Calvin’s Commentaries: Aidan 5

When it comes to being surprised by something on the ‘Net, the web series Aidan 5 certainly did it for me.

Set in the year 2064 AIDAN 5 reveals a society where human cloning has become commonplace.

Set in a futuristic city, AIDAN 5, is at its heart a sci-fi detective tale which chronicles the journey of detective James Aidan who must unravel the mystery behind the serial killings of his own clones.

Several things set Aidan 5 apart as being something special.

To begin with, the story starts from a strong foundation. The series is based on an award-winning film festival short by Tim Baldwin and John Jackson.

From there AIDAN 5 the series was created by Ben Bays, Tim Baldwin, and John Jackson.

The story is a gritty, noir one which is bigger and more intricate than you might expect from episodes that average between five and 13 minutes in length in the 16 episodes on season one.

Next comes the acting.

Bryan Michael Block, who stars as James Aidan, and also had his hand in the writing of all 16 episodes, is fantastic in the lead role. He reminded me a lot of Vincent D’Onofrio in his run on Law & Order at least in terms of delivery.

Maya Sayre is Aidan’s partner, Morgan Riley, herself a clone, and again she is excellent.

Interestingly, the stars and all others in this series did it because they wanted to be part of the project. It was pulled together through volunteer efforts and no budget.

And then there is the approach taken in terms of look which really makes AIDAN 5 memorable.

It is filmed only in black-and-white, but then the production team integrates the live actors with sets which are a comic book like sketch art. It comes together as a dark and gritty, futuristic noir world that stands out because of the artistic look.

The web series was shortlisted for Best Original Series at the 2010 Vimeo Awards and was an official entry at 2010 Dragon*Con Independent Film Festival and GenCon Indy. The original 48 Hour film won 2nd Runner-Up at Miami International Film Festival and was screened at the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Block.

To view the entire first season, and to learn more about the production, visit the official site:

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