Creating the Clone Club: Beth, M.K. AND Tony

“I remember thinking, [the clones] are so different, we probably could have gotten away with different actors who look similar.” He shook his head and added, “I couldn’t see, at all, the same person.” – David Frazee, New York Times “The Many Faces of Tatiana Maslany” by Lili Loofbourow

One of Orphan Black’s strengths is Tatiana Maslany’s ability to transform herself into every clone and make them individuals. While these three clones only get a small amount of screen time they show off that ability.

We meet Beth Childs in the first episode; however, it is at the end of her story that we see, and don’t get to know her till season four. A detective and original member of the clone club Beth is responsible for bringing together much of the clone club, including Cosima and Alison. She also starts their investigation into Dyad leading to the rapid deterioration of mental health as she realizes what they’re forcibly part of becomes too much for her. She wears little to no makeup with messily arranged hair, and her business casual wardrobe is the epitome of practicality that reflects her role as a detective. Because of this practicality, she can hide the fact that she’s spiraling out of control to most of the people around her with only a slightly unkempt air and arrangement of her appearance reflecting that fact until it’s too late.

Beth Childs as M.K. BBC America: Orphan Black Season 4 Episode 1. Photo: BBC America
Beth Childs as M.K. BBC America: Orphan Black Season 4 Episode 1. Photo: BBC America
Beth Childs as M.K. BBC America: Orphan Black Season 4 Episode 2. Photo: BBC America

A loner and hacker, M.K. is on the run from Dyad after they murder all the other clones in her home country. She wears multiple layers covering up as much of her body as possible, an outward symbol of the fears and anxiety she feels from being in hiding. Another emblem of her fear is the sheep mask she often wears when video chatting with the other clones. A nod to the first cloned mammal Dolly the sheep, the mask also signifies her feelings that Dyad is just another disposable sheep in the flock. She sheds her extra layers when she faces her fear and anxiety and takes on Rachel’s appearance to protect the other clone club members.

Tatiana Maslany as M.K. BBC America: Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 2. Photo: BBC America

Tatiana Maslany as M.K. BBC America: Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 2. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as M.K. BBC America: Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 2. Photo: BBC America

Tony is the first and only transgender clone we get to meet when his friend sends him to find Beth and discover his origins as a clone. Not exactly on the right side of the law at all times, so Tony’s wardrobe of flannel, jeans, and a tank top reflects his need to stay on the move. His look is brought together with hair and makeup designed by makeup artist Stephen Lynch and hairstylist Sandy Sokolowski. Lynch used rabbit hair to create his goatee, and Sokolowski made a wig that went over only the top of Maslany’s hair, creating a mullet. Unfortunately, after finding out he’s a clone, we don’t get to see Tony again, but he opens up the possibilities of who the clones can be.

Tatiana Maslany as Tony Sawicki BBC America: Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 8. Photo: BBC America
Tatiana Maslany as Tony Sawicki BBC America: Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 8. Photo: BBC America

Tatiana Maslany as Tony Sawicki BBC America: Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 8. Photo: BBC America

In my final article we’ll be taking a look at the clones who hold all the hopes and dreams Dyad had for the Lyda Project, twins Sarah Manning and Helena.

Want to know more? Check out my sources.

Miller, Julie. “Here’s How Orphan Black Transforms Tatiana Maslany Into a Cast of Clones.” Vanity Fair, 2015, http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/04/orphan-black-clones.

Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning (right) and Tony Sawicki (left) BBC America: Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 8. Photo: BBC America

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Elizabeth Joy Glass grew up on the east coast in Pennsylvania surrounded by early American history. A childhood full of fantasy, sci-fi and historical media, inspired her to start sewing and cosplaying. After high school, Elizabeth decided to move across the country to study fashion and costume design at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. While in school she worked on several AFI thesis films in the costume department. Elizabeth ultimately graduated with a B.A. in Digital Cinema and decided to pursue a career in video production and screenwriting, but she still holds a love for costume design and its history.

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