The Man in the High Castle is finally going to live up to its namesake.
Although the man behind the mysterious, forbidden news reels detailing an alternate timeline to the dystopian world presented in the Amazon series remained faceless in season one, the executive producers promised answers during their 2016 Summer TCA press tour panel.
“There’s quite a bit to draw yet,” executive producer Isa Hackett said of Philip K. Dick’s 1963 novel upon which the show is based. “One of the things we will actually get into which we didn’t last season is meeting the man in the high castle. That’s a character we didn’t get to last season. But the narrative progression is different in the show than it was in the book, so there was a bit of jumping around and there is much more to draw on.”
And executive producer David Zucker added that the origin of the reels is a “discovery process.”
Amazon’s hour-long drama The Man in the High Castle explores what it would be like if the Allied Powers had lost WWII, and Japan and Germany ruled the United States. But the shocking season one finale revealed a twist in the final moments where Trade Minister Nobusuke Tagomi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) opened his eyes to see a world that is closer to our own than to the show’s dystopian Nazi-led timeline.
“That’s absolutely a question that this season will answer,” Tagawa said. “Because it has the first and only book to go on, we’re definitely charting some new territory. For Tagomi, it’s everything that is parallel to his life. It’s a new journey. I’m very excited to see where we go.”
And Hackett promised that the vision was real: “We are to believe that, yes. It wasn’t a dream.”
“That is very much the soul of what we’re going to be exploring in season two,” Zucker added. “It’s going to be a hugely expansive season two.”
According to star Rupert Evans, who plays Frank Frink, “new worlds in season two open up for these characters.”
“It shows how the book expands and the changing aspects of our characters,” Evans said. “We see Frank moving on and becoming radicalized in a way. It’s a huge departure from season one. There are huge areas to investigate.”
Something that star Luke Kleintank, who plays Joe Blake, was excited to explore in season two is Joe’s love life. Bella Heathcoate has been cast as his new love interest. “She’s introduced pretty quickly in the second season,” Kleintank said.
But one mystery that happened offscreen earlier this year was when season one showrunner Frank Spotnitz exited the drama over differences of opinion with Amazon in May. After he left, the series briefly went into hiatus. So who is the showrunner now? Well, Zucker had a lot to say on that matter … but didn’t actually answer the question.
“I would say that we’re running in many ways like a republic,” Zucker said. “In that sense, it’s very unique to the show, there are senior powers in every aspect of the realization of the show. No one would choose to build a show this way, and going forward, we’re going to figure out how to best realize the show using all the forces we can. The team in Vancouver, the team in the writing room is exactly the same [this season as it was last season].”
Since the series presents a much darker alternate timeline full of Nazi symbology and themes, the stars know that it’s important to emphasize the fictionality of the story they’re telling while out in the real world.
“It’s a TV show. I think we have to remember that,” Evans said. “Also, if younger generations are attracted to this show and find meaning in it, I think that’s a positive thing. Social media, freedom of speech, those are elements that we take for granted. I think there is a middle ground to be had and it’s very thought-provoking for a lot of fans. Whether its fun or not, that’s for the audience to comment on and dictate.”
And Rufus Sewell, who plays Obergruppenfuhrer John Smith, added, “We have to be very careful with the way we promote it and I think we’ve been good about that.” The Man in the High Castle season two premieres Dec. 16 on Amazon Prime Video.