The Man in the High Castle (TV series)

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The Man in the High Castle
The Man in the High Castle logo.svg
Created by Frank Spotnitz
Based on The Man in the High Castle
by Philip K. Dick
Opening theme"Edelweiss", performed by Jeanette Olsson
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)
  • English
  • German
  • Japanese
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes30 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Production location(s)
Cinematography James Hawkinson
Gonzalo Amat
Editor(s)Kathrynn Himoff
Running time48–70 minutes
Production company(s)
Original network Prime Video
Picture format
Audio format 5.1
Original releaseJanuary 15, 2015 (2015-01-15) 
External links

The Man in the High Castle is an American television series depicting a dystopian alternate history taking place in a parallel universe. It was created by Frank Spotnitz and is produced by Amazon Studios, Scott Free Productions, Headline Pictures, Electric Shepherd Productions, and Big Light Productions. [1] It is based on the 1962 novel The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick. [2]

Frank Spotnitz writer, producer

Frank Spotnitz is an American television writer and executive producer, and Chief Executive Officer of Big Light Productions, a London and Paris-based television production company. Spotnitz's career of more than 20 years in television includes creating, writing and producing series with networks, cable, streaming and other broadcast platforms. He is the creator of the Amazon series The Man in the High Castle.

Amazon Studios is a television and film producer and distributor that is a subsidiary of Amazon. It specializes in developing television series and distributing and producing films. It was started in late 2010. Content is distributed through theaters and Prime Video, Amazon's digital video streaming service, and is a competitor to services like Netflix and Hulu.

Scott Free Productions British film and television production company

Scott Free Productions is a British film and television production company founded in 1970 by filmmakers and brothers Ridley Scott and Tony Scott. They formed the feature film development company Percy Main Productions in 1980, naming the company after the English village Percy Main, where their father grew up. The company was renamed to Scott Free Productions in 1995. Scott Free has produced films ranging from the 2000 Hollywood blockbuster Gladiator (2000) to "smaller pictures" like Cracks (2009). Between productions of White Squall (1996) and G.I. Jane (1997), Ridley Scott reorganised the company.


In this parallel universe, the Axis powers have won World War II and divided the United States into the Greater Nazi Reich, consisting of half of the eastern part of the United States and New York City as its regional capital, and the Japanese Pacific States to the west, with San Francisco as capital. These territories are separated by a neutral zone that encompasses the Rocky Mountains. The series starts in 1962 and follows characters whose destinies intertwine when they come into contact with newsreels and home movies that show Germany losing the war.

Rocky Mountains Mountain range in North America

The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 4,800 kilometers (3,000 mi) from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico in the Southwestern United States. Located within the North American Cordillera, the Rockies are somewhat distinct from the Pacific Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, and the Sierra Nevada, which all lie farther to the west.

The pilot premiered in January 2015, and Amazon ordered a ten-episode season the following month which was released in November. A second season of ten episodes premiered in December 2016, and a third season was released on October 5, 2018. In July 2018, Amazon announced at San Diego Comic-Con that it had been renewed for a fourth season, which was confirmed in February 2019 to be the last one of the series.

San Diego Comic-Con Multigenre entertainment and comic convention

San Diego Comic-Con International is a non-profit multi-genre entertainment and comic book convention held annually in San Diego, California, United States. The name, as given on its website, is Comic-Con International: San Diego; but it is commonly known simply as Comic-Con or the San Diego Comic-Con or "SDCC".


Flag of the Japanese Pacific States, part of the Empire of Japan. JPS flag.svg
Flag of the Japanese Pacific States, part of the Empire of Japan.
Flag of Nazi America, part of the Greater Nazi Reich. The Man in the High Castle (Ridley Scott's series).svg
Flag of Nazi America, part of the Greater Nazi Reich.

The series' main setting is a parallel universe where the Axis powers have won World War II after Giuseppe Zangara assassinates President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which creates a series of developments that include the Germans dropping an atomic bomb on Washington, D.C.. The Eastern and Midwestern states of the United States are controlled by the Greater Nazi Reich (GNR), who refer to the colony as "Nazi America" or "the American Reich". Western North America, now part of the "Japanese Pacific States", is occupied by the technologically less-advanced feudal Empire of Japan, which has assimilated its formerly American citizens into Japanese culture. Japan's Trade and Science ministers work in the Pacific States' capital, San Francisco. A Neutral Zone encompasses the Rocky Mountains which serves as a buffer zone due to Cold War-like tensions between the German and Japanese blocs. The Japanese subject non-Japanese to racial discrimination and grant them fewer rights, while the Nazis continue to hunt racial and ethnic minorities and euthanize those with handicaps or chronic illnesses. The superior technology of the Germans is highlighted by the use of video phones and Concorde-like "rockets" for inter-continental travel.

Axis powers Alliance of countries defeated in World War II

The Axis powers, also known as "Rome–Berlin–Tokyo Axis", were the nations that fought in World War II against the Allies. The Axis powers agreed on their opposition to the Allies, but did not completely coordinate their activity.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Giuseppe Zangara Convicted killer

Giuseppe "Joe" Zangara was an Italian immigrant and naturalized citizen of the United States who attempted to assassinate then-President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 15, 1933, seventeen days before Roosevelt's inauguration. During a night speech by Roosevelt in Miami, Florida, Zangara fired five shots with a handgun he had purchased a couple of days before. He missed his target and instead injured five bystanders, mortally wounding Anton Cermak, the Mayor of Chicago.

Views of numerous other Earths, some where the Allies were victorious, some where an American resistance is doing well, are seen in the films collected by "the Man in the High Castle", a mysterious underground antifascist leader, in transcendental visits by one of the characters, and eventually in the recollections of "travelers" who journey between the parallel realms.


Season 1

In an alternate 1962, Juliana Crain is a woman in Japanese-ruled San Francisco, who becomes entangled with the resistance when her half-sister Trudy is killed by Chief Inspector Takeshi Kido of the Kempeitai . Before she is killed, Trudy gives Juliana a film canister containing a newsreel titled The Grasshopper Lies Heavy. The film depicts an alternate history in which the Allies defeated Germany and Japan. The film is part of a series that the mysterious underground figure known as "the Man in the High Castle" (later revealed to be an old resistance chief, Hawthorne Abendsen) is both collecting and distributing, to the chagrin of the Reich's Führer Adolf Hitler. Juliana comes to believe the newsreel reflects some sort of alternate reality and is part of a larger truth about how the world should be. Her boyfriend, Frank Frink—who keeps his Jewish roots hidden to avoid extradition and death at the hands of the Nazis—believes the newsreel is some kind of hoax. Juliana learns that Trudy was transporting the film to a contact in Canon City, Colorado, in the Neutral Zone, and decides to travel there in Trudy's place, to find out what her mission was.

San Francisco Consolidated city-county in California, US

San Francisco, officially City and County of San Francisco and colloquially known by its initialism SF, is a city in, and the cultural, commercial, and financial center of, Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th-most populous city in the United States, and the fourth-most populous in California, with 883,305 residents as of 2018. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 km2), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second-most densely populated large U.S. city, and the fifth-most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is the 12th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States, with 4,729,484 people in 2018. With San Jose, it forms the fifth most populous combined statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area.

Kenpeitai Military unit

The Kenpeitai) was the military police arm of the Imperial Japanese Army from 1881 to 1945. It was both a conventional military police and a secret police force. During the Japanese occupation, the kenpeitai also arrested those who were suspected of being anti-Japanese. While it was institutionally part of the army, the Kenpeitai also discharged the functions of the military police for the Imperial Japanese Navy under the direction of the Admiralty Minister, those of the executive police under the direction of the Home Minister and those of the judicial police under the direction of the Justice Minister. A member of the corps was called a kenpei.

Allies of World War II Grouping of the victorious countries of World War II

The Allies of World War II, called the "United Nations" from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and Italian aggression.

In Canon City, Juliana encounters Joe Blake, a member of the resistance who expects to be meeting Trudy. Joe, however, is actually a double agent working for the Nazis under Obergruppenführer John Smith, a former US Army officer who joined the Nazis and rose through the ranks to become a senior officer in the SS. Smith survives an assassination attempt, presumably by the resistance forces, and begins trying to discover who passed the information about his movements to the resistance. Frank is arrested when the Japanese and the Nazis become suspicious of Juliana's activities. Not having the information they seek, he is unable to give the Japanese what they are looking for. They kill Frank's sister and her two children in retaliation, using their Jewish heritage as an excuse for their executions. This leads Frank to plan to kill the visiting Japanese Crown Prince and Princess, but, standing in the crowd in front of the podium, he hesitates. Shots are fired, and the Crown Prince is shot by a Nazi sniper instead of by Frank.

Trade Minister Nobusuke Tagomi is a high-ranking Japanese official, in San Francisco. He meets in secret with Nazi official Rudolph Wegener, who is traveling incognito as a Swedish businessman. Tagomi and Wegener are both concerned about the power vacuum that will exist when Hitler either dies or is forced to step down because of his worsening Parkinson's disease. Wegener explains that Hitler's successor will want to use the Reich's nuclear bombs against Japan to gain control of the rest of the former United States. Currently, however, Japan and the Reich are engaged in a cold war that is full of tension but no open warfare, with the Japanese lagging behind the Germans technologically. Smith is visited in New York by another high-ranking Nazi, Reinhard Heydrich, and is wary of Heydrich's ambitions see Hitler replaced. Heydrich invites Smith to go hunting, where it is made clear that Smith can either join the plot or be eliminated. Heydrich, however, receives a call he expected would confirm Hitler's assassination, but the caller is actually Hitler himself informing Heydrich that his plot failed. Smith then arrests Heydrich as a traitor.

Season 2

Hunted by the Japanese, who hold her responsible for at least one murder, Juliana claims asylum in the Nazi Reich at its San Francisco embassy. Smith, seeing that her claim is unlikely to succeed, steps in and sponsors it himself, taking Juliana to New York under his protection without Joe's knowledge. Dr. Adler tells Smith that his son Thomas has muscular dystrophy, which must be reported to the Reich so that Thomas can be euthanized as a burden to society. Smith kills Adler to keep Thomas' condition secret, making it look like a heart attack. Joe discovers that he is a product of the Lebensborn programme, and is the sole biological son of a top-ranking Nazi official in Berlin, Martin Heusmann. Eventually, Joe reconciles with Heusmann, who becomes Acting Chancellor of the Reich during Hitler's final illness and after his subsequent death, until the Nazi party can meet and select Hitler's successor. Heusmann announces on television that Hitler was assassinated by Japanese agents, and vows to bring the perpetrators to justice by any means necessary, including war. Smith, aware of Heydrich's plotting, is the only high-ranking Nazi official to be suspicious of Heusmann's sudden announcement. Smith arranges for the release of Heydrich, pretending that he has accepted that Heydrich will be the new Führer, upon which Heydrich reveals that it is Heusmann who will be the new Führer. Heusmann intends to launch a Nazi nuclear onslaught against the Japanese Empire. The attack would kill tens of millions of Japanese and their emperor, level Tokyo, and decimate the Empire, forcing the surviving Japanese to absorb themselves into a global Nazi Reich that would strengthen Heusmann's position.

Smith attempts to carefully disrupt and dismantle the Heusmann conspiracy, and travels to Berlin to inform Nazi Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler of its existence. Smith gives Himmler a hoard of physical evidence that cannot be dismissed as hearsay, and Himmler arrests Heusmann for high treason and the murder of Hitler, also detaining Joe. Himmler addresses the Volkshalle , packed with hundreds of thousands of Reich military personnel and civilians. Himmler puts aside Heusmann's intended speech declaring war on Japan, and instead informs the Reich of Heusmann's conspiracy and Smith's exposure of it. Smith is lionized as a Nazi hero, and Himmler's accession to Führer implies a new era of peace and tranquility between the Japanese Empire and the Greater Nazi Reich. Thomas, inspired by his father's devotion to the Reich, turns himself in to be euthanized. Frank decides to put aside his relative pacifism and become a committed member of the American Resistance to the Japanese Empire inside the Pacific States. He eventually participates in a terrorist bombing of a central command building of the Pacific States government in Downtown San Francisco, also intended to kill Kido. The attack kills many members of the Japanese military and other top-level leadership, but not Kido. Juliana flees New York and arrives in the Neutral Zone, where she sees Trudy, who is very much alive.

Season 3

After months in prison, Joe is forced to execute Heusmann, and becomes part of Himmler's secret service. Juliana discovers that this Trudy comes from an alternate universe in which it was Juliana who died, and later meets a mysterious Irish black market dealer, Wyatt Price. Meanwhile, a disfigured Frank is living in a secret community of Jews, painting antifascist artwork that is turning up in Japanese-occupied territories. Tagomi and Admiral Inokuchi realize that the Reich is putting a secret embargo on petroleum against the Empire. George Lincoln Rockwell, Reichsmarschall of North America, is plotting with J. Edgar Hoover, head of the American Reich Bureau of Investigation, against Smith, now Oberst-Gruppenführer . Nicole, a young Berlin-born filmmaker, has moved to Nazi America to complete a propaganda film about the "heroic" life of Thomas Smith. She next starts working with Billy Turner, a Nazi functionary, on a new propaganda project, named Jahr Null ("Year Zero"), to "erase" the history of the former United States. This includes demolishing the Lincoln Memorial; melting the Liberty Bell to reshape it into a swastika; and destroying the Statue of Liberty (which is to be replaced by a statue of John and Thomas Smith named "The New Colossus"). Nicole becomes romantically involved with a married New York City reporter, Thelma Harris, who is later arrested in an SS raid (secretly ordered by Himmler) of a lesbian club. Himmler sends Joe to San Francisco on an ostensibly diplomatic mission, but he is actually there to kill a list of Reich defectors and Japanese functionaries, including Tagomi. Before Joe can finish, Juliana stops him by killing Joe herself. In New York City, Smith's wife Helen is devastated by Thomas's death. She accidentally kills Dr. Adler's wife, who is obsessed with the idea that her husband was murdered. Though Smith is fearful of their secrets coming out, he consents to Helen seeing a psychiatrist to deal with the trauma of this killing, and her grief over Thomas.

Childan and Ed arrive in Denver, the cultural capital of the Neutral Zone, with a bus full of Americana acquisitions Childan hopes to sell in his shop. Nearly everything (including the bus itself) is stolen by a gang on motorcycles, and when Childan prepares to return to California, Ed is hesitant to leave, as he has started a relationship with a local man named Jack. Childan returns to San Francisco to find his shop illegally occupied by a Japanese family. Kido promises to return it to Childan if he will reveal where Ed is, as a means to find Frank. Kido tracks down Frank, and ritually beheads him in the former Manzanar concentration camp. Smith blackmails Hoover and turns the table on Rockwell, who is exiled to Havana, German Cuba, by Himmler; Smith later has Rockwell killed, and is promoted to Reichsmarschall. In his new capacity, Smith is introduced to a secret program, headed by Nazi scientist Josef Mengele and started from studies on a woman who died and returned from another world, to send people (and Wehrmacht troops) through to alternate Earths using a machine housed in the Lackawanna mines, where, according to string theory, an anomaly makes such multiverse travel possible. Juliana has shown Joe's secret Reich files to Tagomi, including details of the multiverse-machine, who uses them to pressure Smith to drop the embargo. Juliana begins experiencing the memories of one of her counterparts from another Earth, who was killed by Joe in the mines. She organizes an expedition with some members of the resistance to destroy the machine. Smith and Himmler witness a test of the machine, which is moderately successful; one human subject appears to travel, but several others are torn apart. Himmler immediately lifts the oil embargo, to avoid the Japanese putting any distractions on the ongoing multiverse-machine experiments. Smith's daughter Jennifer is now old enough to submit to the mandatory medical examination that revealed Thomas's illness. Fearful of the possible results and hoping for a postponement, Helen flees with her daughters to a beach house. Himmler declares the beginning of Jahr Null with the Luftwaffe 's bombing of the Statue of Liberty, which incites gleeful riots by Nazi Youth in New York City. Himmler sends Nicole to a re-education camp in Germany, shortly before Wyatt and a sniper colleague start shooting, hitting Himmler but missing Smith. Juliana and Hawthorne Abendsen – the Man in the High Castle – are captured by the Nazis. Smith learns from Abendsen (who is revealed to be one of his fellow US Army Signal Corps soldiers) that people can only travel, including through the Nazi's multiverse-machine, if their counterpart on the destination Earth has died and "left a void". Smith rushes to stop Juliana from escaping, and shoots her just as she travels, disappearing before his eyes.




John Smith's family

  • Quinn Lord as Thomas Smith (seasons 1–2, season 3 [flashbacks/dream sequences]), John and Helen's son and the eldest child. A member of the Hitler Youth, it is later revealed that he has inherited a form of muscular dystrophy from his father's side of the family. He later hands himself in to the Reich Sanitation Services and is killed.
  • Gracyn Shinyei as Amy Smith (season 1–present), John and Helen's daughter.
  • Genea Charpentier as Jennifer Smith (season 1–present), John and Helen's daughter.

Juliana Crain's family

  • Daniel Roebuck as Arnold Walker (seasons 1–2), Juliana's stepfather and Trudy's father.
  • Macall Gordon as Anne Crain Walker (seasons 1–2), Juliana's mother who is still bitter about losing her husband in World War II.
  • Conor Leslie as Trudy Walker (seasons 1–3), Juliana's half-sister who is shot dead by the Kempeitai. However, she is shown alive at the end of the second season, revealed in the third season to be from an alternate timeline in which it was Juliana who died.

Nobusuke Tagomi's family

  • Yukari Komatsu as Michiko Tagomi (season 2), Nobusuke's wife.
  • Eddie Shin as Noriaki Tagomi (season 2), Nobusuke and Michiko's son.

Historical characters


SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
1 101January 15, 2015 (2015-01-15)
9November 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)
2 10December 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
3 10October 5, 2018 (2018-10-05)

Season 1 (2015)

The pilot and the second episode were screened at a special Comic-Con event. The season premiered on November 20, 2015. [7] [8]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"The New World" David Semel Frank Spotnitz January 15, 2015 (2015-01-15)
In 1962 Nazi-occupied New York, Joe Blake volunteers to serve the resistance by driving a truck to the Neutral Zone in the Rockies. In Japan-occupied San Francisco, Juliana Crain receives a package from her sister Trudy, only to later see her shot by the Japanese police. Juliana discovers the package contains impossible footage of the Allies winning World War II. Her boyfriend, Frank, urges her to go to the police to plead her innocence. However, Juliana lies to him and instead heads to the Neutral Zone to deliver the film in Trudy's place. A woman attempts to steal the film but escapes only with decoys. The Japanese trade minister, Nobusuke Tagomi, meets the Nazi ambassador to finalize the details of a visit to San Francisco by the Japanese Crown Prince. Later Tagomi meets Rudolph Wegener, a high-ranking Nazi official pretending to be a Swedish businessman. Joe and Juliana meet and become friends in Canon City in the Neutral Zone. In San Francisco, the Kempeitai begin searching for Juliana because of her connection to Trudy. Blake calls SS Obergruppenführer Smith, revealing that Blake is secretly working for the Nazis.
22"Sunrise" Daniel Percival Frank SpotnitzNovember 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)
Working in a Canon City diner, Juliana meets a man whom she assumes is her contact. Smith tells Joe that this contact is actually an undercover SD agent working against the resistance and orders him not to intervene. However, when Juliana goes to meet the agent, Joe drives up behind her to help her. The agent tries to kill Juliana, but she is able to throw him over a railing to his death. In New York, Smith is attacked by resistance fighters in an assassination attempt. In San Francisco, the Kempeitai arrest Frank to find out the whereabouts of Juliana. In prison, Frank meets a resistance fighter, who convinces him not to inform on Juliana. The Kempeitai kill Frank's sister and her children for his refusal to help them, but stop the planned execution of Frank when the woman who stole Juliana's bag is found with fake film reels.
33"The Illustrated Woman" Ken Olin Thomas Schnauz and Evan Wright November 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)
Joe spots a Nazi bounty hunter named the Marshal. The Marshal is looking for the agent Juliana killed. Joe and Juliana go to dispose of the dead agent's body and car and, while doing this, find a map which leads them to a cave where they find a dead woman and a list of names. The list reveals that Juliana's boss from the diner was her actual contact. The Marshal realizes Juliana's true identity and tries to kill her. In San Francisco, the Japanese Crown Prince arrives in the city. Tagomi tells Wegener to secretly contact Japanese Science Minister Shimura, during the Crown Prince's speech at the Nazi Embassy. Frank breaks the news of his sister and her children's deaths to his brother-in-law. Frank also returns to work, where he makes a real gun.
44"Revelations" Michael Rymer Thomas Schnauz and Jace Richdale November 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)
Joe saves Juliana from the Marshal. Joe and Juliana confront Lemuel (Lem), who leads them into the woods, where they are surrounded by resistance fighters. Lem forces them to give up the films and leave. Joe and Juliana are attacked again by the Marshal, causing Joe to reveal to the Marshal that he is a Nazi agent. The Marshal pursues Juliana on the highway. When Juliana gets far enough away, she burns her car and hides. When the Marshal reaches the car, he assumes that she has died. Back in New York, after he is attacked on the way to work, Smith suspects SS Hauptmann Connolly is the informant supplying information about his movements to the resistance. In the Pacific States, Frank heads to the Crown Prince's speech with a gun to assassinate him but hesitates. The Crown Prince is then shot by an unseen sniper. Wegener is unable to leave a microfilm capsule in the Science Minister's pocket, and is detained as a foreigner due to the shooting.
55"The New Normal" Bryan Spicer Rob Williams November 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)
The Crown Prince is rushed to the hospital after the attack, and the captain of the Imperial Guard is ordered to commit seppuku for failing to protect the Crown Prince. Kido then states that if he cannot find the gunman, he will do the same. Juliana returns home to find an angry Frank, who alludes to his time in prison. Juliana visits her parents and learns that the Japanese killed Frank's sister and children. When she later reports to the Japanese military, she is interrogated and asked about Trudy's partner, Randall, but is ultimately let go. Joe returns to New York from the Neutral Zone and is kidnapped by Gestapo agents and brought to Smith's office. He reports to Smith on the events in Canon City, though his report is contradicted by the Marshal's. Smith tells Joe he has failed in his mission because the leader of the resistance escaped. Smith believes that Joe is being truthful and invites him over for Victory in America (VA) Day.
66"Three Monkeys" Nelson McCormick Rob WilliamsNovember 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)
Joe celebrates VA Day at Smith's house. Juliana accepts a job working for Tagomi as she continues her search for answers. Smith, who has received intelligence about Wegener's activities but also happens to be an old friend, intercepts him at the airport and invites him for dinner hoping to probe him for answers. Smith has Wegener arrested. Smith catches Joe looking through his files.
77"Truth" Brad Anderson Emma Frost November 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)
Juliana makes a startling discovery about her sister's death. Frank reflects on recent events and makes an important decision about his future, and Tagomi gains greater insight into Juliana's past. Smith catches Joe in his home office and interrogates him about Juliana and Canon City.
88"End of the World" Karyn Kusama Walon Green November 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)

Juliana and Frank make plans to escape the Pacific States, only to be dragged back into danger by Joe, who tries to retrieve a new film and walks directly into a Kempeitai ambush. Meanwhile, Smith's loyalty is put to the ultimate test when he is confronted with a startling family discovery.

Note: The episode is named after the song of the same name, which is performed by Lini Evans during the episode with Japanese lyrics that she cowrote.
99"Kindness" Michael Slovis Jace Richdale November 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)
With time running out, a desperate Frank is forced to put his life on the line to help Joe. The pieces finally fall into place for Smith, as he uncovers who was behind the assassination attempt. Tagomi is devastated when he is confronted with the consequences of his scheming, and Kido's investigation takes a dramatic turn when he makes an important discovery. Meanwhile, Frank and Juliana, after taking possession of the new film, decide to watch it, but they are shocked to find out that the film depicts, apparently in the near future, a nuclear-bombed San Francisco in which the SS round up and execute survivors. Frank is shown being executed by Joe, who is wearing an SS uniform.
1010"A Way Out"Daniel PercivalRob WilliamsNovember 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)

Frank and Juliana angrily confront Joe as a Nazi agent. He goes to the Nazi embassy with the film. Smith learns that Heydrich is preparing a trap. Kido acts on information from the Yakuza and kills the Nazi sniper who shot the Crown Prince. Ed is caught with Frank's gun and is used as a scapegoat for the attempted assassination of the Crown Prince, to avoid the need for Kido to commit seppuku. Heydrich demands Smith's loyalty ahead of Wegener's assassination of Hitler. Wegener says goodbye to his family and travels to Hitler's alpine castle. However, after confronting Hitler, who is watching alternate newsreels from his huge film vault and says that he learns something every time he watches, Wegener kills himself instead. Smith captures the traitor Heydrich and reports him to Hitler. Tagomi goes to Union Square to meditate with Juliana's charm. He opens his eyes to find himself in an alternate 1962 in which the Allies won World War II and the United States is in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Note: Scenes at Hitler's alpine retreat were filmed at Hohenwerfen Castle

Season 2 (2016)

The second season was released on December 16, 2016. [9]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
111"The Tiger's Cave" Daniel Percival Frank Spotnitz December 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
Joe returns to New York to hand over the film to Smith and submits his resignation, but Smith refuses to accept the resignation before he delivers the film to Hitler. Karen and Lem confront Juliana for not shooting Joe before she is tranquilized. She wakes up in the home of Hawthorne Abendsen, The Man in the High Castle, where he keeps his vast film collection. Meanwhile, General Onoda reveals to Tagomi and his staff that the capsule that Science Minister Shimada found in his pocket contained plans for a nuclear weapon that the Empire intends to use to crush the Nazis, much to Tagomi's dismay. Frank confronts Arnold about spying over his own family then, desperate to save Ed, goes to ask for Childan's help. Juliana attempts to get answers from an evasive Abendsen and receives a clue that may help avert the nuclear war. Gary Connell, the leader of the West Coast Resistance, goes against orders and tries to kill Juliana, but she escapes at a Kempeitai checkpoint. A gunfight ensues between the Resistance members and the Japanese soldiers, and Karen is killed in the crossfire.
122"The Road Less Traveled" Colin Bucksey Rob WilliamsDecember 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
Kido investigates the shootout at the checkpoint and suspects that Juliana is involved. Frank decides to get Paul Kasoura, a defense lawyer, to help Ed. In desperation, he reveals to Kasoura that the antique goods that he and Childan sold him are fake, leading the pair to be imprisoned by the Yakuza with whom Kasoura has a connection. Frank is almost killed by Okamura, the Yakuza leader, in the previous incident with Joe. However, he manages to convince Okamura to allow him to repay his debt for the forgery if Ed is to work with him as his assistant. Kido is forced by Okamura to release Ed. He later pins the assassination of the Crown Prince on the deceased Karen. Joe is ordered by Smith to visit his father, Reichminister Heusmann, in Berlin. Smith tells Joe that Juliana is possibly dead. Meanwhile, Juliana evades Gary and Lem and tries to convince her parents to leave San Francisco, to no avail. Using the clue about a mysterious man on whom Abendsen is fixated, Juliana discovers the man to be a family friend, George Dixon, who is Trudy's real father. Learning that he may be in Brooklyn, Juliana risks her life to reach the Nazi embassy and request asylum and leaves a letter to Frank.
133"Travelers" Daniel Sackheim Erik Oleson December 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
Smith is warned by Dr. Adler, the family physician, to end the life of his son Thomas with a fast-acting injection, as the boy's incurable illness prevents him from being accepted in the Reich. Juliana makes it to New York and is questioned by Smith, who is notified of her arrival and arranges her stay. He keeps that a secret from Joe. Frank learns of Juliana's defection to the Nazi states but does not believe Gary on her betrayal. While he works with Ed and Childan to create forgeries for the Yakuza to repay his debt, Frank is convinced by the Resistance to help them liberate innocent citizens from the Kempeitai, in retaliation for the checkpoint murders. While saving a Resistance member, Sarah, Frank commits his first kill against the Japanese. Juliana looks for Joe but is told by his ex-lover that he has rejoined the Nazis, leading her to think he may have betrayed her. Joe travels to Berlin and meets with his father but is distant because of Heusmann's treatment of Joe's mother. Joe crosses paths with Nicole Dörmer, a filmmaker. Smith is unable to inject his son when he is given the chance to kill him. He meets with Dr. Adler and injects him to ensure his silence.
144"Escalation" David Petrarca Wesley Strick December 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
Juliana adjusts to life in the Reich, under the tutelage of Smith's wife, Helen, and Thomas. While looking for Dixon at his old apartment, she is pursued by two unknown agents and is almost killed. General Onoda has the Kempeitai execute numerous citizens for the murder of the Japanese soldiers during the Resistance rescue. Enraged, Frank starts to neglect his debt with the Yakuza and accepts a risky assignment to siphon materials from an unexploded Japanese bomb for a Resistance mission, much to Ed's dismay. Frank begins to get close with Sarah during the assignment. Smith reveals to a suspecting Helen that he killed Dr. Adler to keep their son's illness a secret. Kido gets Onoda drunk and tricks him into approving an unknown order. After escaping from her pursuers, Juliana is approached by Dixon. Tagomi travels to the alternate timeline once again and visits his wife, Michiko, who is deceased in his own timeline.
155"Duck and Cover" John Fawcett Erik Oleson & Rick Cleveland December 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
Dixon is revealed to be a Resistance leader and meets up with Juliana after she tells him that the Man in the High Castle sent her. Juliana tells him he may be somehow involved in the possible San Francisco bombing, as he has appeared several times in the films. Dixon forces Juliana to spy on Smith and his family to redeem her betrayal when she allowed Joe to escape with the film. Joe is upset when his father brings him to his place of birth and reveals that he is one of the Lebensborn, an experiment to perfect racial purity. Still, he takes up his father's offer to remain in Berlin for a few more days. Kido attempts to use Onoda's approval to extradite Juliana from the Nazi states, but he fails and reveals his motive for visiting Smith for an unknown reason. Frank becomes further involved with the Resistance, and Ed is revealed to be under the control of the Kempeitai to report on the Yakuza's counterfeiting activities in exchange for his and Frank's lives. Lem assists Abendsen with moving to a new location because the location of the High Castle may have been compromised. Abendsen destroys most of the films before he leaves. Tagomi reveals himself to the alternate Michiko and his son Noriyuke but discovers that the alternate Tagomi's relationship with them is estranged. He is shocked to see Noriyuke, married to an alternate Juliana, with their son.
166"Kintsugi" Paul Holahan Francesca GardinerDecember 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
Juliana starts to socialize with the Ladies Committee, as planned, and gains the support of one of its members, Lucy. Helen discovers that Thomas has been selected by the Hitler Youth group to go for an expedition in South America. She forbids her son to go until she finds out that Smith arranged to have their son disappear from society by staging a fake abduction and living a life of anonymity. Joe starts to get closer to Nicole, who reveals herself as one of the Lebensborn and brings him to meet with some of the others. After spending the night with Nicole, Joe begins to embrace his real heritage. Tagomi attempts to mend his alternate self's relationship with his family, and is dismayed by the alternate Noriyuke's forgoing of the Japanese culture. Kido is informed by his right-hand man, Yoshida, that they have found Abendsen's burnt hideout and learns that the Yakuza is also looking for the films.
177"Land O' Smiles" Karyn Kusama Rob WilliamsDecember 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
Ed and Childan go to Okamura to repay their debt with the sale from Frank's forgery but are locked up in a storage room when Kido and his men pay Okamura an unannounced visit. Kido shoots Okamura and the Yakuza members who are present for treason, as he has deduced the Yakuza to be working with the Nazis. Yoshida discovers Ed and Childan but lets them go. Frank is tasked to plant a bomb at the harbor, where General Onoda is visiting. However, Frank aborts the mission when he discovers that the Japanese are secretly building a nuclear bomb there. He informs the resistance of his findings. At Adler's funeral, Smith is alarmed when Adler's wife, Alice, raises her suspicion on her husband's sudden death and suggests an autopsy be performed. Juliana also attends the funeral and covers for him when he has a brief seizure. Later, she promises Helen not to reveal Thomas's condition. Himmler informs Smith that Hitler has suffered a collapse.
188"Loose Lips" Alex Zakrzewski Rick ClevelandDecember 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
Smith questions Juliana at her apartment about Joe's film and learns of San Francisco's impending destruction. Lucy tells Juliana that she knows that supposedly live footage of Hitler is actually archival because her husband managed the television broadcast. Juliana shares with Dixon her belief that Hitler may be dead. The Resistance decides that it is time to stage an uprising. Juliana is left concerned that she may have caused the nuclear catastrophe that she has been trying to prevent. Heusmann is made Acting Chancellor; Joe decides to support his father. Frank learns from Arnold that Juliana has warned them to leave San Francisco and has not betrayed him. Enraged, he confronts Gary, but the Resistance is determined to go ahead with the uprising. Armed with the knowledge from Juliana and Kido, Smith misleads an imprisoned Heydrich into thinking Germany and Japan are already at war, which leads Heydrich to confirm what Smith has suspected: a conspiracy to create a pretext for war with the Japanese exists among the Nazi ranks. Smith executes Heydrich after learning from him that it is someone else who is the mastermind behind the rush to war. Hitler dies. Now in charge is the new chancellor, Heusmann, who is revealed to be the one to have orchestrated the looming conflict.
199"Detonation" Chris Long Wesley StrickDecember 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
Tagomi watches a film with his alternate family on the recent test detonation of a hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll. Finally resolved to stop war between Japan and the Nazis, Tagomi takes the film and returns to his reality. Thomas confides to Juliana about his condition, but their conversation is secretly being recorded. Smith later learns of the tape and takes it to protect Thomas' secret. In a televised address, Heusmann frames the Japanese for Hitler's death by poison and promises retaliation, much to Joe's horror. Frank decides to assist the Resistance in assassinating Onoda by using their homemade bombs. Before the operation, he convinces Ed and Childan to leave San Francisco. Frank and Sarah smuggle a car bomb into the underground parking garage of the Kempeitai. They set the bomb's timer and attempt to leave the building, but they are spotted by Kido and shots are exchanged in the lobby. Just as Tagomi arrives, the bomb detonates, killing General Onoda and his staff and collapsing most of the building. The fates of Frank and Sarah are not shown.
2010"Fallout"Daniel PercivalErik OlesonDecember 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
Tagomi and Kido, who survived the bombing, deal with the aftermath of the destruction of the Kempeitai headquarters. Afterwards, Kido travels to New York and plays the film (from an alternate Earth) for Smith that appears to provide evidence that the Japanese have a hydrogen bomb. The resistance attempts to avenge Karen's death by killing Juliana, but she escapes. She then confronts and kills Dixon, who was threatening to expose Smith by broadcasting the tape of her conversation with Thomas. Smith travels to Berlin with the film to convince his Nazi superiors not to attack Japan to avoid nuclear retaliation. Smith meets privately with Himmler to expose Heusmann as a traitor. After arresting Heusmann and Joe, Himmler addresses the worldwide public from the Volkshalle, appearing to assume control of the Reich. He publicly praises Smith for his service. The recognition that Smith receives inspires Thomas to turn himself over to the Public Health Department to be euthanized. After traveling to the Neutral Zone, a bereft Juliana learns from Abendsen that hope remains and that her sister is alive. Finally, Lem hands over Abendsen's remaining films to Tagomi.

Season 3 (2018)

The third season was released on October 5, 2018. [10]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
211"Now More Than Ever, We Care About You" Daniel Percival Wesley Strick October 5, 2018 (2018-10-05)
222"Imagine Manchuria" Alex Zakrzewski Eric Overmyer October 5, 2018 (2018-10-05)
233"Sensô Kôi" Ernest Dickerson Chris Collins October 5, 2018 (2018-10-05)
244"Sabra" John Fawcett Eric Simonson October 5, 2018 (2018-10-05)
255"The New Colossus"Daniel PercivalWesley StrickOctober 5, 2018 (2018-10-05)
266"History Ends" Meera Menon Elizabeth Benjamin and Kalen EganOctober 5, 2018 (2018-10-05)
277"Excess Animus"Steph GreenDre RyanOctober 5, 2018 (2018-10-05)
288"Kasumi (Through the Mists)" Jennifer Getzinger William N. FordesOctober 5, 2018 (2018-10-05)
299"Baku" Deborah Chow Chris Collins and Chris WuOctober 5, 2018 (2018-10-05)
3010"Jahr Null"Daniel PercivalEric Overmyer and Wesley StrickOctober 5, 2018 (2018-10-05)


In 2010, it was announced that the BBC would co-produce a four-part TV adaptation of The Man in the High Castle for BBC One together with Headline Pictures, FremantleMedia Enterprises and Scott Free Films. Director Ridley Scott was to act as executive producer of the adaptation by Howard Brenton. [11] On February 11, 2013, Variety reported that Syfy was producing the book as a four-part miniseries, with Frank Spotnitz and Scott as executive producers, co-produced with Scott Free Productions, Headline Pictures and Electric Shepherd Prods. [12]

On October 1, 2014, Amazon Studios began filming the pilot episode for a potential television drama to be broadcast on their Prime web video streaming service. [13] Adapted by Spotnitz, the project was produced for Amazon by Scott, David Zucker and Jordan Sheehan for Scott Free, Stewart Mackinnon and Christian Baute for Headline Pictures, Isa Hackett and Kalen Egan for Electric Shepherd and Spotnitz's Big Light Productions. [1] The pilot was released by Amazon Studios on January 15, 2015. [14] Amazon Studios' production process is somewhat different from those of other conventional television channels in that they produce pilot episodes of a number of different prospective programs, then release them and gather data on their success. The most promising shows are then picked up as regular series. On February 18, 2015, Amazon announced that The Man in the High Castle was given the green-light along with four other series, and a full season would be produced. [15]

The pilot, which premiered in January 2015, was Amazon's "most-watched since the original series development program began". The next month, Amazon ordered a ten-episode season, which was released in November to positive reviews. [16] [17] [18] A second season of ten episodes premiered in December 2016, and a third season was announced a few weeks later. [19] [10] [20] Amazon announced in January 2017 that they were bringing on new executive producer and showrunner Eric Overmyer for the third season to replace Spotnitz, who had departed from the show during the second season. [21] Season three was released on October 5, 2018. [19] [10] [20] In July 2018, it was announced at San Diego Comic-Con that the series had been renewed for a fourth season, [22] which was confirmed in February 2019 to be the last one of the series. [23]


Principal filming for the pilot took place in Seattle, with the city standing in for San Francisco and locations in New York City, as well as Roslyn, Washington, which was the long-time shooting location for Northern Exposure . Sites used in Seattle include the Seattle Center Monorail, the Paramount Theatre, a newspaper office in the Pike Place Market area, as well as various buildings in the city's Capitol Hill, International District, and Georgetown neighborhoods. In Roslyn, the production used external shots of the Roslyn Cafe which featured prominently in Northern Exposure along with several local businesses and scenery. [24] [25]

For the series, filming took place in Vancouver, British Columbia, in the downtown area of West Georgia Street, along the promenade of the Coast Capital Savings building in April 2015. [26] In May and June 2015 filming also took place at the University of British Columbia. [27] Exterior shots of Hohenwerfen Castle in Werfen, Austria, were filmed in September 2015 for the tenth episode of the first season. [28]


The pilot was Amazon's "most-watched since the original series development program began". [16] The first season received critical acclaim. Rotten Tomatoes gives it an approval rating of 95% based on reviews from 58 critics, with an average rating of 7.54 out of 10. The site's critical consensus states,

By executive producer Ridley Scott, The Man in the High Castle is unlike anything else on TV, with an immediately engrossing plot driven by quickly developed characters in a fully realized post-WWII dystopia. [29]

Metacritic gives the first season a score of 77 out of 100, based on reviews from 30 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". [30] Meredith Woerner from io9 wrote, "I can honestly say I loved this pilot. It's an impressive, streamlined undertaking of a fairly complicated and very beloved novel." [31] Matt Fowler from IGN gave it 9.2 out of 10 and described the series as "a superb, frightening experience filled with unexpected twists and (some sci-fi) turns". [32] Brian Moylan of The Guardian was positive and praised the convincing depiction as well as the complex and gripping plot. [33] The Los Angeles Times described the pilot as "provocative" and "smartly adapted by The X-Files' Frank Spotnitz". The Daily Telegraph said it was "absorbing", and Wired called it "must-see viewing". Entertainment Weekly said it was "engrossing" and "a triumph in world-building", cheering, "The Man in the High Castle is king." After the season, Rolling Stone included it on a list of the 40 best science fiction television shows of all time. [34] Amazon subsequently announced it was the service's most-streamed original series and had been renewed for a second season. [35] [36] The second season received mixed reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gives it an approval rating of 64%, based on reviews from 25 critics with an average rating of 7.0 out of 10. The site's critical consensus states,

Although its plot is admittedly unwieldy, The Man in the High Castle's second season expands its fascinating premise in powerful new directions, bolstered by stunning visuals, strong performances, and intriguing new possibilities. [37]

Metacritic gives season 2 a score of 62 out of 100, based on reviews from ten critics. [38] The third season was met with positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gives it an approval rating of 86%, based on reviews from 21 critics with an average rating of 7.45 out of 10. The site's critical consensus states,

The crafty addition of minor sci-fi elements and a terrific William Forsythe to the show's already engrossing narrative make The Man in the High Castle's third season another worthy binge. [39]

Metacritic gives season 3 a score of 70 out of 100, based on reviews from five critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". [40]


2015 IGN Awards [41] Best New TV SeriesThe Man in the High CastleNominated
South by Southwest Awards [ citation needed ]Excellence in Title DesignPatrick ClairNominated
2016 American Society of Cinematographers Awards [42] Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Television Movie, Mini-Series or PilotJames Hawkinson (Episode: "The New World")Nominated
Creative Arts Emmy Awards [43] Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series James HawkinsonWon
Outstanding Main Title Design Patrick Clair, Paul Kim, Jose Limon, Raoul MarksWon
Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More) Drew Boughton, Linda King, Brenda Meyers-BallardNominated
Outstanding Special Visual Effects The Man in the High CastleNominated
Critics' Choice Television Awards [44] Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Rufus Sewell Nominated
Monte-Carlo Television Festival [ citation needed ]Best TV Series DramaThe Man in the High CastleNominated
Saturn Awards [45] Best New Media Television Series The Man in the High CastleNominated
USC Scripter Awards [46] Best Television Script Frank Spotnitz and Philip K. Dick Nominated
Visual Effects Society Awards [47] Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time ProjectCasi Blume, David Andrade, Nick Chamberlain, Lawson DemingNominated
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal EpisodeLawson Deming, Cory Jamieson, Casi Blume, Nick ChamberlainNominated
Young Artist Awards [48] Best Performance in a TV Series – Recurring Young Actor (14–21) Quinn Lord Nominated
2017 Artios Awards [49] Television Pilot And First Season – DramaDenise Chamian, Liz Ludwitzke, Candice Elzinga, Patti KallesNominated
Creative Arts Emmy Awards [43] Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour) James HawkinsonNominated
Outstanding Original Creative Achievement in Interactive Media within a Scripted Program "Resistance Radio"Nominated
Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Period Program (One Hour or More) Drew Boughton, Dawn Swiderski, Jon LancasterNominated
Outstanding Special Visual Effects Lawson Deming, Cory Jamieson, Casi Blume, Nick Chamberlain, David Andrade, Bill Parker, Justin Fox, Danielle MalambriNominated
Costume Designers Guild Awards [50] Outstanding Fantasy Television SeriesJ.R. HawbakerNominated
Leo Awards [51] Best Guest Performance by a Male in a Dramatic SeriesKurt EvansNominated
Best Supporting Performance by a Female in a Dramatic SeriesChelah HorsdalWon
Location Managers Guild Awards [52] Outstanding Locations in a Period TV SeriesNicole Noelle Chartrand, Robert MurdochNominated
Saturn Awards [53] Best New Media Television SeriesThe Man in the High CastleNominated
2019 Satellite Awards [54] Best Genre SeriesThe Man in the High CastleNominated
Visual Effects Society Awards [55] Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time ProjectCasi Blume, Michael Eng, Ben McDougal, Sean Myers for "Reichsmarschall Ceremony"Nominated
Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time ProjectSaber Jlassi, Igor Zanic, Nick Chamberlain, Chris Parks for "Statue of Liberty Destruction"Nominated

Advertising controversy

As part of an advertising campaign for the season 1 release, an entire New York City Subway car was covered with Nazi and Imperial Japanese imagery, as seen in the show, including multiple US flags with the Nazi eagle emblem in place of the 50 stars, and multiple flags of the fictional Pacific States. [56] In response to criticism from "state lawmakers and city leaders", the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) released a statement saying that there were no grounds to reject the ads because the neutral content subway ad standards prohibit only advertising that is a political advertisement or disparages an individual or group. MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz stated, "The MTA is a government agency and can't accept or reject ads based on how we feel about them; we have to follow the standards approved by our board. Please note they're commercial ads." Spokesperson Adam Lisberg said, "This advertising, whether you find it distasteful or not, obviously they're not advertising Nazism; they're advertising a TV show." [57]

After complaints from New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, initial reports indicated that Amazon pulled the advertisement from the subway. It was later announced that it was the MTA, not Amazon, that pulled the ad because of pressure from Cuomo. [57]

See also

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