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'Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams' 1.1 Real Life

Mutually Alternate Realities

By Paul LevinsonPublished 6 years ago Updated 2 years ago 2 min read

I watched Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams - the 10-episode anthology of separate stories, all based on the work of Philip K. Dick - on Amazon Prime. Here's what you can expect by way of reviews from me:

  • I'm going to review the episodes one at a time, one per day, starting now and over next ten days.
  • I've read many of Dick's stories (and enjoyed to loved all of them). But I generally find reviews that prattle on about how the movie or TV show compared to the novel or story boring or irritating, so I'll be refraining from doing that here, except where exceptions are warranted.
  • I'll try very hard not to deliver any crucial spoilers (like how the story ends, if there is a resolution), but there inevitably will be some spoilers, so, proceed at your own risk if you haven't seen an episode yet.

Now to Real Life: It engages, as most of Dick's works do, the question of what is real and what is a dream, or fantasy, or alternate in contrast to primary reality. But Real Life takes this in an exquisite direction, giving us two realities, each with devices that allow their protagonist to have a great vacation in an alternate reality based on what they need, and we soon learn that each protagonist's presumably primary reality is the other's vacation or alternate reality. So what we get are mirroring alternate realities.

This, of course, raises the question of which of these mutually dependent realities is the real one? Since neither character is very happy, we have to search deeper to find an answer. And as the episode progresses, each protagonist not only begins to question if her or his reality is real or the mental vacation, but finds the other reality spilling into their own.

You'll have a tough time figuring our which is which - which means this is a good story - and there is a conclusive answer given at the end. Fine acting by Anna Paquin and Terrence Howard as the interdependent leads, and good "written for television" by Battlestar Galactica's and Outlander's Ronald D. Moore.

See also Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams 1.2 Autofac: Human v Machine ... 1.3 Human Is: Compassionate or Alien? ... 1.4 Crazy Diamond: DNA Batteries ... 1.5 The Hood Maker: Telepathy and Police ... 1.6 Safe & Sound: This Isn't A Drill ... 1.7 The Father Thing: Dick from Space ... 1.8 Impossible Planet: Eye of the Beholder ... 1.9 The Commuter: Submitted for Your Approval ... 1.10: Kill All Others: Too Close for Comfort

step into The Other Car ... an alternate reality in the making

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About the Creator

Paul Levinson

Novels include The Silk Code & The Plot To Save Socrates; LPs Twice Upon A Rhyme & Welcome Up; nonfiction includes The Soft Edge & Digital McLuhan, translated into 15 languages. Details here. My Twitter. Prof, Fordham Univ.

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