The Watchman: ‘High Castle’ Taps Unfinished Book, ‘Star Wars’ Gets Animated, ‘Madam Secretary’ Sees Stars

Senior content producer Michael Malone’s weekly look at the programming scene
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Season three of The Man in the High Castle premieres on Amazon Oct. 5. Juliana seeks refuge in the Neutral Zone and works with the trade minister to interpret the last remaining films. Exec producer Isa Dick Hackett said the emphasis is “digging deeper into the sci fi mythology” of the show.

The Man in the High Castle

The Man in the High Castle

Her father, Philip K. Dick, wrote the book that inspired it. Hackett said her father started a sequel, getting two chapters done before realizing “it was too painful to do.” It was about the Nazis looking to take over the world through science.

“It wasn’t a place he wanted to go,” said Hackett, “mentally and psychologically.”

The untitled sequel stuff informs the new season.

Hackett said Dad would probably be proud of the series. “I think he’d be astounded that people are talking about The Man in the High Castle so many years later,” she said.

Star Wars Resistance begins on Disney Channel Oct. 7. The animated series takes place before The Force Awakens, and some of the characters will be familiar to fans of the franchise, including Poe and BB-8. The show follows Kaz, a young pilot recruited by the Resistance for a top-secret mission.

Kaz and bot buddy BB-8 are tight as they amble about the Colossus spacecraft. “There are a lot of sweet, touching moments between them,” executive producer Brandon Auman said.

Auman has a dream job. He talks about banging out the screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back when he was 12, typing while watching the movie. He mentions a Star Wars cassette series he had, and recites lines from it from memory. “The Empire Strikes Back kind of got me started as a writer,” he said.

Auman can’t quite get over the fact that he works on a Star Wars series. “My younger self’s head would’ve exploded,” he said.

And Madam Secretary is back on CBS Oct. 7. The season-five opener features serious star power. The White House is attacked, and the secretary of state, played by Tea Leoni, calls on three former secretaries of state for advice. Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright play the secretaries.

Executive producer Lori McCreary said she met Clinton at a party a year before. Clinton is a fan of the show, and asked if they might write a part for her. “We were really thrilled,” said McCreary.

Clinton, Albright and Powell often try to get together for dinner, but have difficulty finding a date that works for all three. “It’s a bit of a feat, getting a hole in their calendars,” McCreary said.

Speaking of feats, Madam Secretary marks its 100th episode this season. “There are so many great television shows,” McCreary said. “We count our blessings.”

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