Season 3 of Amazon’s alt-World-War-II-timeline drama The Man in the High Castle has started filming in metro Vancouver with Eric Overmyer as the new showrunner. Creator Frank Sponitz parted ways with High Castle midway through season 2, leading to a couple of unexpected production shutdowns in Vancouver and a much longer shooting schedule last year. But all’s well that streams well. Amazon said streaming of season 2 the weekend before last Christmas was the best weekend debut of any of its scripted original series to date.
Cast members Alexa Davolos, Rufus Sewell, Joel de la Fuente and Bella Heathcote tweeted their return.
— Alexa Davalos (@alexaKdavalos) June 25, 2017
— Joel de la Fuente (@joeldelafuente) June 25, 2017
— Joel de la Fuente (@joeldelafuente) June 25, 2017
Based on Philip K. Dick’s award-winning novel, The Man in the High Castle imagines an alternate reality circa 1962 where the Japanese and Germans won World War II and divided the United States into three regions — the west coast as the Japanese Pacific States, the Rockies as a neutral zone and the east coast as the Greater Nazi Reich. In season one, Juliana Crain (Alexa Davolos) from the west coast bonded with New York double agent Joe Blake (Luke Kleintank) in the neutral zone where they gave up their copies of a subversive film to the resistance. Both returned home to opposite coasts. Juliana to her boyfriend Frank Frink (Rupert Evans) in San Francisco who’d suffered at the hands of the Japanese in her absence and Joe to his boss American SS Obergruppenführer John Smith (Rufus Sewell) in New York City. When a new film surfaces, Joe is sent to San Francisco to reconnect with Juliana and she ends up giving him the film rather than see him die.
In the second season, Juliana (Davalos) is in trouble with the Resistance after giving the latest film to Joe, meets the Man in the High Castle himself (Stephen Root), and seeks asylum in the Greater Nazi Reich in order to find a key figure in one of the films. There she lives under Obergruppenführer John Smith (Sewell)’s protection and is invited into his family. Joe, believing Juliana is dead, ends up in Berlin with his father Reichsminister Heusmann (Sebastian Roché). Not everyone survived season 2.
Jason O’Mara as Wyatt Price – a hustler in and advocate for the neutral Zone.
William Forsythe as J. Edgar Hoover – America’s first director of the FBI.
New showrunner Eric Overmyer.
In town to do prep for season 3, Eric Overmyer spoke at a Creators Talk sponsored by the Directors Guild of Canada. He doesn’t do sets, leaving that to the professionals like the production and costume designers who were honoured at Sak’s Fifth Avenue.
— Brennan Brown (@TheBrennanBrown) June 22, 2017
Overmyer makes sure the scripts are written and takes another pass in the editing suite after each episode is filmed. He got a laugh from the audience we revealed that the “T word” — aka Trump — is banned from the writers’ room. Why? Because their world is the world of Philip K. Dick not Donald J. Trump.
Other honours: Chelah Horsdal honoured at the Leo Awards at the beginning of the month for her portrayal of Helen Smith, the SS Obergruppenführer’s wife.
— HollywoodNorth.buzz (@yvrshoots) June 5, 2017
Well done wifey. https://t.co/HNJiuKNLUm
— Rufus Sewell (@FredrikSewell) May 1, 2017
— HollywoodNorth.buzz (@yvrshoots) May 1, 2017
So what happened in season 2?
Juliana escapes the wrath of the resistance and seeks asylum in the Greater Nazi Reich.
Filmed on the Main Mall at the University of British Columbia.
Juliana comes under SS Obergruppenführer John Smith’s protection and is welcomed into his family. Chelah Horsdall is his formidable wife Helen Smith.
Shaughnessy home as Smith family residence.
The resistance continues to hunt her, even in New York.
Filmed at Vancouver’s Pacific Central Station.
— Alexa Davalos (@alexaKdavalos) May 18, 2016
Until she connects with resistance fighter George Dixon (Tate Donovan), who is Trudy’s father and the dead Nazi soldier from the film.
Stanley Park’s Lost Lagoon as New York’s Central Park.
Dixon gives her the mission of getting close to their number one target, Obergruppenfuhrer John Smith.
At work, SS Obergruppenführer John Smith orders Joe to Berlin to be with his father Reichsminister Heusmann (Sebastian Roché)
Hitler’s office. Set in CBC Vancouver.
Luke Kleintank as Joe Blake. He escapes from the west coast on a boat with the film.
Filmed at Eagle Harbour in West Vancouver with huge SPFX explosion.
Joe returns to New York until he is summoned to Berlin by his high-ranking Nazi father Reichsminister Heusmann (Sebastian Roché).
Joe at his father’s house in Berlin played by Vancouver’s Hycroft, University Women’s Club.
Reprisals in Vancouver’s Arch Alley.
Vancouer’s Arch Alley.
— Frank Spotnitz (@FrankSpotnitz) May 7, 2016
Joe de la Fuente as Inspector Quido. Lee Shorten is Sergeant Hiroyuki Yoshida.
Frank Frink blows up Kempeitai HQ, filmed at Coquitlam’s Riverview Hospital.
Juliana meets the Man in the High Castle again. Filmed at Britannia Heritage Shipyard Park.
The Man in the High Castle season 3 has started filming and is expected to wrap five months from now on November 28th (date subject to change).
Sources: Production Weekly. Directors Guild of Canada – BC Production list.