Top 10 Clones And Doppelgangers

Enjoying the second season of Orphan Black ? We all know the show boasts one of television’s most astounding performances, with the chameleonic and multitalented Tatiana Maslany playing more characters than you can count on one hand in the propulsive and captivating drama. Not only that, but they’re all frequently impersonating each other too. The adventures of the Clone Club has got us thinking about memorable clones and doppelgangers in film and TV. Here are some of the best:

The Failed Ripleys ( Alien Resurrection )
Clone or doppelganger?
Clones
Reason for being?
200 years after her death in Alien 3 , Ellen Ripley is cloned in an obviously misguided attempt by United Systems Military to resurrect the Xenomorph. The cloning process and the removal of the Alien queen from her body makes her into an entirely different character, complete with enhanced abilities and a changed personality.
Best moment?
Alien Resurrection is a tonally mismatched film, and just another in a list of movies that try and fail to recapture what makes Alien so unique. There is a truly great and memorable moment within the film though. The scene where Ripley encounters the failed attempts to clone herself is wonderfully disturbing – it’s disgusting, sad, and perfectly on point thematically.

Walter/Walternate ( Fringe )
Clone or doppelganger?
Doppelganger
Reason for being?
On Fringe , a parallel universe exists featuring doppelgangers for most of the show’s central characters. Because Walter kidnapped his son Peter from the version of Walter in the parallel universe back in 1985, the two characters are worlds apart in terms of their personalities.
Best moment?
The clash between Walter and Walternate is one of Fringe ’s defining conflicts, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t any chance for reconciliation. In the 20th episode of Season Four, “Worlds Apart”, the two finally talk to each other as equals before the bridge between universes is closed. It’s an amazing scene that serves as a reminder why John Noble deserves all the awards.

Fauxlivia ( Fringe )
Clone or doppelganger?
Doppelganger
Reason for being?
Same as above. Fauxlivia is Olivia Dunham’s badass redhead doppelganger – she gets some meaty storylines throughout the third and fourth seasons of Fringe , and even shows up for a cool cameo in the series finale, “An Enemy Of Fate”.
Best moment?
What’s most impressive about Fauxlivia (and Anna Torv’s magnificent portrayal of her) is how similar she is to the original. The two of them have many shared characteristics and are subtly different in small ways. Fauxlivia’s best moment may be giving birth to her child in a way that is classic Fringe . The situation finds her kidnapped and her pregnancy forcibly accelerated. The added suspense from the virus she’s been diagnosed with, the rush of the pregnancy and the escape from her captors makes for a great Fringe moment, finding that elusive balance between tension and emotion.

Jack and Vika ( Oblivion )
Clone or doppelganger?
Clones
Reason for being?
In Oblivion , the characters played by Tom Cruise and Andrea Riseborough (Jack and Vika) are revealed to be clones working against the surviving humans on an Earth that has been ravaged by an alien invasion. The alien force that lives in the huge space station known as the Tet goes by the name Sally and uses the two of them to harvest the planet’s remaining resources while protecting alien drones.
Best moment?
The film’s climax won’t work for everyone but Cruise’s emphatic reading of the line “Fuck you, Sally” is memorably delivered and his sacrifice feels earned. The less said about the other concluding scene the better.

Clone Army ( Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones )
Clone or doppelganger?
Clones, an army of them
Reason for being?
The origins of the clone army are simple and not dwelled on too much. For a film with the word “clones” in the title, they feel oddly disconnected from the main narrative. They have been produced in secret for the Republic and have a huge role to play in the Star Wars universe, taking part in the Clone Wars first mentioned in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope . The huge army is created using the DNA of Jango Fett, the father of Boba, which connects them to the original film series.
Best moment?
Their first appearance in combat as part of the film’s large-scale final battle sequence is a compelling piece of sci-fi action. Because they hadn’t served a central role in the plot until that point and because the film runs long (it is the longest Star Wars film in the series), their sudden appearance and the developing scale of the ensuing battle is startling. There’s also a visual flair to the chaotic battle that makes it more interesting than the poorly choreographed lightsaber duel between the Jedi and Count Dooku that comes straight after it.

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Vampire Willow ( Buffy the Vampire Slayer )
Clone or doppelganger?
Doppelganger
Reason for being?
The vampiric doppelganger of Alyson Hannigan’s Willow has two appearances, in Season 3’s “The Wish” and “Doppelgangland”. Her initial appearance is in an alternate reality as the result of a wish made by Cordelia that Buffy should no longer be the centre of attention. Her subsequent appearance comes out of one of Willow’s spells gone wrong, perhaps the most familiar Buffy plot device.
Best moment?
The doppelganger’s always fun but the most memorable line within this story is a throwaway comment from Willow that her bloodsucking alternate is “kind of gay” – a top-notch bit of foreshadowing from episode writer Joss Whedon.

Katherine Pierce ( The Vampire Diaries )
Clone or doppelganger?
Doppelganger
Reason for being?
It’s not always clear and rarely seems to matter, but Season 5 tells us that doppelgangers of Elena and Stefan have essentially been around forever. The only one that we need to care about, though, is Katherine. She’s the wildcard of The Vampire Diaries and the only thing predictable about her is that she’s always lying.
Best moment?
There are too many. Her memorable introduction by slicing off Jonathan Gilbert’s fingers in the Season 1 finale? Flinging wolfsbane grenades in Season 3’s ‘Homecoming’? The end of her Season 5 story where she accepts death so she’ll be with her daughter one last time? The perfect delivery of snarky line readings from Nina Dobrev keeps Katherine entertaining and she always feels tellingly different from Elena, even when she’s impersonating her. Hopefully we haven’t seen the last of this particular doppelganger.

Sam Bell ( Moon )
Clone or doppelganger?
Clones
Reason for being?
Corporate greed and efficiency? The conclusion of the film reveals that numerous clones of Sam have been created so that the Lunar Industries outfit based on the moon can avoid the cost of paying new astronauts.
Best moment?
When Sam Rockwell gets the chance to act opposite himself in Moon it’s hugely entertaining. The best moment for the character is probably the sad realisation that his wife has died during a phone call with the daughter he didn’t know was born yet. That this interaction ends with him hearing the voice of the original Sam in the background fills the scene with heartbreaking meaning.

Lincoln Six Echo and Jordan Two Delta ( The Island )
Clone or doppelganger?
Clones
Reason for being?
In Michael Bay’s 2005 film The Island , clones are bred for those rich enough to pay. A spare set of organs and body parts are available for the wealthy sponsors, but clones Lincoln (Ewan McGregor) and Jordan (Scarlett Johansson) decide they’re not so pleased with being living organ banks.
Best moment?
When Lincoln meets his sponsor Tom Lincoln. McGregor makes the two characters distinctly different beyond just changing his accent (the clone has an American accent, the original Scottish), and he plays particularly well against himself in the scene where the two of them are both trying to convince Laurent (Djimon Hounsou) to kill the other.

All the main characters ( Orphan Black )
Clone or doppelganger?
Clones, and lots of ‘em
Reason for being?
Shady scientific research. The specifics remain unclear, but there are a lot of factions with interest in the clones and many mysteries that are yet to be solved. The clones we know best are drifter Sarah, housewife Alison, assassin Helena and scientist Cosima. The end of Season 1 introduced the villainous character of Rachel and others – such as Katja and Beth – have had appearances along the way.
Best moment?
Any scene where you’ve got numerous clones in the same space is a scene to be valued. Tatiana Maslany is constantly excellent, and frequently rises to the challenge of playing clones posing as other clones. One of the best moments from early in the series is when an unknown assailant chases Sarah, who is posing as Beth, and that person is then revealed to be another lookalike, Helena – a truly great character introduction for one of the show’s most intriguing figures.

Simon Cocks