2015 Hugo Awards Best TV Show: Reviewing Orphan Black

OK, so technically it is “Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form” but let’s just call it TV. As with anything that’s up for a Hugo I feel like I can’t watch a single episode or read the second in a series but rather need to review within context. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to pull that off with Dr Who but I have watched a number of classic episodes and a few of the new ones and feel sufficiently educated to vote. Meanwhile through Netflix I have watched the first two seasons of Orphan Black which ended with “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried” the season two finale.

Orphan Black: “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried”, ” written by Graham Manson, directed by John Fawcett (Temple Street Productions, Space/BBC America)

This is an extremely well directed episode of Orphan Black. All are visually interesting but this one does some very cool things with framing as well as black space. I like how doors are used and people’s shadows to give dimension. The layers of distrust keep piling up, slowly and carefully, and adding to the general flavor of conspiracy. As science fiction goes Orphan Black plays in that funny borderland of the possible and how corporations, cults, and average people might behave. It works well with a little suspension of disbelief, which I am always happy to provide.

The concepts of clones is well done. I’m not sure if I count this as the most sciencey episode of the series though the “Castor” reveal at the end adds a wallop, a moment of calm around the golden ratio, and the physics course in escaping a lab is pretty awesome. Seeing all the clones in one room was also a great capper. I can easily see how the whole series deserves a Hugo and this episode definitely has individual merit.

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