You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Back to IndieWire

Steve Harris Co-Stars In NBC’s Ridiculously Confusing New Police Drama “Awake”

Steve Harris Co-Stars In NBC's Ridiculously Confusing New Police Drama "Awake"

Veteran TV-actor Steve Harris plays a police detective on the new NBC drama Awake, which seems like that network’s small-screen take on films like Inception and Shutter Island.

Harris stars alongside series lead Jason Issacs (Case Histories), B.D. Wong (Law & Order), and Wilmer Valderrama (That 70’s Show).

NBC’s offical synopsis for Awake reads like this:

Lots of people find themselves leading some kind of double life… but none quite like this.

After Detective Michael Britten wakes up from a car accident with his wife and teenage son, he learns the devastating news that his wife died in the crash. Trying to put the pieces of his life back together, he wakes up a few days later to realize that his wife is very much alive and his son died in the accident! Did he lose his wife or his son? Or neither of them??

What if your life split in two in the face of a situation like this, and you could actually have everything you wanted, just not all at the same time? Michael goes back to work solving crimes while trying to put things back on a “normal” track, but alternating between realities provides some challenges – one moment he and his wife are grappling with having another child to replace their loss, and the next moment he’s finding himself attracted to his son’s tennis coach to fill the void from the loss of his wife. At the same time, he is solving crimes in each world which sometimes overlap in fascinating and inexplicable ways. Is he dreaming or going mad? Michael begins seeing two different therapists to help him sort things out, but then again why would he want either “reality” to go away when the totality of both means having his family complete?

From groundbreaking writer Kyle Killen (Lone Star) and starring Jason Isaacs (Brotherhood, Harry Potter) comes a drama about the power of the mind, where the inception of life is a mystery and reality might just be overrated.

. . . which basically means that Det. Michael Britten (Issacs) loses his wife and/or son in a car crash.  Then he realizes that depending on whether he’s awake or asleep, the wife and/or the son are still alive.  He’s bouncing between two different worlds, with two different work partners (Harris and Valderrama), and two different therapists (one of which is Wong).  And all season long, we’ll have to guess which is which.

Here’s the trailer for awake:

And here’s a clip of Harris and Valderrama discussing the show:

Awake premieres on NBC on March 1st @10PM EST.

This Article is related to: Television and tagged



We just finished watching the season at the rate of two to three per night. We loved the series and hope there is another. Great suspense and kept us guessing who was going to be alive in the end.


Pilot was pretty damn good, it's actually not confusing at all. And it's not INCEPTION or SHUTTER ISLAND. Jason Isaacs loses his wife/son in a car accident. He flips between two realities where in one, the wife is alive; in the other, his son. It is more LIFE ON MARS than the other ones, because he is fully aware of what's going on & cognizant, just not sure which one is real & which one is a dream. But there is nothing "fake" or surreal about either reality-except that as a cop there are parts of one reality that happen to help him in the other one solve cases & vice versa. Pretty ingenious way to do a procedural. For the "I need it spoon fed to me" clique, it'll be poison. Which means NBC will have to have faith it'll build an audience.


The premise looks interesting. The pilot got good reviews a few months back, but it seems like it would make a better movie than a TV series. I don't know how they will keep the same thread going for multiple seasons.

Vichus Smith

It looks like a really good concept, but I hope that this doesn't get canceled as quickly as Lone Star did!

I'm going to throw out a crazy theory and say that he's in a coma, and both realities are fake. BOTH his wife and kid are dead. Boo-yah!


Reminded me of LIFE ON MARS (which I still haven't forgiven ABC for cancelling.) I don't know. They better have great writers in order to pull this off.


I'm a big Steve Harris and B.D. Wong fan but you're right Emmanuel…this could be confusing. I'll give it a chance!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *