Published: Wednesday April 16, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday April 16, 2014 MYT 12:33:01 PM

Clone wars: Our review of TV series 'Orphan Black'

One of the clones in 'Orphan Black'.

One of the clones in 'Orphan Black'.

Life gets complicated when a woman discovers multiple copies of herself in the city.

Ever wondered if there was someone else in the world that looked just like you? Or, maybe you wished you had a secret twin somewhere.

Be careful with what you wish for.

As fun and fascinating as it might be to live out the prince and the pauper fantasy, it could also go horribly wrong – like in the case of Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany) in Orphan Black.

Tatiana Maslany was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama category at the Golden Globes early this year.

Street-smart punk-rock chick Sarah discovers she has a doppelganger one day and her life instantly becomes so much more complicated.

OK, so she may not be completely innocent here as she did assume the identity of her lookalike after she witnessed said lookalike jumping in front of an oncoming train.

In her defence, Sarah wanted a fresh start, one where she could live peacefully with her young daughter and didn’t have to deal with her lowlife ex-boyfriend, Vic (Michael Mando).

She had no idea the dead woman was a cop, a detective no less. And, that the woman who goes by the name Elizabeth “Beth” Childs was facing a disciplinary hearing for shooting a civilian.

Not a great start to this new life it seems, although on the upside, Beth’s minimalist digs looks nice if a bit sterile.

A far cry from Sarah’s messy loft, which she shared with foster brother, Felix (Jordan Gavaris who makes this character a delight to watch – he’s such a hoot).

Beth’s life also comes complete with a tall, handsome beau named Paul Dierden (Dylan Bruce) and a healthy bank account. A pretty sweet life, if Sarah can somehow work it to her advantage.

But all this barely scratches the surface of the whole story.

You see, Sarah discovers yet another individual who looks just like her, but she’s German and has bright pink hair. The German, aka Katja Obinger, dies after being shot by a sniper.

Sarah eventually comes across even more women out there who are dead ringers for her. Clones, to be precise and not all clones play nice.

If you’re thinking, this has got to be incredibly confusing and impossible to keep track of, you would be wrong. What sets each clone apart is the way they speak, sense of dressing and hairstyle. And it’s actually fun to see how many variations of the same person can be produced.

But more importantly, the intricate storyline of this Canadian series moves quickly, answering significant questions at a decent pace as more questions are posed in its wake.

Oh, and it’s action-packed, too, with its fair share of conspiracy theories, mysterious characters and heart-stopping suspense.

How many clones are there? Who is behind the cloning of these women and for what purpose have they been created? Why are they so different from one another personality-wise when they are all clones? And, which of them is the original, if any?

Another big plus point for Orphan Black is the talented Maslany. Playing what could be an infinite number of characters must be mind-boggling, but Maslany does it effortlessly, earning her critical praise and accolades for her work in the show’s first season.

“I love it,” Maslany told Star2 sans any trace of a British accent (which Sarah has) in January at the Golden Globes where she was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama.

“I think the challenge is really exciting to me and what I love about being an actor. I just feel very lucky.”

Orphan Black is also a show that has massive online support and a loyal following.

“We would not have a second season if we did not have the fans that we did,” Maslany said.

“They championed us so strongly and fought to get us out there.”

And with good reason, it’s a smart and thrilling series that gets people talking about very real issues that are relevant today like the ethics of human cloning and the debate on nature versus nurture.

The first season began here on April 7, but Season Two is about to premiere in United States on April 19.

So, now is as good a time as any to check out Orphan Black. It’s one of the few sci-fi series currently airing that’s thought provoking, fast moving and compelling.

In fact, it’s a series that’s on the cusp of going down in history as a modern classic along the lines of The X-Files and Lost.

>> Orphan Black airs every Monday at 9pm on Lifetime (Astro Ch 709).

Tags / Keywords: Entertainment, Entertainment, Orphan Black, TV, Canada, Tatiana Maslany

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