ORPHAN BLACK is so addictive that
I wish I didn’t have to wait until 2014 to see season two. The biggest
reasons why the show is so enticing are down to the brilliant performance of Tatiana Maslany playing several uniquely different
clones very effortlessly and the top notch writing. ORPHAN BLACK could just have
great writing, but the show would die if you don’t care for the characters.
At the beginning of the first episode,
Sarah (an outsider and orphan) wanders back into town when she is confronted with someone who looks like her at the train
station. This woman meets eyes with Sarah and jumps in front of an incoming training. Sarah takes the woman’s person and discovers the suicide victim is Beth, a police
detective whose life seems perfect on the surface, and Sarah finds the cracks in Beth’s life when Sarah decides to pose
as Beth while she thinks she can rip off a bank account containing $75,000 and disappear with her gay foster brother Felix
and her daughter Kira. Things become more complicated when Felix decides to identify
Beth as Sarah and Sarah meeting a German named Katja who is killed in front of Sarah.
She soon discovers she is one of many clones and someone is out to kill the clones.
Even worse, some of the clones are becoming sick and Sarah having a child is an anomaly since most of the clones can’t
have kids. Beth’s partner, Art, becomes increasingly suspicious of Sarah
while she engages in a hot and cold relationship with Beth’s boyfriend Paul who thinks she is Beth. One of the clones wants to find out about their genetics while another wants to live a normal life. Their origins are tied to something called Neolution, a company called the Dayspring
Institute, Paul’s boss, and Dr. Leekie (Matt Frewer)- a charismatic scientist.
Sarah runs against the clock to find answers with the other clones as the killer closes in.
ORPHAN BLACK is an engaging and smart
cloning thriller which will have you watching more than one episode at a time. I
watched three to four episodes in one sitting on a Thursday night. The
storyline leaves a few clues and sets up some foreshadowing as some questions will get answers while other answers bring more
questions. Still it all comes down to Taitana Maslany selling each clone and
making each one their own unique character (with some help from the continuity people) and the writing.
SEND IN THE CLONES- a featurette that goes
behind the origins of the series and talks about the various clone characters. Interviews
with Tatiana Maslany and co-creators Graeme Manson and John Fawcett.
ORPHAN BLACK ON THE NERDIST features an
interview with Tatiana Maslany and a set visit to Felix’s loft.
ORPHAN BLACK INSIDER is a series of vignettes
on the show that talk about SARAH, FELIX, BETH, and how they create the scene where Tatiana is playing three clones in the
same scene in THREE CLONES, ONE FRAME.
FINAL ANALYSIS: ORPHAN BLACK is an addictive and engaging clone thriller with Tatiana Maslany giving several fantastic
performances as she shifts between five different characters during the first season.
I can’t wait to see what twists and turns are in store for season two.
This review is (c)8-11-2013 David
Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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