Nothing shakes up a show that’s starting to show some wear quite like some time out of town.
Just about every long running series has played this card at one time or another. Don Draper regularly sojourned to California on Mad Men. The Simpsons have been all over the world. Friends went to a wedding in London. This week Orphan Black escaped the surly bonds of suburban Toronto and headed to London themselves (or Sarah, Felix and Mrs. S, at least).
The gold standard for the get out of town episode is of course when the Brady Bunch went to Hawaii for a three-part episode in the 50th state.
But how does the Clone Club’s sojourn across the pond stack up against the most famous field trip in television history? Let’s find out.
Location - London vs. Hawaii
Both shows went to their locations under the guise of a business trip. Sarah and the gang went looking for the Castor original; the Bradys were there for something to do with architecture.
I’ve not been to every city in the world, but I’ve been to a few and London is without question my favorite. There’s so much to explore there. From modern to medieval, London has it for you.
I hear Hawaii is also wonderful, but I’ve never really been a beach guy.
Activities - Skulking vs. Surfing
Like I said before I’m not a beach guy and I do love me a dive bar. However, splashing around the Pacific has got to be more fun than sneaking around a London housing project in the cold.
Sultry brunette - Mrs. S vs. Alice
Both shows feature a motherly brunette with a nasty side. Mrs. S’ sultry nature was on full display when she shagged the random dude in the bar basement last season and cemented with her torchy performance in the pub. Alice you had to read between the lines a bit, but you had to know she wasn’t totally meaning pork chops when talking about how much she liked Sam the Butcher’s meat. Unfortunately Alice threw her back out early in the Hawaii episode and was sidelined, hurting her score.
Villain: James Frain vs. Vincent Price
This is the toughest choice of the entire contest: The scariest dude of the 20th century against the early leader for the scariest dude of the 21st century.
James Frain’s Ferdinand showed back up as Topside’s velvet voiced intimidator/assassin. Frain is creepy and awesome in everything he does.
Brady Bunch has Vincent F*ucking Price with a beard AND a leisure suit. It gets no scarier than that.
MacGuffin - Tiki idol vs. Grandma Kendall
So here’s the deciding vote. The Bradys found cursed idol that everyone wore and caused all kinds of mayhem that involved backaches, spiders, improperly hung wall decorations and wipeouts. For 1972, that was creepy stuff.
Sarah finally found the Castor original that everyone has been seeking all season long. This being Orphan Black this person has more twists than a curly fry. She’s a salty ex-con, who is Mrs. S’ mother and she has two sets of DNA from an absorbed male fraternal twin also making her the Leda original as well.
So your winner and new champion is Orphan Black. Better luck next time blended family.
Meanwhile back in Canada this happened.
And it was also pretty awesome.
Craig Wack is a veteran journalist. Please follow his Twitter.