Electric Dreams

Posted on Dec 16, 2020


The Storyline

Phillip K Dick’s Electric Dreams TV Series
Picture courtesy of https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5711280/

From the mind of Phillip K. Dick, the man who wrote the seminal Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, aka Bladerunner, and much more besides, comes ten stories that are presented in spectacular fashion.

With a well-known cast from around the world, and set both here in the UK and beyond, Electric Dreams will leave you questioning reality and what’s to come in our future…

The Review

Consisting of ten stories adapted from Philip K. Dick’s, anthology book of the same name, with Bryan Cranston as one of the producers (he’s in the episode Human Is) these little gems are a treat for fans of science fiction and the downright creepy and odd. They are loosely based on the authors stories, some of which are completely bonkers. They may be different from the books, as most adaptations are, and these are none the worse for it.

Some of the acting calibre is incredible, from the fantastic Timothy Spall (The Commuter), and Anna Paquin (Real Life), to Steve Buscemi (Crazy Diamond) and Greg Kinnear (The Father Thing), who all are amazing in each of these little nuggets of gold.

These were made back in 2017, consisting of ten fifty minute episodes, and it’s only now I’ve got around to watching them fully on Channel 4 here in the UK.

A few will leave you a bit bemused, wondering what the hell it was you just watched, whilst others you’ll be blown away by. The quality of the production is high though, and each one is something unique in its own right.

Amongst my favourite episodes are The Commuter with Timothy Spall as a railway worker who keeps seeing a woman turning up at his ticket office asking for a ticket to a station that doesn’t exist, then subsequently disappears? Is he seeing a ghost, or is something else going on?

Another is Real Life with Anna Paquin, who plays a cop in a futuristic earth looking for a criminal who escapes justice. Feeling depressed, she is given a piece of technology that transports her to a “false” reality, where she is now a rich billionaire trying to find the killer of his wife. In that world he also uses a piece of technology to escape the realities of the “real” world, and is transported into the future world in which he is the cop, but with a similar life, the same wife, and chasing the same criminal. The question is, what’s the real reality?

Electric Dreams – courtesy of All 4

Safe and Sound is another stunning story, and it’ll leave you breathless after it’s finished. It focuses on fear, paranoia and conspiracy (sound familiar at the moment?), so basically America in a nutshell, and pretty much shows you what would happen if you lose yourself down that particular rabbit hole, and believe me, I know a few who aren’t far down the line there sadly. Luckily I’m grounded and am not so easily led…

Now, I own a few of the books, but have never, as yet, read them, so cannot compare the TV adaptations to the original stories, and get the feeling there’s more to the former than the latter. They definitely do have a dreamlike quality to them, and if there’s indeed a second series to come, it’ll be interesting to see what they do with more of his work. Sony TV have been looking for a new home for it as Amazon are rumoured to have pulled out, although Channel 4 originally made it.

If you like intelligent, thought-provoking and well thought-out stories, that are just a bit off the radar so to speak, then these come very highly recommended.

All are available to stream online on Channel 4 here in the UK, and Amazon Prime Video for others.