Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams Recap: Humanity Is Divided In The Hood Maker
Human beings are always trying to draw lines between themselves and “others.” Usually it’s based on something superficial like skin colour or religion or what embarrassing band you liked back in highschool but it the most recent episode of Electric Dreams, it’s whether you have telepathic powers or no. The strange thing is that it’s the psychically powerful telepaths that get the raw deal in this story, despite their impressive superhuman abilities.
In this steampunky, low-tech version of the future, non-telepathic people (normals) need but don’t trust telepaths (teeps) in the same way they need but don’t trust the cops who’ve put teeps to work catching and interrogating criminals. You can’t keep a teep out of your head, though normals with criminal (or embarrassing) thoughts do everything they can to try. Even cops don’t like the teeps they’re partnered with.
So when a person called the Hood Maker begins to, uh, make hoods, ones that help block the teeps’ ability to burrow into the brains of normals, the brass immediately suspect that it’s an inside job. The ionic liquid metal-made hoods are being handed out across the city at a rapid rate and a teep and her cop partner (Holliday Grainger and Richard Madden) are sent out to find the maker. As a courtesy, teeps don’t read the minds of their partners but after a long night together he invites her to. What she doesn’t know yet is that the images she sees there will ruin the budding romance between them.
Tracking down the Hood Maker leads her to the truth about who her new boyfriend really is: a powerful weapon designed to be used against her and everyone like her. He can’t be read—the only thing teeps see, over and over again when they scan his mind, is a peaceful scene of a boy fishing in a gentle stream with his beloved father.
As it turns out, his assignment with her was not only to find the Hood Maker, but to find out if the teeps are planning an uprising against the normals who treat them like slaves. They are. The brutal betrayal convinces her to allow him to experience the uprising firsthand. The teeps are all telepathically connected so when she begins to sing “London’s Burning” they show up en masse to torch the warehouse she and her partner are in.
In the end, we’re left wondering if Grainger’s frees Madden’s or keeps him locked up inside the burning building. We’ve gotta say, it didn’t look good for Madden, whose Game of Thrones character, Robb Stark, also went out in a pretty unpleasant way.