“Orphan Black” started out when a gal with a drug debt, desperately in need of cash, stole a look-alike suicide’s ID. That’s when this dramatic thriller, broadcast in the U.S. through BBCAmerica, changed its identity. Make that identities. And after the program’s Season 1 finale, the audience learned the full ramifications of that theft.
As “Orphan Black” revealed its layers, it became clear why Beth, the suicide-victim cop and hard-scrabble ID thief Sarah Manning looked so much alike. They were clones. Sarah and all the series’ doppelgangers are portrayed – in their genetically identical glory but replete with full-blown idiosyncrasies and hair modifications – by Tatiana Maslany.
A show is only as good as the depths of its archetypes and, in this department, “Orphan Black” spilled over with riches. The finale brought us to the Mother – the Proclone – who, not surprisingly, was Vogue’s genetic model for the progeny, including pre-Raphaelite-looking nutso Helena, resourceful soccer mom Alison, and brainiac DIY scientist Cosima.
The introduction of the physical Lunar Proclone now sets up a life-and-death duel between the progenitor and real-life mother Sarah who has birthed daughter Kira, a youngster with her own set of supernatural talents. The archetypal Mother also loomed large in other ways. Poor Helena had been brainwashed by Holy Mother Church into thinking she was the original clone. Sarah has a foster mother (Maria Doyle Kennedy) and a birth mother, both of whom were caught in the scientific experiment; Alison is a mother to two adopted kids; and Helena heartbreakingly yearned for what Kira represents. Like the Alien movies, “Orphan Black” is emphatically about motherhood.
The lack of feeling nature in the human but robotic Proclone similarly ties in with the series’ underlying Uranian themes of technology, especially programmed research that includes artificial intelligence. However, Cosima’s discovery that the gals are results of scientific experiments and, therefore, are nothing more than patented property, denies the freedom perennially linked with Uranus. Neptunian illusion and deceit, as well as Plutonian control and dominance are also critical parts of “Orphan Black”’s dramatic package.
The Aquarius-Leo contrast – technology being redeemed, balanced and even liberated by the Divine Child, in this case, Kira – will undoubtedly reveal itself in Season 2. Stay tuned.
Astrology Television Rating: ☽♅♆♇ (Moon, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto)