January 11, 2014 3:32pm PT by Philiana Ng
'Orphan Black' Stars, EP Reflect on 'Wild' Year and Reveal Season 2 Secrets
BBC America's critically-hailed sci-fi drama Orphan Black returned to the Television Critics Association press tour and the stars and creator reflected on their whirlwind year.
"We were completely blown away by the critical response we’ve received," Tatiana Maslany told reporters Saturday at Television Critics Association press tour. "We’re a niche odd little show that could’ve fallen under the radar but because critics and bloggers and The Clone Club, it got out."
Maslany, who won a Critics Choice TV Award and is nominated for a Golden Globe ("She doesn't return my calls!" co-star Jordan Gavaris joked), called the awards recognition "wild." "I'm completely blown away by it and trying to breathe in it and take it in one day at a time," she said.
BBC America unveiled a lengthy opening scene from Orphan Black's second season return April 19, which picks up immediately after the events of the finale. (Filming is currently under way on episode eight of 10.)
[ Warning: Spoilers ahead from this point forward .] After discovering that her daughter Kira and Mrs. S were kidnapped, a frantic Sarah finds herself talking to Rachel, who makes an unsuccessful attempt at bringing Sarah back in to sign over her life. A bloody diner fight ensues between two mysterious men, the diner owner and Sarah. Following the scene, brief glimpses at the season ahead included a standoff between Rachel and Sarah, as well as Rachel recruiting Paul for help.
Maslany, Gavaris and co-creator Graeme Manson treated reporters to a few season-two nuggets.
1. Orphan Black will take some more risks. "We are going to take some risks with our premise," Manson hinted, "and push what we did in the first season."
2. The number of clones hasn't been determined. Manson was coy when asked about the number of new clones viewers would be meeting in the new season. "We haven't said how many are out there," Manson said. "It's not a clone of the week show." Instead, he and co-creator John Fawcett take great pains in discussing new clones with Maslany and fully develop them prior to their introductions.
3. Cosima's disease will have a "heartbreaking" effect. At the end of the first season, Cosima became ill with a sickness that will force her to face her mortality and get to its root cause. "Cosima to me has always been the one most fascinated with life, so it's interesting for her to be facing her mortality," Maslany said. Added Manson: "She's my favorite clone and we're putting her in this heartbreaking position, yet she's almost as brave as Sarah in a lot of ways." Cosima's deep dive into her illness "is part of our mystery," Manson continued. "She performs as a great story function in the second season."
4. Felix will come into his own in season two. "Season one, Felix was very much an integral cog in the mystery in the inception of the story and Sarah's journey," Gavaris said. "Season two helps establish him outside of the clones and as an individual," instead of acting solely as a reactor to Sarah's arc or a plot device. "He gets an identity outside of all of that, which is very important because he's a living, breathing person." Though Gavaris joked that the world can only handle one Felix, Manson stressed that he will not be introducing another character with clones.
5. Sarah and Felix's will be friendship tested. Don't expect it to be smooth sailing for the two BFFs in the new season. Gavaris hinted that their relationship "comes to a head and there will be many tough decisions to be made."
6. Alison's guilt will eat away at her. After not attempting to save her bubbly neighbor Aynsley in the finale, the repercussions for Alison's decision (or lack thereof) will be a major character obstacle in the second season. "She's a tense person to begin with," Manson said, hinting that the secret will eat at her in very interesting ways and prompt several explosions.
7. Michelle Forbes will be an integral part. BBC America announced Saturday that The Killing and True Blood alum will be joining the show as Marian Bowles, a powerful new player at the Dyad Institute with a birds-eye view of the war between Sarah and Rachel.
8. A three-season master plan. The producers got the word of Orphan Black's renewal during the fourth episode and Manson noted that they "have a long-term plan that's pretty elastic," sharing that when the show was first being pitched, they presented a "bible that spun it out for at least three seasons."