Orphan Black has been one of the most underrated shows on television; despite being produced by BBC Worldwide, it struggled to find a proper audience in the UK, existing on late night TV schedules on the BBC before Netflix picked up the show for its final two seasons. And thank God they did. It’s a thrilling sci-fi show, looking at evil organisations, conspiracies and human experimentation through cloning and it all came to a head in its fifth and final season.
What really made the show this year (as indeed every year) were the phenomenal performances from Tatiana Maslany playing various clones – Sarah, Alison, Cosima, Helena, Rachel, MK, Krystal – each special and unique in their own way. In fact Maslany is so good at playing distinct characters you miss them when they’re not in an episodes, despite the fact that the actress is there 90% of the time. She might be supported by a very strong cast (Jordan Gavaris and Maria Doyle Kennedy in particular), but it is Maslany that makes the show. To say she is probably the best actress on television is not much of an understatement.
The final season took things up a level through the introduction of ‘big bad’ scientist P.T. Westmorland and a mysterious island where the strings had been pulled from all along. For such a grounded, gritty show, the final season added a sense of OTT grandeur at times but it was well deserved and through a whole host of deceit, murder, schemes and changing alliances the final ten episodes delivered something truly thrilling before ending on a surprisingly heartfelt uplifting note, even the loss of at least one key character gave it a bittersweet feel. Orphan Black was something truly special and will be missed.