Last year, Amazon released the first season of its visually striking adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle. The high-concept series presented a nightmarish version of the United States, controlled in part by the undefeated regimes of Nazi Germany and Japan decades after World War II, as something that could have been all too real. Season 1 made for a chilling exploration of a dramatically different world run by an authoritarian regime, but it was one that had an unexpected light at the end of the tunnel. That light came in the form of a series of newsreels or filmstrips depicting a reality much closer to our own.
Those reels are connected to the mysterious Man in the High Castle, a figure of great interest to not only Alexa Davalos’ Juliana Crane but also undercover German agent Joe Blake (Luke Kleintank) and Obergruppenführer John Smith (Rufus Sewell). The seemingly simple plot device has far-reaching implications that go beyond the notion of powerful propaganda being disseminated in a fascistic government, and begins to sow some unsettling science-fiction seeds about the nature of reality and whether or not this dystopian alternate history is all there is. As was revealed in the closing moments of season 1, when Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa’s Trade Minister Nobusuke Tagomi appears to jump to another reality altogether, there’s definitely more going on meets the eye.
That sense of mystery is at the heart of the new trailer for The Man in the High Castle season 2. After the initial promo teased its various characters finding themselves locked in a seemingly unwinnable fight for the future, the new trailer – which comes just days after an unnerving new clip showed a classroom in Nazi-ruled America – offers a better look at what audiences can expect in terms of how deep down the rabbit hole the series intends to go with the next 10 episodes.
Perhaps the most intriguing part of the new trailer is the suggestion that Juliana has come face-to-face with the man in question, and finds herself granted entry to his “castle”. There is a certain amount of leading the audience in terms of where that development is going, to be sure, but it fits with the elements of intrigue signifying Juliana’s resolve is going to be tested by putting her on the front lines of the effort to loosen Germany’s grip on the world. And while Juliana’s story sees her potentially uncovering the truth about the Man in the High Castle, season 2 seeks to uncover more about the conflicted Joe Blake, who, as is mentioned in the trailer, is the son of a high-ranking official in the Reich. Will Joe feel the pull of such proximity to power, or will he find a higher purpose in his connection with Juliana?
The series’ cast is nearly as large as its scope, so aside from a few brief glimpses, the trailer has precious little time to reveal much about what’s going on with D.J. Qualls’ Ed McCarthy or Rupert Evans’ Frank Frink – although it certainly looks as if the latter has taken matters into his own hands – much less the aforementioned trade minister or Joel de la Fuente’s Inspector Kido. All in all, the tension and the mystery of it all makes for a tantalizing tease for a show that makes an alternate history feel frighteningly tangible.
The Man in the High Castle season 2 premieres on December 16 on Amazon Prime.
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