The creepy new series from BBC America will have viewers questioning who's who

By Maggie Coughlan
Updated March 23, 2013 04:30 PM

What would you do if you found out there were more versions of you out in the world?

In Orphan Black, Tatiana Maslany plays Sarah, a woman who finds herself in that very situation when she witnesses a suicide and then decides to empty the bank account of the deceased (who happens to look just like her). But that’s when the trouble begins for Sarah, an orphan turned hustler, who discovers that she and the dead woman are actually clones – and there may be more of them.

But before BBC America’s scary new series premieres on March 30 at 9 p.m., has an exclusive look at four of the characters Maslany plays that will have you talking.


is a natural chameleon, a born outsider living on the fringes and surviving by her wits. She began life in an English orphanage and was bounced between foster homes until she landed on the doorstep of Mrs. S, who finally adopted her and her foster brother Felix. At 14, Mrs. S uprooted them under suspicious circumstances and moved them to North America. Sarah steadfastly remained the English punk, a street-smart stray with a reckless streak and a loyal heart. She’s made bad choices in life, but has always done right by her daughter Kira, even if that meant the pain of separation. Now, all Sarah wants is to reunite with Kira and turn over a new leaf … but her encounter with Beth changes everything.


is Sarah’s entry point into the mystery. She is revealed backwards from the moment of her death, as Sarah takes on her identity and reconstructs her last days. By literally becoming Beth, part of Sarah’s journey lies in understanding her, and she comes to deeply respect the valiant, damaged cop she so rashly switched places with.


is an uptight suburban soccer mom with a strained marriage, two adopted children, and a single-minded drive to maintain the status quo. But as a conservative control freak, she is the least prepared to have her self-perception turned inside out. She leans on prescription pills and conspiracy theories, but when she hits rock bottom, Alison forges herself a new path, mining the reserves of strength and bravery that seem genetically hardwired into all the orphans.


is an eccentric, tattooed geek girl with a scientific mind verging on genius. She’s completing her Ph.D in experimental evolutionary biology, and can discuss Darwin, mono-cropping and medical ethics in the same breath. She’s dependable, driven to find answers and, like Sarah, adaptable to extreme circumstances.