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Krysten Ritter as Lucy  - Orphan Black: Echoes _ Season 1, Episode 1
Photo: Sophie Giraud/AMC

Television

‘Orphan Black: Echoes’ episode 1 review: A strong sci-fi thriller that doesn’t quite reach the original

Orphan Black: Echoes follows the next chapter in the franchise.

Orphan Black was a fan favorite series that ran for five seasons. It explored a variety of themes including identity, sisterhood, and scientific ethics. We now return to the franchise with Orphan Black: Echoes, jumping 37 years into the future following a new woman with an enigmatic past named Lucy. 

Krysten Ritter’s Lucy is worthy of carrying the mantle of strong female protagonists the previous series gave us. She is layered with strong maternal instincts for Charlie, her boyfriend’s daughter. They have a compelling relationship that is affectionate and understanding as well as one with boundaries on both sides. At the same time, Lucy is resourceful and technologically handy allowing her to make a living and to escape dangerous situations. 

Orphan Black: Echoes also carries the suspenseful thriller aspect of the franchise. The early moments of the premiere draw you in as we are as clueless as Lucy in an uncomfortably calm situation. Little by little the reality begins to unwind, and the scenes capture a frantic desperation as she makes her escape. There is a continuous sense of uneasiness and urgency knowing that our protagonist is never safe.

tv picks orphan black: echoes
Photo: Sophie Giraud/AMC

Unfortunately, the show can’t escape its predecessor, which set the expectations pretty high. This premiere episode reveals too much about Lucy’s origins reducing the overall aura of mystery. Because of that, the narrative doesn’t seem as enticing as “Natural Selection” all those years before. But there are some interesting questions that are left open to pursue. Whereas the original covered cloning, Orphan Black: Echoes has a different twist that could be the natural scientific next step. So, that allows the series to pave its own path within the franchise. 

Another major player is the scientist linked to Lucy. In her, Keeley Hawes exhibits a deep amount of regret and second guessing. The character is struggling philosophically with her actions, and comes off as a modern day Dr. Frankenstein. The big reveal in the end adds another dimension to her inner conflict, considering what we know of her past experiences, if you’re not new to Orphan Black. It’s a nice tie-in that is more than fan service, since it provides additional insight into the scientist. If you want fan service, wait for the closing credits to make you feel nostalgic.

The series premiere may not live up to the expectations set by the original, but it incorporates familiar elements to maintain the spirit while forging a new path.

New episodes of Orphan Black: Echoes air Sundays on AMC.

Krysten Ritter as Lucy  - Orphan Black: Echoes _ Season 1, Episode 1
Orphan Black: Echoes E 1 review: 'Pilot'
The series premiere may not live up to the expectations set by the original, but it incorporates familiar elements to maintain the spirit while forging a new path.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Krysten Ritter is worthy of carrying the mantle of strong female protagonists the previous series gave us.
The early moments of the premiere draw you in capturing a frantic desperation.
The episode reveals too much about Lucy’s origins reducing the overall aura of mystery.
7.5
Good

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