“Welcome to the trip, man.” -Cosima Niehaus
My mom watched Orphan Black Season 1 in real time. She told me that I should watch it with her, but I wasn’t convinced that they could get through an entire season–let alone more than one–without totally screwing it up. Once Mom finished Season 1, and they had not yet screwed it up, I watched Season 1 with her. Then had to wait a torturously long period of time for Season 2 to premiere. I watched that on the edge of my seat, and then again went through the hiatus, but this time, I had to go through the full 42-week hiatus, as I wasn’t late to the party. Then, Season 3 premiered, and this season is crazier than ever.
One thing that I love about Orphan Black is the fandom, called Clone Club. They have organized some amazing things, such as a Clone Club Christmas Secret Santa, and a Clone Club Valentine’s exchange. They are also very committed to not spoiling each other on tumblr, and there is an elaborate system in place for tagging spoilers and episodes.
The basic, mostly spoiler-free premise, is this: Episode 1 of Season 1 begins with Sarah Manning watching a girl commit suicide by jumping in front of a train, except the girl who has killed herself looks exactly like Sarah, who we come to find out was an orphan. Sarah goes “down the rabbit hole” so to speak, and discovers that there are more women exactly like her. And they’re all in danger.
Sarah Manning, and the other women (Beth Childs, Allison Hendrix, Cosima Niehaus, Katja Obinger, Rachel Duncan, and several others we see on screen, or in photographs) are all played by Tatiana Maslany, who does a brilliant job of making each of the women distinct, both in voice and in body language and in the ways that the women move. It’s truly amazing to watch, because even though the women all have the same face, they all look very different, and somehow, none of them quite look like Maslany herself. We still haven’t figured out exactly how this is the case, but it is.
Each season of Orphan Black raises the stakes and increases the pressures of the world, and the seasons tackle hugely complex problems, such as the interplay between science and religion.
If you haven’t watched any of Orphan Black because you’re worried it’s going to be too scientific, I can promise you that the show isn’t too scientific, though they do go to great extents to ensure that the science is right, which I appreciate.
I am obsessed with Orphan Black, and I cannot recommend this show highly enough. At the moment, you can watch Seasons 1 and 2 of Orphan Black on Prime Instant Video, meaning that if you have an Amazon Prime account, you can watch for free. Episodes are also available to purchase on Amazon, and on iTunes, and Orphan Black is available on DVD at many major retailers. Season 3 of Orphan Black airs on Saturday nights at 9 PM on BBC America.