Blake Crouch has enjoyably adapted his own 2016 novel "Dark Matter" into a nine-episode series for Apple TV+, but it has nothing to do with "dark matter."

Pseudo-scientifically speaking, this is a parallel reality series, with a dose of domestic drama, some secret project shenanigans and a structure that recalls the Odyssey, in that it's the story of a man facing monstrous obstacles and personal distractions as he attempts to get back to his wife, son and homeland. A complement of familiar quantum mechanical terms are dropped along the way, with only the hint of a thud: superposition, entanglement, liminal, multiverse — ideas that have become standard sci-plot devices and useful literary metaphors.

Joel Edgerton plays Chicago physics professor Jason Dessen, married to Daniela (Jennifer Connelly) and father to Charlie (Oakes Fegley). Almost everywhere in television except "Abbott Elementary," teaching is dramatic shorthand for failure, and we do get the sense that Jason is less than completely engaged at work. At the end of a day in which he addresses half-interested students and learns that his friend has won a million-dollar physics prize, he is abducted and drugged by a masked man and wakes up, as they loved to say in the old Marvel comics, "Trapped in a world he never made!"

Well, not to be coy about it, the man in the mask is Jason himself (identified in the book as Jason 2), who has come from a reality in which he decided not to marry Daniela, with that choice creating a whole alternate timeline. Though he becomes a bigshot physicist, he has been drowning in regret to the point of inventing a techno-magical gizmo capable of opening doors to other worlds — seemingly just to find one in which he did marry her, and substituting himself for that Jason.

In the other world, where Jason doesn't recognize people who (think they) know him and is confronted with radically different versions of people he (thinks he) knows, it is assumed by the natives that he has lost his mind. For a time, he's inclined to agree. That is not exactly his beautiful house, and it is most certainly not his beautiful wife inside — it's beautiful Amanda (Alice Braga), a psychologist attached to the techno-gizmo project. But before long, Jason will realize what's what and set about figuring out how to get back to where he once belonged.

That, of course, would leave his Daniela saddled with Jason 2, who is, after all, a liar and an interdimensional kidnapper. Obviously, no one would expect their mate to be substituted by a simulacrum; still it takes her a bizarrely long time to notice that something's not quite right with him — let alone accept that he isn't the man she married.

There's little new under the sci-fi sun, and there are echoes in "Dark Matter" of the movies "Sliding Doors," "Everything Everywhere All at Once" and "It's a Wonderful Life."

"Dark Matter" isn't subtle. Crouch doesn't waste time with subtext — not when he can have the characters spell out his themes of choice and regret. Because the main characters, and a few minor ones, have counterparts in each reality, there is much to keep straight, and no one should blame you if you don't. Additionally, for dramatic effect the action will cut between realities without making it immediately clear where we are — a fake-out. And it can make you tired keeping things sorted.

However, Edgerton does a good job of delineating sad regular-guy Jason from hyper creepy-guy Jason, and from creepy-guy-playing-regular-guy Jason, though, for different reasons, they all can grow wearing at times.

As with all science fiction, there are impossible things you're going to have to accept — or else, it would just be science, I suppose.