Orphan Black Panel at Toronto Comicon 2013

Tatiana Maslany of Orphan BlackTatiana Maslany and Jordan Garvaris spoke to Toronto Comicon attendees (and potential viewers) about their new BBC America / Space series Orphan Black


Tatiana plays Sarah, a woman with a shady past who is looking to start a new life.  While on her way home one night, she happens to see a woman that looks just like her, a woman who subsequently walks into the path of a moving train.  Being of questionable morals (a trait that Maslany says attracted her to the character), Sarah takes the woman’s purse and steals her identity (starting fresh by becoming a new person).  It just so happens that this new person is not only a police officer, but also a fellow clone.

Video of Tatiana Maslany and Jordan Gavaris explaining the premise of Orphan Black.

During the panel, the audience was shown a clip from the third episode.  It featured Sarah (with an English accent) meeting one of her clones (a medical student) in a bar.  The med student asks for a briefcase that Sarah had procured, and seems to know a lot more about the clones than she does  Sarah wants nothing to do with the clone issue, but is informed by the med student that someone is killing their clones, so like it or not, she’s involved.

Tatiana explained the process of shooting such a scene.  They used cameras on a computerized track that would move around the set in a precisely timed way.  Tatiana would film the scene as one of her clones with a stand-in, then switch to the other (which took about an hour) and re-film the scene, with identical camera movements, playing against a recording of herself from the first take.

Jordan Gavaris, who plays Sarah’s foster brother Felix, won the audience  over by saying that he spent the hours that Tatiana was changing between clones by watching episodes of the recently ended. Fringe.

The show films in Toronto (one of the audience members mentioned that some of the shooting was done in the room next to his place of work), though, like many Canadian series hoping for an American audience, it doesn’t explicitly take place in Canada.  Gavaris said that to the show’s credit, it doesn’t take place in America, either; but simply in a vague, metropolitan area, which he compared to Batman’s hometown of Gotham.

The representative of Space (the Canadian cable channel producing the series) said they were very excited about the series, and were scheduling it on Saturday nights at nine, right after Doctor Who, as a testament to its potential.  Gavaris (who kind of stole the panel, by the way) ended by saying that if they were giving away the whole clone plot already, just imagine what secrets they’re holding back.

Orphan Black premieres March 30th at 9:00PM on Space and BBC America.

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