Clone Club Rejoice: An 'Orphan Black' Spinoff Is Coming
When Orphan Black premiered in March 2013 on BBC America, it was not expected to be a significant hit. The Canadian series starring the then little-known actress Tatiana Maslany was presented as a contemporary series about a British con artist living in Toronto named Sarah Manning. In a time when shows didn't yet stream on the regular, it took three episodes even to mention clones and two more to reveal the actual plot. And unlike the other series that premiered around the same time, Ripper Street, which starred Game of Thrones' Jerome Flynn and was a period piece mystery, nothing about it checked the typical boxes of what Americans wanted in their anglophilic television.
However, BBC America deeply underestimated the show. Orphan Black wound up a sleeper hit and eventually won Maslany an Emmy for her portrayal of Sarah Manning, Alison Hendrix, Cosima Niehaus, Helena, Rachel Duncan, and several other one-off clones. When the series concluded after five seasons in 2017, it seemed to wrap everything up into a neat bow, with all the clones finding their place in the world. Still, there were rumors that the show would eventually land a spinoff, and the fandom has continued, albeit not on TV, with comic books and audio adventures. Five years after the finale, AMCN, BBC America's parent company, has announced the series will come back.
The new series will be entitled Orphan Black: Echoes and run ten episodes a season like its predecessor. John Fawcett, the co-creator of the original series, is partnering with Anna Fishko (Fear the Walking Dead), credited as the co-creator, writer, and showrunner of the spinoff. Notably, no actors are as yet attached to the new series. (Maslany is currently starring as the titular She-Hulk in Disney+'s upcoming series, expected to premiere later this year and lead to reprising the role on the big screen.)
But there is a synopsis suggesting fans will meet a new generation of clones:
Set in the near future, the new Orphan Black takes a deep dive into the exploration of the scientific manipulation of human existence. It follows a group of women as they weave their way into each other's lives and embark on a thrilling journey, unraveling the mystery of their identity and uncovering a wrenching story of love and betrayal.
For those wondering where they'll be able to watch the new series, AMC Networks has confirmed that this will be a series like Killing Eve or A Discovery of Witches, where the show streams both on AMC+ and airs weekly on linear cable networks. Whether or not the series will stream on more than one of AMC Network's multiple services (like Shudder or Sundance Now) remains to be seen, though chances are even if it does, the show won't come to Acorn TV, which has yet to crossover any of its content with AMC's other brands.
Viewers can probably rest assured that the show will at least air on BBC America, if not AMC proper. The new series does not yet have a release date, though AMCN says it plans for the show to arrive sometime in 2023. All five seasons of the original Orphan Black are streaming on AMC+ until then.