"Orphan Black" Cast And Creators Promise A "Challenging" Second Season

Clone Club assemble!

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Tatiana Maslany, Jordan Gavaris, and the creators of BBC America’s compelling clone drama took the Television Critics Association winter press tour stage on Saturday to talk about the phenomenal success of Season 1 (including a Golden Globe nomination!) and to reveal what The Clone Club can expect from Season 2.

Here’s what we knew coming in: The April 19 premiere kicks off with Sarah (one of the multitude of characters star Tatiana Maslany plays) racing to find her missing daughter Kira (Skyler Wexler), who was kidnapped at the end of Season 1 following her improbably immediate recovery from a horrific hit and run. But Sarah’s desperation incites a war with pro-clone Rachel (also Maslany), which forces all clones to pick a side.

And here’s what we learned: The panel kicked off with the first scene from Season 2, which opens with Sarah running down the street after Kira. She frantically calls Felix, who doesn’t pick up. She goes into a diner and calls Alison, but the number is out of service. Same with Cosima. Then the phone rings and it’s Rachel demanding she surrender in order to get Kira back.

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Suddenly, two creepy men in suits (one wearing a bolo tie!) enter the diner; one looks at Sarah and says, “This is the one.” Chills.

While the show picks up instantly after the cliffhanger ending of Season 1, the time between Seasons 1 and 2 provided an excellent opportunity for the actors to approach their roles with a new vigor. “It was daunting to come back,” Maslany said. “There was a sense of ‘We’ve done this,’ so there wasn’t the pressure of ‘Will this work?’ It was time to go deeper with it. That was what was exciting about coming back. The writers have continued to deepen it. That’s what was so exciting. It’s about challenging [the characters] and stretching them.”

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One of the characters who is set to grow the most in Season 2 is Felix. “Felix was very much an integral cog in the mystery [and] in Sarah’s journey, but what Season 2 helps to do is establish him outside of the clones as a multi-faceted human and not just a plot device there to help facilitate whatever Sarah’s crazy idea of that day is,” said Gavaris. “Many tough decisions are going to be made.”

Co-creator Graeme Manson added, “Felix’s relationship with Sarah is tested this season, and he creates new alliances with other clones,” citing the fan-favorite dynamic between Felix and Alison.

But it’s another clone who actually embodies a huge storyline of Season 2: Cosima. “Narratively, examining her illness … performs a really great story function in the second season [in] trying to get to the root cause,” Manson revealed. “It’s hard because she’s my favorite clone and we’re putting her in this heartbreaking decision and yet she’s almost as brave as Sarah in a lot of ways.”

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Maslany, for one, appreciates the irony of Cosima falling ill. “Cosima has been the one most fascinated with life so it’s interesting for her to face her mortality, facing this science gone wrong.”

Expect Alison to also have to answer for the sins of Season 1. “The secret she’s been keeping is going to eat at her in an interesting way,” Manson said of Alison murdering her neighbor Aynsley. “And she’s got some explosions coming up. So that’s really, really great.”

Equally great for all involved is the untapped potential inherent in this series. And while Manson said the show is not interested in introducing another cloned character, he teased, “We haven’t said how many [clones of Sarah] are out there!”

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7. Orphan Black premieres April 19 at 9 p.m. on BBC America.

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