• Network: BBC America
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 30, 2013
  • Season #: 1 , 2
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 297 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 297

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  1. Mar 31, 2013
    Tatiana Maslany dazzles. Good mix of suspense, humor, and heart. Definitely going to stick with it as I'm curious how much will be character vs conspiracy. Was impressed and entertained.
  2. Apr 2, 2013
    Pilot was FIERCE. I really enjoy the filmography and the acting thus far. And the storyline is awesome so far. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Fantastic.
  3. Apr 21, 2013
    I reviewed this after the pilot and gave it an 8, the show is good, they have built on the premise and Tatiana Maslany is doing a great job for such a strange character. I raised my rating to 9. I'm actually looking for this actress in some other stuff now.

    This idea was a windfall for the writers, they have so much to work with.
  4. Apr 1, 2013
    So far we have just the pilot to judge from but I found it to be very entertaining. Unique story. Suspenseful, sexy, and comical. What more could you ask for. Can't wait to see where this series goes. Very promising!
  5. Apr 6, 2013
    After watching a couple of episodes, I really like this show. It's a "supernatural" thriller, but not a "horror" show. The plot twists are intriguing, and the acting is uniformly excellent.
  6. Apr 14, 2013
    This is a great new show. I didn't know what to expect and I love it!! Great plot and acting and very suspenseful. A must-see. After seeing all 3 episodes, everything is making sense and I can't wait to see what is next!
  7. Jun 9, 2013
    Fast-paced & unflinching, it rarely misses a mark. With so much that impresses, it’s Maslany’s multi-character performances that truly shine DE
  8. Dec 15, 2013
    So dumbed down, my 5 year old could watch it! Tatiana Maslany's accent coach should be summarily sacked. Yes, there is a World of difference (literally) between a 'working-class' London accent and an Australian one (which she flips in and out of randomly, with some added Welsh for kicks no-doubt). The German accent is even worse, is that Swedish? Her 'clone' sisters have all the personalities of a dried 1D cornflake, with the worst kind of stereotypes on display. Yes the characters are different, but in the most banal-cookie-cutout of ways. The biggest problem here is that Maslany is way-way out of her depth. It needed someone much older, that could play younger.

    If we really are going to a remake a pseudo 'The Boys From Brazil' with a dab of 'X-Files' then at least do with some sort of integrity and focus please! X-Files has separate sub-genres for a reason. In fact, if you get Chris Carter to write/produce and then Claire Danes to star, you'd be onto a winner......a Geek can dream.

    The first series veers, sometimes unintentionally, between 'farcical' and 'ridiculous'. The humour doesn't help at all in fact only seeks to cover up the dramatic deficits.

    The series doesn't have any strong Creative Direction. This is probably symptomatic of uninspired & 'democratic' producing. Normally most 'good' series have a through-line with a about four main alternate Directors for the first season, this has six, and a couple of lead writers with varying staff writers (this has seven lead writers). This would explain why the writing is generally mediocre to substandard, but there are strong hints that it's being pulled in many different directions at once. In essence that's the problem. Too many Chef's and not enough Cooks.

    There is a 'seed' of a good idea here, but it's stamped on (many times over) turned to mush & then recycled. Frankly I am shocked that the BBC had anything to do with this mediocrity (when compared to the likes of previous fare ie: Rome or even Copper, to name but a few)

    To summarise: If you like drip-feed, insipid, undemanding 'entertainment' (and I use that work lightly) then this is your bag. If you want to use any of your mental apparatus, have seen X-Files and in fact watched any intelligent Thrillers or Sci-fi in your lifetime, then forget-about-it.
  9. Apr 28, 2013
    i usually wait a while before i write an opinion of a new show but i'm afraid my head is gonna' spin off sometime during the next episode and you will all miss my bits of wisdom. i don't care about plot holes. i don't care about accent mistakes. when i find that i have to tell myself to breath or when i scream at the tv for taking a commercial break, it's a keeper.
  10. May 20, 2013
    There isn't bad language, no T&A, no lurid sex, it's just high voltage, very hip and modern television. It also has great music and mind-twisting story lines mixed with witty dialog. I recall ever being as captivated by a television program as Orphan Black just one time Each has very unique mannerisms, vocabularies, accents, confidence levels, etc. The personalities among the clones are vast, from the orphaned Brit Sarah, to the psycho-killer Helena. Other clones include: the repressed suburbanite Allison; the dread-locked PhD student Cosima, the drab cop Beth and still others. For a young actress (28), Ms. Maslany ranks in my estimation with acting greats such as Helen Mirren and other classically trained actors with extensive, big theater experience. It is noteworthy how the egos of the clones have been shaped by nurture (or lack thereof) more predominantly than by nature.
    So Well worth a view!
  11. Jul 6, 2013
    The only way to watch this series is to keep in your mind that it is a kind of British farce comedy. The writers are all over the place, swerving from disaster to mayhem to stupidity to comedy and back. The two leads are fine, especially Tatiana Maslany who has real dramatic and comedic talents. Direction and production are adequate, but the arrogance of the writers insults the intelligence of viewers. Crap, really. Expand
  12. Jun 6, 2013
    This show is so amazing and addictive! I haven't seen anything like this for a very long time. Main characters are great, story is great and everything is great. I'm looking forward to the second season! Great recommendation for Orphan Black!
  13. Jun 3, 2013
    My wife and I are so impressed by Tatiana Maslany. The pacing of the show has been great, the focus has stayed on the characters, and I'm looking forward to next season! (So far away... Spring 2014)
  14. Jun 6, 2013
    Orphan Black has been a great watching experience. I watched the entire first season just in 3 days. I want to praise, of course, Tatiana Maslany performance. She has done an amazing job playing all those different characters; I'm really amazed. To sum up: Orphan Black is a must see tv show!
  15. May 5, 2013
    The premise is ok, but the show suffers from BBC political correctness and cheesy unrealistic characters, making the show feel like it was written for children (a bit like Dr Who). Unfortunately the plot is extremely far fetched. The lead is about average but the two lead men are one dimensional and totally unconvincing.

    All in all, Orphan Black is a disappointing waste of potential,
    but just watchable enough to pass the time if you've run out of episodes of something good. Expand
  16. May 22, 2013
    Orphan black is a show where characters constantly break character and say lot of things like: “Were you followed?” “Do you have any idea who these people are?” “You have no idea what is really going on, do you?” “I don’t want to be a part of this” This is to create tension and suspense, how sinister…how very sinister indeed. Writing in poor, characters are given motivations which are convoluted. I mean if you found out that there are half a dozen individuals in the world who are your exact replica, the normal human response would be to find out what the hell is going on, that ought to be motivation enough, not in this show. There are smart Directors and then there are Bad Directors, smart ones know what to let the Audience see and the parts that you can and must skip over. For instance, let’s say that somebody is shot in a car, now unless you are really anal about such things you might not wonder too much about what happened to all the blood (when you see the Heroin drive the same car later). An intelligent Director would know how not to let that thought enter the head of a viewer. Here’s what a Dumb Director would do, he’ll show the Heroin break into a car wash in the middle of the night, use all the equipment, get the car waxed and expect the viewer not to bat an eyelid. Care to venture a guess what kind of a Director made Orphan Black?
    Oh Yes, the acting is bad too.
    Having said all that, if you are fan of shows like Fringe, Alias & Other shows on the lines of what J.J Abrams does I hate them, barring early Seasons of Lost you are going to like Orphan Black.
  17. Apr 28, 2013
    Brilliant acting. Truly remarkable. Tatiana Maslany is beguiling & so natural in her many characterizations, that I completely forget that I am only watching one actress. I've seen actors attempt this before & it never works. She has perfected the style, making one overlook the impossibilities of a clone pretending to be another person & fooling those close to them. The show is thrilling, suspenseful, exciting, & addictive. And I am easily bored, but not watching Orphan Black. Not yet, anyway. Excellent writing, great characters. Keep up the good work. I'm hooked! Expand
  18. Jun 5, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It's nothing special, but it isn't a bad show. After watching the first season, I feel confidant in the future of this show. I'll admit the writing could be better, and that's really what keeps it from getting a higher score. The acting was great, especially from Maslany. The actors all brought their characters to life, and it did wonders to help some of the weaknesses in the writing. And I'm not saying the writing was awful, it just wasn't as good as I felt it could have been (i.e. all of the clones have identical fingerprints, when that wouldn't be the case, and I'm still not sure exactly why Leekie killed Olivier). It's a show that I would recommend to someone who wants to check out a solid sci-fi series. It's a flawed show for sure, but I like it. Expand
  19. Jun 14, 2013
    Tatiana Maslany is unreal. The show starts off slow, but, by the third episode you will be hooked. This is one of the best shows i have ever seen. I cannot wait for next season. Maslany should be a lock for the Emmy.
  20. Jun 16, 2013
    The last show that came this close to week to week quality was The Sopranos. Orphan Black is by far the most creative program of this decade. Without having to be overly abrasive, overtly sexual, or stuck in a type-cast predictable performance... Tatiana Maslany proves beyond any doubt that she will be an actress worth seeing in any ROLE, at where at anytime, because...she's playing them right now!

    BBC America/ Space TV were exactly the right place for this program to launch. It's cutting edge goes to prove that 50 somethings like me can find "High Quality Entertainment" that leaves in a cloud of dust of the RETREAD crap that the majors are tossing out to us in the Repackaged mold of "New"...

    Thank you for everyone behind the scenes and in front of the camera at this AWESOME show...the twists and turns, plot complications are exactly what we were not thinking (Garbage Disposal Death...yeah I could see that in Season 2 of the Sopranos, but not in Orphan Black, but that is how great it is!)...

    I am looking forward to next year and beyond.
  21. Jun 22, 2013
    Most sci-fi writers seem to view their material as existing on some plane that doesn't appear in the viewer's reality. That is why so much of sci-fi is dismissed by the masses. They can't identify with it. That is why I was very pleasantly surprised to see the ORPHAN BLACK writers focus more on elements that ground the characters in reality as opposed to hitting us over the head with the weirder stuff.

    Sure, there is weird stuff in this show. Hell, there is some really weird stuff in this show. But because we actually care about the characters and because every performance is so solid, we believe in the world even when things get goofy. Great story telling makes suspension of disbelief easier. Great performances along with great story telling make all problem areas disappear. You are just along for the ride and willing to go wherever the writers steer the show.

    And then, obviously, there is Tatiana Maslany. If nothing anyone has said about the fantastic story telling moves you to check this show out, do it for the love of talent. She has so much of it.
  22. May 29, 2014
    This is a seriously good show. Superb acting, story, and pacing. Give it a chance as it starts off slow. Once you get into the meat of it though, you will be on the edge of your seat trying to prepare yourself for the next wild plot twist. And it will keep wanting more.
  23. Jun 10, 2014
    I've discovered this series last year, and i'm not disappointed!
    Tatiana Maslany is incredible, and plays the part of the different clones very well. I also like her brother in the series Jordan Gavaris even if there are too much gay stereotypes...
    It's interesting to see how relationships evolve over time between the sisters.
    I always try to guess what is going to happen but it's
    sometimes twisting!
    I look forward to see the next episode!
  24. BKM
    Aug 19, 2013
    I can't figure out if Orphan Black is science-fiction, satire, thriller, drama, comedy or some bizarre gumbo of all the aforementioned genres. Here's what I do know: Orphan Black is a lightning paced series that barely gives you time to think about how ridiculous the whole thing is. It may not be built for the long haul, but for the time being it's a blast.
  25. Jun 4, 2013
    This review will be short, because there's not much that needs to be said. This show speaks for itself. The brilliant writing, the balance of sci-fi and realism, the wonderful direction, and most of all, Tatiana Maslany's almost unbelievable septuple-role acting...nothing on TV now compares. There's a balance between "that's impossible!" and "that's exactly what would happen!" that lets even the most staunch critic suspend disbelief. There's an investment in the characters that makes us relate to every one of them (even the psychotic, homicidal ones), and even though we know it's Tatiana in all 7 of those title roles, when watching that becomes incredibly easy to forget. If Orphan Black doesn't win an award during its lifetime, then the television industry will surely be overlooking a gem. I am, and will forever be, proud to call myself a member of the Clone Club. Expand
  26. Oct 20, 2013
    The stellar performance from Tatiana Maslany and its cast, brilliant writing and perfect balance of comedy, sci-fi and drama makes Orphan Black an underrated, yet one of the best new shows of 2013 that has been overlooked by the suits of the Emmys.
  27. May 28, 2014
    Seriously, one of the best shows on TV in the last 10 years. Tatanya Maslany is an absolutely incredible actress who plays so many different roles masterfully. Plot is well constructed and interesting, it moves at a good pace that keeps the story progressing without losing the viewer. It's intelligent, but not overly complex and best of all it's a unique concept which is very rare these days. I cannot recommend this show highly enough. Expand
  28. Sep 20, 2013
    Incredible. Tatiana Maslany might just be the new Meryl Streep. Playing all the different characters and giving them their own each individual identity takes talent which Maslany obviously has in plentiful. The writing delivers on the premise/concept and the first season was an absolute pleasure to watch.
  29. Apr 18, 2014
    Cheap, derivative, generic show. Massively overrated, overhyped.
    or maybe it's just me growing too used to shows like Breaking Bad, LOTR, OZ, Deadwood, Sopranos
  30. Apr 19, 2014
    A British Punk Rocker, a Suburban house mom, a Scientist, a self mutilated murderer and other characters played by one woman, the amazing Tatiana Maslany. For a science fiction series this show is excellent and very entertaining, what I enjoy most about the show is Tatiana and all the cloned characters she plays, it blows my mind how talented she is. I am looking forward to season 2 which is starting tonight and cant wait to see what the writers have in store for Orphan Black. I have to rate this show at a nine because of all the amazing characters Tatiana plays. If you have not watched this show you're definitely missing out, watch at least one episode and I guarantee it will leave you wanting more. Expand
  31. Jul 15, 2013
    I didn't know anything about the show when I first started watching it. I had seen a lot about it online but, I was completely in dark. I usually don't like 10 episode shows. I feel they are too short and they don't allow audiences to fully connect with the characters, but, needless to say this is not one of them. The show is gripping, and very interesting. It is very smart and well thought out.
    Tatiana Maslany who is the main actress plays multiple roles is the show, and does a fantastic job. As an audience you never doubt her performance and the uniqueness she brings to each character.
    If you have not seen the show just do it. You won't regret it.
  32. Jul 21, 2013
    This is a phenomenal show. It has a fascinating sci fi premise about clones, secret organizations, and so on and so forth, and the acting and writing is really good. I can't praise Tatiana Maslany enough as all the characters she plays. I have three episodes left to watch in the first season, and I am already pumped for the next season.
  33. Aug 3, 2013
    Simply brilliant! Performances and writing. Loving this so much, can't wait for season 2!! The production where 3 clones can interact, plus the performance of Maslany allow us to forget it's just one person.. Definitely worth a look.
  34. Sep 12, 2013
    A MUST-WATCH The first scene is shocking, the pilot is intriguing, and the whole series is just awesome From action to comedy to Sci-Fi. There isn't an episode that won't keep you on the edge.. I can't believe I have to wait until next spring to see how the whole thing is gonna go. One last thing, Tatiana Maslany is just one hell of an actress.
  35. Nov 19, 2013
    A refreshing Sci-Fi Drama and the actress has done an impeccable job in playing numerous characters perfectly, at no point would you feel it's the same person
  36. Nov 2, 2013
    This show is as if Abrams, and Shawn Ryan were put in a room and forced to come up with the next great television show. It is amazing to behold from the beginning. Characters that rope you in, mystery that keeps you guessing and tension that never lets up make this a must watch.
  37. Jan 23, 2014
    Tatiana Maslany makes it look incredibly easy to play 3-8 clones every episode. There are always many situations to develop (good for the writers), plus the supporting cast and the production team in general do a quite great job.
  38. Mar 9, 2014
    I would call this quintessential cyberpunk. From the syncopated white noise to the isolation of modernity. Even if there was never another episode the first season ranks to me as a visual achievement that rivals literature.
  39. Mar 20, 2014
    One of the best entertaining shows of 2013. First of all let's just say that Tatiana Maslany delivered the best acting performance of the year. She didn't play one, two or three, she played like six different characters in this show and what's remarkable about it is that she managed to portray them in a unique way. By the time you're done with one episode you want to see the next one right away. This shows that the series is well written. Also, Jordan Gavaris (Felix) and Maria Doyle Kennedy (Mrs. S.) deliver very good acting performances. Yes, it is a sci-fi show, but a drama in its core and that perfect combination is what makes this show really good. Expand
  40. Jul 7, 2014
    Interesting take on an old theme with a fresh approach. Well written sci-fi drama with numerous clever less predictable subplots common in the Genre.Explores,female empowerment and corporate military conspiracies of ethical genetics. Meaty characters, great acting, well shot and constructed.. Impressive, clever and entertaining .
  41. May 8, 2013
    Waste of time, excluding that your a young girl CHAV Maybe then you might enjoy this chic flic and resolve those issues by the end of this series. Bleh, government conspiracy through cloning, so the idenity of some wannabe criminal dealer mother can get her rocks off. Badly acted, produced you would have expected this to be anywhere else but the BBC. Burrowing heavily on idea's from other good TV resulting in this preteen'der series. I won't be continuing this from the pilot it has no interest. Expand
  42. chr
    Aug 26, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Tried to bing this show, because of the lack of alternatives (lying now for a week in bed) and also because it was highly recommended.

    First of all why is the show trying to pretend that all of this is happening in the US? When obviously EVERY thing around cries UK and almost every actor is speaking with a British accent?

    Second: Why are there so many story gaps and errors? For instance in Ep4 S01 Sarah is forced to stay at the station because... the writer said so and she convinces Alison to go to a extremely important meeting with her daughter Kiera - right? Then five minutes later, she left the station and went to meet with a psycho... and she apparently has time for that? What?

    OK I could imagine that the target group (I guess teenager euro-boys) would omit those facts and watch it just for entertainments sake. I would too when Mrs. Maslany could ever pull a believable performance, the writers would write actual good dialogue and not 'lines for actors to speak', which by the way are so obvious.... well then and only then I could imagine to watch it as a guilty pleasure. But like it is now? Oh no..... no chance! I rather watch The Room for the rest of my life.

    Ah well I went just a little to far. Sorry.

    It's just a mediocre show for someone who never saw The Wire or even Sherlock (the first one plays in the actual US and the second one is not ashamed of being shot in the UK) and is not used to quality. And I do accept that. BUT please do someone, something about this fan boy ratings around the net. I can not believe that THIS is my first review on MetaCritic.
  43. Sep 15, 2014
    Best show I've seen in a long time. It takes a couple of episodes to get going, but the payoff is enormous. the themes are broad and controversial. We as a society have no idea what is happening in the background of our lives. This is a taste.
  44. Oct 3, 2014
    The main actress is truly amazing! I love watching her perform. I am looking forward to Season 3 and hoping it doesn't disappoint. 8/10

    Cosima...I love you! =]
  45. Nov 4, 2014
    Orphan Black continues to offer some great science fiction plots while mixing in comedy, romance, and an amazing multi role performance from Tatiana Maslany.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    May 15, 2013
    Slowly, a smartly constructed epic is taking shape.
  2. 80
    [A] gritty, visceral, and emotionally engaging thriller.
  3. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Apr 1, 2013
    As Sarah makes one shocking discovery after another, Orphan Black weaves an increasingly intricate, suspenseful tale.