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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. David Anderson
    April 16, 2015 @ 1:03 am

    I think your criticisms are truer of the second season than of the first.

    There's an overarching theme about men trying to control women's bodies. The format allows the theme to be played out in at least two genres: the Sarah action-adventure thriller, and the Alison domestic drama. Alison's plot, at least in the first series, if on its own would be an updating of the Stepford Wives that's almost too bleak to watch. By pairing it with the Sarah plot, which is a more straightforward thriller you get something that's a bearable black comedy. (The episode nominated from the first season of the Hugos, Variations Under Domestication was I think the best example of this, being Sarah getting dragged into Alison's plot.)


  2. Heath
    April 16, 2015 @ 8:04 am

    I think you nail it here.

    This show is an absolute pleasure to watch, and almost entirely for Masalany's work, which you rightfully point out. I always enjoy it, even if I often have no clue what happened last week, and why I'm supposed to care about the plot.

    Is there a plot? Kind of. Bad people want to do undescribed and often unmotivated bad stuff to the clones. Until we find out that they weren't bad, and weren't trying to do bad stuff, it was someone else all along. The supporting character heel-turns (and face-turns) are too numerous to count, and as you say, make it seem like they are making it up as they go.

    This makes it hard for me to return after a long between season break, as I can't really remember what happened, and not sure if it really matters if I do or not. But as soon as I see those clones in action, it is ON! And I'm braced for the whole episode.

    Really interesting television.


  3. Alex Antonijevic
    April 16, 2015 @ 12:26 pm

    I love the clones trying to impersonate each other. I also love the scenes where there's 3 of them in the room and it's pretty much seamless, you kind of forget it's just one person.

    Also pretty cool that the clones all seem to take to Felix – Alison and Felix is one of the funniest duos.


  4. Scurra
    April 16, 2015 @ 12:50 pm

    The observation about season length deserves proper discussion. The US network/syndication model, in which seasons needed to be around 24 episodes in length (which is why, of course, "24" seemed like such a natural idea!) has been one major reason why shows have so much trouble; the other main one, of course, being the seven season contract. Fortunately, both of those things are now starting to go the way of all flesh and we are getting shows that fill the space they need to fill, instead of dying horribly because they were unsuited to the network structure (cf. Dollhouse, which could have been the greatest show ever, but fell apart completely because it couldn't break those constraints.)
    Now all we have to do is to properly kill the timeslot issues, so that we aren't stuck with the artificial 45-minutes-plus-ad-breaks format and we might be getting somewhere…


  5. The Dapper Anarchist
    April 17, 2015 @ 1:17 am

    My favourite impersonations were Helena being Beth, or perhaps even her being Sarah being Beth, and Sarah being Cosima – Helena because it's absurd yet sinister, and Sarah because it's all in the performance – Sarah looks over the top of the glasses. I do also like that Sarah appears to be able mimic voices so well…


  6. HarlequiNQB
    April 17, 2015 @ 8:59 am

    I love this show with a ridiculous passion, and I think your comments regarding overall structure are very valid (amusing then that the showrunners are honest enough to state that while they have a destination in mind, how they get there they're making up as they go). But really, each episode is an encapsulated gem of fun, and it's much less about the plot,and more about the characters and character interactions. Of course what plot there is seems intended to move the characters in ways to give the most fun interactions, while on the way to whatever that final destination is, and it also helps that even though much of the cast is, in effect, the same person, each of the characters she plays is extremely distinct and defined, and very cleverly designed (both through writing and acting) to work exceptionally well with the others.

    Also Felix, who could have been a horribly stereotyped train-wreck or obnoxious irritant, but instead turned out to be one of my favourite characters on TV.

    It's back on tomorrow, I am greatly looking forward to it.


  7. Daru
    April 17, 2015 @ 11:07 pm

    "Episode titles come from, in the first season, Darwin quotes, and in the second, Francis Bacon, allowing for portentous titles like “Conditions of Existence” or “Knowledge of Causes, and Secret Motion of Things.” Despite this, though, the show never really seems that invested in the philosophical. It gestures at questions like the nature of humanity and identity, but these are more decorations than substance."

    I think I watched the first episode or two of series 1, and for whatever reason didn't manage to continue. I will certainly be having a watch of the first two series when I can. On looking at the show when it came up as a possible essay topic in the Patreon threads, it was those titles that really grabbed my interest and made me think "wow, what will they be exploring in that episode?" I love the exploration of ideas and I would be disappointed at things like these titles being no more than decoration, as in my mind often brilliant titles like those above would be the starting point for an plot or be something that comes to life somehow from the Ideaspace of the characters.

    Anyway, sounds like a show worth watching still and will give it a whirl.


  8. Matthew Blanchette
    April 18, 2015 @ 6:36 pm

    Jordan Gavaris is a goddamn genius for that accent alone.


  9. encyclops
    April 21, 2015 @ 9:44 am

    Glad you finally got a chance to comment on this. I don't think the writing is all that bad compared to other shows of its kind, but I can agree that it's the performances that take center stage. It's thoroughly enjoyable to watch, or at least has been so far (I'm only a couple episodes into Season 2), and that's more than enough to keep me on board and loving it.

    Part of what drew me in initially were memories of being oddly drawn as a kid to The Cloning of Joanna May. I'm pretty sure this is better, but the resonance makes it all the more appealing to me.


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