there’s five more episodes…
The Impossible Planet Ep 2
Set in a gaudy technicolour future where space has been colonised for millennia, two bored and disillusioned employees of an interstellar tourism company – Brian (Jack Reynor) and Ed (Benedict Wong) – decide to scam an elderly lady after she tries to book a trip back to Earth, which is now believed to be a myth, rather than an actual place. They find a suitably Earth-like planet and head off with the lady and her robotic servant in tow. But, as their trip progresses, their plan begins to eat away at them, culminating in a bittersweet twist that you won’t see coming.
The Commuter Ep 3
One of the great things about PKD’S work was the way that he not only imagined elaborate futures full of spacecraft, robots and time travel, but also alternate realities that could be just as mundane as our own, though with subtle yet unnerving differences – like the world that this story is set in. The great Timothy Spall plays a station manager who is disturbed to discover that a number of passengers are making a daily commute to a town that does not exist. He takes it upon himself to investigate, and from there on in, things start to get weird.
Real Life Ep 4
Shifting tone again, this episode is a fast-paced thriller, starring True Blood’s Anna Paquin and Empire’s Terrence Howard. Set sometime in the future, Paquin plays Sarah, a cop whose mind is somehow interlocked with George (Howard), a brilliant game designer. Both of them are pursuing violent killers whose plans have Earthshattering consequences, and as the clock runs down, they both realise that the bond they share could end up destroying them. There are twists aplenty and, as a bonus treat, it also stars Lara Pulver, who you’ll recognise as Irene Adler from Sherlock.
Crazy Diamond Ep 5
Steve Buscemi plays Ed Morris – a deeply ordinary man, who meets a beautiful synthetic woman (PKD was obsessed by androids and artificial intelligence), played by Borgen’s Sidse Babett Knudsen. She makes him a highly illegal proposition that invariably leads to his life – not to mention that of his long-suffering wife (Julia Davis) – becoming distinctly weird and unordinary very quickly. In sharp contrast to The Hood Maker, this is less of a thriller, and more of a (very) dark comedy, but there’s still enough going on to leave you feeling pleasantly baffled and a little bit disturbed.
Human Is Ep 6
This final episode of the run stars the ace Bryan Cranston (of Breaking Bad fame, who’s also a producer of the series) as an emotionally abusive soldier who raises his wife’s suspicions after he returns from battle a seemingly different man. The crux of the story is another recurring fascination of PKD’S: what does it mean to be human? The success of shows such as The Handmaid’s Tale and
Black Mirror have proved there’s an appetite for highconcept subject matter that is well acted, and we’re looking forward to the second batch next year.
“I, er, like what you’ve done with the place”
“Look at me, don’t look at the room…”
“Yeah, I feel like this jacket is a little young for me”
Southwest Trains are crap in whatever reality you inhabit
Dystopian Gardeners’ World: bleak