Dispatches From Elsewhere: Everything you need to know about the AMC drama

When is the Jason Segel anthology series released in the UK? Who is in the cast? Where can you watch it? And what’s the mysterious series about?

By Alex Fletcher Published: 28 April 2020 - 7.53pm

AMC is bringing us some hidden gems and critically acclaimed TV delights in 2020, including the highly anticipated original series Dispatches From Elsewhere.

Created by and starring Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), the series will premiere exclusively to BT TV customers in the UK.

Featuring an A-list cast, the 10-episode show is an anthology series quite unlike anything else on TV right now.

Check out the magical trailer

Meet the cast

Starring alongside Jason Segel are Sally Field (Lincoln, Forrest Gump, Steel Magnolias), Richard E Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Withnail and I), multi-Grammy winner André Benjamin (American Crime) and Eve Lindley (Mr Robot). 

 

Richard E Grant in Dispatches from Elsewhere AMC

Speaking exclusively to BT TV about the new series, Richard E Grant said: "To describe it… if you don’t know how to. I certainly don’t know how to!

"Oh, god. It’s an anthology series. And there are four main characters who are overseen by a mental guru called Octavia, who I play.

"The four people at the centre of the show are on the search for the answers to life. And that’s the quest they go on. And nothing is what it seems

"It was inspired by a cult that started in San Francisco a decade ago. They made a documentary about it called The Institute. The guy at the centre of it was a guy called Octavia. He controls people through various media."

If you weren't already intrigued, you should be now.

What is Dispatches From Elsewhere about?

Sally Field in Dispatches from Elsewhere AMC

 The 10-hour series follows 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 upon 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.

Is Dispatches From Elsewhere based on a true story?

Richard E Grant and Sally Field AMC

Jason Segel’s series is loosely based on events that happened in San Francisco between 2008 and 2011, which were turned into 2013 documentary The Institute.

Spencer McCall’s documentary captured the mysterious interactive experience built around the Jejune Institute. The events and experience were the invention of artist Jeff Hull.

Over 7,000 'participants' were recruited for the game using a series of bizarre flyers and advertisements on the streets.

The 'game' became a sprawling mystery for people to solve with instructional video in a secret hidden room and puzzles involving a missing teenager named Eva.

Segel was inspired by the documentary to get in touch with the people involved in the game and got an email a month later with a time and an address. He was stripped of his phone and ID when he arrived and given a series of challenges to solve.

“I had to walk into a bar and say a password,” he told the LA Times, “and then the bartender handed me this item that I needed to have. I felt like I was in [animated action-adventure series] Carmen Sandiego.”

After partaking in the experience, Segel was granted permission to make the drama based around the game.

Explaining his fascination with Jejune and Jeff Hull’s ‘experience, Segel said: "I found it really moving that people in different stages of life, from different walks of life, were all taking part in this thing because something was missing from their lives.

"We're supposed to see our differences. I wanted to make a show about how we're much more similar than we realise."

When is it released in the UK?

Dispatches from Elsewhere AMC

Dispatches From Elsewhere premieres on Wednesday, April 29 with a double-bill on AMC.

Watch on BT TV channel 333/381 HD, the BT Player and BT TV App.

AMC is exclusive to BT TV customers.