Sci Fi fans rejoiced yesterday at the announcement of a 10 part TV series on Philip K. Dick. The Series will be aired by channel 4, who will co-produce it with Sony. Executive Producer and writer Michael Dinner spoke to Crackplot.com about the project.
The series has already attracted big names, with TV veteran Michael Dinner joined by Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D. Moore in writing and executive producing. Brian Cranston will also executive produce, and is to appear at some point on screen.
It was a passion project for the three execs, as Michael Dinner explained:
“We have been trying to get this off the ground for over 3 years. The Dick estate approached me about looking at the short stories and selecting one I wanted to do as a series. I said I wanted them all – kind of piggish but… Ha!
“Anyway I approached Bryan and Ron about playing in the sandbox and there you go. The original idea was to do an anthology where we went to filmmakers and asked if they wanted to do one. Either write and direct or direct or write or act.”
Phillip K Dick was a hugely successful writer of the 20th Century – and eleven film adaptations of his works have been produced, Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, and The Adjustment Bureau all being examples.
His success is reflected in Michael Dinner’s high opinion of him; “I think he is the quintessential genre writer and modern humanist and there is an underlying theme in the material of ‘what does it mean to be human’,” he said.
“I think the themes in the stories are as pertinent today as they were 60 years ago.”
The project was described as an anthology in a statement released by Sony. But Dinner said it would revolve around his life as well.
“It will be based on his stories, but Dick himself might become part of a story or two as we go along.”
This series is a far cry from his last effort ‘Justified’ which he wrote, produced, exec produced and directed for – but it’s all part of a conscious effort to be versatile his career path.
“I have been fortunate to keep “reinventing” myself. Justified was a great experience — my second go around adapting Elmore Leonard (I also did the tv adaptation of Out of Sight called “Karen Sisco”). But I have done all kinds of material.
“Sometimes I confuse people in my choices but to me the same director’s vision is evident. But I have done drama and comedy. I have done some genre work… The pilot to Bionic Woman which had the same themes as Dick’s material and was “Blade Runner-esque.” Anyway, genre material affords a director the ability to create a universe. It will be a ball.
When asked about working with Ronald D. Moore in exec producing and writing Dinner was full of enthusiasm.
“Ron is extremely talented and has an expansive mind. He is a Sci-fi geek! Jeez, I’d be an idiot not to either collaborate with him… or steal from him!
“I think this series can be smart. And for the writers and directors and actors, it can be thrilling.”
But however highly he thinks of Moore, he’s not afraid to call dibs on the things he’s got his eye on writing.
“I am going to do Dick’s story The Father Thing. The reason I was drawn to it is because it is told through the eyes of a young boy and is a Father/Son story and its themes are powerful. I have a 10 year old and 12 year old son. And this story is a story I feel I need to shoot. Kind of Invasion of the Body Snatchers through the eyes of a 10 year old.”