DIRECTED BY David Farr.
WRITTEN BY PHILIP K DICK (based on the short stories by)
STARRING Geraldine Chaplin as IRMA, Benedict Wong as ANDREWS and Jack Reynor as NORTON.
AIR DATE 24TH JANUARY 2018.
PRODUCTION AND DESIGN.
As I move into the second episode of the Electric Dreams series I am pleasantly just how different this episode looks from the first previous one. This episode was visually stunning and really raised the bar for the next one. Well, what did I like about it? I loved the art-deco style of the ship mixed with a futuristic vibe. Irma’s mechanical droid looked pretty damn fantastic for a television show, I would use that in a motion picture. All in all the sets and costumes were amazing, but? I am still finding it really difficult to see this as a Philip K Dick story and here is why! I’m still not coming round on the accents not been American, it just seems too distracting! Second of all, it just looks and feels like a Dr Who episode with the way it is shot. Believe me, I really don’t want to put this show down as you can tell a lot of love went into making these episodes but the senses do not lie and I can only give an honest opinion. Basically, I expected it to feel more gritty and dark instead of clean and sterile. The colour tones and visual effects are second to none but it didn’t put me right into the heart of the story so I guess it just didn’t work for me this time around. I still have hope for future episodes though and I will complete what I started.
Confused much! These episodes are based on one viewing alone and I will decide to go see if there is anything again I can learn from this episode but when that will be, I really do not know. The story is set in the future on board a ship called Astral Dreams. The ship’s purpose is to take tourists on a visit to space to marvel at its wonders. Unfortunately, those wonders are created by a duo called Norton and Andrews and those wonders are created by a computer to heighten the emotions of its passengers. Norton is hating his job on this ship and is only looking to move on toward a better life with his girlfriend after gaining a promotion, which he is denied. Then we have Andrews who seems to realise the best way to enjoy life is to relax and seems happy to sell people a false dream.
Knock knock. Who’s there? Irma and her robot assistant and they want to go to Earth and visit her grandmother’s childhood home, all well and good but the planet is looking tragic in this future and not very hospitable. Irma has plenty of money so our duo can make that dream a reality though, hopefully, Earth it is. Norton is the one who has to accommodate Irma with complimentary drinks and put her at ease, knowing that all along they just want her cash and can make her dreams a reality with a few special effects, gin and tonics and lots of lies. The robot assistant soon becomes aware of this and starts to question Norton’s integrity and intention.
The next part of the story is pretty great to be fair as we learn Irma is not quite what she seems either and can somehow predict what everyone is going to say and starts to get a bit frisky with Norton. At this point, I think I would let Andrews take over the customer service role but Norton decides to dump his girlfriend instead. It all goes a bit Back to the Future Part 3 and the old-fashioned clothes come out and a picture of Irma’s grandfather and grandmother, and look who grandpapa looks like, its Norton!
Irma’s Grandmother used to go swimming in the lakes of Carolina, Irma has dreams about this place and I’m sure Norton is at this point. So we arrive at Terra Firma and Irma can’t wait to do a belly-splash in that cool water she dreamed about but she soon learns all is not what it seems and Norton comes clean about the rouse. What a damn fine gentleman he is, apparently. Andrews points out that this as far as the trip goes and no one will be going swimming today as the planet is a bit uninhabitable. Norton decides differently and takes Irma to the surface using spacesuits from aboard the ship. So Earth is as you expected, dark and damp (It kinda reminded me of a winters morning when I have to go to work). The oxygen that supplies the suits run out and its the end of the road for Irma and Norton, or is it?
Irma removes her helmet and Norton looks round and we have a young Irma looking all sexy, Norton needs to take his helmet off also to make sure what he is seeing is real. After Norton removes his helmet, he is no longer on a planet he seen earlier but in Carolina and the sun is shining and Irma invites him to go skinny dipping in the beautiful lake she is heading too. Norton removes his clothes and joins her. THE END.
I suppose a good story leaves you thinking, right? Well, this one certainly did but I could not come up with any logical or illogical conclusion to this episode. Well, I do have one theory, Irma has discovered a way to time travel but that still doesn’t seem to make any sense when it comes to the Earth changing once their helmets are removed. I know they say love is blind but I didn’t really get the sexual attraction that was going on with Norton and Irma throughout the episode and if it was his granddaughter, well isn’t that a bit weird? I did enjoy it though and it was a bit Twilight Zone, which I enjoy. I certainly am looking forward to the next episode so its a winner for me but could be better. I give this 6 out of 10 Dicks. How many Dicks would you give it? Anyway thank you for reading and if you would like to read my previous episode review, you can find it in the Philip K Dick Vault below. Hopefully, you will come back for episode 3 of Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams.