I’m always on the lookout for new science fiction series; better yet if they’re thrillers as well, and anything involving spies, killers and conspiracy theories — basically, this is me:
After reading about Starz’s (say that five times, fast) Counterpart, all those boxes are ticked, and then some. Let’s first check out the cast, headed by the always stellar, J.K. Simmons as Howard Silk, who works in an ostensibly boring United Nations agency; he also stars as Prime (which I’ll explain below):
We could stop there, have the rest of the cast unknowns, and be perfectly happy. But, Counterpart has more in store for us, a phenomenal and diverse cast:
Nazanin Boniadi (Homeland, Scandal, How I Met Your Mother) plays Clare, “an enigmatic young woman of curious origin, who becomes a major linchpin as the season progresses”.
Ulrich Thomsen (Banshee, The Blacklist) as Director of Operations at Silk’s agency, Aldrich.
Kenneth Choi (Spider-Man: Homecoming, American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson, The Last Man on Earth) as Bob Dwyer, a director at the agency.
Nicholas Pinnock (Captain America: The First Avenger, Marcella, Fortitude) as “aggressive operative”, Ian Shaw.
Stephen Rea (Michael Collins, V for Vendetta, The Crying Game, The Honorable Woman, Utopia) as Alexander Pope, a powerful friend to Prime.
Harry Lloyd (The Theory of Everything, Marcella, Game of Thrones, Manhattan) as director, Peter Quayle.
Richard Schiff (House of Lies, The Good Doctor, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, The Affair, The West Wing) as litigator and Director of Diplomacy, Roland Fancher.
Are you still breathing, because this cast is INSANE. And there’s more …
Olivia Williams (Hanna, An Education, Hyde Park on Hudson, Anna Karenina,The Halcyon, Manhattan, Dollhouse) as Emily Burton Silk, Howard’s spouse.
Sarah Bolger (Into the Badlands, Agent Carter, Once Upon a Time, The Tudors, The Spiderwick Chronicles) as Anna.
Mido Hamada (Emerald City, American Sniper, Legends) as Aldrich’s right hand man and counterintelligence officer, Cyrus.
Sara Serraiocco (Salvo) as Baldwin, an assassin.
You may be wondering what this particular agency is all about, and how the series delves into the science fiction thriller realm; there’s a hint in its title. Because what Simmons’ Howard Silk stumbles upon, during the course of his seemingly mundane duties, is that his agency has a huge secret.
What Silk discovers is that the government is hiding an entryway to a parallel universe …
… and on the other side is Silk’s titular Counterpart — his duplicate — who’s called “Prime“, through whom Howard will explore an entirely different life.
The series is created and written by Justin Marks (The Jungle Book), and the first two episodes are directed by Morten Tyldum (Headhunters, The Imitation Game); it’ll premiere on Starz in 2018. Don’t even try to pretend you’re not all in.
Here’s a super quick tease.
*Update December 1, 2017
Here’s Starz’ new featurette, which should only cement your interest in the series.