An Ode to Orphan Black\'s Not-So-Secret Weapon: Tatiana Maslany
Star Wars: 8 New Details on Last Jedi\'s Heroes and Villains
Daily Deals: Alienware Aurora GTX 1060 Gaming PC for $850
PUBG: Total Player Killcount and Other Crazy Stats
Star Wars Battlefront 2 Space Battles Teased
Justice League Reshoots Made "Adjustments" to Cyborg
Dota 2 is Getting Two New Heroes in "Dueling Fates" Update
No Man\'s Sky Atlas Rises Update - Full Details Revealed
A look back on the eve of Orphan Black\'s series finale.
Orphan Black\'s premiere episode was a tense, intriguing hour of television that introduced what would turn out to be an incredibly thoughtful series that ruminated on ethics, morality, genetics, body autonomy, sisterhood, motherhood, and many more complex issues throughout its five-season run.
And though it was immediately clear that star Tatiana Maslany brought a magnetic presence to the series, what unfolded in the subsequent nine episodes of the first season—the five distinct personalities she brought to life as clones Sarah, Beth, Alison, Cosima, and Helena—was remarkable to watch.
Orphan Black: Every Clone Played by Tatiana Maslany
Orphan Black was well-written and well-produced, but most of all, it was well cast. Would the show still have been cool and addicting without Maslany? Of course. It\'s a rad premise buoyed by top-tier talent in the non-clone roles, too—not to mention the absurdly well-shot multi-clone scenes that require intricate plotting and sophisticated technology to produce. But the way the Canadian actress (and now-Emmy winner) fully inhabited each of her many roles meant that watching the opening credits was a head-scratching exercise, owing to the very small number of actresses listed on a female-led show—you know, because Maslany played all of those characters herself.
As Eric Goldman wrote in his IGN review of Orphan Black\'s first season, "the number one reason to watch is Tatiana Maslany. To use a cliché, the Canadian actress gives a revelatory performance here; or, to be more precise, performances." For nostalgia\'s sake, here\'s a look back at the first trailer released for Orphan Black:
That remained true throughout the show\'s four subsequent seasons, when, as the series\' many mysteries grew more convoluted and the number of players in the central clone conspiracy skyrocketed, Maslany\'s presence brought a much-needed sense of familiarity. Even when you didn\'t know what the hell was going on, you could at least sit back and watch Maslany prove that she deserved every single accolade that came her way.
Orphan Black might not have drawn the millions of viewers of, say, Game of Thrones, but anyone who did see the show couldn\'t ignore the star\'s singular talent.
Just watch this example of the mastery needed to bring two of her characters to life:
Wrote Goldman in his first season review, "[The clones] are all so distinct and so fully formed, it’s simply amazing to realize the work Maslany is doing and how technical it must be when she’s in a scene with herself… and herself. I know, I’m gushing here, but this is easily one of the best performances of the year and it really is something you have to see to believe."
It turns out that performance—or performances—has remained one of the most extraordinary examples of acting on television for five years running, and it will most certainly be missed. There\'s one upside as Maslany enters the next stage of her career: with so many characters under her belt, she\'ll never have to worry about typecasting again.
Jean Bentley is an entertainment reporter whose 6th-period pre-calc class had a lot of thoughts about Ephraim and Amy\'s relationship. Talk to her on Twitter at @hijean.
Orphan Black First Aired Mar. 2013