Tag Archives: Arrow

Orphan Black returns with more head-spinning twists

'Orphan Black' returns to BBC America starting tonight.

Tatiana Maslany stars in multiple roles, including Sarah Manning, and Jordan Gavaris plays her madcap gay friend and foster brother, Felix, in ‘Orphan Black,’ which begins Season 2 tonight on BBC America.

Single mom Sarah Manning and her “sister clones” continue their desperate search for answers as the critically acclaimed thriller Orphan Black returns for its second season, tonight on BBC America.
Produced in Canada, the series moves at a breathless pace as it chronicles Sarah’s (Tatiana Maslany) dangerous adventures, which began the night she watched in horror on a nearly deserted subway platform as Beth Childs, a woman who looked just like Sarah, calmly threw herself in front of a speeding train.
Destitute, Sarah decided to steal the dead woman’s identity, not knowing that Beth was a local police detective. Worse, and far more puzzling, Sarah eventually discovered that there were many more women out there with her face, laboratory-engineered clones produced for an unknown purpose by unknown persons.
By the end of Season 1, Sarah had befriended two of these clones: Cosima Niehaus, a graduate student doing medical research in a bid to identify and cure the mystery malady that has hit her and many other clones, and Alison Hendrix, a very uptight suburban soccer mom. Their joint investigations eventually led Sarah to the Dyad Institute, the company that created them, which is partly run by icy “pro-clone” Rachel Duncan, the only one of their number who was raised self-aware of her genetic identity as a clone.
Tonight’s season premiere picks up where last season’s finale ended, with Sarah’s terrifying discovery that her young daughter, Kira (Skyler Wexler), and Sarah’s foster mother, Mrs. S. (Maria Doyle Kennedy), are missing from the home they were sharing. Sarah jumps to the conclusion that they’ve been kidnapped by the ruthless Rachel as part of her strategy to force Sarah to cooperate with the ongoing research at her institute.
Cosima, meanwhile, experiences failing health as she studies more and more medical data concerning the condition that killed the other clones. Elsewhere, Alison is struggling to keep her fragile emotions in check since realizing that she let a close friend die last season, thinking that the woman had some sinister connection to the Dyad Institute.
As if all this didn’t provide enough jeopardy for these primary female characters, Season 2 also introduces a bizarre group of religious extremists under the leadership of a charismatic rancher (Peter Outerbridge), who is utilizing yet another clone in some bizarre ritual. Other newcomers this season include Michelle Forbes as a formidable new power player at the Dyad Institute, Dutch actor Michiel Huisman (Nashville, Game of Thrones) as a man from Sarah’s past and Patrick J. Adams (Suits) as a gutsy, good-natured guy.
But can Sarah, Alison and Cosima trust any of these people? That’s one of the most pressing questions that keeps popping up in every episode. Certainly Sarah had grown to trust Paul Dierden (Dylan Bruce, Arrow), her confidant and sometime lover last season, only to discover that he works for her Dyad nemesis Rachel. Cosima badly wants to trust Dr. Delphine Cormier (Evelyne Brochu), who has taken a very personal interest in Cosima’s case. While Delphine is looking fairly trustworthy at the moment, her boss, Dr. Aldous Leekie (Matt Frewer) definitely seems to be working his own secret agenda, which may or may not be helpful to the clone trio.
Clearly, Orphan Black doesn’t skimp on story, but for fans, the real kick of the show is watching the stunning Maslany so convincingly embody all the very disparate clone characters. It’s a true tour-de-force, since the actress has come up with distinctive looks, accents, physical tics and personal styles for each of these characters. Orphan Black also utilizes state-of-the-art computer techniques allowing Maslany to occupy the screen as several different characters simultaneously, even appearing to physically touch and otherwise interact with one another. Even as part of your brain is nudging you, demanding to know how Maslany is pulling it off, another part is fully accepting the fact that you are seeing multiple females instead of just a single incredibly gifted actress.
If you missed Season 1, it’s probably not a good idea to try to jump into this new season of Orphan Black cold, but Season 1 currently is available via a number of On Demand services, as well as free streaming to Amazon Prime members. But I do wholeheartedly recommend this audaciously original series. It’s like nothing else on television right now.
Dylan Bruce stars as Paul in 'Orphan Black.'

Paul (Dylan Bruce), Sarah’s former lover, may still have her back, but he’s also working for someone who definitely does not have Sarah’s best interests at heart in ‘Orphan Black.’

New day dawns for ‘Tomorrow People’

'The Tomorrow People' on The CW

Robbie Amell, Aaron Woo, Luke Mitchell and
Peyton List (from left) in ‘The Tomorrow People.’

Technically, The Tomorrow People, which premieres tonight on The CW Network, is based on a British children’s TV show that premiered back in the ‘70s. In a larger sense, however, its focus on a group of extraordinary young people whose “other-ness” makes them misfits to the wider society is very much in the same creative vein as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Vampire Diaries, Teen Wolf and the X-Men movies, among many others.
The main character is teenager Stephen Jameson (Robbie Amell), who led a fairly normal life with his mother (Sarah Clarke, 24) and kid brother until about a year ago, when suddenly Stephen began hearing voices in his head. Far more troubling, he began teleporting in his sleep, so although he went to bed in his own home, he never knew where he might wake up (such as in bed with a neighbor couple, which is starting to wear thin with them).
Trembling on the brink of what he thinks is a nervous breakdown, Stephen finally decides to listen to one of the “imaginary voices,” which leads him to John and Cara (Luke Mitchell, Peyton List), the de facto leaders of a group known as the Tomorrow People. John and Cara, along with Russell (Aaron Yoo), the group’s trainer, explain to Stephen that they are a genetically advanced race of beings with the ability to teleport, communicate telepathically and move objects via telekinesis – and Stephen’s father, long missing and presumed dead, was once a member of their group.
The Tomorrow People – you’d think this group would have a catchier handle for themselves by now – are being stalked, rounded up and “neutralized” by Ultra, a shadowy paramilitary group of scientists led by Dr. Jedekiah Price (the always exceptional Mark Pellegrino, who played Lucifer on Supernatural). To reveal more about tonight’s pilot would spoil a couple of very satisfying twists that come toward the end of the first episode.
Amell — the cousin of Stephen Amell, whose Arrow series is this new show’s lead-in — is a very likable lead and Pellegrino, who excels at playing ambiguity, succeeds in keeping us guessing about Dr. Price’s motives, but it may be the charismatic Mitchell and List who connect most directly with fans, at least right off the bat.
The real superhero of The Tomorrow People, however, isn’t even on camera. That’s executive producer Greg Berlanti, whose extraordinary track record for creating genre-busting, emotionally resonant drama series includes shows as diverse as Arrow, Brothers & Sisters and Everwood. I suspect he’s the reason Tomorrow People manages to hook us right from the get-go and get us invested in these unconventional characters. With him at the helm, the future for The Tomorrow People looks bright.