Rachel Duncan
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Rachel Duncan

Orphan Black

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rating 8.6/10 (16 users)
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About Her

Grew up… in Cambridge, England, with her adoptive parents Professors Ethan and Susan Duncan. She grew up in a loving home, and had a very happy childhood. Rachel believes she lost her parents in a fire when she was still relatively young. Dr. Aldous Leekie became her surrogate father and raised her to be self-aware of origins as a clone. As one character describes her, Rachel was "a child raised by Neolution."

Living… at the Dyad Institute. Rachel’s apartment embodies her personality. It is tastefully decorated, but is not very welcoming. Surrounded by large windows, Rachel is often seen looking out onto the Toronto landscape. While Rachel is technically a powerful force at the Dyad Institute, her apartment mirrors more of an enclosed chamber – from which she can still be controlled and monitored. 

Profession… leader of the Dyad Institute. According to Felix, Rachel is most definitely “pro-clone.” She has completely dedicated herself completely to the Dyad Institute. Because Dyad lost track of Sarah Manning – the supposed original clone – as a child, Rachel is obsessed with bringing her into the fold, and subjecting her to the same standards all the other clones have always endured.

Interests… genetic modification, control, and power. Rachel fully believes in the Dyad Institute, and is willing to do anything to see it through.

Relationship Status… complicated. As with all the other clones, Rachel has a monitor that reports to Dr. Leekie. Daniel Rosen is her monitor and a Dyad employee charged with keeping other clones in line. Rachel’s relationship with Daniel is mostly sexual, lacking any emotional connection. Rachel appears to still long for her adoptive parents, even though they died long ago. She keeps home videos of her childhood, and repeatedly watches them – as if to continually recapture those brief moments of happiness. 

Challenge… capturing Sarah Manning and figuring out how to conceive a child. Sarah is the only clone that can have children, a fact that infuriates Rachel. She yearns to have a family of her own, and is willing to do almost anything to accomplish this. When it is discovered that Sarah is a long-lost clone, Rachel becomes obsessed with reeling her into Dyad’s web. Sarah, however, proves to be a formidable foe and continually evades Rachel’s forces.

Personality… cold, ruthless, and emotionally damaged. Rachel is used to getting what she wants, and becomes palpably evil when facing a difficult opponent. She is willing to kill anyone, even those closest to her, in order to accomplish her agenda. Rachel has successfully closed off all her emotions, and cannot comprehend how others cannot do the same. 

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