Canadian sci-fi thriller Orphan Black aired on BBC America in the U.S. and Space in Canada for five seasons from 2013 through 2016. The series, about identical clones who discover one another and a sinister human cloning organization, gained tons of attention and positive reviews. Most of the accolades went to actor Tatiana Maslany, who played all of the clones herself, each of which had a distinct look and personality. She did this so well, right down to vocal inflections, facial expressions, and physical mannerisms, that you’d almost forget halfway through an episode that it was the same person in different clothing and make-up.
Among the clones, including five main ones and several recurring characters, was a suburban housewife, a bubbly beautician, a computer hacker, a scientist, and a cop. But there were a number of other main cast members, too. Here’s a look at the MBTI® of the main Leda clones and two distinct recurring ones, along with several supporting characters.
11 Sarah Manning (ESTP)
Sarah is a total rebel, living by her own rules, and even relinquishing much of the responsibilities for her young daughter to her adoptive mother because she didn’t feel she could properly take care of her.
A drifter, Sarah is extroverted and focused on living in the present. Thus, as is typical with ESTPs, she’s not afraid to take risks, and has little respect for the law or rules. Yet she’s very perceptive, and often has a good read on people.
10 Cosima Niehaus (INTJ)
Cosima is a scientist, through and through, focused on facts and figures. She isn’t one to rely on perception and feelings, but rather just the cold, hard data. But while she’s hard-working and goal-oriented, laser-focused on the task at hand, she did develop a stronger emotional IQ over time.
Indeed, INTJ’s do operate based on intuition and observation, but then deal with situations and information using logic and rationality. She cared deeply about her sisters and friends but would take action to show it versus expressing it in words. For Cosima, as is typical of an INTJ, she is insightful and constantly gathering information and experimenting, especially when she was trying to find a cure for the disease that was plaguing the clones.
9 Alison Hendrix (ESTJ)
Alison is an ESTJ through and through, a born leader who is assertive, outspoken, and wears the pants in the house. Involved in just about everything at her children’s school and within the community, she is super-organized, creative, and has little patience for stupidity or laziness.
While later on in the series, we get to see Alison’s desire for risk-taking, suggesting she registers somewhat high in other personality traits, placing her closer to an ESTP, based on her very structured lifestyle, high-strung, competitive, and aggressive nature, she’s an ESTJ. ESTJ’s are skilled at dealing with people that they can often get what they want, which we see Alison do over and over again, particularly with her husband Donnie. But they can also be too aggressive, rigid, and self-confident which can be off-putting to some.
8 Helena (ISTP)
Unlike her sister Sarah, Helena is a very private and somewhat reserved person. But like her sister, she also has little regard for rules and regulations, and did what she felt needed to be done, when she felt it needed to be done. She took some of her dominant personality types a little farther than Sarah, resorting to murder, and exhibited some psychopathic behaviours.
Typical ISTP types are detached, adventuresome, and fearless, which perfectly describes Helena. ISTPs are prone to emotional outbursts of anger if they get upset or feel stressed, which we saw Helena do on countless occasions.
7 Rachel Duncan (ISTJ)
A quiet, reserved, and closed off person, Rachel was not one to make friends or create bonds with others. Instead, she focused on her perceived duty, and obsession with leading an organization, at any cost. ISTJs are hard-workers, and like to operate “by the book,” and will stop at nothing to achieve what they desire.
Another key quality of an ISTJ type is that they are not generally in tune with their own feelings and emotions, and certainly not the feelings of others. Rachel fits this to a tee, focused on her own needs above all else, and proving her worth and value. A perfectionist, as is typical of the personality type, Rachel rarely gave accolades to her co-workers, often taking them for granted.
6 Beth Childs (ISFJ)
While Beth didn’t have any children, she fits the ISFJ personality type, often called the “nurturer” perfectly given her profession as a police officer and desire to serve the people. Somewhat closed off, she was a rule follower who respected laws and traditions.
ISFJs typically value practical application over conceptual analysis or theory, and are extremely dependable people, as Beth was. But she also tended to keep her feelings to herself. ISFJs also feel a strong sense of responsibility and duty, which Beth certainly did in her profession. Photo: BBC
5 Krystal Goderitch (ESFP)
ESFP personality types like to be the centre of attention, and Krystal is totally that. Flighty, ditzy, and fast-talking, she is bubbly and outgoing – a true performer. She loves to be around people, and thrives on drama, a core feature of the ESFP type.
Seeing the positive in life, an ESFP type like Krystal tends to focus on the here and now, and can be a little self-indulgent. Life of the party is the ESFP type, and all eyes are on them immediately when they enter a room, as is always the case with Krystal. Small and feisty, she is, after all, kind of tough to ignore!
4 Felix Dawkins (ESTP)
It’s no surprise that Felix and his adoptive sister Sarah are very much alike, and both ESTP types, since they are close friends as well. They tend to thrive on one another’s thrill-seeking and risk-taking. As a self-proclaimed artist who runs tricks on the side and is very promiscuous, Felix lives a fast-paced life.
He is often blunt, another core trait of the ESTP types, but also quite perceptive. Loving drama, and being the centre of it, Felix doesn’t have a life plan. Like many ESTP types, he just goes with the flow, and pays no mind to rules and regulations.
3 Siobhan Sadler (ESTJ)
Siobhan might have been somewhat quiet and reserved, but when she showed her true self, it was clear she was a hardened woman with a sordid past who wasn’t afraid to be rebellious and take risks when needed. ESTJs are often called “guardians,” and Siobhan took this role on quite literally, serving as a guardian to Sarah’s young daughter, Kira. But she was also a guardian to Sarah and Felix, trying to steer them on a good path in their lives.
ESTJs like to scan their environment and make everything run smoothly, which is all Siobhan was hoping to achieve for her adoptive children and grandchild. But when she needed to be aggressive, and make a plan to get out of a tough situation, she was able to do so in a heartbeat. ESTJs can be demanding and critical, as Siobhan sometimes was. But her straightforward and honest nature was appreciated by those around her, even if they didn't realize it.
2 Donnie Hendrix (INFP)
Donnie is the idealist type, leaving the extroverted behavior to his wife Alison. Quiet and reserved for the most part, he operates in a shell, simply wanting to live the typical happy suburban family life. He has a good heart and cares about other people, which is often the case with INFPs.
He tries to avoid conflict at any cost, as INFPs do, simply bending to Alison’s needs, and doing whatever is required to make her happy. Typical of an INFP type, Donnie is laid back and rarely high-strung, which makes him a perfect balance for his wife. Photo: BBC America
1 Arthur “Art” Bell (INFJ)
As a police and Beth’s partner on the force, Art is a protector, through and through. He holds strong beliefs, is gentle and caring, and very intuitive – all critical skills for a person in law enforcement, and typical traits of an INFJ type. INFJ personality types appreciate order and following systems.
He was intuitive enough to understand the plight of the clone sisters, who Sarah was and what she wanted to accomplish, and followed his feelings in order to help them. He could have easily not believed her, but an INFJ personality type has strong feelings about things, and will follow their insights. He is also a relatively private person, making him a difficult read sometimes, which is another common personality trait of an INFJ person.