With varying results including one very good and one extraordinary offering in the star- studded 10-episode anthology series debuting tomorrow on the streaming service, what Electric Dreams does try to do is offer a notion of hope for the future unlike the much bleaker view of the Charlie Brooker show. In that pursuit, drawing from various short stories of the author of The Man In The High Castle and whose work Blade Runner is based on, the Bryan Cranston, Ronald D. Moore and Isa Dick Hackett EP’d series with individual writers and directors for each stand-alone episode rolls around the notion of what it is to be a human being amidst pervasive digital technology and what is real.
In that stand-alone format, there is a bit of bumpy ride with Electric Dreams, as I say in my video review above. However, there is an ambition in the Cranston, Janelle Monae, Game of Thrones’ Liam Cunningham, Vera Farmiga, Terrence Howard, Anna Paquin, Steve Buscemi, Juno Temple, Timothy Spall and Maura Tierney starring anthology that certainly provides an entry point in to each episode, which started airing in the UK late last year.
Any one familiar with the now deceased Dick’s work from the 1950s onward will recognize the author’s constant return to the themes of the self and the creation of reality. What makes Electric Dreams still illuminating, especially the “Hood Maker” episode and the fantastic Spall led “The Commuter” (no, not the upcoming Liam Neeson flick), is how it sometimes soars into the imaginative and often tortured emotional landscape that Dick honed over his career to seek optimistic oasis’s in the reflected darkness.
Click on my video review of Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams above for more of my take on the anthology series. Will you be plugging in tomorrow?