It’s hard for the “Orphan Black” gang to talk about their show without revealing too much. So when they sat down in front of reporters Saturday (Jan. 11) at the TCA winter press tour to discuss Season 2, it was a collection of vague teases about what’s to come for Sarah, Alison, Cosima and the rest of the clone conspiracy that’s slowly beginning to unravel. And it was awesome.
Here’s the first thing you need to know about Season 2: Just because Tatiana Maslany has already made it through one Golden Globe-nominated season playing multiple characters doesn’t mean it wasn’t scary to come back for more. “It was daunting to come back to it because I knew what to expect and I knew how much work it was going to be and the physical and emotional challenge of it,” she says. “But at the same time we’d already done it so there was not that pressure of ‘Will this work? Will people buy the gimmick?'”
Luckily, she jumped in full force. “It was time to go deeper with it. That, to me, is what was exciting about coming back to Season 2,” Maslany says. “I love all these characters so much and Graeme [Manson, co-creator] and all the writers have continued to deepen it and flesh out the worlds of each of the clones. I know these women now, so it’s just about going deeper with it and challenging them and stretching them.”
Here’s what else you can expect when Season 2 begins:
– More boundary-breaking. “We are going to take some risks with our premise in the second season and we are going to push technically what we’ve done with the first season and our actors are really pushing the limits as well,” says Manson. Jordan Gavaris, who play’s Sarah’s BFF/foster brother Felix, prefers when he’s outside of his comfort zone. “It’s not a good thing if you get complacent, when you get comfortable and everything’s easy,” he says. “There should be that discomfort because that pushes you to take the risks to keep it interesting, to keep people engaged — and we’re scared!”
– Plot-wise, Sarah is frantically searching for Kira. The very first scene, which was screened for critics, takes place immediately after she discovers her daughter and Mrs. S. are missing. She frantically calls Felix and Paul, whose phones go to voicemail, but Paul calls back — except Rachel’s on the other end telling her to surrender herself. Naturally, Sarah hangs up, but then two menacing henchmen walk into the diner where she’s taken refuge from the rain and menacingly offer to take her to Kira. What happens next? Well, you’ll have to wait and see!
– Cosima is struggling with her mysterious respiratory disease. “Cosima to me has always been the one who’s the most fascinated with life, so it’s interesting for her to be facing her mortality and that’s really what we start to explore in Season 2,” Maslany says. Adds Manson, “It’s hard because she’s my favorite clone. We’re putting her in this really heartbreaking position, and yet she’s almost as brave as Sarah in a lot of ways. Narratively, examining her illness and looking into her own science is part of our mystery. She performs a really great story function in the second season as well, trying to get to the root of her own illness.”
– Ainsley’s death will continue to weigh on Alison. “Alison is an intense person to begin with, and the secret she’s keeping is really going to eat at her in an interesting way,” Manson says. “Alison’s got some explosions coming up.”
– Felix’s character will be fleshed out. “In Season 1 Felix was very much an integral cog in the mystery… and now I think what Season 2 helps to do is establish him outside of the clones as an individual with his own identity,” says Gavaris. “He has gone along and been that person who picks up the phone at 3 in the morning and I think it’s safe to say that the relationship with Sarah comes to a head and there’s a tough decision that’s going to be made — many tough decisions that are going to be made — and it’s not going to be easy.” While his relationship with Sarah might be tested, he will grow closer to some of the other clones.
One thing you won’t see, however: any other characters revealed as clones. “It’s not like we haven’t thought of that, but it’s not territory we’re treading any time in the near future,” Manson says. “We’ve got these amazing characters and like Tat said, we’re really enjoying this season digging into them and digging deeper into their lives.”
“Orphan Black” Season 2 premieres Saturday, April 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on BBC America.