Space Channel used Comic Con Toronto 2013 to showcase its new show Orphan Black and trotted out two of its main cast for a Q&A session: Tatiana Maslany (Sarah) and Jordan Gavaris (Felix).
During the panel, the crowd was treated to a sneak peek of the show and a never-before seen clip from episode 3.
Orphan Black stars Maslany as Sarah, an outsider and orphan whose life is changed forever after witnessing the suicide of a woman who looks remarkably like her.
Sarah assumes her identity hoping that it will give her life the fresh start that it needs but instead she finds out that she and the dead woman are clones and they are not alone. Soon, she finds herself involved in a conspiracy and in the cross-hairs of a “trigger-happy” assailant, who wants to kills her.
Maslany describes her character as trying to get back on the straight and narrow and is “morally ambiguous.” By taking on this person’s identity, she sees it as an opportunity of closing her past.
Meanwhile, Gavaris describes his character Felix as not being a cardboard cut out character who is neither good or evil, not necessarily good or bad but human.
“Graeme [Manson] and John [Fawcett] (the creators of Orphan Black) bend the rules of Sci-Fi drama and traditional narrative,” he adds.
Gavaris’ character Felix is the foster brother of Maslany’s Sarah. Both were brought up in the UK by a woman and brought to North America under mysterious circumstances. Gavaris’ says that Felix is the Ying to Sarah’s Yang and they confide in each other. He adds that Felix is an artist, over the top but Maslany jumps in and says that Jordan grounds the characters theatricality in reality.
When asked what makes cloning such an interesting topic for film and TV, Maslany calls it the “physical manifestation of an identity crisis.”
She explains that what if I had grown up in the UK versus Canada or the streets versus a solid home Everyone’s life will all come up differently.
For her part, Maslany says a challenge for her was playing all the different clones. In fact, there is one episode where she played three clones in one scene that proved to be a long and hard working day. But how does she keep all those different characters with wildly different personalities apart?
“It is a dream playing different characters. I used music that would resonate with each character and used dance and animal work and looked at how the person would see the world and move in it,” she tells the audience.
After the first episode airs, Gavaris’ hopes that the audience will ask “Where is this show going to go?”
Orphan Black is a co-production with Space Channel and BBC America and premieres March 30 at 9pm on Space Channel right after the season premiere of Doctor Who.