The wait is over, Clone Club! After originally saying farewell to Sarah, Cosima, Alison, Helena, and the rest of the LEDA clones (that we knew of) in the Orphan Black series finale, it turns out their story is far from over. Now, thanks to an all-new audio series titled Orphan Black: The Next Chapter, the journey of the sestras is continuing, with actress Tatiana Maslany returning to voice clones both familiar and new.
The story starts eight years in the future, where Cosima and her equally science-smart partner Delphine are presumably continuing their previously revealed efforts to both locate all 274 female LEDA clones and treat them for a potentially deadly respiratory illness. Temple Street Productions, the company behind the original series, is working in partnership with Serial Box on this episodic continuation, which will consist of 10 chapters total, with the first episode launching on September 12.
SYFY WIRE FANGRRLS had the chance to chat with Maslany about how it felt to return to the beloved clones of the Orphan Black world, lending her voice to new characters, and what fans can expect from this new show.
What was your reaction to getting the news that the story of Orphan Black would be continuing? What was it that made you go, "Hold the phone, I want to be a part of this"?
"Stop the presses, everybody." [laughs] I was just excited to get to play the characters again. I knew that the fans were still really connected to the show and had continued to reach out about the show and that they were eager for more content. So it was nice to get to do that. I think that was a massive part of it for me, getting to make something new for them.
Based on what has been teased already, we pick up with the sestrahood a few years on from the end of the original series. Is there anything else you can tease for fans about what they can expect from this continuation?
Well, they can definitely expect new clones, and they can expect a bunch of familiar faces that aren't just the clones, which is fun to do and exciting, as well as expanded stories from characters that we got to know peripherally — specifically, Kira and Charlotte.
You get cool insight into their lives and where they're at, how growing up among the clones but sort of as outsiders, even within that group, has affected them and what they want. It's kind of a nice thing to see them grow up a bit and have their own voices.
Were there any characters in particular that you were especially excited to get the chance to revisit at a different stage in their lives? Or was the prospect of getting to play new clones equally exciting?
Yeah, yeah, definitely. The clones that we know are characters that I have a lot of experience with and a lot of history with — but to get to play the people in their lives was quite fun. To go back and watch Kevin Hanchard as Art and try to take that on a little bit was really fun. It's all been really exciting and just sort of a trip, such a bizarre, surreal trip.
Kind of. But because it is a written medium, there is like a reverence for the writing, and I really want to make sure that we stick to that writing. If there is anything that feels like it needs to shift or whatever, then we talk about it. But, really, everyone who's written on it has done such a great job of finding the voices in there.
It's less about the "creating of new content" improv aspect and more so about: How can I embody a character in a moment? Or how can I create a new voice for a clone based on a little bit of information? That's more where the improv aspect of things comes in, where the skills of improv come into play a bit more.
I know you've done some prior voiceover work for animation and things like that. Would you ever consider doing voiceover for a video game, something that would maybe even require a motion-capture performance?
Oh yeah. Oh, my God, yeah. Great question. That'd be so much fun. Any of my friends who've done it have just had the best time. So, yeah, I would absolutely love that.
Aside from this series, is there anything that you have coming up that you can talk about?
Yeah, yeah. I'm doing a TV series for HBO called Perry Mason. It's starring Matthew Rhys and John Lithgow. It's a re-imagining of the TV series that existed in like the '60s, I think. My character in it is a preacher who's sort of slightly based on a woman who existed in the '30s and who's in L.A. and had come from Canada to preach and gathered thousands of people to watch her. So, yeah, it's really fun. She's a really great character, and the writing is amazing. I'm just really excited to be working for HBO, it's total dream come true for me.
What are you currently fangirling over right now? What's something that you're super into that you are just telling everyone about?
I have a few things. So, for me, watching-wise, PEN15 was a revelation. It was so great to just see real, real dorks on screen. I'm just very grateful for that. I love that show. I love the writer Sheila Heti. She wrote a book called Motherhood, which sort of blew my mind. I read it a year ago, and I still think about it all the time. Her writing's incredible.
Then, listening-wise, I'm really into Megan Thee Stallion as well as SOPHIE, who's a really cool producer and musician, too.
Orphan Black: The Next Chapter launches on Serial Box on September 12. The full season will be available for $9.99 through September 19, at which point it will be priced at $12.99.
This interview has been edited and condensed.