The Tatiana Maslany show outdid itself yet again with Season 2, episode 8 of “Orphan Black” — titled “Variable and Full of Peturbation” — by introducing viewers to another clone, but there was an even more mind-blowing twist than just another of Maslany’s identities. Tony, the newest member of Clone Club (well, junior member, really), is a guy. Yes, there is a trans clone in the mix.
Zap2it sat down with “Orphan Black” creators Graeme Manson and John Fawcett to get all the scoop on how Tony came about and what role he’ll have in the show’s central mystery as Season 2 draws to a close.
The pair revealed on a panel at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas Saturday morning (June 7) that they approached Maslany with the idea after the end of Season 1, but they reveal to Zap2it that she was already on board as they pitched her the idea.
“She had already come up with the idea sort of on her own,” Fawcett says. “There was never a moment where we were trying to convince her. We were all immediately on the same page.”
Everyone involved is aware at how important the character is, and Manson says they didn’t take his introduction lightly. “We definitely felt the responsibility of portraying this,” he says. “We did a lot of work and Tatiana did a lot of work to portray this character in a way that we felt was respectful of that community but also worked within the context of our show.”
Although there are so many unresolved storylines happening on the show right now, Manson and Fawcett say that adding a new element to the mix was something they still wanted to do.
“We have a lot of balls in the air but we also like that we are finding parts of our puzzle from lots of different places. It’s not just about discovering something on a piece of microfiche,” Fawcett says. “It was important that Tony, even though we wanted to introduce a new character, that he came with a part of the puzzle — it wasn’t just something random. It was part of the intricacy.”
Fawcett and Manson won’t say when we’ll see Tony again, but he is separate from the Clone Club by design. “We were hoping the character could stand on his own a little bit and return, but also to be an outlier who didn’t have to become attached and glued to the main story,” Manson says.
Tony’s message for Beth, however, will play a role in the remaining two episodes of Season 2. “Paul is important,” Manson teases. “He’s in the wind right now. Is he gonna show up? What’s he gonna bring? What’s Paul’s game been?”
Adds Fawcett, “I think the last we saw Paul was in episode 6 with Mrs. S in the car having some conversations around Afghanistan. It’s interesting to see those two meet up in that moment and you just know there’s so much more to the story. That’s where we’ve left him and he is a very important part of the show and it’s going to be fun to reveal it when the time comes, don’t you think?”
“Orphan Black” airs Saturday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on BBC America.