We’re in the home stretch! Only two more shows after this. I’m betting 90% of you are watching at least one of my top two shows. For anyone new, here’s my usual lead-in:

From now until mid-June, I’m counting down my ten favorite SF/F TV shows – ranking them from least to most. Least favorite doesn’t mean it’s bad though. If it’s on my list, it means I liked it enough to watch beyond the pilot. My thoughts on each are included and, for once, these are SPOILER FREE posts.

3. Orphan Black [science fiction – human clones] Baaa! That’s the sound of a sheep bleating, btw. I heard that S4 introduced a clone who likes to wear a sheep mask (haha), but I haven’t gotten that far. After practically mainlining the first two seasons one weekend a while back, I had to go cold turkey. It was that addictive. 😀

Tatiana Maslany plays the lead character, Sarah Manning, who isn’t 100% likeable in the beginning. She’s a con artist who snatches a suicide victim’s bag, breaks into her home, and steals her money. She’s got a drug dealer for a boyfriend and a daughter she hasn’t spoken to in months. But she’s oddly, impossibly, ferociously irresistible. Who doesn’t love second chances? So when Sarah says she wants to use the dead woman’s money to get her daughter and start a new life, you can’t help but root for her. You want her to succeed. Does the end justify the means? It’s a question that could just as easily be asked of whoever created Sarah and her sestras.

The same actress who plays Sarah plays at least four other clones who are regular characters, as well as the odd clone here or there who is not a regular. It’s an acting tour de force. Each of the clones are played to such perfection that, most of the time, you forget the same actress is playing them. It’s not just her hair and clothing (because those things can be chalked up to other people), it’s her mannerisms, tone of voice, and personality. Plus, in most of the episodes, the clones are interacting with one another.

Other characters I love are Felix, Sarah’s unshakably loyal brother, and Mrs. S., her tough-as-nails foster mom.

Final neat thing: Each episode in S1 is named after a quote from On the Origin of Species. Later seasons’ episodes were named after quotes by Sir Francis Bacon, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Donna Haraway.

Are you watching Orphan Black? How many seasons in are you?


Published by

Jill Archer

Jill Archer is the author of the Noon Onyx series, genre-bending fantasy novels including DARK LIGHT OF DAY, FIERY EDGE OF STEEL, WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE, and POCKET FULL OF TINDER.


  1. Orphan Black is my absolute favorite show. Maslany deserves all the awards, and then someone needs to create The Tatiana Maslany awards that she hosts and then presents all of the awards to herself.

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