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Trying to remember a short Netflix series about a world that experiences a catastrophic event where it splits into two separate but identical halves. Each half is a whole image of the original world, with each starting out with identical copies of the people within the original world. Each world subsequently experiences very different development.

Contained many images reminiscent of East and West Germany, presumably during the late Cold War. One side releases a pathogen into the other with devastating consequences, and the series ends with a retaliatory release of a pathogen as payback. Anyone know the name of the series?

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    Do you mean 2018-2019? It'd be cool if Netflix existed a century ago... :) Was this an animated series or live-action? About how many episodes?
    – DavidW
    Commented Mar 9, 2022 at 23:03
  • Thanks ... got my centuries mixed up ... too much looking back toward the dinosaurs!
    – nmgxjsyncf
    Commented Mar 9, 2022 at 23:05
  • @nmgxjsyncf - Another account with the same name as yours attempted to edit this question in order to respond to Mark Rogers' comment beneath my answer. If this person is you, I gather you must no longer have access to the account you used to post this question, which is why the site doesn't recognise you as the author of the question, and won't let you edit it or leave comments within this thread. You can resolve this problem by following the instructions provided here and merging the two accounts. Commented Mar 11, 2022 at 5:25

2 Answers 2

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Counterpart (2017–2019).

From Wikipedia:

Counterpart is an American science fiction thriller television series starring J. K. Simmons. It was created by Justin Marks and was first broadcast on the premium cable network Starz. The series ran for 20 episodes across two seasons. It premiered on December 10, 2017, and aired its final episode on February 17, 2019.

Howard Silk, a gentle, quiet office worker, has been working for a Berlin-based United Nations agency, the Office of Interchange (OI), for thirty years. His position is too low for him to be told what his work—exchanging apparently nonsensical messages—really involves. The OI oversees a checkpoint below its headquarters between parallel Earths (the "Alpha" and "Prime" worlds). The parallel Earths were created in 1987 during an experiment by East Germany when only a scientist named Yanek was on-site. The "Alpha world" Yanek met his "Prime world" counterpart, and they soon began studying how the initially identical Earths diverge.

The differences between the two worlds become more pronounced after 1996, when a flu pandemic killed hundreds of millions in the Prime world, setting back the world technologically but advancing it in life sciences. The virus was suspected of being purposely released by the Alpha world into the Prime world, which resulted in a tense cold war between the two worlds, with counterparts used as spies and sleeper agents. Silk's Alpha world continues to resemble ours, but the Prime world becomes quite different. Howard Silk Prime is a ruthless intelligence operative. Matters escalate during the series when a powerful rogue faction on Prime executes long-simmering plans to get revenge on Alpha.

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    I thought this would at least be a bit tougher than requiring a five minute response ... but Yes, Counterpart it is! And, thank you for the correct dates! I had also forgotten it was a Starz Original. This has been gnawing at me for months. With recent world events, are we watching a similar split about to happen between two not-so-identical sides (or are they?), but just as inclined on creating worlds-within-worlds as fiefdoms all their own to control? Incredible acting showing polar opposites of otherwise identical characters, presaging so much of what appears to be going on now.
    – nmgxjsyncf
    Commented Mar 9, 2022 at 23:26
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    The acting and cinematography were pretty solid. Commented Mar 10, 2022 at 16:42
  • Maybe it should be noted that this series is not available on Netflix. According to Wer streamt ...?, the full two seasons are only available on two streaming services that at least I have never heard of. Commented Mar 12, 2022 at 9:51
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What you are describing sounds like Dark, a German series.

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Can you please explain how you think Dark matches the details of the question? Note that the question already has an accepted answer with lots of details, so you need to make this a fairly complete answer to stand against that. You might want to read How to Answer and take the tour.
    – DavidW
    Commented Mar 10, 2022 at 18:52
  • Hello. There is nothing in Dark that has to do with what OP mentioned about TV series: "One side releases a pathogen into the other with devastating consequences, and the series ends with a retaliatory release of a pathogen as payback".
    – Firelord
    Commented Mar 12, 2022 at 13:42

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