Counterpart is an American television series of science fiction created by Justin Marks, commissioned by Starz. The first two episodes are directed by Morten Tyldum. Howard Silk, an employee of a bureaucratic agency, soon discovers that the agency he works for is hiding an access door to a parallel dimension. Howard and Prime, his counterpart on the "other side", will navigate the issues of identity, "what" and lost love. J.K. Simmons, who won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in Whiplash, stars as Howard Silk, a low-level spy at an unusual government agency in Berlin. One day, he discovers his world is linked to a divergent reality — a world similar to Howard’s own, but built on billions of complex differences, the accumulation of alternative options. That world, named “The Other Side” by Marks and Horowitz, offers characters like Howard and his wife Emily (Olivia Williams) the special opportunity to learn what could have happened if they had taken the right instead of the left. It also presents something Simmons calls “a great ethical and moral dilemma” as Howard and other characters face the temptation to find out what their lives might have been like had things been different. Simmons says: “It’s like a time-travel scenario … I mean, you can’t go back and fix it, but maybe you can go over where it’s already been fixed.” He adds: “It was just good writing and a character that I felt like I could really identify with. A lot of scripts I was getting in the wake of Whiplash were these abusive alpha males. And when I first started reading Howard, the first Howard we meet, he was definitely a departure from that - just something that was intelligent and looked like fun."