Culture

'Orphan Black' Will Wrap Up After 1 More Season

(Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

Via Variety:

BBC America has renewed “Orphan Black” for Season 5, which will be the final season of the Tatiana Maslany drama.

The last season will consist of 10 episodes, slated to air on BBC America in 2017. The Season 4 finale airs tonight, June 16, at 10 p.m.

“‘Orphan Black’ is a thrilling, genre-bending ride that has captured our fans’ imaginations and hearts like no other show,” said Sarah Barnett, President of BBC America. “Our genius team of actors, writers and producers have, time after time, taken us to a place of awe, delight and utter shock and surprise. Tatiana has been and continues to be a complete revelation, hers is one of the most remarkable performances on television, and she is joined by an extraordinary cast. We can’t wait to take our incredibly passionate audience on one final gobsmacking clone adventure.”

I happened upon this show by accident during its first season and was immediately hooked. Tatiana Maslany has spent the last few years delivering one of the most consistently stunning acting performances ever seen on television. Playing multiple roles as a clone each episode, she completely inhabits each character in a way that makes you forget you’re watching one actress. There are the necessary cosmetic differences to help the audience identify which character is which, but it’s Maslany’s acting that almost makes them unnecessary.

When TV Guide was a bigger thing it used to do an annual “Best Shows You’re Not Watching” edition. “Orphan Black” has probably topped that list for the last few seasons. It does have a devoted cult following, but I don’t know that many people who watch it.

Five seasons is probably a perfect length for this show. The story lines are rather convoluted and each episode teeters on the edge of going completely off the rails. It also has to be a rather exhausting enterprise for Maslany to continue for too long. There are many scenes that have four or five people in them, and three of them are her.

Here’s a good example from the Season 3 finale, where four of the clones are at the dinner table for Thanksgiving:

Maybe the announcement of the final season will be enough to nudge Emmy Awards voters to give Maslany the Best Actress award she’s deserved for the last two years already.