Tatiana Maslany. I see no other way in which to start this post other than with the name of the leading actress who oozes pure magnificence, brilliance and genius. Exaggerating you say? I kid you not, it would be an impossible task to try and name any other who could play several characters with such intensity and professional purpose as Maslany. For those of you who don’t watch for actor performance alone Orphan Black resists complete genre categorisation by shading with tones of several: sci-fi, fantasy, drama and perfectly weaved comedy are strung together to create a web of watch-ability that would make any spider proud. If you’re looking for a series of limitless potential, unexpected twists and plot directions, and has characters you love to love and love to hate (even if they are all played by the same actress) then here it is!
Over the course of its airing, Orphan Black has continued in the growth of it’s audience doubling viewing figures of 369,000 for first season premiere to 738,000 for the second season premiere. The series has won too many awards to mention picking up ten alone in the Canadian Screen Awards and Tatiana Maslany was nominated in the prestigious Golden Globes for Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series.
The premise for this critically acclaimed series begins it’s ‘once upon a time’, with single mother Sarah Manning aptly described as a rebel at heart, witnessing a suicide of a woman who looks exactly like her. Already desperate to escape her troubled life, Sarah steps into the shoes of this lookalike in hopes to get her life back on track. This one act spirals into cleverly crafted chaos that Sarah dotes her best efforts into putting right but she has merely scraped the surface with no clear exit strategy in sight. Hand on heart you will not regret the late night binges and panda eyes for this one; the toilet can wait, the dog can be walked tomorrow and yes you do need a break from that workload.
Fun Fact: Did you know that Tatiana Maslany was amazing? Sorry… for real this time! Look out for actor Michiel Huisman in Season Two who played Daario Naharis in ‘Game of Thrones’.
Not only can you watch Maslany master the British accent in Sarah Manning, but master several others while delving deep into her other clone characters that couldn’t be more different and it is the precise individuality that is represented with these women on screen that demands audience attention. Meet Alison Hendrix the uptight Soccer Mom, the rising scientific genius Cosima Niehaus and I can’t as yet say much about the mysterious Helena…shhhh spoilers, and I can’t neglect to mention the show’s other prevalent characters such as French scientist Delphine Cormier as played by Evelyne Brochu and the series wouldn’t be without Sarah’s adopted brother; the magnificent Felix Dawkins as played by Jordan Gavaris.
When talking in an interview with tv.com, Maslany discussed how she got into character for each of the many she plays; “Yeah, totally! Jordan [Gavaris], who plays Felix, he always says you can tell so much about a person by how they load a dishwasher, and it’s so true. You know, how you go about moving within the world you live in says so much about you are. A lot of the intellectual work I did on the characters I had to throw out the window and just be in their bodies.”
Orphan Black, will soon be beginning its third season April 18th on BBC America and hopefully BBC 3 will pick it up for all those in the UK not long later but that leaves plenty of time to catch up. You can watch Orphan Black’s first season on Netflix or both season one and two are available to purchase on DVD.
Are you a fan of these sci-fi dramas? Do you have some binge worthy suggestions for the future? Let me know in the comments!
Binge Rating: ★★★★
Feature Image: Characters from the left: Alison Hendrix, Sarah Manning and Cosima Niehaus as played by Tatiana Maslany.