I completely love this show! I binge-watched the first two seasons in a few days just before Season 3 started.
One of the greatest things about Orphan Black (BBC America) is the amazing ability of lead actress Tatiana Maslany to play multiple roles. First introduced to us as Sarah Manning, she has also played a number of clones—or “sestras,” as Helena calls her sister clones. Just how many has she played? Well, take a look:
Sarah Manning: For the first two seasons, Sarah was the main protagonist of the show. With the third season, some of the focus has moved to some of the other clones. The character development has never stalled on the main foursome of Sarah, Cosima, Alison, and Helena. Still, it almost always comes back to Sarah, her daughter Kira, and her foster brother and best friend Felix.
Elizabeth “Beth” Childs: She started it all, kinda. When Sarah witnessed Beth kill herself at the train station, she decided to steal her identity, leading to Sarah’s discovery of the other clones. Beth was a police detective, which also introduced Sarah to Detective Art Bell, who assists the “sestras” occasionally after learning their secret.
Katja Obinger: We don’t know much about the German Katja. She was the first clone to contact Sarah, thinking she was Beth. Before she had the opportunity to reveal much, Helena shot and killed her. When the police found her body, Sarah used Beth’s position to cover up the fact that this body had the same fingerprints as the dead Sarah (actually Beth).
Helena: Possibly my favorite clone, Helena was raised to be a killer by a cult in Russia, I think. Her background is still a little foggy to me. One thing that is not foggy, however, is that she is a true bad-ass. She is also bat-$h** crazy. She used to talk to a talking scorpion, but then she ate him. Helena can be stone-cold, but she also has a softer side. She has grown to love her “sestras,” especially Sarah, and protects them at all costs. Not a bad person to have on your side, especially if you are facing off against a group of paramilitary clones or trying to escape a prison.
Alison Hendrix: High-strung housewife Alison proves herself to be one of the most dangerous of the clones, next to Helena. When she suspects her high-school sweetheart husband Donnie to be her handler, she ties him up in the garage and tortures him. She and Donnie are now drug dealers, selling out of the soap shop she strong-armed out of her mother’s hands. They have killed a few people. And Alison just won a city election.
Cosima Niehaus: Cosima might be a bit hippyish, but I still kind of have a crush on her. Unfortunately, as a lesbian, she is definitively not interested. No matter, she is still the coolest of the clones by a long shot: a genetic scientist of some sort who has dreadlocks and plays role playing games. Unfortunately she has also come down with the debilitating illness that may affect all of the clones. If anyone can find a cure, my bet is on Cosima.
Jennifer Fitzsimmons: We don’t see very much of Jennifer. Possibly slightly more than Katja, but that’s it. What we do know about her is that she also contracted the debilitating clone disease, and it killed her.
Tony Sawicki: Tony literally showed up on Felix’s doorstep one day in the second season. The transgender clone was definitely an unexpected twist. He was into drinking and drugs, as shown when he got drunk and aggressively harassed Fe. The fact that this person looked like a male version of Fe’s beloved “sister” appeared to cause Fe some emotional confusion. At the end of the episode, Tony left and has not returned. I am not sure what his fate will hold.
Rachel Duncan: Unlike the other clones, Rachel is directly aware of being a clone. She was raised by Neolution and works for the Dyad Institute. In her role at Dyad she has been a major antagonist for the other “sestras,” though they pretty much won that battle by taking her eye. At the end of Season 3, though, Rachel has a new eye and will apparently be the “new mommy” for a young clone. We’ll see how this turns out in Season 4.
Krystal Goderitch: So far Krystal has been nothing more than a pawn used by both sides. Castor clones tried to kidnap her before the Season 3 premiere, killing her boyfriend/monitor. Later in the season, Felix attempted to steal her identity so that Rachel could sneak out of the country, but he did not go through with the plan. She was later kidnapped and placed into a medically induced coma so that Rachel could escape. She will likely play a larger role in Season 4, when it is inevitable that she will learn of her special origins.
There were a couple of other clones that were only seen in photos, so I won’t mention them. You can find more information on the Orphan Black Wiki.