FORGOTTEN TELEVISION: COUNTERSTRIKE (1969)


COUNTERSTRIKE is a tragically forgotten British sci fi  television series from 1969. Jon Finch portrayed Simon King, an alien agent who worked for the Intergalactic Council. This council had sent him to Earth to protect it from a group of renegade aliens  from a dying planet who wanted to conquer the Earth and make it their new home.

Not the most original of premises, but that inimitable British panache breathed life into the series, which unfortunately ran for just ten episodes, one of which was preempted by a special about the British gangsters named the Krays and was never rescheduled. As with the iconic television series Doctor Who, many episodes of Counterstrike were wiped clean decades ago and only the series’ first four episodes have survived.

Finch used his wits as well as a James Bondesque arsenal of clever alien weaponry to thwart Earth’s would-be conquerors each week. The Texas Rangers’s motto is “One riot, one ranger” and I guess the Intergalactic Council’s motto was “One invasion, one agent” since Simon was the only agent they sent to protect the unsuspecting denizens of Earth.

Sort of a cross between the Roy Thinnes series The Invaders and the aforementioned Doctor Who (with overtones of the Star Trek episode about Gary Seven), Counterstrike is a lost television treasure waiting for its cult to find it.  And if you’re wondering, the titles of the four surviving episodes are: King’s Gambit, Joker One, On Ice and Nocturne.

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