ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Orphan Black, some of the best sci-fi currently on TV

Updated on September 26, 2014

Surprisingly good acting

Orphan Black is hands down one of the best sci-fi shows on TV today, which initially came as a bit of surprise to this author. I'm afraid that isn't saying much, as show by show keeps getting canceled by shortsighted networks and cable television channels, but here's a diamond in the rough. Tatiana Maslany plays a dozen clones (very mild spoiler, but you're going to figure that out really quickly anyway, and knowing it doesn't ruin any aspects of the show), and play them well she does. Each of these individuals has a separate, distinct personality, and some are extremely likable while others tend to be much easier to loathe. Maslany shows her acting diversity with aplomb. One thing that really ruins a great science fiction television show is awful acting, and it's all too common.

Orphan Black also features stellar acting from Jordan Gavaris, who plays Maslany's foster brother, who happens to be cockney... and gay. Gavaris's characterization really makes some of the shows, and the two play off each other quite well in different contexts, adding unexpected elements of tongue in cheek humor to an already rich acting troupe.

Main idea

Tatiana Maslany plays Sarah Manning (and a slew of other clones). In the first episode, we are introduced to Sarah as a bit of a "punk" (which is comical to me, but I forgive the show based on its other merits) and a bit of a con artist as well, and honestly kind of a loser. She's dating this guy named Vic, who is a drug dealer. Not great for Sarah.

Right off the bat, Sarah watches a woman who looks exactly like her (and who turns out to be a clone, not much of a spoiler, stop freaking out) named Beth. Being a good con artist, Sarah decides to pretend to be Beth by assuming her identity, even getting to do it with Beth's current boyfriend.

Things get a bit more complicated as it becomes evident that Beth is not the only other clone, and she and her brother, Felix, try to figure out exactly what is going on, what the origin of their creation is, and why Cosima is so much hotter than any of the other clones (okay, maybe that's just my personal interjection, but really, watch the show and you'll see what I mean!).

The guy who played Max Headroom is an evil arch-villain, too!

Tatiana Maslany

Source

Action and plot

The sci-fi in the show is on the light end, kind of taking place in a possible version of today's world, with just a little genetics, and the occasional physical augmentation or radical life extension conversation, albeit briefly. There's also just a little bit of hacker tech, so if that's your thing, you'll get a little bit of it.

The action is solid from episode to episode, and you actually start to like and dislike certain characters fairly quickly. You follow them throughout season one (and, thankfully, on into season two... finally, one that wasn't canceled!) It's light viewing, but it's fun, and well worth checking out.

You might also want to consider checking out the two other surprisingly good sci-fi shows on television. All three (including the aforementioned Orphan Black) are in syndication, with multiple seasons, perfect for binge watching!

Renewed!

Somehow, some way, another decent science fiction show (Orphan Black) has been renewed for that elusive third season! BBC America should be airing season 3 some time in spring 2015. As there isn't a tremendous amount of great sci-fi on TV nowadays, it's a breath of fresh air to not only have a decent premise and good effects, but fantastic acting on TV. Look forward to a fantastic next season, as the plot continues to heat up!

What kind of science fiction TV shows do you like to watch - plot based, "big idea" based, character based, or effects based? I'm all for "big idea" ones usually (a great example of this is "Intelligence" with Josh Holloway - great concept, but not so great acting and scripting). Orphan Black is surprising to me because the "big idea" is a bit played out, but the fantastic cast more than makes up for it.

Guestbook

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)