BBC America’s New Original Series Orphan Black premieres Saturday, March 30 at 9:00pm ET/PT
It’s a thrill ride with no shortage of hooks; the ‘how is she going to get out of this?’ question will be answered by Sarah invariably not getting ‘out’, but going deeper,” John Fawcett
Sarah hopes that cleaning out a dead woman’s bank account will solve all her problems. Instead, they multiply at an unnerving rate. Smart, sexy and pulsating with suspense – BBC AMERICA’s new original series, ORPHAN BLACK, features rising star Tatiana Maslany (The Vow, Picture Day). She portrays Sarah, an outsider and orphan whose life changes dramatically after witnessing the suicide of a woman, “Beth,” who looks just like her. Sarah takes her identity, her boyfriend and her money. But instead of solving her problems, the street-smart chameleon is thrust headlong into a kaleidoscopic mystery. She makes the dizzying discovery that she and the dead woman are clones… but are they the only ones? Sarah quickly finds herself caught in the middle of a deadly conspiracy, racing to find answers. ORPHAN BLACK premieres Saturday, March 30, 9:00pm ET/PT, as part of BBC AMERICA’s Supernatural Saturday.
Led by Tatiana Maslany, the cast includes Jordan Gavaris (Degrassi) as Felix, Sarah’s thorny foster brother and her one true confidante; Dylan Bruce (NCIS) as Paul, Beth’s boyfriend – a decent guy with chiseled features, but more complicated than he appears; Maria Doyle Kennedy (Downton Abbey) as Mrs. S, Sarah’s hard-nosed working class foster mother from across the pond; Michael Mando (The Killing) as Vic, Sarah’s volatile ex, aptly nicknamed “Vic the Dick”; Kevin Hanchard (Republic of Doyle) as Art, a veteran detective working alongside Beth who grows suspicious of her erratic behavior: and Skyler Wexler (Carrie) as Sarah’s seven-year-old daughter. The ten-part conspiracy thriller, produced by Temple Street Productions, is co-created by Graeme Manson (Flashpoint) and John Fawcett (Spartacus), with Manson also serving as writer and Fawcett as director.
“As we get deeper into the show and peel back the layers, we unearth the conspiracy and the philosophy behind those responsible for the circumstances our characters are facing,” said Graeme Manson. “It’s a thrill ride with no shortage of hooks; the ‘how is she going to get out of this?’ question will be answered by Sarah invariably not getting ‘out’, but going deeper,” added John Fawcett.
Sarah’s complexities, struggles and troubled past make for a character that both grounds and fuels this intense series. As the story unfolds, we learn that Sarah began life in an English orphanage, bouncing between foster homes, eventually landing on the doorstep of Mrs. S, who adopted her and Felix, later uprooting them (under somewhat suspicious circumstances) to North America. Sarah steadfastly remains the English punk – a street-smart stray with a reckless streak and a loyal heart. She’s made bad choices in life, but has always done right by her daughter Kira, even if that meant the pain of separation. She wants more than anything to reunite with Kira and turn over a new leaf. But Sarah’s simple score to buy a new life turns into a tightrope act when she finds out that not only was Beth (her deceased look-alike) a cop, she was caught in the middle of a deadly conspiracy. Now, Sarah is the next target – fighting to stay alive, while desperately trying to escape from the complex web she’s found herself in. But as more pieces of the puzzle emerge, Sarah is only drawn in deeper. With continual shocks to her identity, she’s left reeling, wondering who she really is.
“Sarah’s unlike any character I've seen on television, male or female. She is written so vividly on the page, struggling to survive as best she can in a world that's never made room for her,” said Tatiana Maslany, star of Orphan Black. “The series is completely unpredictable, gripping, dark and hilarious. The writers take huge risks, and that's what excites me so much about Orphan Black. It pushes boundaries, always with intelligence.”
Following the hit drama, COPPER, Orphan Black is BBC AMERICA’s next scripted series to join the channel’s stable of all-new original programming. The series is part of BBC AMERICA’s new Supernatural Saturday lineup, which launches March 30, with the season premiere of Doctor Who at 8:00pm ET/PT, series premiere of Orphan Black at 9:00pm ET/PT and the series premiere of The Nerdist at 10:00pm ET/PT.
Note to editors
Twitter: @OrphanBlack Hashtags: #OrphanBlack
AND PRODUCTION CREDITS
Sarah, Beth…and others Tatiana Maslany (The Vow, Cas & Dylan, Picture Day)
Felix Jordan Gavaris (Degrassi, Unnatural History)
Paul Dylan Bruce (As the World Turns, Unstoppable)
Mrs. S Maria Doyle Kennedy (Downton Abbey, Dexter)
Art Kevin Hanchard (The Listener, Take the Lead)
Kira Skyler Wexler (Carrie, Alphas)
Vic Michael Mando (The Colony, Cobu)
Co-Creator/Director John Fawcett
Co-Creator/Writer Graeme Manson
Directors David Frazee
Executive Producers Ivan Schneeberg
Co-Executive Producer/Writer Karen Walton
Production Designer Ian Brock
Costume Designer Laurie Drew
Orphan Black is produced by Temple Street Productions in association with BBC AMERICA and SPACE.
SARAH (Tatiana Maslany) is a natural chameleon, a born outsider living on the fringes and surviving by her wits. She began life in an English orphanage and was bounced between foster homes until she landed on the doorstep of Mrs. S, who finally adopted her and her foster brother Felix. When Sarah was 14, Mrs. S uprooted them under suspicious circumstances and moved them to North America. Sarah steadfastly remained the English punk, a street-smart stray with a reckless streak and a loyal heart. She’s made bad choices in life, but she’s always done right by her daughter Kira, even if that meant the pain of separation. Now, all Sarah wants is to reunite with Kira and turn over a new leaf… but her encounter with Beth changes everything.
BETH (Tatiana Maslany) is Sarah's entry point into the mystery. She is revealed backwards from the moment of her death, as Sarah takes on her identity and reconstructs her last days. By literally becoming Beth, part of Sarah's journey lies in understanding her, and she comes to deeply respect the valiant, damaged cop she so rashly switched places with.
FELIX (Jordan Gavaris) is Sarah's thorny foster brother and the one true confidante she can be honest and open with. He’s a struggling artist, worldly beyond his 23 years. Like Sarah, Felix is a stray cat and hustler, keeping more than one sugar daddy to fund his artistic ambitions. He is caustic and dramatic, constantly complicating things for Sarah. But they’re the closest thing either of them has to family, and when the chips are down, they’re fiercely loyal to one another.
PAUL (Dylan Bruce) is Beth's boyfriend – a decent guy with chiseled features who Sarah falls into bed with against her better judgment. Before taking on Beth’s identity, Sarah had never been involved with a supportive and solid man like Paul. Despite the fact that she is deceiving him, she takes solace in Paul. But Paul is more complicated than he appears.
MRS. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) is Sarah’s hard-nosed working class foster mother from across the pond. She’s given up a lot to raise Sarah, who, until now, has never shown an ounce of respect or appreciation for her sacrifices. Their relationship is estranged and deeply strained over Mrs. S’ care of Kira, Sarah’s daughter. But Mrs. S is tough for a reason. While at first she seems like an obstacle, she has much to reveal about Sarah’s origins.
ART (Kevin Hanchard) is a veteran detective who works alongside Beth. Out of loyalty, he helped clear Beth of a civilian shooting. Now, with Sarah posing as Beth, Art grows suspicious of her uncharacteristic and erratic behavior. One thing becomes clear; he is not a man who likes a mystery to go unsolved.
VIC (Michael Mando) just can’t help himself. He’s Sarah's ex, a volatile ball of male insecurity and exactly the kind of bad energy Sarah is trying to rid her life of. “Vic the Dick” (as he is aptly nicknamed) is lovelorn, betrayed and sporadically violent – a bad mix. But no matter what he learns about Sarah, he keeps coming back for more, screwing things up for her in the process.
EPISODE ONE SYNOPSIS
Episode One premieres Saturday, March 30, 9:00pm ET/PT.
Sarah, an orphan outsider on the run from a lifetime of bad decisions, witnesses the suicide of a stranger who looks just like her. Sarah assumes her identity hoping that cleaning out the dead woman’s bank account will solve all of her problems. Instead, the street-smart chameleon is thrust headlong into a kaleidoscopic mystery. After taking on the new identity, Sarah quickly finds herself caught in the middle of a deadly conspiracy and must race to find answers.
Episodes Two-Ten will be released on a later date.
BBC AMERICA delivers U.S. audiences high-quality, innovative and intelligent programming. Established in 1998, it has been the launch pad for talent embraced by American mainstream pop culture, including Ricky Gervais, Gordon Ramsay, Graham Norton, and successful programming formats including ground-breaking non-scripted television like Top Gear and top-rated science-fiction like Doctor Who. Owned by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, BBC AMERICA has attracted both critical acclaim and major awards including an Emmy®, five Golden Globes® and ten Peabody Awards. The channel attracts one of cable’s most affluent and educated audiences and is available on cable and satellite TV in more than 80.7 million homes. It broadcasts in both standard and high-definition, with content available On Demand across all major digital platforms. Online, www.bbcamerica.com is the place to go to dig deeper into pop culture with a British twist. Find out more by visiting www.press.bbcamerica.com or follow us on www.twitter.com/bbcamerica.
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