Send in the Clones


Orphan Black
Orphan Black

The TV series Orphan Black, starring Tatiana Maslaney as grifter Sarah Manning and her various "genetic identicals" (some of them are touchy about the c-word), returns to BBC America for a third season April 18.

The tale of a group of clones becoming aware of their roles in a decades-long genetic experiment and forming bonds of sisterhood, Orphan Black explores a wide range of biotech issues, from ethics in science to intellectual property, from reproductive rights to government-created cartels. Maslaney plays nine clones, four of whom appear regularly.

The show avoids cliche sci-fi McGuffins and tells rich stories in which such issues come up naturally. ("This situation isn't your usual identity crisis," Sarah explains to a trans-clone who has just found his sisters.) This thoughtful and compelling show suffers no identity crisis, knowing exactly who and what it is: a sterling example of smart modern TV that uses science-fiction tropes to illuminate our future.