Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Counterpart

Go To

    open/close all folders 

Office of Interchange Alpha


Howard Silk

Played By: J. K. Simmons

An American employee of the OI based in Berlin, he served with the agency for 30 years as an agent waiting for an upcoming promotion when he gets involved with the OI's Office of Operations.

  • Exact Words: Howard impersonates Prime Howard and is given a lie detector test. He is asked questions about things Prime Howard did so he simply tells his interrogators that he does not remember these events. The interrogators are astonished by how well he is beating the lie detector, not realizing that Howard is telling the truth. He was not present during the events in question and thus has no memories of what happened.
  • Nice Guy: In contrast to all the secretive, sinister people around him, Howard is just a decent man who wants his wife to get better and doesn't want innocent people to get hurt by all this insanity.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the Season 1 finale, kills Big Bad Alexander Pope in Self Defense with a fire poker
  • Underestimating Badassery: He's completely dismissed as a "nobody" from the moment he's brought in on the conspiracy. In fact he has strong enough integrity and will to resist Alexander Pope (who plays highly experienced agents like Ian Shaw and Howard Prime like a fiddle) and Yanek. Also, if absolutely forced, he is willing to kill. Just ask Pope.

Emily Silk

Played By: Olivia Williams

Howard's wife, who has been in a coma for six weeks prior to the start of the series.

  • Amnesiac Dissonance: While her pre-coma self has never been shown, she's disgusted with her cheating and lying to Howard, considering herself different from "that woman."
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Played with. Being in a coma, understandably, has caused significant brain damage that left her unable to read, remember certain words, and struggle to retain certain memories.
  • Spotting the Thread: Even with aphasia and memory loss, she can tell that something is different about Howard, not knowing its not her Howard.
  • Walking Spoiler: Talking about her will spoil the fact that she was in contact with Howard Silk Prime for some time.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Has had, according to Howard Alpha, numerous other partners through the years.

Peter Quayle

Played By: Harry Lloyd

Howard's superior at the OI and the strategy director.

  • Born Lucky: He's had enough close shaves and near-misses that he's started to notice it. He's pulled out of a corner by his secretary, who is an Indigo agent, who makes him shoot her to give him a plausible cover, and to claim that she was Shadow the whole time.
  • Driven to Suicide: Averted. Howard Prime pushes him to it to escape being caught, but he doesn't have the guts to follow through.
  • Idiot Ball: Quayle fails to keep a level head after finding out his wife is the mole within the Office of Interchange and incautiously starts openly questioning the mole within the OI regarding past incidents. He also fails to take basic precautions to keep a subterfuge of his from being found out.
    • His phone password is identical to his safe combination, which is how Clare is able to leak intel from strategy.
    • He locked a confession of all his and his wife's deeds in his safe in his office where he, Naya, security, and his own secretary can get to it.
    • He tells his wife, who's loyalties are still suspect that he's been spying on them and that he has made said confession.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Believes that Howard's work should be rewarded, but the bureaucrats who outrank him say that he doesn't have a say in it since someone else got the promotion in "The Crossing".
  • Sanity Slippage: He spends most of the final episodes of the first season a disheveled mess in his pajamas when he finds out his wife is a spy. Most of his Idiot Ball moments above can be attributed to his rapidly unraveling mental state.
    • Gets worse in the second season when Peter is panicking over keeping Clare's secret as Shadow in order to use her EP OI knowledge to root out her allies in Berlin and being loyal to EA OI's mandate.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After his secretary was exposed as an Indigo mole, Roland blames him for his actions that led to the mole being uncovered. Roland now is getting unwanted attention from his colleagues.
  • Your Cheating Heart: He's married to Roland Fancher's daughter, but is also shown with multiple prostitutes.


Played By: Mido Hamada

An experienced agent with the OO who serves as Aldrich's Number Two when in the field.

  • Cold Sniper: In "Birds of a Feather", he fires at Nadia on her shoulder so that Baldwin can't use her.
  • Number Two: To Aldrich in the field during an OO mission.



Josef Aldrich

Played By: Ulrich Thomsen

The operations director of the OI aka Housekeeping.

  • Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit: When Season 2 starts, we learn Quayle has framed him posthumously for being the Indigo mole Shadow, who of course is really Quayle's wife, Clare.
  • Karmic Death: Baldwin is the one to off him for being responsible for Nadia's death.
  • Not So Different: An extreme believer in this trope in that he finds meek Howard Alpha as suspicious as aggressive Howard Prime.
    • And he doesn't seem to have much concern about being responsible for Baldwin's counterpart.
    • Aldrich's such a believer in the trope, he arranged for his Prime counterpart to undergo a Despair Event Horizon upon learning that he was planning to defect. If his other self planned to defect, Aldrich couldn't let anyone think he would be ready to defect.

Roland Fancher

Played By: Richard Schiff

The diplomacy director of the OI, and Quayle's father-in-law.

Naya Temple

Played By: Betty Gabriel

An FBI agent with several years in counterintelligence. In the aftermath of the OI Alpha massacre, she's brought in to the Office of Interchange to root out potential spies.

  • Action Girl: Naya gets her fair share of action in hunting down OI moles after the massacre in the first season.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Naya has her suspicions that Howard in the Alpha world is not who she thinks he is.
  • Crisis of Faith: She's the first openly religious person we meet in the show, and her faith in Allah is shaken by everything she learns at OI.
  • Only Sane Man: She’s so insightful, she’s practically an exposition machine. She’s the first person to take a stance that Prime is clearly just as human as Alpha. She sees right through Quinn’s cover-ups. She also points out that the office has gotten too political to be effective.

Office of Interchange Prime


Emily Burton Prime

Played By: Olivia Williams

Howard Prime's ex-wife, who works in strategy.

  • Recovered Addict: She's had some drug trouble in the past. The Conspiracy is all too happy to use this to make her investigations seem like a relapse.
  • Sherlock Scan: The relations between her and her ex were bad enough that while most people missed it, she knew within an hour of meeting normal Howard that he was not actually Howard Prime.

Ian Shaw

Played By: Nicholas Pinnock

An experienced agent with the Office of Operations in the strategy department.

  • Green-Eyed Monster: Its heavily implied that his capture of Howard Alpha was much more based on his jealousy over the fact he's rebuilding Howard Prime's relationship with Emily.
  • Internal Affairs: Conducts inquiries on anything that happens in the actual world alongside Emily Prime.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Perfectly willing to kill a customs agent over a Prince CD, even if he's right that its existence on Alpha would expose the Prime world.


Bob Dwyer

Played By: Kenneth Choi

The strategy director of the OI.

  • Flat Character: His role in the story is to be a sounding board for Emily Prime and Ian and order them to continue.
  • Internal Affairs: His job is to keep an eye on OI personnel to make sure no one is corrupt.

Claude Lambert

Played By: Guy Burnet

Diplomatic ambassador to the Alpha world and one of the higher-ups of the Indigo program. He is, or rather, they are Clare's handler.

  • Depraved Bisexual: He hits shamelessly on anything that moves, and in Season 2 is revealed to have an intimate relationship with his own counterpart.
  • The Dividual: Unlike most people and their others, it's very hard to tell where Claude Alpha and Claude Prime are separate individuals. They dress, act, talk, and think completely alike, and according to the surviving one (unknown if it's the Alpha or Prime version, but definitely the one that met Peter and Roland Fancher for lunch) they had been alternating their roles for many years. The only clue is that when one returns home, the other mentions the quality of food on the other side, which meant the Claude that had just met Claire for Indigo business was actually the one from Alpha.
  • Humans Are Bastards: An interesting aversion. Despite fitting the trope in personality and actions, their existence and relationship to one another (see above) defies Yanek's entire worldview that when two identical individuals exist together one must destroy the other, and is contrary to the extenuation of this belief that Indigo holds in the first place.
  • False Reassurance: Claims that he believes the likelihood of Alpha sending a virus to Prime is about as likely as the Prime government being responsible for sending assassins like Baldwin. Which he sent, naturally.
  • Smug Snake: Even being on the run on Alpha doesn't drop his smug superiority. Neither of them.
    • The sum he asks for from Peter to protect his secret is two million dollars. The sum he asks for from Naya, which would reveal Peter's role in everything? Two million and one.
  • The Spymaster: Both of them handle the affairs of Earth Prime agents operating in Earth Alpha.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: He's the ambassador from Earth Prime. Until Season 2, where he's hiding from OI Alpha agents.
  • Walking Spoiler: His role in the first season is clear-cut but the revelation in the second season of his relationship with his other, or more specifically, the two's relation to each other, throws a lot of doubt over which one was involved in the first season's events.



Played By: James Cromwell

The warden placed in charge of Echo, an OI Prime black site. He's trying to get Howard Alpha to spill the beans on his world and make him a double agent.

  • Humans Are Bastards: A firm believer, from his own experience. When two copies of one exist, one will always seek to destroy the other.
  • Wham Episode: He's from the Alpha world, being handed over by his colleagues to keep the peace between the Alpha and Prime worlds.





Played By: Jamie Bamber

Howard's brother-in-law, who wants Howard to award rights to move Emily back to England for long term care.

  • Jerkass: The Howards consider him a pretty basic jerk because he's apparently never approved of Emily's marriage to Howard. Calling Howard's wish to keep Emily in Berlin "childish" doesn't do him any favors.
    • Jerkass Has a Point: That said, his wish to have Emily near her mom in case she passes isn't unreasonable.

Clare Quayle

Played By: Nazanin Boniadi, Lara Decaro (young)

An unknown woman who's gotten the OI's attention, who happens to be Peter's wife.

  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: For all her seemingly genuine niceties, she easily sleeps with Baldwin to lower her defenses in an attempt to kill her.
  • Conflicting Loyalties: Goes from being completely faithful to Indigo's cause to doubting them after she's caught to hatred after finding out that Pope killed her real parents rather than the Munchen virus to turning on them with Peter at the end of Season 2.
  • The Mole: Clare's able to get details of Peter's work thanks to him using the same code for his safe and phone.
  • Nice Girl: Clare understands the work of Peter in OI and looks after their daughter.
    • Back in Earth Prime, she's a teacher who helps orphans cope with the loss of their family due to the Munchen virus.
  • Walking Spoiler: It's hard to explain that she's a deep cover agent sent from Earth Prime.
  • Your Cheating Heart: The second adult Spencer, her old boyfriend walks back into her life, her faithfulness to Peter is all over.


Played By: Bernhard Forcher

Howard's friend in Berlin who he regularly plays go with.

  • The Atoner: He partly befriended Howard because of his guilt over sleeping with Emily, not knowing she was married.


Played By: Liv Lisa Fries

A young woman working at a bar who bonds quickly with Baldwin.

  • The Everyman: She's just one innocent unaware that she's dating someone who's in something much bigger than she.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: To Baldwin's Butch.

    Earth Prime 


Played By: Sara Serraiocco

A mercenary sent to Earth Alpha to take on the OI.

  • Abusive Parents: Her father took out his anger for being a failed artist on her. So she watched as he was run over by a train.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Baldwin apologizes to Remy for wounding him before she's forced to execute him.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: She gets shot on the cheek by Howard Prime, leaving the remains of her scar wound on.
  • Butch Lesbian: Is attracted explicitly to women and has to be tough to be an assassin. She has Boyish Short Hair in comparison to her Lipstick Lesbian counterpart's long hair.
  • *Click* Hello: Baldwin has just killed one of the two alternate Office of Interchange officers. The other one has just ended a phone call when he gets greeted with an audible click, upon which he (and the audience) sees who Baldwin is. He is shot immediately afterward.
  • Dark Action Girl: She kills anyone who gets in her way. Except for Nadia, her Alpha counterpart.
  • Hyper-Awareness: She's reported to note even the most minute detail of their target's routines as mentioned in "The Crossing" in order to accomplish missions with deadly effectiveness. This becomes a Chekhov's Skill later in the same episode.
  • Morality Pet: Initially Nadia Alpha, then Greta, until one of her other's exes outs her and Greta does some research.
  • Not So Different: Despite deeply resenting the seemingly perfect life of her Alpha counterpart, they both feel immense guilt for letting their dad die. The revelation shocks her.
  • Waif-Fu: Averted. When she fights a man sent to kill her, she shows some impressive moves, but she's still clearly in trouble unless she can get hold of a weapon. (She does.)
  • Wild Card: Though presented in the early episodes as a remorseless assassin, this is what she turns out to be as she doesn't care for anything but money, her morality pets, and revenge. When Howard Prime's stranded comrades capture her in the Alpha world, Howard delivers one of the Lamberts to her and gives her a knife to escape. This ends with Lambert Prime/Alpha dead, Howard's friends dead, and Baldwin gone.

Howard Silk Prime

Played By: J. K. Simmons

  • Cover Identity Anomaly: Howard Prime takes the place of Howard Alpha one night on a visit to the hospital. He misses one crucial detail in the routine visit: when Howard walks by the nurse's station, he normally puts one of the flowers from the bouquet he's bought for Emily into the vase on the counter, because they're the nurse's favorite flowers, too. Howard Prime doesn't do this. Which accidentally tips off the assassin "Baldwin" that something isn't right.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: For all his clever manipulations, he chooses to trust Alexander Pope over his ex-wife and his other self.
  • Jerkass: This is his defining trait compared to Howard Alpha. He is rude, foul-tempered, and lacks the empathy and patience his other regularly demonstrates.
    • The way out he offered to Peter when Naya is closing in on him? There's a gun hidden in the bathroom, go and shoot yourself.
  • Not So Different: Its his desire to protect Emily Prime that is ultimately where the similarities between him and Howard Alpha spawn from.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Or meekness, in his case. In order to pass as Howard Alpha, he has to adopt the less confident mannerisms and body language of his other. Alone, or with those in the know, he immediately reverts back to his blunt and arrogant mannerisms, and lacks the patience to prevent them from boiling over when stressed or frustrated.
  • Oh, Crap!: "No Strings Attached" has him being figured out by Naya due to her Awesomeness by Analysis skills.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: A key way of telling him apart from the other Howard.
  • What, Exactly, Is His Job?: He apparently created a lot of the system that operates today but his actual rank is completely unknown.

Alexander Pope

Played By: Stephen Rea

An influential man who helps out Howard Silk Prime by providing things he needs such as visas to get to Earth. Heavily hinted to be one of the top members of a conspiracy directed at the non-Prime Earth.

  • Big Bad: For Howard Silk Prime's character arc when Emily Silk Prime warns him that Pope is after him.
  • Karmic Death: Deems Howard Alpha "plain" and easily manipulated compared to his Howard. Guess who gets to kill him?
  • Manipulative Bastard: He's running numerous games at once. Sending assassins on Howard through Emily lets him discredit Emily's investigation if Howard survives (which he did) and dispose of a problem if he dies.

Anna Burton Silk

Played By: Sarah Bolger

Howard and Emily Prime's daughter. Has a fraught relationship with her parents.



    Angel Eyes 

An unknown person sent to Earth Alpha for an unknown purpose.

  • Alas, Poor Villain: In spite of the horrible murders he committed, he was ultimately just a brainwashed kid who ends up bleeding to death because neither side wanted to claim him. His final words are tearfully repeating the same Indigo mantra.
    Angel Eyes: On the other side of the door, I can be a different me, as smart and as brave, as funny or as strong as the person could want to be.
  • Child Soldiers: Naturally, as a member of Project Indigo.
  • Fantastic Racism: Trained to loathe Alpha people and considers them all filthy degenerates, but its debatable how much he believes this.
  • Fish out of Water: For all his training for the Alpha Earth, he wasn't prepared for smartphones or similar tech.

Played By: Christiane Paul

An ex-Indigo teacher who helped Clare when she was young. She's responsible for breaking Yanek out of Echo.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: