99 Words About … The multiple joys of BBC America’s ‘Orphan Black’

It may feature TV’s widest quality gap between performance and series.

At least until Ian McKellen joins the cast of “2 Broke Girls.”

As a series, “Orphan Black” (9 p.m. Saturday, BBC America) is just OK. But what Tatiana Maslany does on it is nothing short of stunning.

She portrays a series of clones — con artist, soccer mom, grungy microbiologist, corporate henchwoman, feral assassin — at the heart of a conspiracy involving science and “Neolutionists.”

Sure, FX’s “The Americans” plays around with accents and wigs.

But Maslany brings so much nuance to each clone, she feels like five different actresses.


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