Orphan Black - Season One Midway Review

We're now halfway through the Orphan Black first season on BBC Three, and this seemed like a good time to check in with Sarah and her clone chums, find out whether a promising first two episodes has continued into a decent series. Yes, the Americans or Pirate Bay users among you have already seen the whole run, but don't drop any spoilers in the comments please. I'm trying to stay pure.

So, how many times can Sarah get cloned before it grows stale? A few more times, it seems. You can check out recent episodes on iPlayer, though sadly not the entire series.


Never quite down the plughole

When last I reviewed Orphan Black, I was enjoying the character drama but somewhat concerned the series would eventually disappear into incomprehensible conspiracy theory territory and lose me. The good news: this has not yet happened. The bad news: it still sometimes threatens to.

You've got to assume they're heading for revelations about the clones' origins at the end of the first season, although since there's a second run all renewed and ready, there will probably be a few loose ends left. So far, we've had Sarah dealing with the small amount of clones she's already met, along with the hints about who's behind it all, including the crazy cult-indoctrinated clone who was convinced she was the original.

Is Sarah actually the original? I think we're meant to suspect that since she's the main character, but is it likely? If she's the original, wouldn't that require some kind of weird advance-aging technology to have all the clones be her age? I'm thinking about it too hard, aren't I?

Cor blimey innit guv clones eh?

For now, the series is providing some good family drama for Sarah with her daughter and adoptive family, not to mention interesting semi-sisterly dynamics with her clones. Particularly enjoying her awkward interactions with "soccer mom" clone Allison.

Most of the praise for the show has focused on Tatiana Maslany's acting work as four or five major characters, and she does good work - her English accent is a bit cartoonish at times, which is a shame as they've made the main character English. Perhaps would've worked better if they'd swapped the nationalities of Sarah and Beth, thus meaning the main character had Maslany's "natural" accent.

The individual episodes do some great thriller moments and sections of intrigue, the creepy scene with crazy-clone sneaking around Sarah's workplace in the most recent episode stands out in the memory, as well as Sarah's increasingly complicated relationship with Beth's boyfriend. For now, I'm happy to keep watching Orphan Black as an interesting, slowly unfolding mystery, and just hope that it doesn't all go wrong. Fingers crossed, everyone.

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