By far the best thing about this show is the star, Tatiana Maslany. More on that in a minute.
Let me try to summarize what this series is about. It's a little complicated, so stick with me for a minute and I'll also try not to spoil anything.
Okay. We're in Toronto (although we're supposed to pretend it's the US. It's Toronto). So there's this British woman, Sarah, who grew up in a foster home in the UK with her foster brother Felix. She's wild and is involved with bad people -- in the pilot we see her come to Felix to get him to sell some coke she's just stolen from her shady drug-dealing boyfriend. She has a plan, though. She knows how to work a long con...Sarah is street smart as well as shifty. She wants the money to get her daughter, Kira, and get out of her situation. Kira is seven, and Sarah hasn't seen her in 10 months. She's being cared for by Sarah's foster mother, Siobhan. Sarah and Siobhan have a rocky relationship, thanks to some rough teenage years, immaturity, and lots of rebellion.
But things take a complicated turn when, as she's waiting for a train, Sarah sees a women who looks identical to her in every way jump in front of the train as it comes into the station. Without hesitating, Sarah takes off with the woman's purse. The dead woman is named Beth Childs and lives with her boyfriend Paul (who is gone on business) in a fancy townhouse. She has money, a nice car, nice clothes, and when Sarah finds her checkbook she gets a better idea: impersonate Beth at the bank, clean out her $75,000 savings, and start life anew with Kira and Felix.
As Sarah slowly discovers, though, there was a reason she and Beth looked exactly the same. It has to do with a huge corporation and the illegal cloning of humans. Yep, Sarah is a clone, as is Beth, and as are Alison, Cosima, Katja, and Helena. What she thought would be an easy way to steal money from some dead woman turns into a complicated and fascinating web of tangled relationships, murder, spies, assassins, and science.
The series offers a female lead who is absolutely believable as all the different versions of the clones. At times she even plays Sarah playing another clone, and it's amazing. But what's even more impressive is star Tatiana Maslany's accents. Since this series Canadian-produced but airs on BBC America, I assumed they found a British actress to star as Sarah and had her do American/Canadian, Ukrainian, and German accents. But she's not actually British at all! Neither is Jordan Gavaris, who plays Felix! They're both Canadian.
We even get gay and lesbian relationships on the show! And they're completely organic!
If you decide to give the 10-episode show a try, give it at least three episodes because it takes a little while to get going. Triggers include some typical gun violence; an impalement; two scenes of self-harm due to religious zealotry; and a scene of a child getting hit by a car which is a little disturbing.
Those of you who have watched may be surprised that my favorite character is Alison.
I don't feel like BBC America marketed this show right when it first came on back in March, because I saw a few commercials for it and wasn't interested. Then everyone was talking about it and wanted to give it a try via On Demand. It wasn't what I was expecting at all! It was much better than I thought it was going to be.