Tube Talk: ‘Orphan Black’ back on the BBC

By Paula Hendrickson
Television Columnist

Maybe the reason so much time has passed between the season two finale of Orphan Black — which aired last June — and this week’s season three opener is because the lead actress Tatiana Maslany needed a well-earned rest.

After all, she plays Sarah (who spends part of her time masquerading as Beth), Alison, Cosima, Helena, Rachel and any other random Leda Clones that happen to pop up in the show, including a trans-gender clone. Maslany has played Alison pretending to be Sarah, Sarah posing as Alison; has staged a couple of big fights between Sarah and Helena; and a multi-clone dance party.

In fact, when she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, it was for playing “Various Roles” instead of one character.

Maslany has appeared in nearly every scene of the series — often playing all of the characters in a scene. How can she not be exhausted? The good news for the actress is her workload might lighten up a bit this season.

Why? The final episode season two revealed that the Leda Sisters aren’t the only clones.

Mark (Ari Millen) — who seemed to be in love with a cult-leader’s abused daughter Gracie (Zoe De Grand Maison) — is a clone, too. While Sarah and most of her Project Leda sisters grew up ignorant of the fact they were part of a scientific experiment, Mark is part of Project Castor, a group of male clones who were raised fully aware that they are genetic duplicates.

With Millen also playing multiple roles, maybe Maslany will get a bit of breathing room. Unless, of course, their combined characters share a lot of screen time.

Either way, season three of Orphan Black promises to expand the clones’ world and heighten the danger they can’t seem to shake.

It’s been 10 months since season two ended, so if you need a refresher — or if you’re among the uninitiated who’s never watched the show — check out BBC America’s four-minute recap of the first two seasons here: bbcamerica.com/orphan-black/videos/orphan-black-a-four-minute-recap/.

Programming Note:

Orphan Black season 3 premieres Saturday at 8:00 p.m CT on BBC America.

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