“All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again.”

Peter Watts breaks the bad news to us:

A couple of months ago, its creators announced that Counterpart is dead after a mere two seasons. It just couldn’t attract enough viewers, out of all the people on two Earths. And I think that’s a shame; Counterpart was more than just SF for people who hate SF.

The first season of Counterpart got a Region 1 Blu-ray release, but that seems to be it for now.

I was looking forward to seeing J K Simmons 1 being great in a great piece of speculative fiction, but being an old person who grew up with a TV world where US shows frequently took a couple of seasons to be picked up by a terrestrial broadcaster in the UK 2 I took it that for a good-but-not-a-smash-hit show like this I just needed to be patient.3

I guess that if I really wanted to see Counterpart I’d look to BitTorrent, but dammit I don’t want to pirate content just because this era of capitalism demands that the players only consider making shows worthwhile if those shows have a decent prospect of turning out to be megahits that generate megareturns on their investment.

I want my Fully Automated Luxury Space Communism, and I want it now!4

  1. Of whom I’ve been a fan ever since his turn as Vern Schillinger in Oz.
  2. I did mention I was old, didn’t I?
  3. Part of me likes to think that it ain’t over yet, that surely the rights-holders will eventually seek to earn some more income for their efforts by releasing the show worldwide one way or another so I’ll get a look at it eventually. Given the present scramble to get as much content exclusively under an exclusive subscription-based service as humanly possible it’s entirely possible that won’t be how it goes.
  4. I’m aware of the irony of the title of this post being from a speculative fiction show – the Battlestar Galactica remake – that, arguably, went on too long and went off the rails along the way, and which didn’t even show up on UK terrestrial TV (as far as I know.) All I can plead is that the impending attempt by producers to restrict the availability of their shows so they can capture what I’m sure they think of as their fair share of the proceeds fits so well into the phenomenon the quote describes that I couldn’t resist applying it to this post. Also, I was unable to come up with a good pun involving the word “counterpart” to use as a post title…