If you haven't been watching Orphan Black, I'll catch you up. Season 1 opens with wayward twentysomething Sarah Manning, who witnesses something rather bizarre and horrific when she returns to Toronto to reunite with her child. She reaches the central station and witnesses a women, who looks exactly like her, jump in front of a train. This incident kicks off a series of events which lead to the discovery Sarah's birth and multitude of cloned "twin" sisters. Full of twists, turns, crazy science, soccer moms, psychotic Ukrainian killers, several linked underground institutions, crooked cops and clones, I'm surprised this BBC America show is not discussed up there with other great sci-fi shows such as Lost or The 100.
Spoilers right up until Season 4, Episode 9 ahead...
The show is now in its fourth season and is better than ever, but we still have yet to hear whether the show has been renewed for a fifth season, or whether it will continue beyond that. So, for all you naysayers out there, here are some reasons why you should at least respect Orphan Black, with a few predictions for tomorrow night's episode.
Let's talk about Tatiana Maslany
Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany has made a huge name for herself thanks to this show, and it's no wonder why. She currently plays, deep breath, Sarah, Alison, Cosima, Helena, Rachel, Crystal, Tony, and Veera — and those are only the one's we've met that are currently still alive. Past seasons saw Maslany play Beth, Katja and Jennifer — plus the ones we have only heard of. Yes, some versions of Maslany are stronger than others (let's forget Tony ever happened) but to be able to convincingly play (correct me if I'm wrong) 11 different characters on one show, sometimes in the same scene, is the most incredible display of acting talent I have probably ever seen on TV. Whatever Tatiana goes on to do after Orphan Black wraps up, she'll be totally prepared.
Shooting Orphan Black is not like shooting any other show
Usually while shooting any ordinary movie or TV show, it takes maybe a week to shoot a single scene, setting up each shot and doing take-after-take until the director is happy. Well, shooting Orphan Black is a little different, as you might have to shoot three Tatiana Maslany's in one scene, all having a conversation with each other. Modern developments in technology have only now made this possible, I mean, The Parent Trap isn't seamless... Check out this 'making of' video from Season 1.
Season 4 & Neolution
Season 4, like the rest of the show, has dealt with some pretty poignant, real world topics. While the whole show deals with the morality of human cloning, the morality of science and the risks which come alongside that, Season 4 reintroduced us to the original Big Bad and creator of the clones — the neolutionists.
These pseudoscientists want to improve the human race through science, they want to use potentially dangerous scientific discoveries to better ourselves, no matter the consequence and in often violent ways. The 'designer baby' argument is one which has been questioned constantly as our understanding of gene technology grew, so Orphan Black through us into a world where it was being practised, with disturbing and upsetting results.
What can we expect from the Season 4 finale?
I imagine, as always, the Season 4 finale will leave us with as many questions as it answers. So here are a few things we need to see happen:
- Cosima and Delphine reunite — and discuss how Delphine managed to survive bing shot in the stomach...
- Rachel, who effectively saved the day at the end of Episode 9, will not stay good for very long, and will probably try and grab power back from Susan.
- Neolution will go back into hiding after the Brightborn take down.
- Something's going on with Kira which may lead into Season 5.
- CASTOR can't be dead and gone, they have to make a comeback.
- Cosima will find a cure for the Clone's sickness.
- Helena will finally give birth.
- Clone Club being happy and united and not sick.
Some of these have to happen, but with no word on Season 5, some aspects of the storytelling will have to wrap up, especially as co-creator John Fawcett told E!,
"We will arrive at some kind of end destination by the end of season five."
So there has to be another season, right?
Are you a fan of Orphan Black?