Amazon has announced that season four of its original hit TV series that began in 2015, “The Man in the High Castle” will be coming to an end. Do not fret however, this is not another cancelled show, but the natural conclusion of the story by the show runners.
The Man in the High Castle is based upon the award-winning novel by Philip K. Dick and created by Frank Spotnitz (‘The X-Files’) with Ridley Scott (‘Blade runner’ & ‘Aliens’) as an executive producer. Isa Dick Hackett, daughter of the late Philip K. Dick is also an executive producer on the show and commenting on season four said, “It has been a great privilege to work alongside our extraordinary High Castle team, in partnership with David Zucker and Scott Free, to bring my father’s classic novel to life, particularly during this tumultuous period in our real world. I believe fans will be thrilled and satisfied by the epic conclusion we have in store for them.
For those who haven’t been enthralled by this amazing show, it is set in an alternate timeline where the United States has fallen and the axis powers of the Second World War have divided and conquered the globe. In the 1962 alternative timeline, Franklin D. Roosevelt was successfully murdered by Giuseppe Zangara, creating a chain reaction of events which included Germany dropping an atomic bomb on Washington and the Axis forces emerging victorious. Europe, Africa, South America and North-East America is controlled by the Greater Nazi Reich with their regional capital in New York. The Japanese Pacific States hold Asia, Oceania and North-West America, San Francisco being their state capital. In North America, only a small lawless neutral zone divides the two axis powers.
The story really begins when protagonist Juliana Crane (Alexa Davalos) who through events that we won’t go into here, comes in to possession of a reel of film that shows footage of an alternate history where the allies won the war and Germany and Japan where defeated….not unlike our own. Watching the film turns Juliana’s beliefs and world upside down as she embarks on a journey of subterfuge and espionage in trying to find meaning behind the film and its origins.
Juliana is not the only person interested in the film and what such a piece of propaganda could do in the right (or wrong) hands. It’s hardly a spoiler and to be expected that relations between the two axis powers is “shaky” at best, with each barely upholding their fragile alliance. It really adds to an element of not knowing from which direction the danger is going to come from next.
Everyone down to the supporting cast feel believable and really add to the thrill and suspense of every episode. Even when two characters are simply exchanging dialogue in an office, the tension can be cut with a knife. No character does this better than Obergruppenfuhrer John Smith (Rufus Sewell).
The performances are amazing from an all-star cast (Alexa Davalos, Rufus Sewell, DJ Qualls, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Rupert Evans and Luke Kleintank to name but a few). My personal favourite is Joel De La Fuente who plays the dutiful and relentless Inspector Kido.
If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you catch up on the previous three seasons of Man in the High Castle, all of which are available on Amazon Prime Video. For those of you up to date on Juliana’s journey, check out the epic teaser for season 4 in the clip below;
The Man in the High Castle is due to premier in Autumn 2019.