Orphan Black

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Name: Orphan Black
Abbreviation(s): OB
Creator: John Fawcett, Graeme Manson
Date(s): April 2013 - present
Medium: television
Country of Origin: Canada
External Links: Offical BBC America Site, Wikipedia, IMDb]
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Orphan Black is a science fiction television show that is particularly interested in cloning and the moral questions that evokes. It is set in a nameless city in the not so distant future, though one of the main characters studies at the University of Minnesota [1] which really does exist.

The show airs on BBC America during prime time but during the summer, with little sex but a fair amount of violence and swearing in nearly every episode.

Canon Overview

Although the first 35 minutes set up the show as the story about a grifter trying to scam a woman with the help of her foster brother (Felix Dawkins), the reveal of the fact that the main character, Sarah Manning, has several clones becomes a jumping point for the shows deep Sci-Fi themes. The protagonist, Sarah Manning, is forced to cancel her plans to flee her foster mother Mrs S. with her daughter Keira Manning after discovering two clones; soccer-mother Allison Hendrix and biology PhD student Cosima Niehaus. As the characters are forced to navigate the minefield of scientific discovery and experimentation, the show asks crucial questions about their agency and individuality through the 2 seasons. In the second season of the show the main thematic discussion was the conflict between the religious group known as the Proleathans and the scientifically forward-thinking Dyad Institute as headed by Aldous Leekie. Other clones, such as Jennifer Fitzgerald and Tony Sawicki appear here.

Fandom Overview

The fandom is reasonably small and exists mainly in Tumblr, though there is a presence in deviantArt, and forums. Twitter hashtag #cloneclub is also very active.

It was a popular fandom in both the 2013 and 2014 round of Yuletide; in the 2014 round it was one of the 6 fandoms to get more than 20 fics in the main collection[2].

Fans may refer to themselves as "Clone Clubbers", or as being part of the Clone Club. The queer fans of the show also sometimes refer to themselves as Clonesbians (a term supposedly originated at the AfterEllen).

Femslash is the biggest category of fanworks (due to the abundance of female characters), followed by poly, het, and other. In a complete reversal of most common fandom practices, Orphan Black has little to no m/m slash fanworks (and the majority of that concentrates around the character of Felix Dawkins)

The fandom generates fanfic, fanart, and vids.


The most popular pairing on the show is the canon femslash pairing of Cosima Niehaus and Delphine Cormier, given the smushname Cophine or the descriptive nickname Science Girlfriends. The only other canon ship with any weight behind it is Paul Dierden and Sarah Manning, who are romantically involved throughout most of Season 1. Other popular pairings include Alison Hendrix and Beth Childs (Soccercop); the lumberjack Cal Morrison and the protagonist Sarah Manning who are known as Lumberpunk; Sarah Manning and Cosima Niehaus (Punky Monkey) for their candid interactions, specifically in the Season 2 finale. There are also a lot of crackships, famously Propunk which chronicles Sarah Manning's relationship with her "evil" corporate counterpart, Rachel Duncan; Prophine which the relationship between Rachel Duncan and Delphine Cormier and finally Art and Felix Dawkins.

The most widespread slash pairing is Felix Dawson/Tony Sawicki, sometimes called Felony.

Popular OT3s include Sarah/Cosima/Delphine (Sarcophine or Punk Science Girlfriends) and Delphine/Cosima/Tony (Brophine).

Sample or Notable Fanworks





Where to Find the Fandom





  1. Season 1, Episode 2
  2. [1] Posted on December 31 2014. (Accessed 9 March 2015)