Counterpart is about a mysterious world hidden beneath the surface of our everyday existence. Howard Silk (J.K. Simmons) is a lowly cog in the bureaucratic machinery of a Berlin-based United Nations spy agency. When Howard discovers that his organization safeguards the secret of a crossing into a parallel dimension, he is thrust into a shadow world of intrigue, danger, and double cross… where the only man he can trust is his near-identical counterpart from this parallel world. The show explores themes of identity, fate and lost love, posing the eternal question, “what if our lives could have been different?” (synopsis via Indiewire)
The multiverse has long been a staple in genre television.
Countless shows from Star Trek (all iterations) to Fringe to The Flash, and of course, the current watercooler du jour, Stranger Things, have used this shaking-up-the-status-quo narrative device, which introduces all kinds of permutations on the usual characters and situations.
It’s a great to see a world you’ve come to know and love from a whole different angle, affords the writers of those shows a whole host of new storytelling possibilities, and as a result, offers the actors a chance to stretch their acting legs in a whole different direction.
Now Starz have gone the whole hog, making an alternate dimension the entire focus of a new show, Counterpart, embedding a near-identical reality into the everyday life of our world and by the looks of like, makes some piercing, intelligent observations about identity, destiny, society and politics into the bargain.
It’s a bold premise and though we have but one trailer to go on – wonder what the alternate dimension’s trailer looks like? Oh the permutational possibilities! – it looks like one of the must-see shows of next year.
Counterpart premieres at 8pm, 21 January 2018 on Starz.