NEW MUNICH—The new Sci-Fi Channel series Fallen Axis, which eerily depicts a world in which Germany actually lost the Second World War, premiered Tuesday evening to high ratings in an alternate universe to our own.
The much-anticipated television event is said to be the most ambitious ever produced by the science-fiction-themed network, which is a subsidiary of the Aryan Broadcasting Company. According to the early response, audiences in the alternate realm have been riveted by the show's vision of an inverted existence wherein a defeated Germany has been completely neutered by the Allied powers.
"Imagine, if you will, a world in which Hitler's glorious master plan had instead ended in ignominious failure, and the Allies had somehow emerged the victors," the show's creator, Leonhardt Riefenstahl, said during an appearance on Entertainment Heute Nacht. "It would be as if everything we know to be true—the fall of Russia, the invasion and surrender of the American continents, Heinrich Braun-Hitler's consolidation of the various conquered states in 1973—had never even happened."
Added Riefenstahl, "I think viewers all across the great worldwide National Socialist Empire are going to be terrified by the upside-down world we've created."
Critics residing in the alternate realm have also responded positively to the show: Many praised its scarily realistic depiction of a postwar Russian-American union rising to economic dominance and superpower status with the help of gloating French and English allies.
"Not only is Fallen Axis a chilling, what-if story of a world gone mad, it also asks a number of important questions about what Germany's victory meant, and why its sacred mission was so critical to the fatherland and all of humankind," said Hans von Winterstein, TV critic for the Deutsche-American Zeitung. "And Rolf Staal's performance as former cowboy actor Henry Fonda II, the monstrous American president who attempts to spread his country's insidious political and economic liberalism across the globe, will horrify even the most stoic among us."
Producers said depicting the fictional, non-German-controlled America cost upwards of 40 million reichsmarks per episode, with much of the budget going toward recreating the cities of Washington, D.C. and New York exactly as they would have appeared before the famous tide-turning Luftwaffe strike of 1951. In addition, test audiences reported being impressed by the show's painstaking portrayal of a topsy-turvy 2009 in which American big-band music plays on every radio, Mickey Mouse spouts pro-Semitic propaganda from every cinema screen, and dilution of the supreme race runs rampant.
The show is considered by many to be another boon to the Sci-Fi Channel's fall schedule, which also includes Battlestar Gleichschaltung, a weekly drama about a starship crew that enforces the total coordination of intergalactic society and commerce, and the hit reality series Jew Hunters, in which a team of paranormal investigators scour banks and former Polish ghettos in search of Jewish spirits.
No less an authority than the National Socialist Empire's reichsminister of propaganda Helmut Goebbels expressed his admiration for Fallen Axis in a formal address yesterday from the Reichstag.
"The Führer and myself are enormously pleased with this provocative new program," Goebbels said. "It shows you how close Germany might have been to losing the war had Nazi scientists not perfected the vortex gun just in time, and it is a reaffirmation of the values of self-sacrifice and racial purity that Germany's magnificent victory championed."
Added Goebbels, "However, I must strongly warn the show's creators that it would be extremely unwise of them not to include a five-minute tribute to the Führer at the beginning of all future episodes."