Last year I saw a trailer of a new show starting on BBC America about a girl who takes over the identity of a person who killed herself and looked like her. It kinda made me curious from the very first moment, also expected it to be a thrilling and interesting ride. Right from the first episode I got hooked completely, something that doesn’t happy very often.
In the first scene of the pilot we see two girls standing on a train platform, one of them slowly taking the shoes off, putting down the handbag and then jumping right in front of an oncoming train. A very shocking moment, and Sarah, the other girl immediately reacts and takes the handbag with her. She uses the keys to enter the home of the girl who committed suicide and takes over her identity, not knowing that she was a police officer and more.
Sarah: Something really weird just happened at the train station.
Sarah: I saw a girl kill herself.
Felix: Eeww. A jumper?
Sarah: Yeah, and she looked exactly like me, Felix.
From this moment on everything changes very fast, from the situation that Beth, the police officer was suspended and under interrogation to defend herself because she was accused of having shot a civilian to the story that there are more girls who look similar.
We learn step by step about other ‘clones’, their similarities and their differences and there is a lot of background story. We see the nerdy scientist, the housewife, the burglar, the psychopath and more. The whole time I had the feeling that this is a story we have seen several times before, and yes – it kinda is neither new nor original. But what makes this show extraordinary is the way how the special effects team and the director put the story on the small screen and the amazing talent of Tatiana Maslany who plays each clone character. After watching the Behind-the-scenes documentary I’d say that each prize and honor she receives is well earned. To be fair some of the characters she plays work better than others but still we are talking about quite a number of characters and the fact that they interact with each other so therefore she has to play both parts within a dialogue.
The talent of acting reminds me a lot of Jekyll, a TV show written by Steven Moffat. In this show James Nesbitt played Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and he managed to play both characters without make-up or special effects. He simply showed what an actor is capable of and Tatiana Maslany is not only on her way to challenge performances like that, she is on the best way to outperform many of those.
Apart from the brilliant performance the writers managed to tell us quite a story in season 1, bringing the main storyline to an end, leaving some mysteries unsolved and by opening some doors for new ones.
Be prepared for season 2, it seems to keep the level. Me, as you may imagine is very curious. Episode 1 of Season 2 will premiere tonight on BBC America.