Orphan Black: The Complete Collection (DVD series review).

June 25, 2021 | By | Reply More

Now ‘Orphan Black’s a series where everything is spoiler because it is a continuous story, with twists every time that are mostly logical but will leave you guessing where each turn takes you. Made from 2013-2017 and only 5 seasons.

Hustler Sarah Manning (actress Tatiana Maslany) arrives at a railway station and sees someone resembling herself commit suicide but leaves her handbag on the platform and takes it. She then poses as her doppelgänger and finds out she was Detective Beth Childs and thinks it’s a good way to change her identity. Slowly things unravel and she finds out that she’s a clone. One of nine known clones by the end of the first season and she’s the only one and discovers she’s been hidden from the people who started the Leden female clone program. Over the next seasons, we also find there are is a Castor male program (actor Ari Millan doing multiple parts). The introduction of male clones does have some logic to them and quite more military than the female clones, although both have medical problems.

I did think the last episode of season 2 covered far too much ground and hurried too rapidly over Kira’s rescue missing out many details but the surprise at the end ensured people would want to see the third season. Don’t hold any character as being too precious as everyone is vulnerable. This became true of the latter seasons as well.

I don’t know how widespread this problem is, but disk # 3 of season 2 had a crack in it so check when you buy to ensure yours doesn’t as well. The final episode of season 3 jumps a little ahead from the previous episode, invariably tying up loose ends while adding direction for the next season. Even so, when you consider the development build-up, the end could have been spread over a couple episodes.

I did have a wonder about whether people would have any favourites amongst the clones. I tended to treat them all as equal as they were all fully realised so you want to know what was happened to each of them. Saying that, you do have to wonder why Beth Childs committed suicide than the reason presented on screen. I mean, she has to be as hardy as her clone sisters, most of who appear to be natural survivors. Thankfully, season 4 focuses on her life so even that is answered.

You would think it would be difficult to keep track of all the clones Tatiana Maslany plays but I found it relatively easy to keep up and if you have problems, focus on their skill abilities as you watch. Just because you look alike doesn’t mean you are all alike and depending on upbringing each has taken different paths. When you hear the number of clones in the last episode still out there, its probably fortunate we were kept to about a dozen. Maslany won two actress awards which should speak for itself.

‘Orphan Black’ mixes seriousness and violence with comedy values to plain farce on occasion but is very gripping with alliances changing on a regular basis. I should point out the cloning program isn’t the whole point of the storyline but part of the experiment to get the right gene material.

These Canadian series are getting increasingly more enjoyable and should send most of you to bed with either a shiver or a smile on your face. No home’s alone with a clone.

GF Willmetts

June 2021

(pub: BBC, 2018. 15 DVDs 2076 minutes. 5 seasons 50 x 43 minute episodes with extras. Price: I pulled my copy for about £20.00 (UK). ASIN: BBCDVD4308)

cast: Tatiana Maslany, Jordan Gavaris, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Kristian Bruun, Kevin Hanchard, Syler Wexler, Josh Vokey, Ari Millan, Evelyne Brochu, Cynthia Galant, Kyra Harper, James Frain, Stephen McHattie, Alison Steadman and many more.


Category: Scifi, TV

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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