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Series / Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams

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Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams is a science fiction anthology series that is based on the short stories of Philip K. Dick. It premiered on Channel 4 in the UK on September 2017. It has been considered by some a replacement of Black Mirror, that also started on Channel 4. The title is a reference to one of Dick's most famous works, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.

As each episode is set in its own continuity, only recurring tropes can be found on this page. There's a Recap page for the episodes, please put episode-specific examples on the appropriate page.

General Tropes:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The original Dick stories used for this series were generally very short and tightly focused on the "twist" or "gimmick" of the story; liberties had to be taken to fill an hour-long script with each of them, especially since most of the original "twists" are now extremely familiar to audiences. (E.g. the original ending of "The Impossible Planet" is that it was Earth All Along, the twist in "The Father-Thing" is that the kid's dad is a Body Snatcher, "Foster, You're Dead!" which became "Safe and Sound" was a simple "Shaggy Dog" Story about how Technology Marches On, etc.)
  • Adaptation Inspiration: Several of these adaptations change so much from the original story they almost qualify as In Name Only, engendering a bit of a They Changed It, Now It Sucks! from hardcore Philip K. Dick fans.
  • Adaptation Title Change: Some of the episodes have a different title than the short stories they're based on:
    • "Crazy Diamond" is based on "Sales Pitch".
    • "Real Life" is based on "Exhibit Piece".
    • "Safe and Sound" is based on "Foster, You're Dead!"
    • "Kill All Others" is based on "The Hanging Stranger".
  • After the End: A repeated theme within the episodes, including ones where it is not immediately apparent (i.e. the missing West Coast of the United States in "Safe and Sound").
  • Gender Flip: Since Dick's original stories were written in the 1950s, the cast list was overwhelmingly male; the majority of these adaptations contain at least one major gender flip.
  • Hotter and Sexier: All of the Philip K. Dick stories used in Season 1 were from the 1950s; none of them contained any sex whatsoever, whereas the majority of these episodes contain Fanservice moments, if not full-on nude sex scenes.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The only episode in Season 1 in which humans are not the real bad guys or at least clearly the cause of their own problems is "The Father-Thing"; unsurprisingly the latter is generally one of the worse received by critics.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Many stories take place in the near future, where one or two advancements now define society.
  • Zeerust: Intentionally invoked by the non-20 Minutes into the Future stories, fitting the Golden Age SF source material.

Alternative Title(s): Electric Dreams