BRAVE NEW WORLDS
OLIVIA WILLIAMS AND NICHOLAS PINNOCK FILL US IN ON THE SECOND SEASON OF THE COMPLEX, MULTI-VERSE DRAMA…
If you haven’t already been watching this sci-fi drama, we’d recommend that you don’t jump straight in with season two when it launches this Sunday on Starzplay on Amazon Prime Video – because it’s a very complicated show, and you want to have some kind of clue as to what’s going on.
So we’d suggest starting right from the beginning, but to give you a flavour, Howard Silk (J K Simmons) – an employee at the UN’S Office of Interchange – has discovered a parallel Earth, created by East German scientists in 1986, which has been diverging from our timeline ever since. With us so far? To get the low-down on season two, Inside TV spoke to Olivia Williams, who plays Howard’s wife Emily Silk (and, in the alternative world, his ex-wife Emily Burton), and Nicholas Pinnock, who plays OI Housekeeping agent Ian Shaw – and found out even they struggle to keep up with what’s going on at times…
Where do we find your characters at the start of season two?
Nicholas Shaw has basically been dumped by Emily, but they end up working together on a mission. So he’s back in the thick of things, yet we also see part of his past come into the frame for the first time, and that’s the beginning of us understanding exactly why Shaw is the way he is.
Olivia We have Emily Burton, who has been humiliated and removed from her work, and the comatose Emily Silk waking up, and what you quickly realise is that she has no recollection of herself before the accident. So I had this extraordinary challenge of playing three people – Emily Burton, Emily Silk, who was this incredible double agent, and Emily Silk, a sort of 50-year-old newborn who everyone’s coming up to and going, “Remembered anything yet?”
How do you manage to keep everything clear in your head when you’re filming?
Nicholas We all get the scripts at the same time, and then we find our own corners and we read, then we go, “Have you read episode seven?” and just discuss it. It also helps that Justin’s [Marks, the show’s creator] door is always open!
You film in both Berlin and LA – do you find that complicates things, too?
Olivia You might walk across a courtyard and into a door in
Berlin and only enter the room three months later in Los Angeles, so you really need someone to say, “Do you remember that freezing-cold day in February? That’s the energy you’re coming into this 42C studio with.”
It’s also a very serious show – do you make some time for levity between takes?
Nicholas It’s lovely, because we do take it all seriously, but there is time for levity. Olivia and I have Scrabble battles on set.
Olivia Serious Scrabble battles. Actually, there’s no comedy in that! I think he’s winning…
Shaw thing: Ian thinks they should forget the other dimension exists
Silk screen: Emily is leading parallel lives
Cosmos confusion: If he looks bemused, think how we feel