Production and Design.
Crazy Diamond, what a beautiful looking episode you are. Talking of Crazy Diamonds, most visuals in this Philip K Dick tale could easily grace any Pink Floyd album and the introduction of pig lady very much cement’s those feelings. The episode is filmed on various coastal lines throughout the UK and gives you a very tranquil feeling as the story begins. That is until we coastline begins to crumble, pretty much like the plot of the story. The interior sets used also share the beauty and tranquillity but bring another feeling to me, and that is cold. They look like show houses and have no personality at all, just a couple living day by day in the most mundane way with very little fun. Then there is Ed’s boat which is homely and feels like a space that is loved and cherished. The production and design of this episode is perfect to me in creating the atmosphere for the story which we are presented.
A wonderful but haunting start to the show as we are introduced to a beautiful red-haired woman who suddenly grows old, but who is she? Before we know it, the story flips to seven days earlier. Ed Steve Buscemi and Sally Julia Davis are a happily married couple who are living in a world that is ready to implode both literally and figuratively. Nothing in this life looks enjoyable. Clean, stylish and futuristic but definitely not enjoyable.
Ed’s a scientist, one that works with a technology called quantum consciousness, and this is where the story begins. The red-haired women from earlier presents herself to Ed at his laboratory. She is really curious about his work and the quantum consciousness, both fascinated and nervous at the same time as he opens one up for her. Now for the technology, quantum consciousness is added to Jack and Jill’s, human cyborgs that hold no life until the quantum consciousness is added to make them think and act human. Ed meets the mysterious women again and introduces himself properly, then she admits to him that she is also a Jill Sidse Babett Knudsen, something he already worked out from earlier. Maybe it’s time for a drink and time for Jill to admit her quantum consciousness is failing, she needs a new one to survive. Enough about Jill, she wants to learn all about Ed. Ed is normal so to speak, but is he? Ed talks about his dream to live on the high seas and live his life to the full, Jill is intrigued. “Dishonest lives are sad lives,” Sally tells Ed as he looks at his map, working out which way to sail his boat. Funnily enough, it’s not just Ed who is been dishonest as shown by Sally only seconds earlier.
Trying to create life in the real world seems to be Sally’s mission as she attempts to grow watercress and potatoes. This planet is just not capable of that anymore as Ed and Sally try to plants her potatoes, only to find solid steel under a few inches of soil. Feeing all is lost Ed is now spending more time with Jill who enthusiastically informs him that his dreams are achievable and now for the sales pitch! Jill has a plan to steal ten berries containing the quantum consciousness, one to save herself and the rest to raise enough money for him to fulfil his dream. Jill knows Ed will go along with this plan because things are becoming so desolate in his real life. The plan to steal the berries is put into place. First, he replicates a copy of his hand and also secondly he teaches her how to sing Flow my Tears (A tribute to a great book by Philip K, Dick) which will give her access to his laboratory. Watching the robbery in progress, Ed loses his nerve and raises the alarm, too little too late as Jill is gone and the heist is successful.
Let’s the just say that Jill’s plan to sell the berries has gone a bit wrong. Ed, on the other hand, becomes a hero at work, as it is him that raised the alarm during the robbery. Maybe Ed’s life is going to be okay after all, well until he returns home to find Jill talking to his wife Sally. It seems Jill is really good at getting people to like her, Sally feels sorry for her enough to buy life insurance from her and also let her sleep on their sofa. Ed confronts Jill to find out what she really wants, she wants her conciseness back from the deal that wrong earlier. More importantly, she wants Ed to help her. It’s not really like Ed has a choice now as she has enough evidence to destroy him. Ed now is involved in a situation that just isn’t going away, even his own wife can work that out as she tells him Jill is more to him than he first let on.
So, its second time around for Jill as she goes back to the gang of thugs she tried to sell the berries to earlier. Only this time Ed is along for the ride. This time it goes well as Jill leaves nothing to chance this time after receiving her new consciousness and wipes out the villains one by one. Job complete you would think but no? It looks like Ed’s boss from the laboratory has been dealing with Jill a lot longer than Ed. His boss wants all the berries back, including the one in Jill’s head and ask Ed to remove it. Ed agrees and is going to kill Jill by removing it for him. Well until Jill is handed a gun and kills Ed’s boss. Ed has let her down and everything has gone wrong. Not only that he returns home to find out his wife wants to fulfil her dreams, she has left him! Time to get out of town as his house is literally falling to pieces as the coastline crumbles around him. Dreams realised as he hits the sea Ed can now relax, well not for long as his wife Sally and Jill both appear on the dock of his boat. It seems they are taking his dream and everything he owns, as he is thrown overboard. Later Ed is washed ashore to view the derelict houses strewn on the beach. What else can Ed do but laugh?
This story told me that when you are faced with death, you want to try things that you wouldn’t think about in everyday circumstances. The closer to death you are, the more you want from life. Life is about taking risks, okay not as dangerous as the characters in this tale but enough to take you out of your comfort zone. As much as I enjoyed this episode, I’m starting to wonder just how much of the script was by Philip K Dick, to me it seems not much? I could see some great moments in there, on a whole it’s wonderful but it didn’t have any real identity and seemed pretty much created for this show alone, who knows? I also loved the use of Syd Barret’s Octopus, funnily enough, I have listened to Pink Floyd all my life but was unaware of Syd’s solo material. I may look at one of Philip K Dick’s short stories next and come back to this series on a later date. The OCD in me might not permit that though. Still amazingly beautiful and enjoyable, it gets 10/10 dicks from me.
Thank you for reading and if you like Philip K Dick, check out my page dedicated to him below.