Having subscribed to STARZPLAY so I could watch Station Eleven – a very good decision, as it turned out – I’ve decided to compensate for the impending gap in my viewing schedule once Station Eleven ends by catching up with a slightly older show streaming via the same service, Counterpart.
As I hoped would happen way back 1 before any of us had even heard of COVID-19 when I was mulling over the prospect of Counterpart ever turning up on this side of the Atlantic, the producers/rights owners have clearly decided to take what money they can get even if the show wasn’t a global smash hit.
On the evidence of the first few episodes, Counterpart looks very promising. J K Simmons has fun playing two versions of the same person,2 and with Olivia Williams clearly destined to play a bigger part than her role in the first episode suggested this has the feel of a show that knows what it’s doing and has the cast to have some fun with such a juicy Sci-Fi premise.3
I know the show only got two seasons, and I have no idea whether the general view was that the show went off the rails as it proceeded, but the first five episodes suggest that the show-runner seems to be content to invest time in drawing us a picture of just how far the two worlds’ versions of Simmons’ character, Howard Silk, are from one another. I’m content to trust in J K Simmons and his cast mates, for now.
- See footnote 3 in this post from 2019. ↩
- One of the big questions from the start seems to be how come Howard Silk’s Earth-Prime counterpart ended up with such a different career path given that the initial split between worlds/timelines occurred during his/their lifetime. Pure chance, or something about different people around him in the two versions of his life providing/withholding opportunities for him to follow a different path? ↩
- Seeing that in episode 2 Stephen Rea is also part of the cast only adds to my expectation that going forward this show has all the cast it needs to deliver greatness. Which slightly makes me worry whether the show’s demise was down to the writers not giving their cast the material to deliver on the idea’s potential. ↩