Critical Condition: Electric Dreams

Electric Dreams: The Hood Maker | Lightbox, from Wednesday


➢ “The Hood Maker was written by Matthew Graham, co-creator of back-to-the-future cop shows Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes. It paired Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) and Holliday Grainger (The Borgias) as an odd couple of spooks in a post-technological society riven by prejudice and distrust … So this was a parable about surveillance and the incursions of the all-seeing state, which is never not a hot-button topic. But Philip K Dick died in 1982 so his pensées about the future are necessarily passé. This adaptation didn’t have quite enough resonant things to say about the here and now, which should always be task number two in sci-fi’s job description.” — The Telegraph.

➢ “Craftily and artfully adapted by Matthew Graham, The Hood Maker asks questions not just about state surveillance, prejudice, civil liberties and human rights, but also about technology, power and knowledge, trust, democracy, even evolution. It’s a bleak, suffocating vision that left me not only worried, but craving light and air, simplicity, nature and the past. The Hood Maker is terrific, thoughtful, thought-provoking and compelling.” — The Guardian.

➢ “If Electric Dreams was intended to fill Channel 4’s Black Mirror-shaped hole, on this evidence there’s much hole still to fill. Maybe it’s just me. I’m no Dick expert, but it seemed dated and I found it hard to care much about anyone or the manufacture of the thought-blocking hoods.” — The Times.

➢ “It was a classic Dick dystopia, but the British accents and rundown tower blocks grounded it in a very recognisable world. There was a slight sense of overfamiliarity – the story of [Madden’s] lugubrious detective, lost in a moral maze as he tried to reconcile the demands of the job with a ‘forbidden’ love was an ideal appetiser for the Blade Runner sequel. But if subsequent episodes don’t stick so closely to a ‘past glories’ template, the quality on display could make this one of the autumn’s must-sees.” — The i.

➢ “If comparisons with Black Mirror seem inevitable, the similarities are really only superficial. Where Mirror deals in slick, on-point parables and morality tales about the dangers of technology, Dreams (on this early evidence, at least) is a more ponderous, near-impressionistic affair – a selection of mood-boards about the human condition. In essence, actually rather simple stories about what it means to exist; to live, to love. And ultimately, as to be expected from that most existential of sci-fi writers, there are no clear messages or takeaways here. The scanner remains dark.” — GQ.

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One Response to “Critical Condition: Electric Dreams”

  1. Ponderous sums up this half-baked series perfectly! It doesn’t even have stunning visuals and sound to assuage the tedium.

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