If I was Tatiana Maslany, I’d have multiple personality disorder by now…
|Tatiana Maslany as The Clone Club, or more than half the characters|
|Jordan Gavaris as Felix Dawkins|
|Dylan Bruce as Paul Dierden|
|Kevin Hanchard as Det. Arthur Bell|
|Michael Mando as Victor Schmidt|
|with Evelyne Brochu as Dr. Delphine Cormier|
|and Maria Doyle Kennedy as Siobhan Sadler|
Orphan Black is one of those rare television series that makes an immediate impact from its first episode onwards. It starts off as a mystery, which has a great sense of humour and fantastic cast. It then evolves into a great science fiction drama about the future of humanity, and it is able to do this change in stance within its allotment of ten forty minute episodes in its debut season.
We begin with the mystery, when our main character, Sarah Manning, who looks like, and is, a punk criminal, sees her doppelganger deliberately take off her shoes and place them next to her designer handbag, before walking directly into the path of an oncoming train. Sarah, sensing an opportunity to rid herself of her former life of an adopted vagrant, picks up the unknown woman’s belongings and flees to take over her life and identity. Unfortunately, she’s now a cop who was in the midst of being investigated for a civilian shooting.
Meanwhile, while Sarah is trying to get into the shoes of her look-alike, Detective Beth Childs, she’s being harrassed by even more doppelgangers. Her adoptive brother, Felix helps her investigate what’s going on and discovers that Sarah is actually one of many clones and that somebody is going around offing them with a sniper rifle. That’s the kind of clear and present danger nobody needs, even if there are more than ten of you. As the immediate questions are answered by the show, a bigger and deeper conspiracy emerges about cloning and the various forces at play trying to control and take advantage of the existence of the Clone Club. There are unscrupulous scientists, religious nutjobs and your usual ultra-left wing paramilitary forces.
Ultimately, Orphan Black is the kind of show that requires a lot of planning, in terms of makeup and costuming, but manages to pull it off, purely because of Tatiana Maslany, whos role(s) in the show extend to more than half the main characters. Her perfect portrayal of the Clone Club, from orphan, scientist, haughty executive, half mad soccer mum to Baltic assassin, shows off her acting talents, as each clone has unique personalities and traits. It’s a surprise she hasn’t won an Emmy for her work.
It’s a very clever show, good concept, great casting and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The first season sets a high bar for Orphan Black, one that hopefully, will allow all the concurrent storylines and characters, to play out in a satisfying manner. So far, it’s been a great success.
Great start to a hopefully great series.
Should I watch this?
Even if you’re not particularly into science fiction, seeing the amazing acting talents of Maslany and her portrayal of the dramas of the Clone Club are well worth the price of admission.