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Frank Spotnitz hopes 'Man in the High Castle' entertains, inspires discussion

By Karen Butler
1/5
Frank Spotnitz hopes 'Man in the High Castle' entertains, inspires discussion
Rufus Sewell, Alexa Davalos, Rupert Evans and Joel de la Fuente arrive on the red carpet at the New York series premiere of 'The Man in the High Castle' on Nov. 2. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Former X-Files scribe Frank Spotnitz says he hopes his new series The Man in the High Castle, based on Philip K. Dick's alternate-history novel, is entertaining, but also "invites you to ask questions."

Set in 1962, the small-screen drama imagines what might have happened if Germany and Japan won World War II and occupied the United States.

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All 10 episodes of the first season will be available for streaming via Amazon Prime on Friday. The show stars Alexa Davalos, Rupert Evans, Luke Kleintank, D.J. Qualls, Joel de la Fuente, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and Rufus Sewell.

So, what makes this the right time to present this story?

"Well, I didn't know that it was the right time necessarily, but I was pleasantly surprised by the response we got after the pilot was put on the service," Spotnitz told UPI last month at New York Comic Con.

"And I think we are in such a polarized time, politically, in this country and people are really just gridlocked and so entrenched in their extreme positions, and I think a show like this reminds you about what unites us and what we stand for and what our common values are and I think people forget that. ... I like the show. It is, hopefully, very entertaining, but it also invites you to ask questions."

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Amazon ordered the series, in part, based on enthusiastic Prime customer feedback to its pilot. To date, subscribers have helped Amazon greenlight more than a dozen series, including the award-winning show Transparent.

Asked if he found it intriguing that The Man in the High Castle got made through such a democratic process when it is about Americans living under a fascist regime, the writer-producer replied, "Now that it's been greenlit, I really like that process.

"At the time, I was very worried about it, to be honest, because it is pretty embarrassing to fail publicly," he confided. "Usually, you make a pilot and nobody sees it if they don't like it and, in this case, to have people vote is a little unnerving. But it actually was a great asset.... I got to think about why people responded to the show and then when we were gathering actors and crew to produce the series, we kind of had our pick because people had seen the [pilot.] They knew it was well-received, they liked it and it was much, much easier than it normally would be."

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