Sunday, April 6, 2008

Miami Vice: PKD's Influence on the 4th Season, and a Lost Roxy Music Gem

Little do people know, PKD had a profound impact on Miami Vice's 4th season. Now this show was already completely rad; amazing music and hip clothes, but the 4th season took things to a whole new level. Most critics argue that this is where the series jumped the shark, however this is completely wrong. This is the season where PKD beamed down from above.

Take for example the episode "The Big Thaw," in which a Rastafarian reggae singer was preserved in a cryogenic sleep chamber; lifted directly from PKD's classic Ubik. Then there was the famous "Missing Hours" episode featuring James Brown as an alien leader trying to abduct Trudy, which drew upon a whole host of PKD themes. Perhaps most influenced by PKD was the episode "Mirror Image," where Crockett got amnesia and began perceiving himself not as a member of the vice squad working undercover, but as his drug dealer alter-ego, becoming a hit-man in the process. This narrative was taken verbatim from A Scanner Darkly, and re-figured for 80s prime-time television. These themes and narratives make season 4 the place to be when it comes to Miami Vice.

However, I value Miami Vice the most for its music. The best use of music was in season 2, when the show used Roxy Music's hidden gem "Lover." This is my favorite Roxy Music song EVER. Sadly, it was hidden away as a b-side to "Same Old Scene" and many people are not aware of its existence. A great tragedy. However, it was resurrected by Miami Vice and placed on the 2nd season's completely sweet soundtrack, where it felt right at home. Check it out by clicking on the title of this post and let me know if you agree.

1 comment:

Johnson said...

Don Johnson is a handsome man. Were small neck ties in PKD's literature?