Orphan Black: Writer Sues BBC Claiming Concept For Show Was Stolen
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Orphan Black: Writer Sues BBC Claiming Concept For Show Was Stolen

Orphan Black is one of BBC America’s most successful programs of all time — last Saturday’s Season 2 premiere was watched by an impressive 620,000 viewers — and with stellar numbers like that a bit of controversy certainly isn’t unheard of.

The Huffington Post reports that a writer named Stephen Hendricks wrote a script about clones called Double Double back in the ‘90s, which he then submitted to Temple Street Productions co-president David Frontier.

So what’s the Orphan Black connection?

It turns out that Temple Street now produces the sci-fi series, and even though they passed on Stephen's script years ago, he filed a $5 million copyright infringement lawsuit against the production company and BBC America alleging that Orphan Black is based on his idea.

According to Stephen’s lawsuit, there are several similarities between the two works, and the similarities are so substantial that “it is a virtual statistical impossibility that the former could have been created independently from the latter.”

Among the shared traits between Stephen’s script and Orphan Black, the suit notes that “Both protagonists are young (early 20s), attractive women who want the same thing: to understand who they are and where they come from”; “The protagonist’s birth certificate is a key clue that makes her suspicious about her origin”; and “The recurring theme of clones reproducing is also present in both.”

As can be expected, Temple Street and BBC America are taking this lawsuit very seriously and are refuting Stephen's claims, saying that Orphan Black is the brainchild of series creators Graeme Manson and John Fawcett. Graeme and John say they sent David Frontier an Orphan Black spec script many years ago and spent a lot of time working on the concept before the show made it to TV, but Stephen isn’t buying it.

Do you think Orphan Black was cloned, or is someone just trying to get a piece of the money pie? Weigh in below!

Source: Huffington Post

04.23.2014 / 12:00 AM EDT by Samantha Leffler
Related: TV, News, Orphan Black

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