The Man in the High Castle‘s behind-the-scenes intrigue — which rival its on-screen ones — didn’t even get a passing mention during the Amazon series’ panel at San Diego Comic-Con Thursday.
In May, showrunner Frank Spotnitz abruptly exited the drama amid a difference of opinion with Amazon regarding his involvement in Season 2. The Vancouver-shot drama quickly went into hiatus, with other members of the production team scrambling to fill the EP’s duties.
At the time, Amazon released this statement:
Given the ambition and scope of the series, the decision has been made to locate all creative efforts on The Man in the High Castle to the west coast; Frank Spotnitz will remain as an executive producer and step back from showrunner. His responsibilities will be managed by our deep and talented bench of producers. We are enormously grateful to him for bringing our customers on one of the most watched original shows on Amazon Video and we are excited about the team’s vision for Season 2.
The Comic-Con panel was the first time, aside from some brief, positive remarks Spotnitz made about the show made at a For Your Consideration Emmy event in Hollywood later in May, the cast and production team had an opportunity to discuss what had happened. But the topic didn’t come up.
Instead, executive producers Isa Dick Hackett, David Zucker and Dan Percival, as well as cast members Alexa Davalos, Rupert Evans, Luke Kleintank, DJ Qualls, Bella Heathcote, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and Rufus Sewell took part in a discussion that stuck to previewing the drama’s upcoming second season. A few highlights:
* The series will continue to use Philip K. Dick’s novel as a “spiritual guide,” Dick said, and some content not tackled in Season 1 will show up in coming episodes. Also: “I can say we will meet the Man in the High Castle this season,” she said.
* The Man in the High Castle is currently shooting Episode 7 of 10 in Vancouver.
* When asked for an update on where her character, Juliana Crain, is in what the series is currently shooting, Davalos said, “She’s having to be a chameleon in order to survive.” When pressed, the actress said that the reluctant rebel finds herself in “seriously compromising circumstances” and added, “She’s in a very surprising place at the moment… things have taken a turn.”
* A sneak peek of an upcoming episode showed Juliana escaping from the trunk of a moving vehicle, then dodging bullets as she tried to make her way to safety.
* How about that season-ending scene in which Tagomi appeared to shift into the timeline that we know? “It will be answered more thoroughly in the second season,” Tagawa promised. And in case you needed a little more clarity, Hackett added: “Tagomi did not have a dream at the end of that last episode.”
* A common question regarding the series’ first season — what’s going on in other parts of the world? — will be addressed in Season 2, but just a little. Percival noted that the action will travel to Berlin, where we’ll meet Heathcote’s character; a plan to explore a North Africa storyline was nixed because the EPs wanted to be more “methodical” with the pace of the narrative, the EP said, and take more time in the drama’s current landscape.
* Heathcote described Nicole, her character, as “a bit of a sassy, flirty Nazi” who doesn’t necessarily espouse her parents’ principles.
The Man in the High Castle was the most popular show on Amazon Prime Video, proving once again that word-of-mouth plus binge watching can equal to a show’s growing success in a streaming world. The top ten TV shows accounted for 36% of the shows viewed. Here are the full insights from Jumpshot.
Insights from Jumpshot:
– The Top 10 TV shows accounted for 36% of all the TV shows viewed on Amazon Prime this past week, a stark contrast to the week beginning of 6/23 when the top 10 shows accounted for about 62% of all TV shows viewed.
– No Dominant Show: Unlike prior weeks, this week we see a much more even distribution with The Man in the High Castle only drawing a 28% share of the top 10 shows.
– Minimal Original Content: Only 2 of the top 10 shows (Bosch and The Man in the High Castle) this week were Amazon Original content.
– With only one season of Doctor Thorne and 2 seasons of Catastrophe available on Amazon Prime, this would explain why Amazon is bringing on Seasons 3 & 4 of Catastrophe to ensure viewership of their original content and to differentiate themselves from the competition.
The Man in the High Castle’s first season went out with a bang last year. During the whirlwind finale’s final moments, Ed was hauled off to jail, Juliana and Joe made a last-ditch escape from the Nazi embassy, and Tagomi seemingly traveled through time to an alternate reality.
So what in the world is happening when the alt-history drama returns to Amazon? Cast members did their best to fill in the blanks when they stopped by EW’s studio at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday, teasing Bella Heathcote’s new “party girl” character and a conflict-rife second season.
“I think in season 2 you really see [Frank] take matters into his own hands and kind of forge a new relationship with the resistance,” said Rupert Evans, who plays Frank Frink. “He departs from his previous ideas about how to live in this place, this totalitarian state. So his life changes dramatically in season 2.”
As for Tagomi’s shocking time jump, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa didn’t give much away, only offering his hot take on the storyline. “I think everybody has an alternate reality. It’s just a matter of whether they question enough. I think the less we question, the less we realize that there’s more than just one way to look at things,” he said. “Tagomi is definitely someone that comes from a world and is on his own journey to find an answer within that world, but then the journey takes him to another world. It’s a Chinese box.”
For the full run-down on where The Man in the High Castle will pick up, watch EW’s full interview above.
“The Man in the High Castle,” loosely based on the novel by Philip K. Dick, ended with a sudden cliffhanger when Tagomi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) used Juliana’s (Alexa Davalos) charm and mysteriously warped to an alternate 1962 where the Allied forces and not the Axis Powers won in World War II, basically coming to this reality.
Very little about season 2 has been shared ever since the first season ended and a large reason for this is the sudden departure of season 1 showrunner Frank Spotnitz from the show. Spotnitz will remain as an executive producer and no replacement was sought as the other producers will step in collaboratively to guide season 2’s direction.
Despite this, the official schedule for this year’s San Diego Comic Con reveals that there will be a panel held on Wednesday, July 20 and will have Philip K. Dick’s daughter Isa Dick Hackett on board. Hackett also serves as an executive producer for the series.
Although unconfirmed, the stars of the show are also expected to appear for the panel. Alexa Davalos, Rupert Evans and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa are some of the most anticipated stars to appear given how events took place in the season 1 finale.
Fans speculate that Hackett and the rest of the panel will reveal a few spoilers for season 2, such as how the season will depict the events taking place in the show’s “prime” reality, where America lost to Germany and Japan, and the “alternate” world that Tagomi finds himself in, the world where the US won against the Axis Powers in World War II.
Although it is not yet confirmed, a teaser trailer for “The Man in the High Castle” season 2 is also likely going to be released, giving fans their first look at the show and a deeper understanding of where the story is going. An official premiere date is also likely to be announced given that the series had been on hiatus due to the departure of Spotnitz.
While there has yet to be any news regarding the second season of “Man In The High Castle,” the cast of the series shared some interesting insight about the background of their storyline.
Cast Explains History Behind Series
After just one season of “Man In The High Castle,” fans have been waiting to hear more about the upcoming season of the series. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of anticipation regarding the plot since it is known to be a historical storyline. The series is based on Philip K. Dick’s novel of the same title, which discusses the division between U.S. and Japan, as they deal with the west and the east.
With the conflict, there is also an issue surrounding the territory in the middle of America. The political ties of the series are well rooted into the history discussed. Rufus Sewell, the actor who plays John Smith shared some interesting details about how they developed the story. He said, “It’s certainly not trumpeting something to be desired, in fact I think the effort, if told properly, which is what we’re trying to do, is to point out how in danger we are of making the same mistakes again.”
How The Amazon Series Deals With Political Views
Fellow actress, Alexa Davalos, also shared some details about the ongoing themes of the series. She said, “This element of Fascism, this show is very timely. It’s very present, even though it’s another time. We’re living in a world today where this is not an unknown territory; living under certain regimes, these genocides and their prejudices.”
While it has get to be awhile for the second season of the series to release, fans can catch the first two episodes of the series on Amazon Prime.
Alexa is not featured in the video. ‘The Man in the High Castle’ producers David Zucker and Isa Hackett chat with Gold Derby
It’s odd to think that, once upon a time, a TV show set in space — one that declared, in its opening narration, as the cosmos being the “final frontier” — was considered the pop-cultural equivalent of an unwanted party-crasher. Yes, a concept like Star Trek was both of its time and clearly ahead of it; history has more than vindicated Gene Rodenberry’s notion of boldly going where no man had gone before. But given the number of top-notch shows set in the far reaches of the galaxy and that used genre for pulpy and profound purposes over the last 30 or so years, it seems crazy to think that one of the most groundbreaking SF series was a network pariah and a ratings dud. Today, there’s an entire cable network devoted to this kind of programming. You can’t turn on your TV/Roku/cut-cord viewing device without bumping into spaceships, alien invasion and wonky sci-fi food-for-thought.
Science fiction has been around in one form or another since the early-ish days of television, both here and abroad, and its legacy now looms larger than ever. So what better time to count down the 40 best sci-fi TV shows of all time? From anime classics to outer-space soap operas, spooky British anthology shows to worst-case-scenario postapocalyptic dramas, primetime pop hits to obscure but beloved cult classics, here are our choices for the best the television genre has to offer — submitted, for your approval.
#33: The Man In The High Castle
Philip K. Dick’s 1963 novel entertained a popular thought experiment: What would the United States be like if the Axis powers had won World War II? This Amazon TV adaptation presents its alt-America is a slate-gray nightmare of pick-your-poison oppression, with Japanese imperialists in the West, Nazis in the East and Midwest, and a “neutral” no-man’s-land running along the Rockies. Hitler’s declining health, combined with an ongoing East-West Cold War, turns a bad situation worse; don’t even get us started about that mysterious reel of film that everyone is after. If the series departs from Dick’s book by necessity, its paranoiac grimness perfectly honors the author in spirit. ST