Rufus Sewell stars as Obergruppenführer John Smith in The Man in the High Castle
Imagine an America where Germany and Japan won the second World War. That’s the premise of Philip K. Dick's dystopian novel. An America where the bad guys won and rule our country. Would we sit back and let the new order control our lives? Or would we resist? Would we fight for the rights of our fellow citizens? For our freedom?
It's also the premise of the Amazon Prime series inspired by the book. Rufus Sewell—who celebrates his 51st birthday today, October 29th—stars as Obergruppenführer John Smith, an American who rises through the ranks after America surrenders. The paramilitary title is a real one belonging to Germany's Third Reich; in the show's context Smith, assigned to investigate the Resistance, the Americans who do fight back, is the first American to receive the title. Nazism. If you're not hearing enough about it in the news, you can find it in the dystopian series currently in its third season on Amazon with the fourth season in production.
About the book
It’s America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco, the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. All because some twenty years earlier the United States lost a war—and is now occupied by Nazi Germany and Japan.
This harrowing, Hugo Award–winning novel is the work that established Philip K. Dick as an innovator in science fiction while breaking the barrier between science fiction and the serious novel of ideas. In it Dick offers a haunting vision of history as a nightmare from which it may just be possible to wake.
Have you been watching the show? I'm not sure how I'll respond to seeing Rufus Sewell in the role. Like a lot of fans of Brit telly I fell head over heels with him as Lord Melbourne in the Victoria series. And while I've never met him, my husband worked with him on Tristan and Isolde and has nothing but nice things to say about the actor as a man. I'm not sure I'm ready for the darkness, especially now as real Nazism seems to be on the rise.
Season 1 Trailer
Season 2 Trailer
Season 3 Trailer