Screenwriter Tony Grisoni has taken Philip K Dick’s short story Sales Pitch and turned it into something else entirely.
In his Electric Dreams episode on Channel 4, Grisoni introduces us to a version of the future where developments in genetic engineering have changed everything: where ‘Normals’ like Ed Morris create “chimeras” – that is, synthetic beings implanted with Quantum Consciousness.
Here are the stars of the episode, which airs at 9pm on Sunday 8th October on Channel 4:
Ed Morris – Steve Buscemi
Who does he play? Ed Morris works at the Spirit Mill, a high-tech facility that creates “Quantum Consciousness” for synthetic human-like beings known as Jacks and Jills. He’s happily married to Sally but going through a bit of a mid-life crisis, tinkering away on his boat and nostalgically listening to Pink Floyd and dreaming of sailing away from it all. But his life is turned upside down when he meets Jill.
Where have I seen him before? Steve Buscemi’s distinctive face has appeared in Boardwalk Empire, 30 Rock, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, Reservoir Dogs, and The Sporanos.
Jill – Sidse Babett Knudsen
Who does she play? Jill is a synthetic being that has been implanted with Quantum Consciousness (QC), a bit like a “replicant” in Philip K Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep/Bladerunner. But her time in this world is running out. She needs a replacement QC and targets Ed to get it for her.
Where have I seen her before? Danish actress Sidse Babett Knudsen starred as Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg in the TV series Borgen and also played big boss Theresa Cullen in Westworld.
Sally Morris – Julia Davis
Who does she play? Sally is Ed’s wife. She works at the Chimera Farm, which specialises in genetic mutations with porcine (pig) DNA. It may seem only Ed is deviating and having a mid-life crisis, but Sally has secrets of her own.
Where have I seen her before? Julia Davis starred in the comedy Nighty Night. She played Dawn Sutcliffe in Gavin & Stacey, and popped up in Love Actually as Nancy – an English girl who is hit on by Kris Marshall’s sex-obsessed character Colin.
Su – Joanna Scanlan
Who does she play? Su is a human/pig hybrid who works in security at the Chimera Farm. Her genetic make-up is 60% porcine and 40% human and she’s been specially bred to have the specific traits she needs for her job. Sally strikes up an unlikely friendship with her and uses her as a confidante.
Where have I seen her before? You’d be forgiven for not recognising the face, given it’s a lot piggier than usual. Joanna Scanlan has appeared in The Thick of It, Getting On, No Offence, The Invisible Woman and Bridget Jones’s Baby.
Electric Dreams episode Crazy Diamond airs at 9pm on Sunday 8th September on Channel 4