Comic-Con 2011: 'Awake's' Jason Isaacs, Creator Address the Series' Complexities

"I think this new series will be brilliant but I think it's missing an elf," Isaacs joked during Thursday's panel.
Jason Isaacs

NBC is betting on ambitious midseason drama Awake, formerly titled REM, to captivate audiences -- and the one at Thursday's Comic-Con panel was intrigued by the end of the 42-minute pilot.

An audience member echoed the opinions of many curious attendees when he wondered: "I want to watch the show to see how long you can keep this up."


Creator Kyle Killen, who was the mastermind behind Fox's shortlived Lone Star, discussed the complexities in the story, which follows Detective Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs) as he lives in two different worlds -- one in which his wife is alive and the other in which is son is alive after the three suffer a traumatic car accident. Whether one is real, fake or neither remains to be seen. But one thing that will play a major role when the hourlong debuts next year is the toll it'll take on Michael, who is attempting to balance the two realities.

"That's absolutely one of the things we've talked about," Killen said when asked about seeing Michael suffer through exhaustion. "The idea that he thinks this is all very manageable, but it's really taxing."

Though Killen and 24 vet Howard Gordon, who is also serving as an executive producer on Showtime's new drama Homeland, were mum on where they were going in future episodes, Killen did tease this: "We shared with Jason as much as we know. As creators, we share his plight. We desperately want to hold on to both worlds."

It's "incredibly hard," British actor Isaacs said of the complicated scripts and maintaining the continuity between story. "Do you always know what reality you're in? ... That's become a [gift]. It was hard but I quite like hard work."

Isaacs, best known for Brotherhood and portraying Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise, did have a suggestion to improve the series moving forward. "I think this new series will be brilliant but I think it's missing an elf," he joked to the crowd.