‘Orphan Black: Echoes’ showrunner explains the spinoff’s biggest difference from the original series — and whether Tatiana Maslany will show up

    Krysten Ritter in “Orphan Black: Echoes” and Tatiana Maslany in “Orphan Black.”

    Sophie Giraud / Christos Kalohoridis / BBC America

    “Orphan Black: Echoes” is set 37 years after the end of the sci-fi drama “Orphan Black.”Showrunner Anna Fishko told Business Insider that they changed the cloning format to make the spinoff unique.She also said there was an attempt to bring back “Orphan Black” lead Tatiana Maslany.

    Warning: Spoilers ahead for the first episode of “Orphan Black: Echoes.”

    Nearly seven years after the series finale of “Orphan Black,” the clone-centered sci-fi show is returning with a new spinoff, “Orphan Black: Echoes.” But this time, the cloning element will be very different, “Echoes” showrunner Anna Fishko told Business Insider.

    Like “Orphan Black,” the Emmy-winning show that garnered a small but loyal fan base, “Echoes” begins with a dark-haired, stubborn woman stumbling upon a big mystery surrounding her creation. But that is where the similarities between the two series end.

    At the beginning of the “Echoes” premiere episode, a woman named Lucy (played by Krysten Ritter) wakes up without her memories and learns that she was created in a neon-pink futuristic human-printing machine. Throughout the episode, Lucy is haunted by a nightmare in which she sees a teenage version of herself holding a bloody knife.

    At the end of the episode, Lucy meets that teenage version of herself, but the girl doesn’t recognize her. Lucy realizes the girl is another “print-out” clone like her.

    In “Orphan Black,” Tatiana Maslany played several clones simultaneously.

    Temple Street Productions/BBC America/Bell Media/Space

    While the original “Orphan Black” was praised for having its lead star, Tatiana Maslany, portray multiple lookalike clones with drastically different personalities, “Echoes” takes a new approach by having clones of various ages.

    Fishko told Business Insider in an interview ahead of the series premiere that this was a deliberate attempt to distance the spinoff from the original show.

    “We really specifically intended to do something different,” Fishko said. “I think everybody felt like Tatiana had put in such an incredible performance, and nobody really wanted to do that over again. It was hard to imagine doing that better.”

    Fishko said this new concept allowed the writing team to explore the ideas of “sisterhood” and “identity” from the original show without repeating the same format.

    Fishko said Tatiana Maslany doesn’t appear in season one due to scheduling issues

    Tatiana Maslany most recent credits include “Invincible,” “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” and “Butterfly Tale.”

    JC Olivera / Getty Images

    “Echoes” is set in 2052, 37 years after the end of “Orphan Black,” but there are plenty of connections between the two shows.

    Lucy’s creator is Kira Manning (Keeley Hawes), the daughter of “Orphan Black” lead character Sarah Manning (Maslany). At the end of episode one, Kira calls up her “Aunt Cosima,” referring to Sarah’s clone Cosima Niehaus (also Maslany).

    The camera then pans to pictures of several characters from the original show, including Felix (Jordan Gavaris) and Siobhan (Maria Doyle Kennedy).

    Unfortunately for “Orphan Black” fans, Fishko confirmed to BI that Maslany won’t appear in person as any of her beloved clone characters.

    “We definitely thought about it, and we talked with her,” Fishko said. “Unfortunately, the timing just didn’t work out because she was shooting something else right at the same time as us. And so it really was sort of a bad timing type of situation.”

    “Orphan Black: Echoes” showrunner Anna Fishko and “Orphan Black” co-creator John Fawcett.

    Rick Kern / Getty Images for AMC Networks

    Fishko added that the producers were open to Maslany appearing in future seasons if the series gets renewed. She added it was “a tricky balance” to figure out how many references to the original show to include without alienating new viewers.

    “I think we really wanted new audience members who’d never seen ‘Orphan Black’ to be able to come to this show and not feel lost or confused and really be able to just start fresh and follow the story and go on the ride and have fun,” Fishko said.

    “But then, yeah, we wanted to make sure we were putting things in there for the Clone Club and for the fans of the original,” she said, referring to the main characters of the original show.

    Fishko said the writing team contemplated including a few fan-favorite characters in the spinoff, and she spoke to “Orphan Black” co-creator John Fawcett about what would have happened to these characters 30 years later.

    “It was fun to talk with John Fawcett actually about what we could imagine had happened to them in the intervening time between when the first show finished, and this show that takes place 30-odd years in the future,” Fishko said.

    Fishko said Ritter was the blueprint for the other clone castings

    “Orphan Black: Echoes” apparent clones played by Krysten Ritter and Amanda Fix.

    Sophie Giraud

    Although the clones are of different ages, there needed to be synergy in their looks to make the story believable.

    Fishko said they cast Lucy’s part first and then decided what a younger version of that character would look like.

    “I think Krysten has this very kind of tough outer shell, but then there’s always this vulnerability inside that you feel on screen,” Fishko said. “Lucy’s character had been through a lot, had learned to survive in the world on her own with no support, and then, also has this deep desire to find connection and family.”

    Fishko said there was a “global search” for Ritter’s young lookalike, and they eventually found Amanda Fix, who plays the unnamed clone teenager at the end of episode one.

    “We got really lucky,” Fishko said. “She’s an incredibly talented, wonderful performer. And then also looks pretty close to what a younger version of Kristen might have looked like.”

    New episodes of “Orphan Black: Echoes” air on Sundays on AMC and BBC America and stream on AMC+.

    Read the original article on Business Insider


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