As innovative TV shows go, Orphan Black’s selling point is extra special. The Canadian born and made TV series about a young woman who discovers that she is one in a family of clones (no spoilers because this can be figured on in the opening of the first episode of the first series) what’s impressive and innovative of the series is the fact that Tatiana Maslany plays all of the clone characters, that means she is responsible for playing multiple lead characters in a TV show, as far as i know it is the first time ever that this has been done. Over the course of the first series Tatiana plays half a dozen different clones, starting with the street smart Sarah Manning and then soon meeting her test tube sisters, suburban soccer mom Alison, biology student Cosima and the psychotic Helena. Tatiana nails the performance of each character which are often in the same scene together interacting with each other. It’s like watching a long distance runner doing a dozen laps at once.
Each new turn is full of surprises, but the fun comes from watching the multiple characters on screen each one with a life of their own and a believable backstory. The characters were created with much thought and brought to life with great acting by Tatiana Maslany who simply nails each characters performance, over the course of it’s 1-4 series run (the final fifth series will air starting on 10th of June) Orphan Black has become easily one of my all time favourite TV shows for multiple reasons (Storyline’s, brilliant acting and believable characters to name just a few). Of course Tatiana’s acting is one of the best things about the series but there’s also other acting that cannot go unmentioned, including that from Jordan Gavaris as Felix the foster brother of Sarah Manning whose scenes with Tatiana demonstrate some great chemistry, their bickering and banter will be very familiar with siblings. There’s also Maria Doyle Kenned as Sarah and Felix’s stern and no-nonsense foster mother and Evelyne Brochu who plays the multilayered character that is Delphine Cormier.
Plot wise the series twists and turns manically, mixing in science (all of the episodes are named after chapters in Darwin’s On the Origin of Species) and a heap of suspense as the clones get closer to the truth of why they were created. There’s danger aplenty as the clones each try and find out who in their lives have been put their in order to be close to them by shadowy operatives to serve as a monitor or handler. As these questions are answered a lot more are asked, but the show does it well and doesn’t just throw in reasons to seek out mystery.
Progress is made with each episode and shows world becomes bigger and better with each episode that passes, the series as a whole is a must watch and as series 1,2,3 and 4 have aired the series has got stronger, with the announcement that series 5 will be it’s last it seems that Orphan Black is doing what most series don’t do these days and that is ending on a high.
Series 1-4 of Orphan Black is currently on Netflix in the U.K i highly recommend you watch it.