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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly innovative and wonderfully executed
This is one of the best new shows I have seen in years, and I am currently convincing everyone I know to watch it! Without giving the plot away, having one actress play the majority of the main characters is no mean feat. That Tatiana Maslany is able to pull it off without it feeling like just another novelty factor is incredible. That said, it is a show which is...
Published 1 month ago by BS09

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars amazing series... but season 2 broken!
Amazing series - but season 2 is unwatchable due to missing dialogue on episode 4. Come on Amazon, sort it out!
Published 20 days ago by Agf219


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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I really hate when writers just use the format to go crazy ..., 26 July 2014
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I am a bit picky when it comes to sci-fi. I really hate when writers just use the format to go crazy inventing silly futuristic technology. This show is generally very disciplined in that respect -you have the technology of cloning and just about everything else is rooted in real life... no laser guns or superpowers, at least in series 1(haven't seen series 2).

The story telling is very well structured, the dilemmas faced by the characters are quite believable and the characters themselves are down to earth. This is Sci-fi led by the plot where the technology is actually integral to the story. The show explores philosophical questions such as the nature / nurture debate and questions of morality.

As for Tatiana Maslany acting so many parts... Bravo! I can hardly believe one person can portray so many different characters so well. The acting alone has been worth the watch for me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb TV show, 14 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Orphan Black [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Excellent show. Tatiana Maslany is superb: sometimes difficult to remember she is playing so many different roles. Excellent cast, clever plot, lots of tension and cliffhangers. Just finished season 2 and season 3 beckons next year: awesome!
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intelligent show with an astonishing central performance, 4 Nov 2013
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Orphan Black [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Sarah Manning, a petty fraudster, has returned to the city she grew up in to put her life back together and reunite with her seven-year-old daughter, in the keeping of Sarah's foster mother. However, Sarah's life is thrown into turmoil when, getting off the train, she immediate comes face-to-face with a woman who is her exact double. The double immediately throws herself in front of a train. Shocked, Sarah steals her belongings and discovers she has a lot of money in savings. Sarah decides to pose her double to take that money and built a new life for her and her daughter...but when she discovers that there are yet other duplicates of her out there, things become a lot more complicated.

There are many reasons to watch Orphan Black: its compelling science fiction plot and ramifications (handled with a light touch), the perfectly-timed story development and pacing, the interesting array of three-dimensional supporting characters, its excellent soundtrack and its refusal to conform to any kind of formula are among them. But one stands tall over all others: the absolutely astonishing central performances by Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany. Maslany plays not just the central character of Sarah, but an array of her various doubles and duplicates. In one episode she plays no less than five characters, many of them interacting with each other. The interactions themselves are convincing (with judicious use of CGI and overlaying of images, but mostly clever double work and positioning) but it's Maslany's ability to fully inhabit and develop each character as a completely separate individual that is jaw-dropping. Even when they are posing as one another, it's possible to tell which is which through subtle nuances of expression. Before the season is half over, it's easy to join in the chorus of voices expressing disapproval that Maslany was robbed of an Emmy nomination this year. The only flaw in her performance is her 'street' English accent she uses as Sarah, which is mostly acceptable but occasionally dips towards Dick van Dyke territory. But it's easy to forgive given how good she is on every other level.

The supporting cast is a mixture of other young talent and established names. Providing experience and presence are Matt 'Max Headroom' Frewer and Maria Doyle Kennedy (probably best known internationally as Queen Catherine of Aragon on The Tudors, also known as 'the best thing in it') as the morally ambiguous Dr. Leekie and as Sarah's foster-mother Siobhan respectively. Amongst the other younger castmembers are Jordan Gavaris as Sarah's foster-brother and partner-in-crime Felix (whose English accent is better, though still a bit affected) and Michael Mando (who played the psychotic Vaas in the recent computer game Far Cry 3) as Vic, Sarah's highly unreliable ex-boyfriend who plays both an antagonistic and comic role as the series progresses. The cast is, as a whole, fairly likable and play their parts well, though the otherwise-solid Kevin Hanchard could do with bringing a bit more subtlety to his role as Detective Art Bell.

The series has a relentless pace to it which makes a nice change from other shows that seem to delight in rationing out their secrets to the audience over many years. Instead, Orphan Black covers more ground in its first episode than most shows manage in two seasons. By the end of these opening ten episodes alliances have been forged and shattered, major characters have arrived and been killed off and the secrets behind the duplicates have been exposed, explored, developed and complicated several times over. Yet the show never feels rushed, with a good blend of drama, psychological horror and occasionally hilarious comedy (particularly driven by Sarah's 'soccer mom' double, Alison) making each episode immensely watchable and indeed re-watchable in the light of information unveiled in later episodes. The show is also sensible in dropping even major characters for several episodes in a row when they have nothing to do rather than giving them pointless filler storylines. Not only is the cast good, but their interactions are highly engaging: Felix and Alison's initially prickly relationship develops into a more amusing friendship as the season continues, whilst Sarah finds it tricky to deceive Art, a good man who may end up on the opposing side to her.

Picking out flaws is almost impossible, and the most noticeable (such as Sarah's accent) are pretty trivial. One of the revelations in the season finale is a bit puzzling, since it is completely illegal and would never stand up in a court of law yet the characters react like it's a life-changing moment. There's also an argument that the actual cliffhanger is leaning towards the predictable cop-out side of things and, on occasion (most notably in the final two episodes, which barely pause for breath), the show's pace runs away with it a little and allows it to get away with a few minor lapses in plot logic.

But it's hard to criticise the show too much. Orphan Black's first season (****) is relentlessly entertaining, supremely-acted by its star and its science fiction plot is surprisingly well-developed (the science itself is a bit simplified for casual viewers, but the social ramifications are addressed nicely). It is available now on DVD and Blu-Ray in the USA, but, somewhat perplexingly, not until August 2014 in the UK (DVD, Blu-Ray).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 8 Aug 2014
A brilliant show. Has you on edge throughout.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 22 Aug 2014
Absolutely hooked, was unsure what it was gonna be like, especially with having one actress play so many different roles but she plays them all really well. Gonna have to purchase season 2!!!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good to catch up on the ones we missed, 6 May 2014
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I was too late to catch the last of series one on iplayer, so it was good to be able to use amazon even if it was quite an extra expense at 1.89 per episode without taking the HD option.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just amazing!, 30 April 2014
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I never write reviews for Amazon, but I just had to say I'm only on the 2nd episode and I'm just totally blown away by this series. The acting is amazing, the story grips you almost from the start. I love it so far.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sooooooo good., 10 Aug 2014
This series is fantastic. So much so that I watched season 1 & 2 in under a week. Cant wait for the next season!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling!, 13 Jan 2014
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This has become one of my latest favourite shows. The acting is great - especially Tatiana Maslany, and the unexpected twists and turns kept me spellbound. I am really looking forward to Season 2.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly different and great acting, 18 Jun 2014
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Tatiana Maslany brilliantly portrays in this series. Great to have it on DVD, because trust me you are going to want to rematch this many times.
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Orphan Black [Blu-ray]
Orphan Black [Blu-ray] by Grant Harvey (Blu-ray - 2014)
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