Movie Reviews

Orphan Black: Echoes Must Address An 8-Year-Old Character Mystery From The Original Show

Spoilers are ahead for Orphan Black: Echoes season 1, episode 1, “Pilot.”


  • Orphan Black: Echoes
    can explore unresolved mysteries from the original show by focusing on the now-adult Dr. Kira Manning and her unique abilities.
  • Kira’s psychic connection with the Leda clones remains unexplained, though
    Orphan Black
    lightly discusses her apparent healing factor.
  • Orphan Black: Echoes
    has the opportunity to address these mysteries and explore Kira’s involvement in morally ambiguous human experiments.

AMC’s Orphan Black: Echoes needs to address one of the original show’s biggest unresolved mysteries — especially since said character returns for the spinoff. Created by Anna Fishko, Echoes shares the same universe as John Fawcett and Graeme Manson’s Orphan Black, a fan-favorite sci-fi thriller that ran for five seasons. Across its 50 episodes, Orphan Black introduced plenty of mysteries. In fact, the show opens with a chilling setup: Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany) watches as a woman who looks like her twin steps off a train platform. Soon enough, Sarah discovers that she’s one of many genetic identicals.

Sarah and her “sisters” — all 17 Orphan Black clones played by Tatiana Maslany — are part of an illegal human cloning experiment. As a shady force plots to kill them one by one, the corporation and other powers that created the clones grapple for control of their bodies and lives. Orphan Black is a thoughtful meditation on identity, agency, and ethics. Set 37 years after Orphan Black‘s series finale, Orphan Black: Echoes‘ cast of characters navigate similar issues. And the now-adult Dr. Kira Manning (Keeley Hawes) has a particularly fascinating story, which is cast against new scientific advancements.

Kira Manning Had A Psychic Connection With The Leda Clones In Orphan Black

Orphan Black Reveals That Kira Also Has Prophetic Abilities

In the original Orphan Black, it’s revealed that the Leda clones are sterile by design. Sarah, however, has a biological daughter: Kira Manning. The only known biological offspring of a clone, Kira is touted as special. Throughout the show’s five seasons, Dyad vies for control of the Leda clones and Kira, who, as it turns out, is more special than anyone realizes. More than once, Kira displays a kind of psychic connection with her mom and aunts. At times, she’s able to sense the Leda clones presence or what they’re feeling — not unlike twins having a special connection.

Kira’s unique abilities… were either too complicated or confusing to explain…

Sarah recognizes her daughter’s pseudo-psychic ability, dubbing it a kind of sixth sense. When enemies are coming for her in the remote wilds, Kira knows they’re about to arrive. At other times, she can simply feel what the clones are experiencing. Even Kira’s dreams carry a kind of prophetic weight — or at least that’s how Orphan Black framed them before dropping the plot. A show that tries to stick to science, Orphan Black‘s season 5 ending doesn’t delve into Kira’s unique abilities, suggesting that they were either too complicated or confusing to explain, or a bit too supernatural.


Orphan Black: Echoes Episode 1’s Ending Perfectly Pays Homage To The Original

A spinoff-meets-sequel series, Orphan Black: Echoes pays perfect homage to its beloved predecessor in the final moments of its very first episode.

The Show Provides A Scientific Explanation For Kira’s Rapid Healing But Not Her Other Abilities

Orphan Black Teased Kira’s Supernatural Traits In Seasons 4 & 5

Early on, Kira survives being hit by a car. It’s a startling moment that throws Sarah’s world into disarray. However, Kira doesn’t just recover — she bounces back with remarkable speed. While she doesn’t display a Wolverine-level healing factor, it’s clear that something is up with Kira. Eventually, John Mathieson — who assumes the identity of the late Neolution founder P.T. Westmorland — takes a special interest in Kira. Orphan Black notes that LIN28A, a gene that encodes a sometimes-overactive protein involved in stem cell development, relates to Kira’s healing factor (via Orphan Black Wiki).

…there were a lot of other genetic experiments folded into Project Leda.

Since Orphan Black doesn’t delve more deeply into Kira’s other strange abilities, it gives her sixth sense a kind of supernatural bend. Whether that was the intention or not, Orphan Black left the thread dangling, without providing any real resolution. With no science or fantastical explanation, Kira’s psychic abilities become just another unresolved mystery. Clearly, there were a lot of other genetic experiments folded into Project Leda, and Orphan Black didn’t have enough time to give all of its ideas sufficient screentime.


Orphan Black: Echoes Is A Perfect Reminder To Check Out This Underrated Franchise Sequel Series From 3 Years Ago

Orphan Black: Echoes, the sequel to hit series Orphan Black, isn’t the first franchise follow-up — and its a reminder to check out an underrated gem.

Orphan Black: Echoes Must Explore Kira’s Unique Abilities

The Dropped Orphan Black Plot Point Is Too Interesting To Ignore

Orphan Black: Echoes is tackling a brand-new type of morally ambiguous science: the 3D printing of human beings. In the pilot episode, Orphan Black‘s stunning sci-fi spinoff makes it clear that Krysten Ritter’s amnesiac character, Lucy, is a 3D-printed human. The scientist behind the experiment is none other than a grown-up Dr. Kira Manning, who made a name for herself by creating 3D-printed organs suitable for transplant surgery. Kira is clearly crucial to Echoes‘ central mysteries and thematic questions. Needless to say, it would be great for the show to explore Kira’s own unique abilities.


Will Tatiana Maslany Be In The New Orphan Black TV Show?

Will Tatiana Maslany be able to make an appearance in the new Orphan Black sequel show? Here’s how the She-Hulk star could return to her roots.

Dr. Kira Manning’s Prophetic Visions Raise A Problem For Orphan Black: Echoes’ Lucy Plot

Kira Should Know That 3D Printing A Human Won’t Work Out

A kind of sequel-meets-spinoff, Orphan Black: Echoes has the chance to bridge the gap between the franchise’s distinct series thanks to Kira’s involvement. Kira’s decision to 3D print a human being seems surprising given her chaotic upbringing. While dealing with Dyad and their other enemies, the Leda clones and Kira herself were subject to harrowing experiments and surgeries. It seems strange that Kira Manning would want to inflict that kind of pain and trauma on someone else, especially if her sixth sense might have clued her into the research that underpins Orphan Black: Echoes being a bad idea.

New episodes of Orphan Black: Echoes premiere Sundays on AMC through August 25, 2024.

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