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TV preview: Awake starring Jason Isaacs
The cast of Sky Atlantic drama, Awake
Jason Isaacs is the latest British actor rolling out an American accent and headlining a US drama. The Harry Potter star plays a detective living in two worlds in Awake which debuts on Sky Atlantic at 10pm on 4 May.
In the series, Detective Michael Britten (Isaacs) survives a serious car accident only to find he is living in two parallel worlds: in one existence, Michael's wife Hannah (Laura Allen) is still with him, but his son dies.
In the other world, his son Rex (Dylan Minnette) is alive, but Hannah doesn't make it.
Michael navigates between these two worlds, each populated with its own psychiatrist, police partner and murder cases. The detective goes on to use his two realities to gain a unique perspective for his job, and in his life.
Avid viewers of US telly imports will recognise 24's Cherry Jones as LAPD-assigned therapist Dr Evans, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit's BD Wong as Dr Lee (a role not totally dissimilar to his aforementioned previous show).
Michael is understandably reluctant to confront which of the realities is true, but hidden memories from the crash begin to surface, forcing him to confront the truth about what really happened.
When the pilot was being developed, there was concern that the concept would be too tricky for audiences. A mooted idea would've seen Jason Isaacs sporting a beard in one world and going beardless in the other to help viewers distinguish between them.
However, the star is convinced viewers will be able to understand the show. "There's a lot of discussion online and among my friends, who say: 'I love it, but I don't think the public will get it'. We underestimate them at our peril," he insists.
Awake has a wonderful pedigree; it's from executive producers Kyle Killen (Lone Star), Jeffrey Reiner (Friday Night Lights) and Howard Gordon (Homeland, 24). This US drama is an intriguing drama, superbly realised. Give it an hour of your time every week.
Awake, Sky Atlantic, 10pm on Fridays
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