At its peak six years ago, the award-winning sci-fi thriller Orphan Black had fast-paced action, a densely layered, wildly entertaining plot, and fantastic performances—headlined by the unmatched talent of Tatiana Maslany playing 14 clones. It had a sapphic storyline (which, by the way, had a happy ending!), a hallucinated scorpion (also voiced by Maslany), and a whole lot of crazy science.
It also has a dedicated fan base, and a full decade after Sarah Manning stepped onto a train platform and found herself, the Clone Club is alive and well with the announcement of the new series, Orphan Black: Echoes.
First rumored in 2019 and officially green-lit in April 2022 by AMC+, Orphan Black: Echoes is one of the most highly anticipated shows in the sci-fi genre. For members of the Clone Club, it’s also a trip back to a world of scientific experiments, nail-biting suspense, and good old-fashioned love and betrayal.
So, what can we expect from a show that calls itself a “completely unique copy of the original”? Jump into the rabbit hole with us and everything we know so far about Orphan Black: Echoes.
What Is the Plot of Orphan Black: Echoes All About?
The official synopsis of Orphan Black: Echoes reads as follows:
“Set in the near future, Orphan Black: Echoes 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. [Krysten] Ritter plays Lucy, a woman with an unimaginable origin story, trying to find her place in the world.”
The new 10-episode show is set in the year 2052, which marks a major time jump from the events of Orphan Black. The original show’s co-creator, John Fawcett, shares that Echoes is a spin-off that has “its own feel; it’s got its own identity.”
In an interview with The Radio Times, he explains, “When we were talking about what the spin-off would be, it was like, well, let’s come up with a concept that works in the Orphan Black world but isn’t necessarily just an Orphan Black – a clone of Orphan Black, so to speak.”
So what does the world of Ritter’s Lucy share with the original?
Fawcett says that there’s a bit of a slow burn to it for fans to discover on the show.
Of course, there’s the still-unnamed character of Keeley Hawes, described by Deadline as “a perceptive but sensitive scientist who finds herself at odds with her own moral code when circumstances lead her to make an unthinkable choice.” This, alongside the lab gown and the curls, is strongly Delphine Cormier-coded.
The time jump also suggests that the future is shaped by the scientific discoveries developed at the end of the original series, likely with the same feel of suspense and mystery. Except this time, it unfolds through the eyes of Lucy, who wakes up after having a mysterious procedure, knowing nothing about who she is.
But until we get more information on the plot, it remains unclear how the series will deal with cloning technology. Maybe the slow burn Fawcett spoke about is similar to Sarah Manning’s discovery of her clones, or perhaps it’s a completely different exploration of another aspect of genetic manipulation (fancy a tail, anyone?). We’ll have to wait and see.
Who Is in the Cast of Orphan Black: Echoes?
The new series stars Krysten Ritter, best known for her lead role as the MCU detective Jessica Jones, and the comedy series Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23. Aside from playing the central character of Lucy, she also serves as executive producer.
Keeley Hawes, a BAFTA-nominated English actress, also joins the series as a still-unnamed but very Delphine-coded scientist. Her long resume includes work in BBC shows Spooks and Bodyguard, as well as limited series like The Casual Vacancy and The Missing.
Rya Khilsted (The Atticus Institute, Dexter) will play Eleanor, a hardworking neuroscientist devoted to her wife and son, while James Hiroyuki Liao (Prison Break, HBO’s Barry) plays Darros, a powerful self-made billionaire with a questionable past. Reed Diamond (Homicide Life On The Street, Marvel’s Agents Of Shield) plays Tom, the no-nonsense Head of Corporate Security for the Darros Foundation.
Amanda Fix (High School, North of Normal), Avan Jogia (Zombieland: Double Tap), Tattiawna Jones (The Handmaid’s Tale), and newcomer Zariella Langford round out the rest of the main cast.
Interestingly enough, Krysten Ritter is credited on IMDb for 4 episodes, while Amanda Fix is present in all 10. There is no word on whether Maslany or other actors from the original series, like fan favorites Evelyne Brochu (Delphine) or Kristian Bruun (Donnie), will be involved.
Who Is in the Production of Orphan Black: Echoes?
The 10-episode series is produced by Boat Rocker, with Anna Fishko (Fear the Walking Dead, Pieces of Her) taking on showrunner duties.
Alongside Fishko and Ritter as executive producers are Fawcett, Ivan Schneeberg, David Fortier, and Kerry Appleyard—all of whom worked in the original series. Other executive producers include Katie O’Connell and Nick Nantell.
Is There a Trailer for Orphan Black: Echoes?
Orphan Black: Echoes just released its first teaser trailer, which you can watch here:
Is Orphan Black: Echoes a Sequel to Orphan Black?
No, Orphan Black: Echoes is a spin-off that, as far as we know, doesn’t follow the stories of the main characters on the original show.
If you are looking for a sequel, then I highly suggest giving the audiobook Orphan Black: The Next Chapter a try. Set eight years after the events of Orphan Black, it provides a well-deserved update on our beloved characters and how their lives are going, deepens the clone lore, and gives us plenty more of Cophine (Cosima and Delphine) moments. It also features Tatiana Maslany working her magic on the microphone, along with a few of the original cast.
There are, of course, fan theories that the characters of Orphan Black: Echoes are distantly tied to the original show’s characters, mostly because one of the actors listed on the show’s IMDb page is Jaeden Noel, who plays Lucas Manning.
Minor spoiler alert for the audiobook: In The Next Chapter, we learn that Sarah’s miraculously self-healing daughter Kira is attracted to women. We also know that Rya Khilsted’s Eleanor has a wife and son—but what if her wife is Kira? Other Clone Club conspiracy theories also think that the still unnamed scientist, played by Keeley Hawes, might just be Kira herself.
When and Where Is Orphan Black: Echoes Being Released?
Orphan Black: Echoes was originally slated for a March 2023 release in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the original series, but the premiere has been pushed back to 2024.
The show will be available to watch on AMC, BBC America, and AMC+.