For this month, I thought I’d tackle a particular show which has its own fandom (something I hope to continue to do throughout the course of this column). When I was going through possible choices, I had a few criteria: it had to be a fandom I was already part of, I wanted a somewhat newer show (later, I plan to devote columns to long running fandoms, such as Supernatural, Buffy, etc.), and I wanted it to be somewhat timely. So, I struck on one of my current favorite shows, which recently saw the premiere of its third season: Orphan Black. I’m trying to have as few spoilers as possible, but if you want to watch the show with absolutely NO foreknowledge you may want to skip this column and come back after watching (which I suggest you do immediately!).
Orphan Black runs on BBC America and premiered in 2013. It was created by Graeme Manson and John Fawcett and stars the incredible (really, like mind-bendingly incredible) Tatiana Maslany. And why, you may ask, is Maslany just so incredible?
The answer to that lies in the premise of the show: Sarah Manning discovers one day that she is part of Project Leda. The project: clones. Maslany not only plays Manning, but also plays all of her sestras (clones). These include suburban soccer mom Alison, brilliant scientist Cosima, violent and unhinged Helena, and more. Maslany brings such personality to each role that it’s extremely easy to forget, while watching, that the characters are played by the same woman. These are some of the best, most diverse, and most nuanced female roles on television.
Maslany, it must be mentioned, is also surrounded by a whole slew of incredible actors: from Jordan Gavaris to Evelyne Brochu. To top that off, the show features incredible writing, humor, and some of the smartest sci-fi currently around. So, it’s no wonder that a fandom quickly sprang up around the show.
The Orphan Black fandom, called Clone Club (the name given to the clones on the show by Cosima), includes fan fiction, ‘ships (Cosphine forever, obviously), and, of course, endless speculation on what exactly is going on with Project Leda. And just like any other show with a fandom out there, many discussions surround which clone is your favorite clone. I find myself flipping back and forth quite often. Every clone is my favorite clone (this might be a me problem, I also have never been able to pick a favorite between Winchester brothers), though that might again be testament to how fully these characters have been written and how totally Maslany inhabits each one.
So, dear readers, who is your favorite clone? Do you write any OB fan fiction? Have a favorite ship? Or is there another fandom you’d like to see explored? Let us know @lunaquarterly or @pintsncupcakes. Until next month: Keep fannin’ on!