'Dispatches from Elsewhere': Meet the 4 ordinary people who become 'unwitting participants' in mysterious game
Created by Jason Segel, we can expect the show to have some surreal scenes as the four play the game to solve the puzzles in the mysterious dispatches. Richard E. Grant will play the part of the "reliable narrator"
The Jason Segel, Sally Field, and Richard E Grant starrer, 'Dispatches from Elsewhere' on AMC, will have a special two-night premiere event. One episode will be telecast this coming Sunday, on March 1 at 10 pm ET /9c while the second will be broadcasted during the show's regular time slot on Monday at 10 pm ET.
The ten-episode original series has released an official synopsis: "Four ordinary people, who feel there’s something missing in their lives, but they can’t quite put their finger on what it is. This diverse foursome is brought together by chance – or perhaps it’s by design – when they stumble onto a puzzle hiding just behind the veil of everyday life. As they begin to accept the mysterious 'Dispatches from Elsewhere' challenges, they come to find that the mystery winds deeper than they imagined, and their eyes are opened to a world of possibility and magic."
Created by Segel, we can expect the show to have some surreal scenes as the four play the game to solve the puzzles in the mysterious dispatches. Richard E. Grant will play the part of the "reliable narrator" introducing the concept to the players and us as the opening few minutes of the show on the AMC website, which was released as a teaser, depicts.
The four players are Peter (Jason Segel), Simone (Eve Lindley), Janice (Sally Field) and Fredwynn (Andre Benjamin)— who all resemble archetypes of ordinary people like us. AMC released posters for each character, which might offer some clues as to what they’re looking for when they decide to play the game that might change their lives forever.
Peter is a regular guy who feels he’s living a meaningless life, without joy or pain. He takes the same route to work every day, goes to the same coffee shop, eats the same dinner, wakes up to the same alarm. He feels neither content nor disappointment about his life.
In the sneak peek scene, we see Peter step into a vast building to find the "Jejune Institute" that he has been invited to, where things instantly get weird when he is asked by a slightly creepy, too-smiley lady, who says it is "a pleasure indeed" to see him, to go to the 16th floor.
The name of the mysterious institute "Jejune" suggests that the puzzles are a way to reignite the child-like wonderment, sense of adventure and yes, the naivete born of a young and impressionable mind -- qualities people lose as they grow up into adults.
Simone is described as someone who has spent her whole life feeling like she was invited by mistake. Her insecurities about not fitting in and not feeling like herself constantly serve as roadblocks to her progressing in life. As she makes a huge life change, she still struggles with the feelings of belonging and acceptance that she is hoping for. She also has an education in the arts that come in handy in solving the puzzles and she is the romantic lead opposite Peter in the series.
Janice, played by two-time Oscar winner Sally Field, is a former homemaker. As an empty-nester, whose husband of 30 years is in hospice, she has come to realize that nothing lasts forever and that her life didn’t turn out the way she thought it would. She’s beginning to question what life is without her partner, and exactly who she is when there’s no one around to take care of.
And last but not the least is Fredwynn, an obsessive conspiracy theorist who is always trying to solve the puzzle. His compulsive ambition has resulted in a solitary life, with no real personal relationships to speak of. The part has been portrayed by musician and actor Andre Benjamin.
Fredwynn is the first to suspect the "Dispatches", calling them a distraction and pointing out how "they" were keeping track of the four puzzle-players personal data. Creator Jason Segel says Fredwynn is a game player and represents the blind ambition in all of us that wants to win at any cost.
He wants the four to stop being "unwitting participants" and become "detectives" instead. Insistent on finding out the truth, he wants to get to the bottom of these "Elsewhere Games".
With an intriguing premise, 'Dispatches from Elsewhere' could be the fun Monday night show to come back home to after work.
The show premieres on Sunday, March 1 on AMC. It will air its second episode the next day, on Monday. All subsequent episodes will air weekly every Monday at 10 pm ET /9c on AMC.