|Dead reckoning for Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs). Pics:BSkyB|
Sky Atlantic: starts Friday, 4 May, 10pm
Story: Detective Michael Britten is driving with his wife and son in the car when they plunge into a ravine. He survives the smash, but finds himself living in two separate realities, with his wife alive in one existence, and his 15-year-old son in the other.
Awake is a crime drama mash-up with The Twilight Zone. Jason Isaacs, one of the new breed of Brits successfully hoovering up leading roles on both sides of the Atlantic, plays detective Michael Britten, who, following a fatal car smash in which he is the driver and his wife and son are the passengers, finds himself caught between parallel existences.
In one life, his wife is with him; and in the other, it is his son who survived. He wears differently coloured wristbands so that he can tell which reality he has woken up in each morning. In both, he has the grief of his surviving family member to cope with, but the irony is that he has time with each, so his own grief is diluted.
|Hannah, Michael and Rex|
Dual life gives Britten the edge as an investigator
The irony is, of course, that Britten does not want to 'wake up', because that would mean losing his wife or son. 'I've got no desire to make progress,' he says.
Further problems confront him. Wife Hannah wants to move to get away from their son's empty room, while his son, Rex, is withdrawn and uncommunicative after losing his mother.
This being a mainstream drama from NBC in the US, it is standard practice in such pilot shows to pack in as many dramatic dilemmas as possible to keep folk hooked. So, Britten has the additional conundrum of noticing connections between cases he is investigating in each parallel life.