SFX 246 PREVIEW ALT

Being Human writer Jamie Mathieson takes us on a trip to parallel worlds

Jamie Mathieson is no stranger to high concept sci-fi. As well as penning several episodes of Being Human and an episode of Dirk Gently , he’s the man responsible for the 2009 comedy mindbender Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel . Next month he’s returning to TV with ALT , an E4 pilot about two former BFFs (played by Game Of Thrones ' Gethin Anthony and Being Human 's Craig Roberts) who find themselves stranded in a parallel world.

“Danny and Milo were best friends for most of their lives, but Milo is the black hole of the story that drags everyone down,” says Mathieson. “He’s a manipulative, blithe stoner, who hasn’t got much ambition and lives with his gran. At the same time Danny feels sorry for Milo and he hasn’t quite broken free of Milo’s influence. That’s where the story begins with Milo saying, ‘You’ve got to come round, we’ve got a problem.’”

Milo’s “problem” is a mysterious bracelet which flings the pair into a parallel universe where another Danny is living his life badly and Suzy (Danny’s girlfriend) no longer recognises him. “Danny’s quest is to get back to the parallel that contains the love of his life,” says Mathieson. “Milo’s not that invested in getting back to the original parallel because as far as he’s concerned Suzy ruined the friendship between him and Danny, which is quite a nice tension to have.”

As well as being stranded in a strange world there’s the small matter of two sword-wielding assassins who want Danny and Milo dead, played by Jason Flemyng and Arsher Ali.

“The assassins want to kill Danny and Milo for reasons which aren’t clear. And not just that, they want to kill every version of Danny and Milo,” Mathieson explains. “These assassins may pop up at any moment so there’s a background arc which is Danny and Milo warning other versions of themselves.”

Like the sound of ALT ? You can read much more in SFX 246, out Wednesday 5 March (today)! The ALT pilot airs mid-April on E4. Tune in and you can help the show get a full series.