Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams begins the new 10-part series with The Hood Maker, airing on Channel 4 in the UK and Amazon in the US, and feels like their alternative to Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, whose fourth series is due on Netflix later this year.
As you’d expect with the creator of Blade Runner, the story is set in an dank and dystopian alternative future, so there are the techological advances, yet Ross still types up his reports on a typewriter. This is because this world is an ‘analogue world’, thanks to the Great Shower, i.e. meteors which took down all the world’s communications, energy and internet.
Thanks to the new anti-immunity bill, cop Agent Ross (Richard Madden), is partnered with Honor (Strike‘s Holliday Grainger), a female ‘teep’ who can give him a civilian’s thoughts at any time, her power being a gateway to allowing mind reading, but this isn’t a perfect science, so if you can find a way NOT to have your mind read, all the better for committing criminal acts…
Clearly in the Blade Runner mould, Madden makes for a good smart-arse Deckard-style character, and maybe the tie-in with the Harrison Ford movie’s style – given the fact that Blade Runner 2049 comes to cinemas in October – is why the producers led with this one as the series opener, and it’s certainly an interesting and intriguing episode, so I’m very much looking forward to the rest of the series.
Note that BBC1’s Strike airs airing at exactly the same time as this does! …although you can watch this one in HD on C4+1, or Strike on the iPlayer afterwards… or better still, skip Strike. It’s terrible.
The Hood Maker is the first episode of Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams and airs on Sunday on Channel 4 at 9pm, with further episodes following weekly. Once broadcast, each episode will be on All4, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Director: Julian Jarrold
Screenplay: Matthew Graham (based on the short story by Philip K Dick)
Agent Ross: Richard Madden
Honor: Holliday Grainger
Mary: Anneika Rose
Franklyn: Paul Ritter
Senior Agent Okhile: Noma Dumezweni
Dr. Thaddeus Cutter: Richard McCabe
Rathbone: Tom Mothersdale
Carmichael: Tony Way
Agent: Charlotte Jo Hanbury
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.