Will Tatiana Maslany Be In 'Orphan Black: Echoes’? Showrunner on the spinoff Differences

Krysten Ritter in „Orphan Black: Echoes” and Tatiana Maslany in „Orphan Black.”
Sophie Giraud / Christos Kalohoridis / BBC America

  • „Orphan Black: Echoes” is a sci-fi drama set 37 years after the end of „Orphan Black”.
  • Showrunner Anna Fishko told Business Insider that she changed the cloning format to make the spinoff unique.
  • He also said efforts are underway to bring back „Orphan Black” lead Tatiana Maslany.

Warning: Spoilers await for the first episode of „Orphan Black: Echoes.”

Nearly seven years after the series finale of „Orphan Black,” the clone-centric sci-fi show returns 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,” an Emmy-winning show that garnered a small but loyal fan base, „Echoes” begins with a dark-haired, headstrong woman stumbling into a larger mystery surrounding her creation. But that’s where the similarities between the two series end.

At the beginning of the „Echoes” premiere episode, a girl named Lucy (played by Krysten Ritter) wakes up without her memories and learns that she has been created in a neon-pink futuristic human-printing machine. Throughout the episode, Lucy is haunted by a dream 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 that the girl is another „printed-out” clone of herself.

In „Orphan Black,” Tatiana Maslany played multiple clones at once.
Temple Street Productions/BBC America/Bell Media/Space

While the original „Orphan Black” was praised for its lead star Tatiana Maslany portraying several look-alike clones with very different personalities, „Echoes” takes a fresh approach with clones of different ages.

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

„We really wanted to do something different,” Fishko said. „I think everyone felt like Tatiana gave such an incredible performance that no one wanted to do it again. It’s hard to imagine doing it better.”

Fishco said this new concept allowed the writing team to explore the concepts of „sisterhood” and „identity” from the original show without repeating the same format.

Fishco said that Tatiana Maslany did not appear in season one due to scheduling issues

Tatiana Maslany’s recent credits include „Invisible,” „She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” and „Butterfly Tale.”
JC Oliveira / 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 was created by Kira Manning (Keeley Hawes), daughter of „Orphan Black” lead character Sarah Manning (Maslany). At the end of episode one, Kira calls out to her „Aunt Cosima”, Sara’s clone Cosima Nihas (also Maslany).

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

Unfortunately for „Orphan Black” fans, Fishcoe confirmed to BI that Maslany will not be appearing in person among his beloved clone characters.

„We’ve definitely thought about it and we’ve talked to her,” Fishko said. „Unfortunately, the timing wasn’t perfect because she was filming something else at the same time as us. So it was a bad timing type of situation.”

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„Orphan Black: Echoes” is hosted by Anna Fishko and „Orphan Black” co-creator John Fawcett.
Rick Kern/Getty Images for AMC Networks

Fishcoe said producers are open to Maslany appearing in future seasons if the series is renewed. Figuring out how many references to the original show to add without alienating new audiences is a „tricky balance,” he said.

„I think we want new viewers who haven’t seen 'Orphan Black’ to come to the show and not get lost or confused, just start over and follow the story and ride. Have fun,” said Fishco.

„But, yeah, we wanted to make sure we kept things for the Clone Club and the original fans,” he said, referring to the original show’s main characters.

Fishcoe said the writing team considered including some fan-favorite characters in the spinoff, and spoke to „Orphan Black” co-creator John Fawcett about what might have happened to these characters 30 years later.

„It was fun talking to John Fawcett about what we could imagine happened to them in the intervening time between the end of the first show and this show set 30 years in the future,” Fishko said.

Fishco said Ritter was the blueprint for other clone casts

„Orphan Black: Echoes” starring Krysten Ritter and Amanda Fixx are obvious clones.
Sophie Giraud

Even though the clones are of different ages, there must be synergy in their appearance to make the story believable.

Fishcoe said he cast the part of Lucy first and then decided what the younger version of the character would look like.

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„I think Kristen has this tough outer shell, but there’s always this vulnerability inside that you feel on screen,” Fishko said. „Lucy’s character has been through a lot, learning to live in a world without any support, and then having this deep desire to find connection and family.”

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

„We were really lucky,” Fishko said. „She’s an incredibly talented, amazing performer. And she looks so close to what a younger version of Kristen would have been like.”

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

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