Rarely am I intrigued by television, as I prefer the interactive environment of a computer. Perhaps it was fate that I would find Orphan Black, a show my television soulmate (Jack) follows. After I watched the first episode, I was pulled by the mystery of Beth Childs and watched one episode after the other. Though the story is somewhat unique, it is the cinematography and Tatiana Maslany’s acting that truly bring the show together.
Spoilers to come for Orphan Black virgins.In case you, my reader, do not know what the show regards, it is clones. As far as I know, there is only one Tatiana Maslany, and she plays almost all of the multiple Project Leda clones. Though it is easy to tell each clone looks the same, the personality and mannerisms implicated by Maslany clearly differentiate one clone from another. Sarah, Cosima, Allison, Helena, and Rachel comprise the five main clones. Each character has a certain gait, voice (including accent and pitch), and style. Sometimes, one clone impersonates the other, and the execution is perfect. During times where Sarah impersonates Cosima, Allison impersonates Sarah, and Sarah impersonates Rachel, it is apparent who is playing who. It is not that the clones’ acting is bad, it is that the audience has gotten to know each clone’s personality and can identify the little quirks that give away the true identity of the clone.
To put it in simpler terms, Allison’s initial high pitched voice mixed with an off-Sarah accent showed who acted as Sarah. Sarah, conquering Rachel’s signature chin-up posture and accent, tried to mimic Rachel’s gait, although her true movement was noticeable. Other acting capabilities vary between each clone. Rachel impersonated Sarah, which fooled everyone, including the audience. This was probably because Rachel has a higher level of education and is particular about every detail in her life. On the other hand, Helena acts as Beth (who was actually played by Sarah at this point), but she fails to walk, talk, or dress like Beth. In fact, Helena’s presence seemed odd to Raj, the police department’s IT. However, she fooled Beth’s coworkers. Helena herself has a weak gait, possibly due to abuse from a young age. She does not change her accent, nor does she seem to impersonate anyone’s knowledge.