WATCH: Counterpart creator on the art of building parallel dimensions

Contributed by
Dec 8, 2017

Following in the footsteps of Fringe and The Man in the High Castle, Starz's upcoming TV series Counterpart will feature parallel worlds. Show creator Justin Marks and executive producer Jordan Horowitz opened up about creating parallel dimensions for the espionage/sci-fi mashup series slated to premiere early next year and they had some very interesing things to say.

Marks and Horowitz were on hand with Tara Bennett of SYFY WIRE to discuss the show, revealing that what they really want to do is tell an espionage story with all the thrills that came with it but also a show about "what ifs, and what if we'd made different choices."

 

"On one side, we wanted to tell a traditional espionage story that had all the thrills and twists and reveals. And on the other side, we wanted instead of doing a world where there's a Berlin Wall and it's a physical construct, we wanted to tell it in a metaphysical way and to make it a show about identity and 'what if.'" Marks told us. "What if we had made different choices where our lives would have turned out differently, and how do you keep secrets from another version of yourself who has made all of the same choices or all the same mistakes or all different choices or different mistakes, but knows why you are who you are."

Marks also revealed that J.K. Simmons was pretty much THE only choice for him to play the dual roles of Howard and Howard Prime, saying "as soon as he expressed interest, I knew that if we couldn't get him that I would be dead in the water."

Marks also talked about his approach to telling a sci-fi story and world-building. "The big goal for me, in science fiction, is you build a huge world and you build it down to its smallest detail. And then what we tried to do with the writers room and as a writer, was always about you build this huge world and then turn off the overhead lights and give the audience a flashlight and let them walk around thought it."

As always, there's plenty more interesting stuff in the video interview for you to mine so go ahead and check it out. Counterpart premieres its 10-episode season on Jan. 21, 2018 on Starz.

Additional material by Nathalie Caron.