Orphan Black (Series Review)


So here we are… at the end of a great series… a series worth watching… a series worth owning… a series full of amazing actors, solid writing, and weird characters -this is Orphan Black.

Now for those of you that have not seen or heard of this series let me give you a wee bit of background. This Anglo-American (BBC America) science-fiction series centres around small time thief/con artist named Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany) who discovers that she is not alone. No, she’s not discovered aliens. Nor has she discovered ghosts. Instead she discovers that she is one of a myriad of clones all of whom live their own lives across the world, independent of each other.

Well, not all of them are independent… and naturally, they do not really have their own lives.

Sarah soon discovers that a small gang of clones are working to discover the truth of their origins… and as to why most of them are ill. (Major plot point there. -Ed) She is soon roped into their little gang in order to help them find a cure to their mysterious -and fatal- illness. Oh, and Sarah has a child; and it seems that she is the only one to have a child. The only one! No others can breed! (Stop it. Stop it right there. Do not give away all the plots. -Ed)

Okay, Ed. Fine. I’ll stop it there. Instead I’ll say this, and then give you a list of the “main” clones. (Okay. That is acceptable. -Ed) The clones soon find themselves pitted against a mega-corporation, corrupt officials, mad scientists, other clones, bizarre science, and an apparently 200 year old scientist who created them all.

Now on to the clones!

  • Sarah Manning – The protagonist. She is British, a drinker, a milf, and bloody feisty.
  • Alison Hendrix – The cliche soccer mum. She oozes stereotype, but she has her heart in the right place.
  • Cosima Niehaus – The dreadlocks rocking uber nerd. (We all need one. -Ed)
  • Helena – A one woman army from Ukraine.
  • Rachel Duncan – The stereotypical British villainess. She is one of the power players at the mega-corporation.
  • MK – A hacker from Finland.
  • Elizabeth “Beth” Childs – The clone whose death lures Sarah Manning into the world of intrigue, mystery and cloning.
  • Around another 300 other clones.

Now there are a plethora of other amazing characters, all of whom add such diversity to the show. Some of them are rather short lived, while others like Felix (Sarah’s brother), Siobhan (Their mother), Dr. Delphine Cormier (Cosima’s lover… or something more?), Donnie (Alison’s husband), and P.T. Westmorland (The villain) are there for much of the five seasons. Yes, five seasons. There are fifty – one hour episodes. So there are a lot of amazingly diverse episodes to whet your appetite.

Though the thing that whets my appetite the most is Tatiana Maslany‘s ability to play so many diverse and interesting characters. Nearly every clone is so unique and different that at times you almost forget that you are watching a single actress run around as a dozen or more people. She is truly an amazing and diverse actress.

Okay, right, let me stop myself and the universe right here. The show is amazing. Diverse. Thrilling. It is everything great TV is made of. The acting is brilliant. The characters are wonderfully interesting and bloody entertaining. The story is a veritable roller-coaster of twists, turns and mysteries that will keep you guessing at the who? what? when? how? and why? right until the very end. (Just go and watch the damn show. -Ed)

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