Orphan Black is a Canadian sci-fi series. I couldn’t decide whether I liked this at first (Breaking Bad is a hard act to follow) but I soon found myself three episodes in and figured I was hooked. It is actually more of a thriller, so don’t be put off if sci-fi isn’t your thing.
Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany), a young con-artist with some problems of her own, sees a woman acting strangely at a subway station. When she approaches her, she is shocked to meet her doppelganger. She doesn’t get the chance to ask any questions though, as moments later, the woman throws herself under a passing train.
As if this wasn’t enough of a dramatic start to a series, there’s plenty more to follow. Sarah grabs the handbag that the (now splattered) woman left behind. She could’ve just robbed the contents, but because her own life is in a mess and she knows she looked like her, she decides to assume her identity and see how much she can get out of becoming Beth Childs. It also helps her out to be presumed dead and gets her messed up boyfriend Victor Schmidt (Michael Mando) off her back. Assuming Beth Child’s identity is not straightforward. Inadvertently, she inherits Beth’s incredibly handsome boyfriend Paul (Dylan Bruce), but this brings its own issues. How would you pretend to know someone you live with if you’ve never met them? There are quite a few comical moments in Orphan Black, the writers definitely had a sense of humour.
Sarah is an orphan that grew up in a foster home. She meets up with her foster brother Felix Dawkins (Jordan Gavaris) on a regular basis and he is kept in the loop as to what she is up to.
Felix is flamboyant and arty. He is out and proud, very extroverted and definitely not the settling down type! He is quite comical and grew on me throughout the series. His character is also a useful exposition device, as Sarah discusses things with him and it helps keep the plot clear.
Sarah wants to reunite with her daughter Kira (Skyler Wexter). Kira is being cared for by Sarah’s foster mother, Mrs S. (Maria Doyle Kennedy). Mrs S. is protective of Kira, having picked up the pieces when Sarah temporarily disappeared out of Kira’s life. Sarah’s desire to be with her daughter is what drives her to cope with what follows- and she is in for quite a few more shocks as yet. Season one is fast-paced and gets more and more intriguing.
So where does the sci-fi element come in? I’m not going to tell you, it would spoil it. You may have heard about Orphan Black already but, if like me, you start watching without knowing where it is leading, it’ll have more impact. It has gruesome moments - bits where I hid behind a cushion, but then I am a complete wuss when it comes to blood/violence on the screen (sometimes just the sound effects make me cringe). It’s got a bit of everything to be honest; drama/action, mystery/suspense, humour, sex, violence, sci-fi…
Season one has ten episodes. I’m at the end of season two and am awaiting the release of the third one. Hurry up Netflix.