Orleans, LA
    I've seen the first four, and something is definitely "off." These play like one of the rebooted series of The Twilight Zone (not a compliment) with better production values. What distinguishes Dick's best stories is a sense of unease and dread, a kind of dislocated weirdness, which is largely missing here -- and these are also not Dick's best stories. The episode with Bryan Cranston was my favorite, but even it had some weaknesses. The Steve Buscemi one was pretty bad, the worst I've seen so far.

    It looks good and the actors are generally interesting, so I'll keep watching, but PKD deserves better.
    beccabear67 likes this.
  21. woody

    woody Forum Resident

    charleston, sc
    I may not make it through this first one.
  22. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    New Orleans, LA
    Finally got through the rest. I think "Safe and Sound" may have been the best of the bunch, but I also liked "Human Is," "The Hood Maker," and "The Commuter" overall, though not without some reservations. There's something oddly unsatisfying about this show, can't quite figure out what it is.
  23. jriems

    jriems Audio Ojiisan

    I've watched the first 3 episodes, and so far I'm disappointed. As has already been pointed out, the endings are just not satisfying, and I think the episodes themselves are pretty dull. I've not read any PKD, so I can't compare. But just from watching, I'm unimpressed. The visuals are quite good, however.

    I think my favorite part so far is the show opening.
    Deesky likes this.
  24. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Ha, ha, ha, yeah, where's the episode with flying electric manta rays and jellies floating through city streets
  25. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    New Orleans, LA
    That whole opening looks very generic BBC "science fiction." Like a department completely unconnected with the show got a memo to come up with something for a series of episodes based on stories by a writer who questions the nature of reality and has some weird things in the plots. It has absolutely nothing to do with anything PKD.
    Deesky likes this.

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