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The Man in the High Castle Scott Free Productions/Electric Shepherd Productions/Amazon Studios, 2015 Directed by David Semel (Ally McBeal, Dawson's Creek) Written by Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files, Millennium) Based on the novel by the late Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, We Can Remember It for You Wholesale) Running Time: 60 minutes Rated TV-MA for graphic violence, nudity, and profanity. Cast Alexa Davalos (Kyra in The Chronicles of Riddick, Andromeda in Clash of the Titans) as Juliana Crain Rupert Evans as Frank Frink Luke Kleintank as Joe Blake DJ Qualls as Ed McCarthy Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Shang Tsung in Mortal Kombat, Heihachi Mishima in Tekken) as Trade Minister Nobusuke Tagomi Rufus Sewell (Adam in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Autolycus in Hercules) as Obergruppenführer John SmithJoel de la Fuente (Ruben Morales in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Paul Wang in Space: Above and Beyond) as Inspector Kido Synopsis In an alternate timeline, the Axis Powers have won World War II. Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan occupy the United States and establish the Greater Nazi Reich and The Japanese Pacific States, respectively. Between those puppet states is a neutral zone comprised of the Rocky Mountain States. In the year 1962, a series of small events occur on both sides of the continent involving The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, a film that depicts the Allied Forces winning WWII. Juliana Crain of San Francisco and Joe Blake of New York meet each other in Canon City, Colorado, each having discovered the film. Meanwhile, relations between both the Nazis and the Japanese are slowly deteriorating, and with rumors of Hitler nearing his death, there are suspicions that his successor will drop nuclear bombs on Japan and gain complete control of the former United States. Lowdown To learn more about the original story, watch Alternate History Hub's video analysis: There have been a number of alternate history media depicting the world if WWII had ended differently. This TV pilot adaptation of Philip K. Dick's 1962 novel is probably the most realistic depiction of society under Axis rule. This episode is very plot-heavy, introducing our main characters and the dystopia they live in. Technology has not advanced beyond WWII, while the Nazis and the Japanese keep a close eye on the citizens of their occupied states. The younger generation lives normal lives while the older people continue to regret the war they lost. Meanwhile, the discovery of The Grasshopper Lies Heavy raises questions on this dystopia due to its realistic nature while cracks begin to form between the Axis Powers. On top of that, the excellent performances by the actors add to the grittiness of the setting. So far, we learn that Juliana Crain is on a journey to find out what her half-sister Trudy was killed for, while Joe Blake is a Nazi double-agent assigned to discover the motives of the American resistance in the neutral zone. Thanks to the critical acclaim of this pilot, Amazon Studios has greenlit the series for a full season. Rightfully so, as this is one of the best TV series debuts of this century. Rating: A Links Official Website