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The Man in the High Castle (TV series)

The Man in the High Castle
The Man in the High Castle (TV title).png
Created by Frank Spotnitz
Based on The Man in the High Castle
by Philip K. Dick
Opening theme "Edelweiss", performed by Jeanette Olsson
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 20 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Cinematography James Hawkinson and Gonzalo Amat
Editor(s) Kathrynn Himoff
Running time 48–60 minutes
Production company(s)
Original network Amazon Video
Original release January 15, 2015 (2015-01-15) – present
External links

The Man in the High Castle is an American dystopian alternative history television series produced by Amazon Studios, Scott Free, Headline Pictures, Electric Shepherd Productions and Big Light Productions. The series is loosely based on the 1962 novel of the same name by American science fiction author Philip K. Dick. Taking place in 1962—in an alternate history of the world in which the Axis powers won World War II and subdivided the world, splitting the United States into two powers, the Greater Nazi Reich and the Japanese Pacific States—the series follows characters from both sides whose destinies intertwine after coming into contact with a series of propaganda films that show a vastly different history from that of their own.

The pilot premiered on January 15, 2015, and was Amazon's "most-watched since the original series development program began." On February 18, 2015, the series was picked up for a ten-episode season, and the remaining nine episodes were released on November 20, 2015. A second season of ten episodes premiered on December 16, 2016. On January 3, 2017, it was announced that Amazon had renewed the series for a third season.

The central characters are Juliana Crain, Frank Frink, Joe Blake, John Smith, Nobusuke Tagomi, and Takeshi Kido. The series takes place in an alternate 1962.

Juliana Crain is a San Francisco woman who becomes entangled with the resistance when her half-sister Trudy is killed by the Kempeitai, just after giving Juliana a film reel that contains newsreel-style footage depicting an alternate history in which the Allies won World War II and Germany and Japan were defeated. The film is entitled The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, and is part of a series of similar newsreels being collected by someone referred to as "The Man in the High Castle". Juliana believes the newsreel reflects some sort of alternate reality and that it is part of some kind of larger truth about how the world should be. Her boyfriend, Frank Frink (who keeps his Jewish roots hidden in order to avoid extradition and death at the hands of the Nazis), believes that the newsreel has no relation to real-life events. Juliana learns Trudy was carrying the film to Canon City, Colorado, in the Neutral Zone, where she was going to meet someone. Juliana decides to travel there in Trudy's place to find out what her half-sister's mission was. When she arrives in Canon City, she encounters Joe Blake.

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original release date
1 1 "The New World" David Semel Frank Spotnitz January 15, 2015 (2015-01-15)
A young man, Joe Blake, volunteers to serve the resistance by driving a truck from Nazi New York to the neutral zone in the Midwest. In Japan-occupied San Francisco, Juliana Crain receives a package from her sister Trudy, only to see her get shot by the Japanese police. She returns home where her boyfriend Frank urges her to go to the police and tell them she had nothing to do with Trudy's treason. The package contains film of the Allies winning World War II, which Juliana watches. She boards a bus to the Neutral Zone to deliver the film in Trudy's place. A female agent on the bus attempts to steal the film but only escapes with decoys. Joe befriends Juliana in Canon City while in San Francisco, Frank is arrested by the Kempeitai, who want to know Juliana's destination. Joe calls a Nazi commandant, Smith, revealing that he is working for them.
2 2 "Sunrise" Daniel Percival Frank Spotnitz October 23, 2015 (2015-10-23)
In the Canon City diner, Juliana meets a man she assumes is her contact. Smith tells Joe that the contact is a Sicherheitsdienst (SD) agent trying to stop the resistance, and orders him not to intervene. However, when the SD agent tries to kill Juliana, Joe drives up, and she is able to throw the agent over the railing to his death. In New York, Smith is attacked by resistance fighters. In prison, Frank meets a resistance fighter who convinces him not to inform on Juliana. The Kempeitai kill Frank's sister and her children, but do not kill him when the woman who stole Juliana's bag is found with fake film reels.
3 3 "The Illustrated Woman" Ken Olin Thomas Schnauz and Evan Wright November 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)
Joe spots a Nazi bounty hunter in town, looking for the man Juliana killed. They go to dispose of his body and car, but find a map which leads them to a cave where they find a dead woman and list of names. They realize that Juliana's boss from the diner was her actual contact. Frank breaks the news of his sister and her children's deaths to his brother-in-law. Frank returns to work where he makes a real gun. The bounty hunter realizes Juliana's identity and tries to kill her.
4 4 "Revelations" Michael Rymer Thomas Schnauz and Jace Richdale November 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)
Joe quickly saves Juliana from the Marshal. Joe and Juliana confront Lemuel who leads them into the woods, where they are surrounded by resistance fighters, who force them to give them the films and leave. Joe and Juliana are attacked again by the Marshal, causing Joe to reveal to the Marshal that he is a Nazi agent. The Marshal pursues Juliana on the highway. When Juliana gets far enough, she burns her car and hides. When the Marshal reaches the car, he assumes that she has died. Back in the Reich, SS Captain Connolly is suspected by Smith for telling the resistance members who attacked him, which route he was taking to work. In the Pacific States, Frank heads to the Crown Prince's speech with a gun to assassinate him, but hesitates to do so. The Crown Prince is then shot by an unseen gunman.
5 5 "The New Normal" Bryan Spicer Rob Williams November 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)
The Crown Prince is rushed to the hospital after the attack, and the captain of the Imperial Guard is ordered to commit seppuku, for not protecting the Crown Prince. Kido then states that if he cannot find the gunman, he will do the same. Meanwhile, Juliana returns home to find an angry Frank, who tells her about his time in prison. Joe returns to New York from the Neutral Zone and is kidnapped by Gestapo agents and brought to Smith's office. He is then forced to tell Smith what happened in Canon City. Smith believes him, and invites Joe over for VA day (Victory in America day).
6 6 "Three Monkeys" Nelson McCormick Rob Williams November 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)
Joe celebrates VA day at Smith's house. Juliana accepts a job working for Tagomi as she continues her search for answers. Smith, who has received intelligence about Wegener's activities but also happens to be an old friend, intercepts him at the airport and invites him for dinner hoping to probe Wegener for answers. Smith has Wegener arrested. Smith catches Joe sneaking through his files.
7 7 "Truth" Brad Anderson Emma Frost November 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)
Juliana makes a startling discovery about her sister's death. Frank reflects on recent events and makes an important decision about his future, and Tagomi gains greater insight into Juliana's past. Smith catches Joe in his home office and interrogates him about Juliana and Canon City.
8 8 "End of the World" Karyn Kusama Walon Green November 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)
Juliana and Frank make plans to escape the Pacific States, only to be dragged back into danger by Joe as he tries to retrieve a new film, and walks directly into the Kempeitai's ambush. Meanwhile, Smith's loyalty is put to the ultimate test when confronted with a startling family discovery. The episode is named after the song of the same name, which is performed by Lini Evans during the episode with Japanese lyrics she co-wrote.
9 9 "Kindness" Michael Slovis Jace Richdale November 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)
With time running out, a desperate Frank is forced to put his life on the line to help Joe. The pieces finally fall into place for Smith as he uncovers who was behind the assassination attempt. Tagomi is devastated when he is confronted with the consequences of his scheming, and Kido's investigation takes a dramatic turn when he makes an important discovery. Meanwhile, Frank and Juliana, after taking possession of the new film, decide to watch it, but they are shocked to find out that the film describes, apparently in the near future, a nuclear-bombed San Francisco where the SS are rounding up and executing survivors; Frank is shown being executed by Joe, who is wearing an SS uniform.
10 10 "A Way Out" Daniel Percival Rob Williams November 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)
Frank and Juliana angrily confront Joe as a Nazi agent. He goes to the Nazi embassy with the film. Joe learns that Heydrich is preparing a trap. Kido acts on the information from the Yakuza and kills the Nazi sniper that shot the Crown Prince. Ed is caught with Frank's gun and is used as a scapegoat for the attempted assassination of the Crown Prince, averting the need for Kido to commit seppuku. Heydrich demands Smith's loyalty ahead of Wegener assassinating Hitler. Wegener says goodbye to his family and travels to Hitler's alpine castle (filmed at Hohenwerfen Castle), but after confronting Hitler (who is watching the alternate newsreels in his huge film vault saying that he learns something every time he watches), kills himself instead. Smith captures the traitor Heydrich and reports such to Hitler. Joe evades Lem's ambush and boards a boat to Mexico in Juliana's place. Frank finds out that Ed has been arrested and returns to the Kempeitai headquarters to find him being detained. Tagomi goes to Union Square to meditate with Juliana's charm and opens his eyes to find himself in an alternate 1962 where the Allies won World War II and America is in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original release date
11 1 "The Tiger's Cave" Daniel Percival Frank Spotnitz December 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
Joe returns to New York to hand over the film to Smith and request for his resignation, but Smith denies his request before delivering the film to Hitler. Karen and Lem confront Juliana for not shooting Joe before she is tranquilized. She wakes up in the home of Hawthorne Abendsen, The Man in the High Castle, and his vast film collection. Meanwhile, General Onoda reveals to Tagomi and his staff that the capsule Science Minister Shimada found in his pocket contains the plans for a nuclear weapon that the Empire intends to use to crush the Nazis, much to Tagomi's dismay. Frank confronts Arnold about spying over his own family. Desperate to clear Ed's name, Frank goes to Childan and asks for his help. Juliana attempts to get answers from an evasive Abendsen and receives a clue which may help to avert nuclear war. Gary Connell, leader of the West Coast Resistance, goes against orders and tries to kill Juliana, but she escapes at a Kempeitai checkpoint. A gunfight ensues between the Resistance members and the Japanese soldiers. Karen is killed in the crossfire.
12 2 "The Road Less Traveled" Colin Bucksey Rob Williams December 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
Kido investigates the shootout at the checkpoint and suspects Juliana is involved. Frank decides to get Paul Kasoura, who is a defense lawyer, to help Ed. In desperation, he reveals to Kasoura that the antique goods he and Childan sold him are fake, leading the pair to be imprisoned by the Yakuza, to whom Kasoura has a connection. Frank is almost killed by Okamura, the Yakuza leader, in the previous incident with Joe. However, he manages to convince Okamura to allow him to repay his debt for the forgery, with a condition that Ed is to work with him as his assistant. Kido is forced by Okamura to release Ed. He later pins the assassination of the Crown Prince on the deceased Karen. Joe is ordered by Smith to visit his father, a Reichminister named Heusmann, in Berlin. Smith tells Joe that Juliana is possibly dead. Meanwhile, Juliana evades Gary and Lem and tries to convince her parents to leave San Francisco, to no avail. Using the clue on a mysterious man that Abendsen is fixated on, Juliana discovers the man is a family friend named George Dixon, who is Trudy's real father. Learning he may be in Brooklyn, Juliana risks her life to reach the Nazi embassy and request asylum, while leaving a letter to Frank.
13 3 "Travelers" Daniel Sackheim Erik Oleson December 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
Smith is warned by Dr. Adler, the family physician, to end his son Thomas's life, as the boy's incurable illness prevents him from being accepted in the Reich. Juliana makes it to New York and is questioned by Smith, who is notified of her arrival and arranges her stay. He keeps this a secret from Joe. Frank learns of Juliana's defection to the Nazi states, though he does not believe Gary on her betrayal. While he works with Ed and Childan to create forgeries for the Yakuza to repay his debt, Frank is convinced by the Resistance to help them liberate innocent citizens from the Kempeitai in retaliation for the checkpoint murders. While saving a Resistance member named Sarah, Frank commits his first kill against the Japanese. Juliana looks for Joe but is told by his ex-lover that he has rejoined the Nazis, leading her to think he may have betrayed her. Joe travels to Berlin and meets with his father but is distant due to the latter's treatment of his mother. He crosses paths with Nicole Becker, a filmmaker. Smith is unable to kill his son when given the chance to do so. He meets with Dr. Adler and kills him to ensure his silence.
14 4 "Escalation" David Petrarca Wesley Strick December 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
Juliana adjusts to life in the Reich under the tutelage of Smith's wife Helen and Thomas. While looking for George Dixon at his old apartment, she is pursued by two unknown agents and almost killed. General Onoda has the Kempeitai execute numerous citizens for the murder of the Japanese soldiers during the Resistance rescue. Enraged, Frank starts to neglect his debt with the Yakuza and accepts a risky assignment to siphon materials from an unexploded Japanese bomb for a Resistance mission, much to Ed's dismay. Frank begins to get close with Sarah during the assignment. Smith reveals to a suspecting Helen that he killed Dr. Adler to keep their son's illness a secret. Kido gets Onoda drunk and tricks him into approving an unknown order. After escaping from her pursuers, Juliana is approached by Dixon. Tagomi travels to the alternate timeline once again and sees his still-living wife Michiko, who is deceased in his own timeline.
15 5 "Duck and Cover" John Fawcett Erik Oleson & Rick Cleveland December 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
Dixon is revealed to be a Resistance leader and meets up with Juliana after she tells him that the Man in the High Castle sent her. Juliana tells him he may be somehow involved in the possible San Francisco bombing as he has appeared several times in the films. Dixon forces Juliana to spy on Smith and his family to redeem her betrayal when she allowed Joe to escape with the film. Joe is upset when his father brings him to his place of birth and reveals he is one of the Lebensborn, an experiment to perfect racial purity. Despite this, he takes up his father's offer to remain in Berlin for a few more days. Kido attempts to use Onoda's approval to extradite Juliana from the Nazi states, though he fails and reveals his motive for visiting Smith for an unknown reason. Frank becomes further involved with the Resistance while Ed is revealed to be under the control of the Kempeitai to report on the Yakuza's counterfeiting activities in exchange for his and Frank's lives. Lem assists Abendsen in moving to a new location under the possibility the location of the High Castle is compromised and Abendsen destroys most of the films before leaving. Tagomi reveals himself to the alternate Michiko and his son Noriyuke, but discovers the alternate Tagomi's relationship with them is estranged. He is shocked to see Noriyuke married to an alternate Juliana with their son.
16 6 "Kintsugi" Paul Holahan Francesca Gardiner December 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
Juliana starts to socialize with the Ladies Committee as planned and gains the support of one of the members, Lucy. Helen discovers Thomas has been selected by the Hitler Youth group to go for an expedition in South America. She forbids her son to go until she finds out that Smith arranged to have their son disappear from society by staging a fake abduction and live a life of anonymity. Joe starts to get closer to Nicole, who reveals herself as one of the Lebensborn and brings him to meet with some of the others. After spending the night with Nicole, Joe begins to embrace his real heritage. Sarah brings Frank to a secret prayer gathering with Hagan, a leader of the Resistance. Tagomi attempts to mend his alternate self's relationship with his family, and is dismayed by the alternate Noriyuke's foregoing of the Japanese culture. Kido is informed by his right hand man, Yoshida, that they have found Abendsen's burnt hideout and learns the Yakuza is also looking for the films.
17 7 "Land O' Smiles" Karyn Kusama Rob Williams December 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
Ed and Childan go to Okamura to repay their debt with the sale from Frank's forgery but are locked up in a storage room when Kido and his men pay a visit. Kido kills Okamura and the Yakuza members present for treason as he has deduced the Yakuza are working with the Nazis. Yoshida discovers Ed and Childan but lets them go. Frank is tasked to plant a bomb at the harbor where General Onoda is visiting. However, Frank aborts the mission when he discovers that the Japanese are secretly building an atomic bomb there and alerts the Resistance of this information. While at Adler's funeral, Smith is dismayed when Adler's wife Alice raises her suspicion on her husband's sudden death and plans to have an autopsy performed. Juliana also attends the funeral and while talking to Thomas, she notices he has a seizure and covers for him. Later, she promises Helen not to speak of Thomas's condition. Smith has further troubles when Heinrich Himmler informs him that Hitler has suffered a collapse.
18 8 "Loose Lips" Alex Zakrzewski Rick Cleveland December 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
Smith questions Juliana about Joe's film and learns of San Francisco's impending destruction. Lucy tells Juliana she knows that supposedly live footage of Hitler is actually archival because her husband manages the TV broadcast. Juliana shares with Dixon her belief that Hitler may be dead. The Resistance decide it is time to stage an uprising, leaving Juliana concerned that she may have caused the nuclear catastrophe she is trying to prevent. Heusmann is made Acting Chancellor while Joe decides to support his father. Frank learns from Arnold that Juliana has warned them to leave San Francisco and has not betrayed him. Enraged, he confronts Gary but the Resistance is determined to go ahead with the uprising. Armed with the knowledge from Juliana and Kido, Smith misleads a secretly imprisoned Heydrich into thinking Germany and Japan are already at war, leading Heydrich to confirm what Smith has suspected: a conspiracy to create a pretext for war with the Japanese exists among the Nazi ranks. Smith executes Heydrich, but not before learning he is not the mastermind behind the rush to war. Hitler passes away, leaving Heusmann in charge, and the new Chancellor is revealed to have orchestrated the looming conflict.
19 9 "Detonation" Chris Long Wesley Strick December 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
Tagomi watches a film with his alternate family showing the recent test detonation of a hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll. Finally resolved to stop war between Japan and the Nazis, Tagomi takes the film and returns to his reality. Thomas confronts Juliana about his condition, unaware that their conversation is being recorded. Smith later learns of the tape and takes it to protect Thomas' secret. In a televised address, Heusmann frames the Japanese for Hitler's death by poison and promises retaliation much to Joe's horror. Frank decides to assist the Resistance in assassinating Onoda using their homemade bombs. Before the operation, he convinces Ed and Childan to leave San Francisco. Frank and Sarah infiltrate a car bomb into the Kempeitai HQ underground parking garage. They set the bomb timer and attempt to leave the building, but are spotted by Kido, which starts a gunfight in the lobby. Just as Tagomi arrives, the bomb detonates, killing General Onoda and his staff and collapsing most of the building, seemingly killing Frank and Sarah in the process.
20 10 "Fallout" Daniel Percival Erik Oleson December 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
Tagomi and Kido, who survived the bombing, deal with the aftermath of the destruction of the Kempeitai HQ. Afterwards, Kido travels to New York and plays the film for Smith appearing to provide evidence that the Japanese possess a hydrogen bomb. The resistance attempts to avenge Karen's death by killing Juliana, but she escapes and kills Susan in the process. She then confronts and kills Dixon, who was threatening to expose Smith by broadcasting the tape of her conversation with Thomas. Smith travels to Berlin with the film to convince the Nazi higher ups not to attack Japan out of fear of nuclear retaliation and meets privately with Himmler, exposing Heusmann as the traitor. After arresting Heusmann and Joe, Himmler addresses the worldwide public from the Volkshalle, possibly assuming control of the Reich, and rewards Smith for his service. The recognition Smith receives inspires Thomas to turn himself over to the Public Health Department to be euthanized. After traveling to the Neutral Zone, a bereft Juliana learns from Abendsen that hope remains and that her sister is alive. Finally, Lem hands over Abendsen's films to Tagomi.
Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result
2015 South by Southwest Awards Excellence in Title Design Patrick Clair Nominated
2016 American Society of Cinematographers Awards Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Television Movie, Mini-Series or Pilot James Hawkinson (Episode: "The New World") Nominated
Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series James Hawkinson Won
Outstanding Main Title Design Patrick Clair, Paul Kim, Jose Limon, Raoul Marks Won
Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More) Drew Boughton, Linda King, Brenda Meyers-Ballard Nominated
Outstanding Special Visual Effects The Man in the High Castle Nominated
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Rufus Sewell Nominated
Monte-Carlo Television Festival Best TV Series Drama The Man in the High Castle Nominated
Saturn Awards Best New Media Television Series The Man in the High Castle Nominated
USC Scripter Awards Best Television Script Frank Spotnitz and Philip K. Dick Nominated
Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project Casi Blume, David Andrade, Nick Chamberlain, Lawson Deming Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode Lawson Deming, Cory Jamieson, Casi Blume, Nick Chamberlain Nominated
Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a TV Series – Recurring Young Actor (14–21) Quinn Lord Nominated
2017 Costume Designers Guild Awards Outstanding Fantasy Television Series J.R. Hawbaker Pending



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