A podcast for fans of Orphan Black, the sci-fi thriller sensation that combines crazy science with heartfelt sisterhood. Jean MacDonald, who has obsessively watched and rewatched the series, is joined by Kathy Campbell, who is watching it for the first time. We review and analyze one episode per week, looking at what makes this show so emotionally and intellectually satisfying. Watch (or rewatch!) Orphan Black with us!


“The Stigmata of Progress” (S4E3)

Content warning for maggotbots and other stuff that is icky. Sarah goes further down the rabbit hole, looking for a way to remove the neolution tech from her cheek, when an old adversary shows up at just the right time. Alison, Donnie, and Helena provide the much needed comic relief. How much do jackhammers cost anyway?

Jean MacDonald and Kathy Campbell

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Previous Episodes


“Transgressive Border Crossing” (S4E2)

“A secret lab underneath a comic book store: what more could a girl ask for?” Cosima is ensconced with Scott, doing the crazy science. Something’s bugging Sarah (and it’s grossing us out). At least there’s good news from the obstetrician for Helena, and copious footage of Felix painting wearing only an apron.

Jean MacDonald and Kathy Campbell


“The Collapse of Nature” (S4E1)

It’s the start of Season 4, and wow! One of the best season openers of any show. In a fantastic episode-length flashback to Beth Child’s life in crisis, we learn so much about our favorite characters. It’s the Orphan Black universe before Sarah Manning took that fateful train ride that opened the series, and we enjoyed it so much. (Well, except for the icky bits…)

Jean MacDonald and Kathy Campbell


“History Yet to Be Written” (S3E10)

A wrenching rollercoaster of a season finale. Story arcs are tied up, new stories are being launched. The sestras come together (another clone special effects triumph) in an ending that is emotionally satisfying. Save room for the ethnic cake! We can hardly wait to watch Season 4.

Jean MacDonald and Kathy Campbell


“Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow” (S3E9)

A cryptic clue (“In Londontown, we all fell down”) means a road trip for Mrs. S. and her foster kids. Siobhan the Bomb fronts her old band at the pub, putting on an amazing show. Felix wouldn’t eat jellied eel and Sarah wouldn’t mind her mother. Meanwhile, on the home front, Donnie makes a dad decision and Helena gets refund.

Jean MacDonald and Kathy Campbell


“Ruthless in Purpose, and Insidious in Method” (S3E8)

Like a good spy novel, this episode keeps us guessing right to the end. The much sought-after copy of The Island of Doctor Moreau could fall into the wrong hands; who will end up with it and what will they do with it? Kathy helps Jean figure out some of the nuances of the plot, even though Jean has watched this episode at least five times. That’s what sestras are for.

Jean MacDonald and Kathy Campbell


“Community of Dreadful Fear and Hate” (S3E7)

In an unusual episode where Sarah and Helena are minor characters, it’s time for a crazy romp with Donnie, Alison, Cosima, and Felix as Alison’s school board campaign heats up. The big surprise this week? Donnie speaks Portuguese, but it doesn’t assuage Pouchy the Portuguese drug dealer and his papercutter.

Jean MacDonald and Kathy Campbell


“Certain Agony of the Battlefield” (S3E6)

Kathy is back! We celebrate her return with a kickass episode that features not four, not five, but six clones! Kathy has been Team Paul since the beginning, so we definitely needed her back for this episode. She also needed to be here to comment on the best dancing-on-the-bed-in-underwear sequence on TV.

Jean MacDonald and Kathy Campbell


“Scarred by Many Past Frustrations” (S3E5)

This week, Allison Sheridan (that’s Allison with two Ls) is our guest co-host, while Kathy is on hiatus. Allison introduced Jean to Orphan Black a few years back, using the classic strategy of “Hey, I’ll watch the first episode again with you.”

In this episode, the drama unfolds at Castor Base, where Sarah and Helena are imprisoned in side-by-side cells. There will be blood. Don’t act all surprised by this.

Jean MacDonald and Kathy Campbell with Allison Sheridan


“Newer Elements of Our Defense” (S3E4)

With Kathy on hiatus, we welcome Tim Mitra as guest co-host this week. He is a mobile apps developer and producer of both a tech podcast and a scifi podcast. Of greatest interest to SestraCast? Tim lives in Toronto, practically next door to the Dyad Institute. We talk about the Canadian-ness of Orphan Black and its cast, and how the show was received in Canada. We also try to untangle ever more complicated genetic shenanigans.

Jean MacDonald and Kathy Campbell with Tim Mitra


“Formalized, Complex, and Costly” (S3E3)

Kathy is taking a break, due to being pregnant. (Spoiler alert: she had the baby! Everyone is healthy and happy.) For the next three episodes, Jean has invited some special guests to co-host. Kelly Guimont, podcaster, volunteer, and friend extraordinare fills in, and offers some personal insights on the nature of family ties. (“My family is a PowerPoint presentation, it’s not a tree!”) We also vote for our favorite (and least favorite) mother figure on Orphan Black.

Jean MacDonald and Kathy Campbell with Kelly Guimont

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