• citadeluk30 September 2017
    7/10
    Almost great
    Philip K Dick's stories have been shown by films like Bladerunner and Minority Report to be brilliant source material to make great screen adaptations. Black Mirror has shown how great a science fiction anthology series can be. The first two episodes of Philip K Dick's Electric Dreams hint at how great the series could be.

    There have been many adaptation's of P K Dick's stories into movies. The makers of Electric Dreams would do well to study those carefully. They would learn that the closer film makers stick to the spirit and intention of P K Dick the better the end product is.

    Electric Dreams feels half true to the originals. As a spoiler free example of where they stray, the first two episodes change the endings of the stories. P K Dick is a master of the plot twist and the original endings are not only shocking but made you think. His signature themes make you question the nature of reality, of memory and whether people really have what they want. In the show, these themes are muted: replaced by the writers' own hackneyed ideas and messages.

    The first episode looked really cheap. It could have been a cop show set in the seventies. There was no sense that it was the future. The second show was far better and looked believable as a vision of the far future. As a writer, P K Dick doesn't delve to much into how things look or the minutiae of individual's character's. There is so much space for film makers to fill with something incredible as Ridley Scott did in Bladerunner.

    I'm excited to see the coming episodes and I hope there are future series. Most of all I hope the makers quickly learn that, as is shown by the first two episodes, P K Dick was a great writer and the further you veer from what he was trying to say with his stories, the weaker the adaptations will be.
  • Wayab Pluh18 September 2017
    5/10
    A Greatish beginning/bad representation/good production
    Great atmosphere & good acting. The only regrettable thing is that they could have chosen a much more interesting short story to film but anyway it's certainly not regrettable that this picture exists. I can't believe the review where the person says PKD is a so-so author. I guess either he is lobotomized or just likes space soaps. Waiting for the next episodes! Edit: I had to remove 5 stars after my initial euphoria not because the series is bad but because it is badly represented. this is not Philip dick. in most episodes so far the interpretation wildly misses the point of the source material and is often transformed beyond recognition. the production is great actors, plots etc and i would give it a high rating if it didn't parade with the name of Philip dick. it's like saying the matrix or dark city is based on Philip dick sure they resemble his style and philosophy but it is not something he has written. still the series is worth watching if you know this from the start: not "Philip k. dick's electric dreams" but "electric dreams inspired by Philip dick"
  • pontram28 September 2017
    6/10
    It Needs More to Fascinate
    Warning: Spoilers
    The first episode reminded me, like others here, of Brazil, mostly because of the female main character, who has a (not so small) resemblance to 'Jill'. The story is quite interesting, though the topic itself is somewhat outworn. But there simply isn't enough time (or too slow pacing) to convincingly elaborate a multifarious story and setting, it's only a snapshot of a world where oppressed and defied "telepaths" (called "Tees", would you believe that ?) are beginning to revolt, when the public anger against them and their abilities is also raising to dangerous levels, and when the government seems to be (willingly ?) helpless.

    At this point, I would say, the makers of this episode have failed gloriously with what they tried to achieve , but succeeded rather good in producing a solid dystopic SciFi episode without feeling the necessity to care about its further developments.

    The second episode was, after an interesting introduction, quite a disappointment for me. Geraldine Chaplin is without a question a great actress, but not even she could carry alone the weight of a script that leads (literally) to nowhere - seen from the rationalist's point of view. An enthusiast would object, of course, and would suggest a proper use of imagination, but there aren't enough hints for me to go there.

    This episode failed for me not as glorious as the first episode, since the story obviously does want to escape with us from a (our ?) pointless existence 600 years in the future, with someone who vaguely has a clue about the great old days - that should ring some bells - to the mythical 'Carolina', and the escape goes not as wonderful as planned, if we do not want to die for that experience (yep, that was my spoiler).

    Or I misinterpreted that story, however.

    In the coming episodes there will also be some big names, but as I already said, even the greatest actor and the best team cannot overcome a rather unformed script, so let's only hope for improvements.

    Severe 6 Stars for the high artistic and intellectual claim (= Ph.K. Dick) of the show that it cannot fulfill for me.
  • lee_michael_wells13 October 2017
    4/10
    Poorly executed Black Mirror
    Being a huge fan of Black Mirror, I was excited to watch Electric Dreams after seeing the trailer, unfortunately after episode 1 I was slightly bemused and rather disappointed.

    I decided to stick with it and now 4 episodes down the line I'm still disappointed. The story lines have potential and the cast is fantastic, but I have to say there seems to be a pattern emerging

    1 Starts with an intriguing story line 2 Fails to deliver any kind of back story to the characters 3 Delivers a bland, boring ending that leaves you not only confused but in interested in trying to comprehend it because it was so dull

    Any body who enjoys Black Mirror I would suggest avoid Electric Dreams, it's not in the same league Anybody who is considering watching this and hasn't seen Black Mirror I would suggest turn this off and go watch it instead
  • steeleha18 September 2017
    8/10
    Now That's What I Call Dystopia
    There can be no denying that on first look this episode of Electric Dreams borrows heavily from the likes of Blade Runner, Black Mirror, Children of Men... etc, but of course the source material for this provides inspiration for the aforementioned titles, and so it's get an originality pass in my book.

    A key feature for me with sci-fi is the dealing with the creation of alternate universes, where key events change the course of evolution. On this front the episode succeeds within that premise. There have been many mediocre sci-fi presentations that have come and gone - set up with weaker writing and concepts, and possibly better acting (though I will give a special exception to Holliday Grainger, who put in a very good performance). If the future world is unconvincing, however, it drags the performances down. I felt it was convincing enough here.

    In summary, is definitely worth a watch, and look forward to other episodes within the series - it's a short story and it's designed to make you think where the themes could possibly go within the world that's been created. And as such, it's succeeded. A test of it's success is that I'd have been quite happy seeing where the world would have progressed after the end scenes. A solid start.
  • Peter Flynn22 October 2017
    3/10
    Don't start as you mean to go on...
    The trailer for this series is the much better than the episodes I've seen so far. Episode 1 the Hood Maker was quite good, with a coherent plot although not particularly strong characters. Having watched 3 more episodes I can see now they started with their best offering before foisting on us an underwhelming mess...lead characters with unapparent motivations, under-explained future societies, a scatter-gun approach to employing philosophical concepts. With the likes on Spall, Cranston and Buscemi on board I was sure this would be great, but the writers have failed to translate Dicks stories in a way that is remotely engaging. I'm stopping at episode 4.
  • djcatsgc6 October 2017
    10/10
    old
    I must be very old. I have seen the first three episodes and I have loved every single one. this is what Mr dick was about. weird / strange/ and (insert own ) The acting has been great. the story telling has been great. I thought I knew Mr dicks stories.....but this has brought to me a whole new (insert) Enjoyment for the Pre-milamiums
  • Bo Lee18 September 2017
    8/10
    Retro socio-commentary from the future
    I'm not familiar with the short story the pilot episode (The Hood Maker) is based upon but it convinced me, or the writer did a solid job adapting it. It builds a world that reminded me of the Terry Gilliam Brazil with the dirt, chaos and stymied technology. Yet, as it's learned in the end, it's not not our world. This was surely added by the writer and it isn't a twist really, but it functions nicely. Comparing it to similar movies, we mustn't forget that this has only 45 or so minutes to depict a world and resolve a story. It builds a fine atmosphere and keeps it steady throughout.
  • screechy_jim10 October 2017
    4/10
    Decidedly Underwhelming
    I've watched the first 4 in the series and won't be watching any more. The whole experience is decidedly underwhelming and none of the stories felt completely finished or 'ready' for production. An anthology series very similar to 'Black Mirror' which coincidentally has very similar issues with its own production. Maybe its a UK industry problem that doesn't cope well with the quality and competence in production, but it's and odd similarity to share.

    The stories are not so much an intricate web as a entangled mess of ideas that are not executed with the clarity or composure necessary to convey a proper story or even a basic underlying idea. You end up leaving with more questions, uncertainty and confusion about what you just watched than any real form of enjoyment or satisfaction.

    It's a worthwhile attempt but here like Black Mirror some better writing or writing staff is needed and the plots really need to be better defined and competently structured before going to production. I was surprised to see Steve Buscemi in episode 4, he can't have been cheap and I wonder if he read the script before accepting the role. Perhaps he owedsomeone a favour.

    The episodes have more of a 'vanity' feel to them than a serious attempt to secure respectable viewing numbers or critical acclaim, which is a bit of a shame because there is a lot of potential here. Not much point talking about other aspects of this series because the underlying problems are significant enough to considerably overshadow anything else.

    Sadly I can't recommend the series as is but if a second series is sanctioned I will take a look in to see if any improvements have been made.
  • jc-osms22 September 2017
    7/10
    Losing my mind
    I'm not familiar with Philip K Dick's work although his writing has always intrigued me, especially when I think of the several movie adaptations of his work, from the obvious "Blade Runner" to "Total Recall", "Minority Report" and others.

    This latest 10 part Channel 4 series dramatising individual Dick short stories felt like a good way to make myself better acquainted with his work as well as hopefully seeing some good-quality TV science fiction.

    I did enjoy this first tale set in an alternative world where the population is split into "Teeps" (telepaths) and "Normals" (non-telepaths) who naturally distrust each other and can't get along. When a female telepath offers her services to the security forces against her own kind, her main task is to locate for the Normals the inventor of a special hood which negates mind-reading of the wearer by a telepath and to do this she's paired with a hard-bitten male detective.

    Filmed in a grainy, greeny filter depicting a world where people drive what we'd call today vintage cars and still use typewriters it has the look and feel of one of the tougher 70's TV cop shows (like "The Sweeney"), a look I'm very comfortable with. I liked the way story eventually narrowed down from a who-and-where-is-he manhunt to the relationship between Teep turncoat and cop working up to an inconclusive, make-your-own-mind-up ending.

    Particularly memorable was the early scene where she "mind-raped" a captured hood-wearer for information on his confederates, but the whole production was well staged and acted. One niggle though for me was the poor sound quality, making it difficult to pick up dialogue even as I appreciate there was a lot of background whispering going on.

    Otherwise this episode set a good standard for what will hopefully follow.
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