With the invention of VR, several new VR films and VR Directory are being released. Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams is one such British-American science fiction television series which deals with the plot of losing grasp of reality and believing in a virtual reality. The series continues with Real Life, which is the adapted version, by Ronald D Moore from the short story Exhibit Piece.
The original plot
In the original series by Philip Dick, the protagonist George Miller lives in the future, but his consciousness is still in the past. After certain oddness in his regular lives, he gets certain glimpses of the future and senses that there is something wrongand starts believing that both the worlds are real, giving him a choice to choose between the past and the future. Based on his beliefs, he takes certain decisions, so that he can disorient the future and livein his past. With time he realizes that he had made a mistake in perceiving the reality, and doubts if the world he is currently living in is real.
In Moore’s adapted episode, we are introduced to a character named Sarah who is basically the version of George Miller in the original story. She is married to Katie,and they both live in a futuristic world. Sarah is a police officer and suffers from depression after she has to witness her colleagues’ massacre. In order to make her wife relaxed, Katie gifts Sarah a trip to Virtual Reality, hoping to make things better; but as a consequence, things go wrong. In the alternate world, Sarah is personified as George, played by Terrence Howard, who is the founder and CEO of a successful technology company.
Once she is inside this experience, Sarah becomes confused whether the world she is in is virtual or real. As a twist of events, Sarah’s alternate character George has recently lost his wife, who is identical to Sarah’s wife Katie and is suffering from amnesia. George can visit Sarah’s world using his VR device, where he is able tocommunicate with his dead wife. But believing that his world is real after a consultation from his doctor, George destroys his VR device and accepts the fact that his wife is dead. To the audience, it is left unclear, as in Sarah’s world, Sarah dies to leave Katie tomiss her wife for good.
How similar are the versions
The two versions have similar themes, but Moore has used certain new representation elements, such as the concept of VR equipment, to make the series a bit more technologically advanced and stylish.