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Review of 'Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams' 1.5 The Hood Maker

by Paul Levinson 5 years ago in science fiction
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Telepathy and Police

Telepathy is another favorite but not-as-well-known-as-some-other themes of Philip K. Dick - appearing in the aforementioned (i..e, mentioned in my review of episode 1.3 of Electric Dreams) "Beyond Lies the Wub" in 1952. Its combination with police procedural in Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams episode 1.5, The Hood Maker, makes for a classic Dick amalgam.

It's also a great story, compellingly rendered. Honor is a telepath or TEEP teaming with Agent Ross to maintain order, which includes controlling the TEEPs, whose ability to read normal human minds sows unease and disorder (understandable). The situation is brought to a boil by the "hood maker" who makes hoods which, when donned, block out the TEEP probes.

"The Hood Maker" is smartly written for television by Matthew Graham (who also wrote the TV adaption of Childhood's End and the British version of Life on Mars, much better than the American, by the way), and he has Honor saying such memorable things as "I could read people before I could read books" and Ross telling Honor "you can read minds but you can't read my heart." I just love quintessentially science fictional lines like those.

And there's a nice symmetry between Holliday Grainger (from The Borgias) playing Honor and Richard Madden (from Medici) playing Ross. Good directing, too, by Julian Jarrold.

I've been a sucker for telepathy in fiction every since I read Alfred Bester's Demolished Man as a kid at the end of the 1950s (which, by the way, was also a police story). And Sense8 was #1 on my list of best 2017 television series for the same reason (it also has a strong telepathy and police element). I put "The Hood Maker" in the same company.

science fiction

About the author

Paul Levinson

Paul Levinson's novels include The Silk Code & The Plot To Save Socrates; his LPs Twice Upon A Rhyme & Welcome Up. His nonfiction including Fake News in Real Context, The Soft Edge, & Digital McLuhan have been translated into 15 languages.

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