|Summary: A streetwise hustler is pulled into a compelling conspiracy after witnessing the suicide of a girl who looks just like her.
Creators: John Fawcett, Graeme Manson
Starring: Tatiana Maslany, Dylan Bruce, Jordan Gavaris, Kevin Hanchard, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Evelyne Brochu, Skyler Wexler, Inga Cadranel, Michael Mando, Kristian Bruun, Matt Frewer
PREMISE – SPOILER WARNING:
The series begins with Sarah Manning, a con artist by trade, witnessing the suicide of a woman, Beth Childs, who appears to be her doppelgänger and, with Sarah, is one of many clones. Sarah takes on Beth’s identity and occupation as a police detective after Beth’s death. During the first season, Sarah discovers that she is a clone, that she has many ‘sister’ clones spread throughout North America and Europe, and that someone is plotting to kill them and her. Alongside her foster brother, Felix Dawkins, and two of her fellow clones, Alison Hendrix and Cosima Niehaus, Sarah discovers the origin of the clones: a scientific movement called Neolution. The movement believes that human beings can use scientific knowledge to direct their evolution as a species. The Neolutionists thus advocate eugenics. The movement has an institutional base within the large, influential, and wealthy biotech corporation, the Dyad Institute. The Dyad Institute conducts basic research, lobbies political institutions, and promotes its eugenics program, aided by the clone Rachel Duncan. But it also seeks to profit from the technology the clones embody. It has thus placed “monitors” into the clones’ personal lives, allegedly to study them scientifically but also to keep them under surveillance. Sarah eventually discovers that she’s also wanted by the police and by a secret religious group, the Proletheans. A faction of the Proletheans carries out the clone assassinations. They use a clone, Helena, to kill the other clones. Yet Sarah and Helena share a surrogate birth mother and are twins both genetically and with respect to their early maternal environment. The Proletheans assassinate clones because they believe them to be abominations. Eventually, the Dyad Institute and the Proletheans discover Kira, Sarah’s daughter. Kira’s importance issues from the fact that she is the only-known biological offspring of a clone, all other clones being presumed sterile because they are childless. The plot lines of the series revolve around Sarah and Kira’s efforts to avoid capture by the clearly sinister Neolutionists and Proletheans as well as around the efforts made by each clone to give sense to her life and origin. The attempt to control the creation of human life provides the key or dominant theme which drives the various story lines. A second key theme forms around the intrigues made by the Dyad Group and the Proletheans along with the earlier intrigues made by the authors of Project Leda (see the Greek myth Leda and the Swan) and Mrs. S., Sarah’s foster mother, and her leftwing political network. Both themes intersect in the effort to control the creation of human life. Sarah, who matures because of her struggles, defends the bond which exists between parent and child against the Neolutionists and Proletheans.