Stream On: Pedigreed science fiction

By on October 5, 2019

In Nazi-occupied 1962 New York, S.S. Obergruppenführer John Smith struggles to reconcile his fate with what might be in Philip K. Dick’s The Man in The High Castle. (IMDB.com)

Not everybody enjoys science fiction. I myself have a high bar, but once cleared, I’ve found the stories deal with the everlasting concerns of fiction; the settings provide a shortcut for delving right into the big questions of life: Where did we come from, why are we here, and where are we going?

The Man in the High Castle

The writer Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) has produced many works that have entered American lore through films, notably Blade Runner, based on his 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? His 1962 Hugo-award winning novel The Man in the High Castle is the basis for the 2015 Amazon Prime Video series set in an alternative universe in which the Axis powers have won World War II.

Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan have divided the United States into the Greater Nazi Reich in the east, with New York City as its regional capital, and the Japanese Pacific States to the west, with San Francisco as the capital. These territories are separated by a neutral zone that encompasses the Rocky Mountains.

There is an American S.S. Obergruppenführer (Rufus Sewell, Victoria), a Japanese-American inspector for the military police of the Imperial Japanese Army, a Japanese trade minister, and several American-born civilians including an undercover Nazi spy, and a Jewish factory worker and his girlfriend who live happily in San Francisco and have embraced the Imperial Japanese regime. She has gone so far as to become adept at aikido.

When she hears talk of and finally sees some contraband films curated by a mysterious figure, the so-called “Man in the High Castle,” that appear to show a world in which the Allies have won the war, she becomes entangled in an American resistance movement. Among the characters almost no-one is who he seems to be, but the Japanese trade minister, a sympathetic character living in San Francisco, practices meditation and finds therein glimpses of the other universe hinted at in the films. The 73-year-old Führer Adolph Hitler has also seen some of the films and initiates a project led by Dr. Josef Mengele to build a portal between the two worlds. It’s a wild ride; the fourth and final season will be posted on Amazon Prime Video in November. Here is a 1:46 trailer. Ridley Scott, Blade Runner director, is the executive producer.


Jake Epping, who has traveled back in time to change history, and Bill Turcotte eavesdrop on Lee Harvey Oswald in Stephen King’s 11.22.63. (IMDB.com)


Hulu has tapped the works of Stephen King for its eight-episode time-travel miniseries from 2016. A typical marvel of storytelling from one of America’s favorite popular writers, it’s characteristically thought-provoking with a stunning twist.

From Wikipedia: “Jake Epping (James Franco), a recently divorced English teacher in Maine, is presented with the chance to travel back in time to 1960 by his long-time friend Al Templeton (Chris Cooper). He is persuaded into going in an attempt to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963; however, he becomes attached to the life he makes in the past, which could be the mission’s undoing.”

Could history be changed in such a scenario, and what might transpire if it could? Human interactions and satisfying drama dress up this investigation into chaos theory’s butterfly effect, or how small changes in a non-linear system will snowball into unforseen consequences. A two-minute trailer for this extremely entertaining miniseries is here.


The mysterious Kid, discovered locked up in the basement of Shawshank Prison, is at the center of the unexplained phenomena in Castle Rock.

Castle Rock

This 2018 Hulu series is a new exercise in television – an original story based not on an existing piece of fiction, but on the universe of the stories of Stephen King (who is executive producer). The title town is the location of Shawshank Prison, under which an undocumented and taciturn prisoner (Bill Skarsgård, King’s It) is found. His memories are hazy, and a death-row attorney, who left Castle Rock under a cloud as a child after his father’s death, is summoned when his name is uttered by the mysterious prisoner. The attorney’s mother (Sissy Spacek, Bloodline and King’s Carrie), her boyfriend (Scott Glenn) and a childhood friend are drawn into a series of mysterious happenings that surround “the Kid.”

There are numerous King Easter eggs sprinkled throughout the series: One character recounts how her uncle lost his mind and slaughtered his family in a high-class hotel out west, and another is disturbed by the return of a dog thought to be dead. “Does nothing stay dead in this town,” she cries. A headline in an old newspaper describes a horrific rabid-dog attack.

The nebulous plot slowly emerges, but while it does there’s plenty of creepy atmosphere for anyone, especially Stephen King fans, leading to a shocking first-season finale. The second season is set to premiere in October. The 2:21 trailer is here.

Next time I’ll continue my survey of lesser-known streaming TV shows. Email me here and follow Stream On OBX on Twitter.

Click here for more Stream On: What to Watch on TV columns by Pete Hummers.


Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at https://app.buildingconnected.com/public/54da832ce3edb5050017438b for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at mterrell@barnhillcontracting.com or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).


Sussex Development is soliciting bids to turnkey supply and install FF&E for the new Tulls Creek Elementary School, 125 Campus Drive, Moyock, NC27929. This project is a new ground-up 2-story, Pre-K thru 5th grade school, approximately 118,000 square feet. Bid documents may be obtained through Christopher West Interiors LLC. Request bid documents via email to interiors@cwiusa.com. Pre-Bid RFIs will be accepted via email until Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 5:00PM EST. Pricing proposals are due Wednesday, August 14, 2024 by 5:00PM EST. All bids and inquires to be sent to interiors@cwiusa.com. Certified NC Hub, MBE, WBE, DBE, SBE are highly encouraged to participate. Sussex Development is an EOE and maintains a drug-free workplace.


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