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Orphan Black [Blu-ray]
Format: Blu-ray|Change
Price:£10.11+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 28 February 2015
I tried watching this because the name and description sounded interesting. From the very first episode I was hooked, which is somewhat unusual for me. The idea of these copies of one person scattered throughout the world who were getting in touch with one another was fascinating. Add in shadowy forces and the fact that you don't know who is actually good or bad and it was nearly impossible to stop watching and go to bed. So for the most part I didn't.

This is not, in my opinion anyway, a series for younger children. There is graphic violence, some nudity, and themes that are going to be over their heads. But if you like suspense I can recommend this series as one that might very well keep you up all night too.
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on 9 December 2015
I really enjoyed this series - a bit of a guilty pleasure, as sometimes it was a little cheesy but still thoroughly enjoyable - easy to watch and fun!
I'd have liked it if it was a little deeper, but that's a small quibble really. I'm hoping they add season 2 to prime soon (it's available on prime in the states), otherwise I may have to pop over to netflix for a while to watch the next series.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 4 November 2013
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 (****¾) 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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on 25 October 2015
This is an absolutely incredible series I avoided it for ages because I didn't think it would be my 'thing' but it's extremely addictive cult TV and deserves the highest praise and recognition more people should watch this! Tatiana is a amazing actress playing multiple characters so different and with deep relationships with each other you forget that it's JUST HER! Astounding
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on 18 May 2014
I had seen this series reviewed and wanted to catch up on series 1 so that we could then watch series 2 on BBC. I ordered a Dutch version by mistake but it made no difference because the sub titles were very easily removed. It has kept us entertained for over a week, watching one or two episodes a day. The plot twists and turns so much that you can never guess what the heck is coming next and the characters are all aspects of fascinating, horrifying and beautiful. Totally recommended!
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on 3 May 2016
I am not one for keeping still long enough to watch much on tv but on a wet afternoon decided to watch this series and from the first minute was hooked, it is brilliant tv with amazing acting, the best thing that I have watched in ages, it was so good that my husband and I watched all 10 episodes and ended up going to bed at 2.30 in the morning, can't wait to watch season 2
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on 26 April 2016
[ASIN:B00HZPB9UI Orphan Black - Season 1]
As an avid SF enthusiast I've become quite good at suspending my disbelieve but there's got to be something to make it worthwhile for me. I happen to be a real sucker for good concept in film (or any artwork really), ideally, accompanied by some attention to detail in the "implementation" stage. While the concept of this show is relatively fresh and does have a lot of potential, the show suffers from being extremely slow moving and (often) very shallow. This lets me to believe that maybe it's meant to be targeting pretty young demographics only - mid-teens perhaps - rather than grownups. It's a shame, because the idea is brimming with possibilities and could be taken anywhere really. Here, no clear path has been taken to develop the concept of human cloning nor the various associated dilemmas - all that happens on the screen merely serves as a pretext to further ration the characters with semi-interesting lines (perhaps with the exception of Alison and Felix). The end effect is a bit like "painting by numbers", despite some strong performances by the cast. It works "fine" in this S1, then pretty much falls apart (story wise).

However, there's one great thing that this show has in common with several other cable TV series I've glimpsed on Amazon Prime - a very enjoyable cinematography indeed ("Flesh And Bone" taking the cake in that respect). I guess, putting some production values into a TV show has to be the most reliable way of making it work financially, never mind the actual story. I find it's become fairly typical of TV productions these days.
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on 4 August 2014
One of the best shows on television at the moment. Was a little annoyed to find the price had dropped between me ordering it and it dropping through my letterbox but I was happy to pay it at the time so can't really complain. Great show with a magnificent centrepiece in Tatiana Maslany.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 26 July 2015
Tatiana Maslany has been given the lead in this innovative series and we,the viewers,have the chance to see a hugely dramatic range put in by this actress.

She plays the role of a young dropout who discovers that she is one of many women in existence who resemble herself exactly but are all leading different and separate lives in different locations.
Naturally we believe that we are all unique --- are they clones of her? Or is she just another clone of a 'real' person?

The plot of this 1st season is about her journey to find out the truth behind her discovery,and she plays all the clones on the way,including a suburban housewife(hilarious),a lesbian(tentative),a psycho East European killer(frightening),a detective and, I'm sure, a lot more to come in the next season.

Although set in the USA there is plenty of British humour and dialogue to enjoy(this is a production of BBC America),and there are some solid,in the main,supporting actors around Maslany who add to the interesting plot.
Worth a watch,a promising idea that could develop into something special.
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on 6 August 2014
Great show, but some interesting sound issues: stereo is one sided in favour of the left channel, and the front and end them music is either extremely low or non existent. Does anyone check this stuff before you put it up?
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