Amazon has been taking everyone by surprise with their incredible original programming and last year’s The Man In The High Castle is no exception. Adapted from the novel of the same name written by Phillip K. Dick, the series envisions a world where the United States and the Allied powers lost WWII and the United States was then divided between the Japanese on the West Coast and Nazi Germany on the East Coast.
The series is incredible and if you haven’t watch it you should. If you have watched it, though, you know that the mind-blowing season finale asked far more questions than it answered.
We sat down at San Diego Comic-Con with the cast and show runners to try and get a few of those questions answered. They didn’t let much slip but if nothing else they made us even more excited for the upcoming second season!
Luke Kleintank gave us our first real idea about what was to come with his revelation that there would be no time jump between the two seasons. The second season will effectively pick up immediately after the first which is good news! There’s a lot going on at the end of that season and it will be nice to continue from that point. So we’ll see Joe on a boat and presumably everyone else in the middle of their various predicaments.
We’ll learn a lot more about Joe in general this season. We’ll learn more about his background and motivations. Kleintank told us that since Joe knows very little about himself he’ll be learning about things at the same time as the audience.
We were also introduced to Bella Heathcote’s character, Nicole. She’ll be playing a documentary filmmaker from a very privileged background. Heathcote describes her as the perfect Aryan woman.
Oh, and that scene at the very end with Tagomi? Kleintank confirmed that the alternative reality he slipped into is in fact our own reality.
Isa Dick Hackett, the daughter of Phillip K. Dick and executive producer on the series, told us some more about what’s to come in the next season. We’ll be meeting the Man in the High Castle this season and it’s a very real person. She told us that the person who will be playing ‘him’ hasn’t filmed yet and was not in the first season so it appears to be a whole new character. (It is not, in fact, Hitler like so many people seemed to have thought.)
She also confirmed that many things about the book and the series are the same even if they haven’t been confirmed in the show itself yet. For example, just like in the book, the turning point in the war came when FDR was assassinated. That’s where our realities diverged and once Tagomi explores the alternate reality perhaps we’ll see more about how things have changed.
Alexa Davalos was very excited to talk to us about Juliana’s story this season but, of course, she couldn’t really say much. She promised some very surprising experiences but otherwise it sounds like mum’s the word.
DJ Qualls and Rupert Evans weren’t all that much more forthcoming about any specifics of the season, though they did talk about Ed and Frank’s relationship in depth. They promised that we’ll learn a lot more about their friendship and why Ed cares so much about Frank. But we’re also going to see their relationship changing.
Frank’s choices have really put Ed in a bad place. DJ Qualls talked to us about Ed’s motivations as far as keeping the Japanese happy. They way he sees it – and the way Frank saw things initially, too – you can have a job and have food and that’s really all that matters. As long as you go along with things you’ll be fine. “It’s awful but it’s safe.” But now other people are basically making choices for him and he can’t keep living that life.
There’s also a really great moment in the video above that I really encourage you to watch. DJ Qualls and Rupert Evans have both had to film scenes now where they are being beaten naked on cold concrete and let’s just say DJ went to Rupert for a little advice before his own scene…
Dan Percival was able to confirm that we would in fact be meeting the Man in the High Castle. That meeting will essentially guild the entire second season as it moves forward. We’ve started to see some of our questions answered – and knowing who the titular man is will be a huge question answered. But with every question that gets answered there will be more left open.
It’s going to be an exciting season, we can tell!
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa also talked a little bit about the affect going from his world to this new one where the Japanese lost will have on his character.
Lastly, we had a really great conversation with Rufus Sewell about his character Obergruppenführer John Smith. He talked about how his motivations are primarily to protect his family and that in another world he would have been a much different man. Sewell believes that his character is a very good case study for Nazism in general.
Sewell did an incredible amount of research in preparation of his role and he’s very interested in showing that John Smith is not some stereotypical Nazi. In fact, it was John Smith’s role as both a family man and dangerous, motivated leader that drew him to the role. If you’re interested, definitely watch the video above – it’s really awesome to see how much thought he’s put into the character.
You’ll be seeing Obergruppenführer John Smith again and everyone else sooner than later.
It was announced at TCA that The Man in the High Castle would be returning in December of this year – December 16th to be exact! That means we just have a few months left before we get to see what the next season holds. We’re just months away from meeting the Man in the High Castle!