Orphan Black

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Orphan Black
Orphan Black intertitle.png
Genre
Created byGraeme Manson
John Fawcett
StarringTatiana Maslany
Dylan Bruce
Jordan Gavaris
Kevin Hanchard
Michael Mando
Maria Doyle Kennedy
Theme music composerTwo Fingers
Country of originCanada
United States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Ivan Schneeberg
David Fortier
Graeme Manson
John Fawcett
Location(s)Toronto, Ontario
Running time43 minutes
Production company(s)Bell Media
Temple Street Productions
BBC America Original Production
Broadcast
Original channelSpace
BBC America
Original runMarch 30, 2013 (2013-03-30) – present
External links
Official website
 
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Orphan Black
Orphan Black intertitle.png
Genre
Created byGraeme Manson
John Fawcett
StarringTatiana Maslany
Dylan Bruce
Jordan Gavaris
Kevin Hanchard
Michael Mando
Maria Doyle Kennedy
Theme music composerTwo Fingers
Country of originCanada
United States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Ivan Schneeberg
David Fortier
Graeme Manson
John Fawcett
Location(s)Toronto, Ontario
Running time43 minutes
Production company(s)Bell Media
Temple Street Productions
BBC America Original Production
Broadcast
Original channelSpace
BBC America
Original runMarch 30, 2013 (2013-03-30) – present
External links
Official website

Orphan Black is a Canadian science fiction television series starring Tatiana Maslany as several identical women who are revealed to be clones. The series focuses on Sarah Manning, a woman who assumes the identity of her clone, Elizabeth Childs, after witnessing the latter's suicide. The series raises issues about the moral and ethical implications of human cloning and its impact on issues of personal identity.[1] The show premiered at WonderCon in Anaheim, California on March 29, 2013.[2][3] The television premiere of the first 10-episode season was on March 30, 2013 on Space in Canada and on BBC America in the United States.[4][5] On May 2, 2013, Orphan Black was renewed for a 10-episode second season to premiere April 19, 2014.[6][7]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

Recurring[edit]

Known clones[edit]

By the end of the first season, 10 clones have been revealed. They are of various nationalities and stations in life.

NameCountry of originDate of birthStatus
Sarah ManningUnited KingdomMarch 15, 1984Alive
A con artist and thief. Sarah took on Beth Childs' identity upon witnessing Beth's death, originally as a scam to steal her life's savings, but then got drawn into the hidden conspiracy of illegal human cloning. Sarah has a seven-year-old biological daughter, Kira; a foster brother, Felix; and a foster mother, Siobhan Sadler. Street-smart and tough, Sarah at first wants no part of the other clones, only caring about getting together enough money to start over somewhere else with Kira and Felix, but discovers that she cares more about other people than she thought.
Elizabeth "Beth" ChildsCanadaBirth certificate: April 1, 1984
Cosima's chart: March 13, 1984
Died on November 23, 2012
Police detective. The series begins with her suicide by stepping in front of a train. Prior to the start of the series, she was suspended from the police department pending an investigation into her shooting of a civilian, Maggie Chen, who she knew was an agent of the Prolethians. Beth was prescribed a large number of psychoactive drugs by the psychiatrist treating her during her suspension, which she reportedly mixed and abused. Beth found out about the clones when Katja Obinger contacted her about the assassinations in Europe; Beth then tracked down Alison and Cosima and they formed a group (the "clone club") for mutual protection. Paul, her live-in boyfriend, was Beth's monitor. The reason for her suicide has yet to be revealed, but Sarah suspects that it was because she felt out of control of her life after discovering her nature as a clone. Before she stepped off the train platform, in a deliberate manner she removed, neatly folded, and set down her jacket, her high heels, and her handbag in an orderly row.
Alison HendrixCanadaBirth certificate: April 4, 1984
Cosima's chart: April 18, 1984
Alive
A suburban woman whom Sarah calls a "soccer mom", she is married and has two adopted children. She is the clone with whom Beth, then Sarah, is in the most direct physical contact, due to their geographical proximity. Conservative, orderly and highly protective of her family, she is prone to emotional instability when taken out of her comfort zone. Upon discovery that each clone is assigned a "monitor", she suspected both her husband, Donnie, and her neighbor and friend, Aynsley, of being her monitor. After interrogating and torturing her husband with a hot-glue gun, she became convinced that it was Aynsley. She repeatedly tried to get Aynsley to admit her role, and finally had sex with Aynsley's husband as revenge. She became obsessed with getting Aynsley to admit she's the monitor and let Aynsley die during an accident. In the season finale, however, the identity of her monitor was revealed to the audience as her husband, Donnie. She signed a contract offered individually to herself, Sarah, and Cosima with the Neolutionists that supposedly freed her from further monitoring without knowing that they had "patented" the clones when they were created.
Cosima NiehausUnited StatesMarch 9, 1984Alive
PhD Biology student focusing in evolutionary developmental biology at the University of Minnesota. She has the most scientific understanding of herself and her sister clones and the possible reasons as to why the illegal project started and why Helena wants to kill them, but is somewhat overconfident in science and her own ability to pursue risky courses of action. She is originally from Berkeley, California. She suspects, correctly, that her girlfriend, Delphine, is her monitor, and Cosima eventually revealed to Delphine that she knows, and Delphine has decided to betray the Neolutionists to help her. It is revealed that she is experiencing respiratory problems (coughing up blood) like Katja Obinger, but has not told any of her fellow clones, and only reveals this to Delphine.

The character is based on Cosima Herter, the show's science consultant. Herter is a PhD student at the University of Minnesota, working on the History and Philosophy of Biology.[8]

HelenaUkraineMarch 15, 1984Deceased[9]
Assassin, known to have killed Katja Obinger, and probably the other deceased clones, with the exception of Beth Childs. Her last name has not been revealed. A highly disturbed religious fanatic, she has been manipulated by Tomas to believe she is the "original" while the other clones are satanic doppelgängers, and that it is her duty to kill them all. Mentally unstable, she self-mutilates by cutting. Her self-harm is focused on her back, and her cuts give the appearance of feathered angel wings. She is often seen eating or trying to experience tactile sensations with her fingertips. Tomas, who is a member of a group called the Prolethians who are against Neolution, subjected her to physical and emotional abuse and instructed her to kill her fellow clones. Helena has no monitor because the Neolutionists lost track of her after her birth mother hid her in a Ukrainian convent, where she was reared. She and Sarah are twin sisters, both gestated by the same birth mother. Sarah shoots her in the season finale after Helena brutally beats her and kills their birth-mother.
Katja ObingerGermanyMarch 24, 1984Died on November 25, 2012
Killed by Helena via sniper rifle while meeting with Sarah as "Beth". She is the second clone Sarah encountered (Elizabeth being the first) and it was Katja's death that got her directly involved in the conspiracy. Katja contacted Beth and told her about the existence of the clones and that their counterparts in Europe were being killed. At the time of her death, Katja was suffering from a serious respiratory illness that made her cough blood; Cosima is trying to determine if this is a genetic risk to all the clones.
Rachel DuncanUnknownUnknownAlive
Raised by the Neolutionists, working for the people who created the clones. Her birth date and nationality are unknown, although it is possible she has connections to the United Kingdom, due to her British accent. Sarah refers to her as a "Proclone."
Danielle FournierFranceBirth certificate: March 20, 1984
Cosima's chart: March 12, 1984
Died on September 24, 2012
Presumed dead before the events of the series.
Aryanna GiordanoItalyBirth certificate: April 4, 1984
Cosima's chart: April 28, 1984
Died on April 11, 2012
Presumed dead before the events of the series.
Janika ZinglerAustriaMarch 10, 1984Died on July 13, 2012
Presumed dead before the events of the series.

Production[edit]

Orphan Black was initially developed at the Canadian Film Centre by Graeme Manson.[5] Bell Media announced on June 12, 2012 that they had commissioned a 10 episode season of Orphan Black that would be produced by Temple Street Productions and distributed internationally by BBC Worldwide.[10]

On June 26, 2012 BBC America announced that they had picked up the show in the U.S.[5] The casting of Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany as the lead was announced on September 17, 2012.[11] The rest of the principal cast was announced in late October 2012 as production began in Toronto for the first season.[12] On February 7, 2013 it was announced that Matt Frewer had been cast as an edgy philosophical professor, Dr. Leekie, and Évelyne Brochu was cast as a graduate student in molecular and cellular biology.[13] Filming of season 1 was scheduled to be completed by February 12, 2013.[12]

Maslany created different music playlists to listen to, to help her differentiate the various characters she portrays.[2] When filming scenes in which Maslany has multiple parts, cameras were mounted on dollies which would replicate movement, thereby allowing for more action in scenes where she interacts with herself.[2]

The show began airing in the UK on September 20, 2013 on BBC Three.[14]

Location[edit]

Orphan Black is shot on location in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. While this is apparent from details such as cars with Ontario license plates, Beth's Ontario driving licence, the color of currency, scripted references to the suburb of Scarborough, and a plane ticket in the pilot episode identifying Toronto's Pearson International Airport, [15] Graeme Manson said that the setting is deliberately ambiguous. "It’s meant to be Generica. It’s part of the price you pay for this kind of co-production."[16]

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedDVD and Blu-ray release date
Season premiereSeason finaleRegion 1Region 2Region 4
110March 30, 2013 (2013-03-30)June 1, 2013 (2013-06-01)July 16, 2013 (2013-07-16)[17]August 11, 2014 (2014-08-11)[18]N/A
210[19]April 19, 2014 (2014-04-19)[7]N/AN/AN/AN/A

Critical reception[edit]

The series has received generally favorable reviews, with the first season scoring a 73 out of 100 on Metacritic.[20]

Tatiana Maslany has received universal acclaim for her performance as the various clones. Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter called her performance "fantastic."[21] When Maslany failed to garner a nomination for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, this was seen as a snub by many critics.[22][23] Goodman called it an "outrageous oversight."[24]

Accolades[edit]

YearAwardCategoryNominee(s)Result
2013Critics' Choice Television Award[25]Best Actress in a Drama SeriesTatiana MaslanyWon
Television Critics Association Awards[26]Individual Achievement in DramaTatiana MaslanyWon
Outstanding New ProgramOrphan BlackNominated
Young Hollywood Awards[27]Breakthrough Performance — FemaleTatiana MaslanyWon
EWwy Award[28]Best Actress in a Drama SeriesTatiana MaslanyWon
Best Drama SeriesOrphan BlackWon
Tubey Award[29]Most Underrated ShowOrphan BlackWon
Best New ShowOrphan BlackWon
2014Satellite Award[30]Best Television Series or Miniseries, GenreOrphan BlackPending
Best Actress in a Drama SeriesTatiana MaslanyPending
People's Choice Award[31]Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy ActressTatiana MaslanyPending
Golden Globe Award[32]Best Performance in a Television Series – Drama ActressTatiana MaslanyPending

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About the Show". BBC America. Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Lundy, Bill (March 11, 2013). "Toronto ComiCon: Orphan Black panel". Bell Media. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  3. ^ "BBC America's Doctor Who and Orphan Black Screening". WonderCon. Archived from the original on March 29, 2013. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Orphan Black". Space. Retrieved March 28, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c "BBC AMERICA ORDERS NEW ORIGINAL SCRIPTED SCI-FI ADVENTURE" (Press release). BBC America. June 26, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  6. ^ Ausiello, Michael (May 2, 2013). "Orphan Black Renewed for Season 2". TVLine. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Masters, Megan (November 23, 2013). "Orphan Black's Return Date Is Set — Season 2 Teaser Follows Sarah's Search for Answers". TVLine. Retrieved November 24, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Q&A with Orphan Black's science consultant". Space. March 29, 2013. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  9. ^ Martin, Denise (June 21, 2013). "The Orphan Black Showrunners Answer Vulture Readers’ Burning Questions". Vulture. Retrieved August 10, 2013. 
  10. ^ "SPACE Orders New Original Drama Series ORPHAN BLACK" (Press release). Bell Media. June 12, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  11. ^ "SPACE, BBC America, and Temple Street Productions Announce Canadian-Born Actor Tatiana Maslany as the Lead in New Original Series ORPHAN BLACK" (Press release). Bell Media. September 17, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "Additional Casting For SPACE Original Series ORPHAN BLACK Announced as Production Begins in Toronto" (Press release). Bell Media. October 23, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  13. ^ "When Did I Become Us? New SPACE Original Series ORPHAN BLACK Premieres Saturday, March 30 at 9 p.m. ET" (Press release). Bell Media. February 7, 2013. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  14. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (August 29, 2013). "BBC Three reveals action-packed 'Orphan Black' trailer - watch". Digital Spy. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Orphan Black and the New Face of Canadian Science Fiction". Critics At Large. April 3, 2013. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  16. ^ Lederman, Marsha (April 13, 2013). "How Canada is becoming the sci-fi nation". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Orphan Black: Season One (Blu-ray) (2013)". Amazon.com. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Orphan Black [Blu-ray]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  19. ^ Ausiello, Michael (May 2, 2013). "Orphan Black Renewed for Season 2". TVLine. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Orphan Black: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  21. ^ Goodman, Tim (March 28, 2013). "Orphan Black: TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  22. ^ Furlong, Maggie (July 18, 2013). "Emmy Nominations 2013 Biggest Snub: 'Orphan Black' Star Tatiana Maslany Was Robbed". The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  23. ^ Yahr, Emily (July 18, 2013). "Julianna Margulies, Tatiana Maslany: Some of this year’s Emmy snubs". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  24. ^ Goodman, Tim (July 18, 2013). "Tim Goodman on Emmy Nominations: 'From Spectacularly Wrong to Predictably Wrong'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 2, 2013. 
  25. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (June 10, 2013). "Critics' Choice Awards: Big Bang Theory, Orphan Black Star and Breaking Bad Win Big — Plus: Kudos for Southland, Parenthood Faves". TVLine. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  26. ^ Ausiello, Michael (August 3, 2013). "Tatiana Maslany, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Americans, Bunheads, Parks and Rec, Big Bang Among Winners at 2013 TCA Awards". TVLine. Retrieved August 4, 2013. 
  27. ^ Slezak, Michael (July 18, 2013). "Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany, PLL and Game of Thrones Stars Land Young Hollywood Awards". TVLine. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  28. ^ "EWwy Awards 2013: Meet Your 10 Winners!". Entertainment Weekly. September 13, 2013. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Tubey Awards 2013: Scripted TV Shows". Television Without Pity. September 17, 2013. Retrieved September 20, 2013. 
  30. ^ Pond, Steve (December 2, 2013). "’12 Years a Slave’ Tops Satellite Award Nominations". TheWrap. Retrieved December 5, 2013. 
  31. ^ Ausiello, Michael (November 5, 2013). "2014 People's Choice Awards: Glee, Grey's, Sons, Good Wife, Castle, NCIS, Gellar Among Nominees". TVLine. Retrieved December 5, 2013. 
  32. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (December 12, 2013). "Golden Globes: House of Cards, The Good Wife, Candelabra and Breaking Bad Lead Noms; Parks & Rec, Brooklyn, Spader and Maslany Score Nods". TVLine. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 

External links[edit]