In many ways, The Man in the High Castle is a question posing as a T.V Show. The question begins simply enough: “What if the axis powers had won WWII?” But what makes the show great is that the question seems to constantly be changing; in The Man in the High Castle things are never as they appear. If the show had to be summed up in one word, that word would most likely be intrigue – it is one of the most intriguing shows on television at that. The plot is that the Axis powers have won WWII and the United States of America has been partitioned between Germany and Japan.
The plot past that mostly comprises of several characters who are all trying to acquire films made by the eponymous Man in the High Castle that show a world in which the Allies have won WWII (or in other words our world). This is where we start to see how the TV show works on two levels. As it shows both our world and the Axis-controlled world, it makes the audience wonder what reality is the show actually set in, ours or theirs? It works on levels both physical and metaphysical. However, even if complex philosophy isn’t your cup of tea, the show is also a great political thriller. One of the major subplots of the show is that Germany and Japan are in a Cold War that could turn hot at any moment. The efforts of the Japanese and German politicians to stop this at all costs is a very intense and thrilling affair, one that harkens back to Cold War thrillers. This portrays another aspect of the show, how similar in some aspects the alternate reality is to ours, and how similar the Cold War between the Japanese and Germans is to the one between the U.S and the Soviet Union.
An intriguing plot and deeper meanings are all good, but is the show actually watchable? Absolutely! The production value of The Man in the High Castle is one of the greatest things about it! 1962 Axis-Controlled America is one of the most beautifully detailed and realized worlds on television right now.From Times Square to the Golden Gate, each set engrosses you in the world and lore of the show. The acting is very well done, especially when you consider most of the cast isn’t very well known, and only have a few other credits to their names. The writing can become surprisingly very emotional at times. The show is certainly very dark and violent and the writing shows the emotional repercussions for each character’s actions in a very powerful and emotional manner.
Conclusion: The Man in the High Castle is an incredibly different show. One that works off of philosophical and political ideas. With high production values, great writing and a premise that could fill even the most stoic of people with curiosity it is a huge step for Amazon Prime.