Orphan Black and Radicalizing White Femininity for the Revolution

Katharine Schaab, Kennesaw State University


The television series Orphan Black (2013-2017) premiered in Canada and the United States in March 2013 (airing on Space and BBC America, respectively). Written and developed by Graeme Manson and John Fawcett, the series features Tatiana Maslany playing several characters who learn they are clones and wage war against corporate entities that patented their DNA. Focusing on human genetic identicals (or clones), Orphan Black resides soundly in the science fiction genre. However, like most compelling fiction, the familiar pervades the series, as the women find their fight for bodily autonomy complicated by economic disparities, police corruption, and corporate rights superseding human rights.