As Electric Dreams comes to a thrilling conclusion, it’s time for Executive Producer, Bryan Cranston to take centre stage.
Vera (Essie Davis) is in a loveless relationship with Silas (Bryan Cranston) and the pair work for the Intergalactic Intelligence Agency. A high-flyer in the corporation, Silas has a lot of responsibilities and pressures, which sometimes erupt in violence towards his wife. After facing a near-death experience, the Colonel returns and is all of a sudden a completely different man, literally. After battling with the Rexorians, it seems that Silas and his surviving crew mate were taken over by a shapeshifting alien who plans to infiltrate their enemy base. It’s during a trial against the Colonel that Vera appears to realise her love for her husband after all, committing treason to do so. The series ends with a beautiful reflection on what it is to be human, as Silas manages to escape imprisonment by feigning compassion.
Despite this being a completely fictional world where space travel and aliens are commonplace, Stranger Things writer, Jessica Mecklenburg, has created a scenario that is completely humane. At the heart of the story is one relationship with marital problems. It’s a scenario that would be familiar to most and that’s what makes this, one of the bigger triumphs of the series.
Bryan and Essie make a fine double act. The pair’s relationship is convincing and both are stellar actors; the significant lack of dialogue throughout the episode is merely a reflection of how their faces say it all. Essie especially shone in the instalment, as she flipped between grieving wife, scorned lover and sex-hungry vixen in just one short hour. Bryan showed his versatility as an actor, even appearing to call on some of his Breaking Bad experiences for the role. In one scene towards the middle when Vera was submerging herself in a bath, Walter White’s very famous death stare came back in an instant. Just seconds after, he flipped once more from threatening Heisenberg to bumbling Walter White. It was a clever move on his part that ensured a tense unpredictability throughout the gripping instalment.
The pair were backed up by a strong supporting cast, made predominantly of sci-fi and fantasy veterans Ruth Bradley (Humans) and Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones). The latter especially proved his credentials as a leader when he took on the role of General Olin which was miles apart from his Davos Seaworth counterpart.
Electric Dreams has come to an end for now, but has promised more episodes to come next year. In total, the series has been ambitious, to say the least. Although it hasn’t always hit the mark, Phillip K. Dick’s anthology has proven an interesting source to delve into. It’s been refreshing to see a true sci-fi with humanity at its heart, even if it’s not always apparent. As an alternative Sunday night viewing, Electric Dreams has been unmissable.
Contributed by Helen Daly