Orphan Black is a Canadian science fiction series with touches of a conspiracy thriller that premiered in March 2013 on BBC America. Acclaimed for its script twists and the masterful work of its protagonist, who plays different characters, this title has managed to stand out as a unique fiction.
Sarah is an orphaned stranger whose life changes dramatically when she witnesses the suicide of a woman identical to her. Hoping to solve her problems by cleaning up the deceased’s savings, Sarah assumes her identity, unaware that it is part of a chilling experiment: there are more people like her, genetically the same individuals who were cloned and who are being eliminated.
In order to make the production a reality, creators Graeme Manson, co-writer of the cult film Cube, and John Fawcett, who made his film debut with The Boys Club, were supported by Temple Street Productions in association with BBC America and the Canadian channel Space, where the series aired from March 30, 2013 until its completion on August 12, 2017.
When talking about Orphan Black it is necessary to highlight the work of its main actress, Tatiana Maslany (Stronger), which gives life to 11 important characters for the plot. Next to her are Jordan Gavaris (The forest of dreams), Maria Doyle Kennedy (The Tudors), Kristian Bruun (Murdoch Mysteries) and Kevin Hanchard (Rogue).
The display of characterization, makeup and wardrobe, along with the chameleonic talent of the protagonist, have been more than enough to create different characters that are conceived as totally individual and alien to each other. Maslany brings completely different gestures, accents and ways of moving, which gives them a unique personality despite their same physique.
As a curiosity, the actress made different musical playlists to attribute them to each character and thus be able to differentiate the basic features of their personalities. In addition, the scenes where she interacts with herself were shot with her double Kathryn Alexandre, who would later be replaced in post-production by Maslany.
Another characteristic of the series that is worth referring to is that the filming took place in Toronto, something that can be seen in details that may be strange to the eye of a viewer accustomed to North American productions: the license plates of the cars, the driving licenses, the type of currency or the references to the locations.
The series has been acclaimed thanks to its ability to generate dramatic twists and moments of tension throughout five seasons comprised of ten chapters each. For this reason, it has obtained several nominations, including one for the Golden Globes for the dramatic performance of Tatiana Maslany, and awards such as the Emmy or the Critics Choice Award, which also recognized its protagonist.
Orphan Black It has not had as much impact as it might seem, although its strengths include the work of its main actress – rarely seen on television – and a narrative structure that generates curiosity in each chapter within a complex and well-woven plot.
Chapters that you cannot miss:
- 1×03. ‘Variation Under Nature’
- 2×08. ‘Variable and Full of Perturbation’
- 3×06. ‘Certain Agony of the Battlefield’
- 4×09. ‘The Mitigation of Competition’
- 5×10. ‘To Right the Wrongs of Many’
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Orphan Black – Series List | Series lists