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Orphan Black s01e01

Orphan BlackA review by Nalini Haynes

Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) is on a train platform when she sees a woman preparing to jump in front of a train. Concerned, Sarah walks up to the woman, who turns, facing Sarah – only to reveal she looks identical to Sarah. The woman doesn’t look surprised. She walks past Sarah and jumps in front of the train.

Sarah, stunned, pulls herself together enough to steal the woman’s handbag and flee the scene.

Sarah is a drifter who abandoned her child ten months earlier. Now she’s returned, hoping to reunite with her foster brother and her child. Needing money, she steals whatever she can lay her hands on, including her boyfriend’s stash of cocaine and the dead woman’s life.

The dead woman, Beth, is a police officer who was on suspension after killing a civilian. Beth had also started investigating something involving women born within a month of Sarah’s birthday.

Brilliant acting and engaging writing, after avoiding spoilers as well as I could I am now HOOKED on Orphan Black. The pilot took off at a sprint and never slowed down.

Feeling like the whole story is about a woman and featuring a conversation between two woman that is not about a man, Orphan Black passed the Bechdel (gender) Test with flying colours.

I love Felix Dawkins (), Sarah’s gay foster brother. He’s a real character; if Tatiana wasn’t such a strong actor, Jordan would steal their scenes. And OMG, the morgue scenes, especially Felix’s revisit! I’m not sure ‘cute’ is an appropriate word for two guys ogling one another over a corpse but it was hilarious, in a black way. Pardon the pun.

Orphan Black has been nominated for and won a swag of awards for writing, acting and directing.

Episode 2. Bring. It. On.

★★★★★ 5 out of 5 stars

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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