Orphan Black was one of my favourite shows on television. Running from 2013-2017 it was a Canadian show about a young woman named Sarah Manning who discovers she is one of over two hundred clones. The show follows Sarah learning and meeting the other clones (later referred to as sisters) as she and her sisters investigate the scientists and organization that created them and fight for their autonomy.
I loved the show now only for its Canadian background but that it featured strong and complex female characters and that for a show so involved in scientific experimentation and theory that it never went over the audiences heads. I may not have always been able to understand every science term Cosima spouted out in her lab, but I got the jist of it because the Orphan Black creators made sure to make a show that would interest audiences in both plot and science.
Luckily once the show ended we were gifted with this book by science ladies Casey Griffin and Nina Nesseth. Like with the show, Griffin and Nesseth explain science used in the show (The Science of Orphan Black if you will, HA!) who go into the biology, chemistry, and other fun science stuff in a way that’s easy to understand. Griffin and Nesseth talk about how most of the science in Orphan Black is very real (though slightly more advanced in terms of when people in the show discovered these things versus our own timeline) and how the science used in the show has been used in our world and in some cases how it affects our biology. Liking science in high school but not being a wiz at it, The Science of Orphan Black was a nice review of certain science lessons and a great way back into it with a show I really love.
For anyone who liked science class in high school but has been hesitant to read a science related book in case they might not understand, then this book is for you. Griffin and Nesseth make an enjoyable and accessible book that’s a perfect companion to the show, and while you’re at it go watch Orphan Black. What are you waiting for?!
Publication: June 13th 2017
Publisher: ECW Press
Pages: 303 pages
Source: Christmas Gift (Thanks Meaghan!)
Genre: Non-fiction, Science, Canadian
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤⛤
An official guide to the crazy science of Orphan Black
Delve deeper into the scientific terms and theories at the core of the Peabody-winning, cult favourite show. With exclusive insights from the show’s co-creator Graeme Manson and science consultant Cosima Herter, The Science of Orphan Blacktakes you behind the closed doors of the Dyad Institute and inside Neolution. Authors Casey Griffin and Nina Nesseth decode the mysteries of Orphan Black — from the history of cloning, epigenetics, synthetic biology, chimerism, the real diseases on which the clone disease is based, and the transhumanist philosophies of Neolution, to what exactly happens when a projectile pencil is shot through a person’s eye and into their brain.