Counterpart, the best sci-fi thriller in years returns, and it’s complicated

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JK Simmons plays Howard Silk.

JK Simmons performs Howard Silk.Credit score:JULIA TERJUNG

Howard’s life modified when he was launched to his different self, a defecting spy as jaded because the Alpha Howard is meek, and who will solely work with “himself”.

In the meantime, Alpha Howard ‘s spouse Emily (Olivia Williams) is in a coma in hospital, having been hit by a automobile; he was reluctant to depart her, however regularly it turned evident that even on this planet Howard thought he knew, Emily could not have been who he thought.

As effectively the Chilly Struggle-style diplomatic intrigue and double (actually) crossing, Howard assembly his “different” throws up dozens of Sliding Doorways-style questions. And never simply the primary time the 2 Howards meet; over the course of the primary season, Howard, seconded to the Prime World, “met” his spouse Emily – and a daughter. Within the Alpha World, he and Emily misplaced the child that in Prime is now an grownup.

It is this layer of existentialism that lifts Counterpart above customary sci-fi fare; there are spy video games and some gunfights, however with a darkish philosophical edge.

Season two opens with an episode set in our world, shortly after an assault at OIC by a terrorist faction from Prime referred to as Indigo, who’ve been coaching orphaned youngsters to exchange their Alpha counterparts, amongst them deputy director Peter Quayle’s (Harry Lloyd) spouse Clare (Nazanin Boniadi).

All-out battle seems to be like a possible situation this season, because the OIC, directed by the mysterious “administration” who stay unseen even to essentially the most senior staff, seeks revenge.

Unique Howard is trapped on the opposite facet after the door was closed down, and the place he started to understand he was extra like his smarmy counterpart than he initially imagined. Alpha Howard, in the meantime, is enjoying his half in Prime, the place Emily has woken from her coma struggling reminiscence loss and extra confused than me making an attempt to elucidate the plot.

Arriving house, she’s disoriented – by the residence, the decor, and by Howard himself.

“What’s that phrase when the whole lot’s a bit off?” she asks him.

“Unusual?” presents Howard.

Good, compelling, and positively unusual, Counterpart is one of the best new sci-fi collection in years.

Counterpart (season 2) is on SBS, Thursday, 9.30pm.

Kylie Northover is Spectrum Deputy Editor at The Age

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