Starz “Counterpart” entertains


The Justin Marks created science fiction drama thriller “Counterpart” has proved as entertaining as expected.

With a cast including J.K. Simmons, Harry Lloyd, Nazanin Boniadi, Sara Serraiocco, Olivia Williams and Ulrich Thomsen, the series features compellingly addictive characters designed to draw viewers into the drama every step of the way.

“Counterpart” not the first television series to explore the existence of multiple universes. The J.J. Abrams / Alex Kurtzman / Roberto Orci co-created Fox science fiction series “Fringe” explored the existence of an alternate universe during its five season run. Further, with “Supergirl” set on Earth Thirty-Eight and “Arrow,” “The Flash” and “Legends of Tomorrow” all set on Earth One, Multiverse Theory is explored from a comic book perspective.

Like that seen with the “Arrow-verse” crossover story “Crisis on Earth-X,” we find actors in “Counterpart” having to pull double duty by playing two different versions of the same character.

Howard Silk, played by Simmons, is an Interface employee at the Berlin-based UN spy agency Office of Interchange (OI). In the Morten Tyldum directed episode “The Crossing,” Howard discovers the existence of an alternate universe where a different more successful version of himself exists.

Howard’s “other” self, his counterpart from the other universe, is, in addition to other things, a field agent who makes frequent crossings from his universe to retrieve “others” that have apparently gone rogue.

Factional in-fighting within the agency in the other universe has spilled over into Howard’s side of the divide, putting both himself and his comatose wife, Emily Burton Silk (Williams), in danger.

What we see with the two versions of Howard in “Counterpart” is not all that different to Earth Thirty-Eight’s Supergirl and Earth-X’s Overgirl in “Crisis on Earth-X.” Both Howards took distinctly different paths to get to where they are at the point the “Counterpart” series begins.

The recurring cast members are every bit as intent of producing a quality product as the main cast. If you are unfamiliar with the names Jamie Bamber, Richard Schiff, Kenneth Choi, Mido Hamada, Stephen Rea, Guy Burnet and Lotte Verbeek, you haven’t been paying adequate attention to what you’ve been viewing.

In “The Lost Art of Diplomacy,” we saw Schiff’s character Roland Fancher introduced. Fancher, OI’s Director of Diplomacy, is Peter Quayle’s (Lloyd) father-in-law. Quayle, the upper-crust Director of OI, is Howard’s superior.

Each character is plausible. No one character has been presented in such a manner that makes one question the fabric of this reality. Every person involved in making “Counterpart” the production it is seems to what it to succeed.

With the fourth episode of the series, “Both Sides Now,” having been televised Sunday, 11 Feb., the next one, “Shaking the Tree,” is scheduled for Sunday, 18 Feb. 2018.