J.K. Simmons Faces Himself in First 'Counterpart' Trailer (Video)

Fittingly enough, J.K. Simmons suffers some whiplash in the first full trailer for Counterpart, a new series set on the precipice of two very different worlds.

Counterpart, which premieres its 10-episode first season Jan. 21 on Starz, focuses on Oscar-winning actor Simmons (Law and Order, Oz) as a man named Howard Silk, a low-level employee at a Berlin-based United Nations spy agency. He soon comes to learn the true nature of his employers' purposes: standing on the edge of a parallel dimension, one that's kept under strictest lock and key. Why would someone like Howard gain entry to such a massively secret world? Apparently, it's because of the Howard Silk from "over there," his identical counterpart on so many levels, and his exact opposite in other ways.

"Do you know how lucky you are? Nobody gets to meet their 'other,'" says operative Peter Quyale (not to be confused with Peter Quinn or Peter Quill), played by Game of Thrones veteran Harry Lloyd. He continues to explain the new world order: "Thirty years ago, during the Cold War, there was an experiment. It opened up a passage. When you go through this door and come out the other side, you're in a different world identical to ours."

"There was one reality," adds the "other" Silk. "And then it duplicated."

The differences between the two Silks are palpable even in this initial trailer. The first almost trembles as he narrates the first movement of the trailer, while the "other" is seen operating within the shadows, wielding firearms with ruthless efficiency, and offering up a chilling one-liner: "The last thing you want is me with nothing left to say."

In addition to Simmons and Lloyd, Counterpart features Olivia Williams (Rushmore) as Emily Burton Silk, Nicholas Pinnock (Captain America: The First Avenger) as Ian Shaw, Nazanin Boniadi (Homeland) as Baldwin, and Ulrich Thomsen (The Blacklist) as Aldrich.

Counterpart was created by Justin Marks and exec produced by Marks, Gary Gilbert (La La Land) of Gilbert Films, Jordan Horowitz (La La Land) and Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game), Keith Redmon (The Revenant) and Bard Dorros (Spotlight) of Anonymous Content, and Amy Berg.

Counterpart premieres Jan. 21 at 8 p.m. on Starz.