Critic’s corner: What’s on TV Thursday

Steve Wilkie/BBC AMERICA

Orphan Black 9 p.m., BBC America

This new series caught me by surprise. It’s a science fiction drama involving cloning that is addictive from the first moments of the premiere, when a woman sees her doppelganger throw herself in front of a train. Lead actress Tatiana Maslany (pictured) has a great time playing a number of different characters, and the design of the show is punky and idiosyncratic. BBC America is re-airing the premiere of this Saturday series on Thursday night.

The Sopranos 8 p.m., HBO Signature


On Thursday night, HBO Signature is re-airing the pilot of “The Sopranos,” which originally aired on Jan. 10, 1999. It has been a long time since I’ve seen that first episode of the show, which changed the TV landscape by getting mainstream audiences to jump over to cable on a regular basis. I remember when the show was announced and thinking that the mafia genre, with its pistol-whipping hotheads and blood-stained car trunks, had been played out. So, so wrong. Pictured: Edie Falco and James Gandolfini.

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American Idol 8 p.m., Channel 25

Casey James you better play your lead.

How It’s Made 9 p.m., Science

If it is baloney, count me out.


Community 8 p.m., Channel 7

Damn, I wish it was a Sophie B. Hawkins dance.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.