Week 10

  • According to Mountfort (2016), what makes TMITHC a stand-out example of the alternate history (or uchronie) genre?

The Man In The High Castle by Philip K. Dick, is, according to Mountfort (2016), a standout text in the uchronie genre. He believes that it’s the “synchronistic view of time the I Ching confers on the work,” (Mountfort, 2016, p. 3) that makes it so significant. He mentions that we are also indebted to Carl Jung for his “synchronicity concept”, which helps us comprehend and understand the view of time within the novel (Mountfort, 2016).

  • What other TV shows or movies can you think of which have sinister doubles in them and which of the above category do you think they belong to?

American Sci-Fi Series Warehouse 13 is home to some sinister doubles. In Season 5 Episode 1, titled Endless Terror, previously deceased Regent Benedict Valda is one of the many familiar characters we see in a new light when our favourite agents are transported to an alternate reality of the warehouse. Valda, who originally sacrificed himself to save the other agents during a National-Treasure-esk moment in Season 2, comes back as a very much sinister character who is trying to take over the warehouse. After reading about the five main categories of sinister doubles; the coincidental, pseudo, biological, empathetic and useful double, laid out by Mountfort (2018), I have come to the conclusion that this particular sinister double does not exactly fit into any of these categories. Once Valda sees the agents from the other dimension, he immediately understands the nature of his circumstances. This particular episode of Warehouse 13 is almost an example of the uchronie genre, with the audience being able to look into a world where our heroes did not win the battle.

 

Mountfort, P. (2018). Science fictional doubles: Technologization of the doppelgänger and sinister science in serial science fiction TV. Journal of Science & Popular Culture, 1(1), 59–75. doi: 10.1386/jspc.1.1.59_1

Mountfort, P. (2016). The I Ching and Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle. Science Fiction Studies, 43(2), pp.287-309. doi:10.5621/sciefictstud.43.2.0287

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