21 Nov 2015 17:08 IST

What if the Nazis had won?

Amazon’s new television drama answers that question — slowly

The Man in the High Castle, the new TV series from Amazon Prime, is largely based on Philip K. Dick’s Hugo Award-winning eponymous novel, which describes an alternate history in which the Axis Powers win World War II after exploding a nuclear bomb on Washington, D.C.

Many fans wonder if the much-hyped drama can match up to the standard set by its Emmy-award winning predecessor Transparent.

It’s the year 1962 — 15 years after the Americans surrender — and the US is divided into three sections: the Greater Nazi Reich in much of the east, the Japanese Pacific States along the West Coast and a neutral zone along the Rockies.

“High Castle” is a powerful concept of an Axis-controlled America that, but for a cold Russian winter, might have come true. The show’s colour palette is dreary and suitably oppressive, with only occasional flashes of colour, like the bright red, white and black swastika displayed on the strangely out-of-place LED display over Times Square.

But where “High Castle” falters is viewers never get a sense of what Americans’ lives are like. It appears that most continue on as before — except for the Jews, who have been mostly eliminated. For the most part, people go to work, watch TV and seem to have accepted the German and Japanese occupation.

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