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

Universal acclaim- based on 279 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 279

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  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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

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.