22nd Mar2018

‘Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams 1×10: Kill All Others’ Review

by Paul Metcalf


This week’s episode of Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams appears to have come at a perfect time. With the shady practices of prying into our privacy to understand us, even if we agree to it or not, the Governments of the world have shown the ability to shape how we think. In an extreme version of this practice, Kill All Others looks at what happens to the people who don’t buy into the message of conformity.

When Philbert Noyce (Mel Rodriguez) watches The Candidate (Vera Farmiga) talk on television on why she is the only one to run the country he is shocked to see and hear the message “Kill All Others”. Seemingly the only person to see it, it is not long before he begins to notice something is not right about the world around him.

Philbert is an outsider, he hasn’t bought into the advertising that appears around him and looks for people to at least question The Candidate (as she is known) as to why she should be the only one in the running to control the country. The fact that his close friends, and even his wife don’t see this aggravate him.

We see how invasive the technological world is on Philbert’s world straight away when he is shaving and is advised by a holographic cowboy on a better brand of shaving cream. He walks out of the bathroom to find his wife enjoying time with a coffee advertisement. His friends at work even hint to him to buy a certain type of cheese to get his own “advertisement” to enjoy.

The world of Kill All Others is one where privacy is non-existent and advertisers, and the Government know everything about you. This is why Philbert stands out, as well as a small number of other people. These people are known as “Others”, who appear to not be susceptible to the subliminal messages that are being fed out of the screens that are all around them. These people have to be removed from society.

To emphasise the fact that people who have bought into the system don’t see anything wrong, there is an advertisement billboard showing the words “Kill All Others” with a man hanging from it. The only people who notice that there is an advertisement is the “Others”. The rest see it as a call to action.

What this week’s episode of Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams does is to highlight the problem of what data is held about us. Whether it is records kept by the Government, the advertising information taken while we are online, or even health information held within gadgets to help us work out, data is being taken from us. What is done with that data? Well Kill All Others shows a nightmare scenario where it is used to control all lives. The scary thing is, it creates for a believable future scenario for our society, especially with the recent Facebook scandal.

Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams is similar to Black Mirror because it shows off the evils of society. While there can be hope in the technology around us, and that it works for us, there are also nightmare scenarios that can be born from them. Kill All Others is an enjoyable nightmare of what could be, and with a believable narrative that keeps the audience engrossed, the question is of course are we “Others” or have we bought into the conformity of the system already?

***** 5/5

Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams airs in the UK on Channel 4, 10pm on Mondays.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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