'Orphan Black': Creator shares scoop on the new villains
Watch out, Sarah! Because there will be some new baddies on the scene when Orphan Black returns for season 2 on April 19. And these baddies could very well be coming from different directions. On one hand, we will be introduced to a new, more dangerous breed of Prolethean. And on the other, we will go higher up on the Dyad Institute food chain to meet “Rachel’s creepy boss.” Orphan Black co-creator John Fawcett sat down with us to share some intel on all the new faces — including one who may or may not be friendly. He also spoke about meeting Orphan Black fans up close for the very first time and what else to expect in season 2.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When you made season 1, it was kind of in a vacuum, but now you’ve been out there at Comic Con and met the fans. What was that experience like?
JOHN FAWCETT: When we went to Comic Con, that was my first kind of real look at our fans. It was pretty cool. It was eye-opening. It’s a lot of girls, a lot of young women. I think we knew that, we knew we were making something that would appeal to that demographic. Even the character of Felix, I thought that would have an appeal to women, and I knew that because I had done many episodes of Queer As Folk and I knew that there was just a huge female fan base for the show. I think I kind of had a sense of that even when we were making the show, but at Comic Con, it was very eye opening. It’s been really cool. I have to admit, after that, we kind of went and got into the writer’s room and started working on scripts and I kind of put my head down. I wasn’t really following a lot of it, because it seems like every day there’s Google alerts about Orphan Black and this or that. I would have never gotten the show done. It feels like I’ve just finished shooting season 2 and now I’m kind of coming up going, “Okay, now we have a show done…let’s see what the fans are like this year.”
EW: It really seems in season 2 like you will have these three points on a triangle: You have the Neolutionists on one point, you’ve got the Proletheans on another tip, and then the clones on the third one — and then these forces are all going to meet in the middle.
FAWCETT: Well, I think that’s exactly it — it is kind of a war. We’ve basically done a lot of work this season to develop the mythology of the show and create new stuff, and one of the big things I’m excited about this year is our new bad guys. And it is very much Sarah and her sisters caught between these two warring organizations. And to make matters worse, she has a very personal vendetta with Rachel. And those things give season 2 its kind of big picture tapestry and view.
EW: And these new Proletheans — led by Henrik and Mark in the photo above — are a little bit different than what we’ve seen before, right?
FAWCETT: I’m really proud of our new casting this year. Mark is pretty creepy and that’s what he’s supposed to be, but as with any of our characters on the show, they’re never ever painted in one tone. You get to see very, very different aspects to that character. And he is a character who stays with us through the entire season. We had fun developing the new world order of the Proletheans. Tomas was kind of the old order, and the mythology of the old order has been around for 400 years and began in England and Eastern Europe. But these new Proletheans, they’re Americans, and they drive trucks and they farm the land and they’re creepy, religious cult types, but with a kind of North American spin.
EW: Let’s go through some of the new casting on the other side. Michelle Forbes is going to be showing up with a connection to the Neoutionists.
FAWCETT: She plays a kind of very high up the food chain enigmatic character that you kind of don’t really know where she stands. You don’t know who’s side she’s on. That’s a very story of interesting aspect to that character. And she shows up at weird times and she has a lot of weird power and you don’t know why she has the power. She’s a mysterious, good-looking woman in great clothes. Her character basically turns out to be Rachel’s creepy boss. She’s the next in command above Dr. Leekie and Rachel, and then it’s like, “Well, who’s pulling her strings?”
EW: And tell me about Michiel Huisman from Nashville and Game of Thrones who is appearing as Cal Morrison.
FAWCETT: He is an interesting character because he’s basically become a hermit in the woods. He’s a kind of a guy who is living in the middle of a forest, basically off the grid, and you don’t know why, really. It seems like he’s hiding out is the vibe we get from Cal. And he’s a real do-it-yourself kind of guy. As we discover from him, he actually had created a company that made a ton of money. But he sold it. He’s kind of an inventor.
EW: Obviously one of the big cliffhangers from season 1 was Cosima’s illness. What can you say about that?
FAWCETT: Cosima’s illness is a major, major storyline in season 2. It’s something that is life or death for Cosima and then for everyone else. When someone is sick, it really kind of brings people together. I think that’s what we see from this. Now, Delphine and Cosima are in love, but Delphine’s kind of trapped in the middle. She does some bad things. But she does good things. She’s in love, but she’s still doing bad things. And trying to discover if there is a cure for Cosima is a big plot issue with season 2. And it’s something that carries through from episode to episode — this journey to try to find some sort of way to cure her.
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