Dangerous Visions: Review: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Part 2)

Do Androids dreamBy Philip K. Dick, adapted by Jonathan Holloway

BBC Radio 4, June 22 (and available on iPlayer for 7 days thereafter)

Can Rick Deckard fulfil his mission to retire the androids?

This second half does belatedly devote some time to J.R. Isidore and his relationship with the androids who take up residence in his apartment, although it loses a lot of its impetus through the lack of build-up. The scene where Pris removes the legs from a spider has all the chill of the original even if it’s out of context.

There are plenty of other little tweaks (such as Luft looking at the better-known Scream by Munch rather than Puberty when she’s caught, as in the book), but, having praised the first part for the way that it brings out the themes of Dick’s book, the whole of the third act hews considerably closer to Blade Runner than it does to the original. The excision of various characters (both Roy Baty and Rick Deckard’s wives for a start) leads to some fundamental changes, and it would be fair to say that this becomes a sci-fi noir detective story in the ilk of Blade Runner – the confrontation between Deckard and Baty where they discuss their philosophies, which isn’t in the book at all, confirming it. Whereas the Dangerous Visions versions of The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man changed some of Bradbury’s story points but kept the essential essence of his writing, these changes skew the emphasis away from Dick’s writing.

That said, all my comments in the review of episode one about the quality of the piece stand. James Purefoy and Jessica Raine are well-matched in the battle of wits between Deckard and Rachel – it’s just a shame that it’s not the one which Philip K. Dick wrote.

Verdict: While we still await a closer adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s novel, this is an entertaining piece of sci-fi noir. 7/10

Paul Simpson

DV_brand_image_1920x1080Do Androids Dream can be heard by clicking here.

The next Dangerous Vision is a repeat of J.G. Ballard’s Concrete Island on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 6 pm and midnight on June 22.

The next new Dangerous Vision is The Friday Drama – Dark Minds on June 27 at 9 p.m.

Discussion

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  1. Pingback: Radio 4 reveals new Dangerous Visions (updated) | Sci-Fi Bulletin - June 23, 2014

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