An ‘Orphan Black’ Primer And Marathon, As The New Season Premiere Draws Near

Caution: This article may contain spoilers for season three of Orphan Black.

Sometimes it seems that vampires, witches, and werewolves are all that occupy the darker corners of television, but BBC’s Orphan Black brings the television-watching world something else entirely. Orphan Black draws in audiences with mysterious clones populating the shadows. Orphan Black opened its saga with Sarah Manning, an orphan turned successful con artist, happening upon a woman bearing a face identical to her own. This other woman appeared despondent, even before she leapt off of the train station platform and met her death on the face of the oncoming train.

This was just the beginning of the Orphan Black mystery. Sarah Manning has spent much of Orphan Black‘s past two seasons seeking out ten more of the clones secretly created in her image. Those clones, as well as Sarah Manning herself, are all portrayed by Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany. Sometimes, the Orphan Black plot leads to Ms. Maslany portraying three or four clones in the same scene, proving her talent for exploring so many different aspects of her own personality.

Whether she’s playing a pregnant Ukrainian clone named Helena, or dancing the night away as multiple clones, Tatiana says she loves the versatility and the challenge her Orphan Black role(s) provide. In a real mind trip, the third season of Orphan Black will see Ms. Maslany playing imposter clones posing as other clones.

Adding to the complexity of the Orphan Black series, a group of quasi-military male clones have emerged, primarily led by a clone named Rudy, all of whom belong to a secret government organization known only as Project Castor.

“They’re purpose-raised, untraceable, the perfect ghost soldiers,” Cosima, another clone, tells Sarah in one episode.

There’s much mystery in the tales woven throughout Orphan Black and some claim this can be more of a hinderance than an advantage, making it difficult for new viewers to really connect with Orphan Black‘s list of characters and clones.

For those intrigued enough to give Orphan Black a chance, IFC is offering a 21-hour Orphan Black marathon to help potential new fans to get in on the ground floor. The marathon, scheduled to begin at midnight on April 17, will provide viewers the chance to see Orphan Black from the very first pilot episode through to the second season finale.

Following the conclusion of the marathon, AMC will air the third season premiere of Orphan Black on all of its networks, which now includes IFC and BBC America, on April 18.

[Featured image: Orphan Black image courtesy of BBC America]