Electric Dreams is C4 Black Mirror replacement

Sam Warner, Tom Eames
Photo credit: Channel 4

From Digital Spy

There's no doubt that after reading the synopsis and seeing the trailers, Channel 4's Philip K Dick adaptation Electric Dreams immediately brings to mind Black Mirror.

Well, it turns out that it very much followed in the Charlie Brooker series' vein, as the broadcaster was actively seeking a replacement once it lost the rights to Netflix.

"When we started kicking this around, we didn't know about Black Mirror," executive producer Michael Dinner told Digital Spy. "Well, I didn't know about Black Mirror. And I think probably not long after that, Black Mirror came out on Channel 4.

"Channel 4 came in as they lost Black Mirror – it went over to Netflix. They heard that we were developing this, so they expressed an interest in joining us on this little journey."

Photo credit: Channel 4

He added that he "certainly think[s] Black Mirror helped open the door" and that it has gained a bigger following in more recent years.

"Black Mirror's become, in the States… over the last year, people are more aware of it, but they really weren't aware of it a couple of years ago," Dinner continued.

"But now, I keep reading… you know, we'll be out in the next month, and there are a number of anthology shows that are being developed. I keep reading about it in the trades.

"We'll see if they come into being. It'd be within the next year, year and a half, that you start seeing those, also. Look, people are looking for something different, and hopefully we can help give them that."

Photo credit: Channel 4

Philip K Dick is one of the most renowned sci-fi writers, so naturally the idea of adapting his stories for this anthology series would be a challenge. Well, Dinner explains that it was not as difficult as many would suspect.

"I think each writer approached the project slightly different," he continued. "When I did my episode, I just took the basic idea of losing yourself in another reality, and ran with it.

"Other writers, I think, approached it from different perspectives, but we all kind of brought something of ourselves to the individual pieces.

Photo credit: Channel 4

"So in terms of how difficult it was to adapt, it's not really that - I don't think the adaptation was difficult for any of us, because none of us felt like we had to literally replicate the story and hit the beats and do the exact same tale.

"We all had the freedom to bring our interpretation to the material, and what did it inspire in us, and what do we want to do? So it really freed you up to take a look at what existed and what Dick had talked about, and then just go back by yourself and see where your own imagination will take you."

As for a potential second series, Dinner revealed that there are "discussions" taking place. "Yeah, we'd love for that to happen. We'd love to keep doing this. There are many stories to mine, and I think that the response was great in getting directors or writers or actors or personnel to commit.

"I think we'd have an even easier time the second time around, because people know about it. It was great. We made it difficult on ourselves. We're shooting on two continents, but I came here to help set it up, to begin with, in November and December of last year.

"And then I was actually stuck in Chicago, because we're shooting simultaneously. Next time around, I want to be here. So we hope to have the opportunity to do it again."

Electric Dreams will begin on Channel 4 on September 17.

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