is a classic of modern science fiction that is coming back into the public consciousness for multiple reasons.
The first is that star Tatiana Maslany is playing nowin a next series. The second is that, since Wednesday, a series of sequels to the sci-fi thriller have been greenlit by AMC. Now, there really is no excuse not to try Orphan Black.
Orphan Black is one of those best-watched shows without knowing too much. Just know that Maslany won an Emmy for the incredible work she put into all five seasons, including becoming a producer later on.
The show begins when Sarah Manning, a British con artist who wears The Clash t-shirts, sees a woman jump in front of a train. The twist: this woman looks exactly like her. Are they long lost identical twins? Or is something strange going on?
Sarah is drawn into a conspiracy involving scientific institutes, religious orders and a covert military operation. A single mother, she tackles everything with a spitting attitude that sometimes gets her into even more trouble.
Orphan Black invests deeply in its multiple characters, clearly chiseling their lives into the Toronto setting. Felix (Jordan Gavaris) is the charming counterpoint to Sarah’s savagery, a gay painter and sex worker who puts up with the crazed and life-threatening villains Sarah unwittingly drives to her doorstep.
Donny (Kristian Bruun) stands out as an awkward husband who is the epitome of getting into situations where you’re in over your head. A sugar-obsessed assassin, a ruthless football mom, a clever scientist and many more enrich the population of this multi-layered world.
Characters Make Orphan Black Shine: Amid casual violence, cool science, and cold cinematography, these lovable underdog heroes bring an ignorance that charms your socks off. It all translates into brilliant hilarity.
When Orphan Black premiered on BBC America in 2013, it arrived as a fully-formed package, a sleek package of tension-laden writing, polished visuals and a memorable supporting cast.
Sure, the best moments are preloaded in Seasons 1 and 2, but all five seasons add to its world of scientists, police detectives, and military agents.
And its soundtrack: Any soundtrack worthy of a Spotify playlist is a ticker. I Got You Babe is perfectly timed about a grinning assassin at Sarah, murder flashing in her eyes. The Clash and New Order join the tracks of local Canadian bands rolling out of their garages in the Toronto setting.
We haven’t even covered the big themes of Orphan Black. This is because the debate between nature and nurture, identity and ownership of one’s body comes with an entertainment factor of up to 100. You hardly realize how deep the bigger issues get until until you are already there.
Simply put, Orphan Black is an unmissable sci-fi gem. It saw Maslany earn much-needed recognition and a role in a Marvel series. Go back and see where it all started.
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