Press: Ahead of ‘Orphan Black’ Final Season, Show’s Producers Release Mobile Mystery-Puzzle Game for Clone Fans

Sci-fi series “Orphan Black” will air its farewell season this summer. On Friday, the production company behind the show, Boat Rocker Media, is launching a mobile game to kindle excitement among Clone Club fans leading up to the series finale — and its creators believe the app will have a life that extends well beyond the TV run.

“Orphan Black: The Game” is a turn-based adventure puzzle game retelling key plots points from seasons 1-4 in the form of what Boat Rocker calls “fever-dream worlds” with a nightmarish art style. Players control the clone sestras (played in the show by Tatiana Maslany) as they fight enemies, avoid traps and solve riddles. The game launches Friday, March 24, priced at $4.99 (U.S.) in Apple’s iTunes App Store. Initially, it’s available only for iOS.

“It was important that there was a mystery, conspiracy feel to the game,” John Fawcett, who co-created “Orphan Black” with Graeme Manson, said in an interview. “That really locks into the theme of the show.”

The game features virtually all the clone sisters — Sarah, Cosima, Alison, Helena, Rachel, Beth, MK, Katja, Tony and Krystal — with more than 80 levels across 10 different worlds. Unlike the TV show, “Orphan Black: The Game” presents the storylines in a chronological fashion. Fawcett noted that in the game, the story begins with a prologue of events that happen before season 1 even starts, with “MK leading us in the forest to Beth.” (The show’s fans, we presume, will understand what he’s talking about.)

Maslany, who won the 2016 Emmy for best actress in a drama series for “Orphan Black,” provided voiceovers for the game. That includes a signature line she delivers when players reach the end of each world, said Bryce Hunter, senior VP of Boat Rocker Digital. “The grunts and death sounds are her voice as well,” he said.

The game also includes a variety of Easter eggs, including a secret world that players can uncover at the end. But the Boat Rocker guys refused to spill the beans on any of that.

Hunter said the company started assembling a team to develop the game in 2014, and began production on “Orphan Black: The Game” last year. Why hasn’t the studio produced a game for the show until now? After all, given the dystopian-tech vibe of the TV show, a game is a natural fit. Most of the clones don’t know about their sisters when the story starts, and as the show unfolds they’re forced to fight the forces behind the mysterious experiment as they race to solve the ultimate explanation for their existence.

“There were logistical hoops,” Hunter said. “We brought in a very focused, experienced team to dive into the world of ‘Orphan Black.’” Developers tested about 10 different gameplay types to make sure it would fit with the feel of the show and meet fan expectations. “Orphan Black: The Game” uses Unity Technologies’ game engine.

Fawcett, who spoke to Variety during a break in shooting this week for the series finale, said Boat Rocker is readying the launch of other projects related to the show, including a comic-book series at the end of March. “We’re hoping get fans champing at the bit to see season 5,” Fawcett said.

The fifth and final season premieres June 10, on BBC America in the U.S. and Canada’s Space network. “Orphan Black” is produced by Boat Rocker Studios’ Temple Street division in association with BBC America and Bell Media’s Space.

Fawcett said the last season spends a lot of time on Neolution Island and on the clones’ attempts to dismantle the Neolutionist patriarchy. “It’s been a crazy, crazy experience for us – every other day there’s been another main character wrapping, never to be seen again,” he said. “Our wrap party felt more like a funeral than a celebration.” For Fawcett, the most difficult character to bid goodbye to was Allison Hendrix, the suburban housewife, whom he said was probably his favorite of the clones.

On Wednesday, BBC America released a few cryptic details of what’s coming in season 5. Here’s the teaser: “This season, the walls close in on Sarah when nearly all her sestras and their allies are brought to heel by Rachel. Even more harrowing is that her daughter Kira has joined them. With the threat of Neolution having carte-blanche access to clone biology, Sarah is desperate to gain control, but realizes she must change tactics to pursue a long game. Protecting both her families, and the host of clones she’s yet to meet, Sarah and those still fighting the fight will uncover the missing pieces of the insidious conspiracy – and finally learn the story behind their origin. Despite the great risk, the fight of her life will either set her and her sestras free, or see them meet their end.”

At launch, “Orphan Black: The Game” will incorporate plot points and characters from the first four seasons, and Boat Rocker expects to introduce season 5 level packs later. As for why the company is launching it as a premium game, Hunter said that fans overwhelming preferred that model instead of it being a free-to-play game with in-app purchases.
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Watch the teaser trailer for “Orphan Black: The Game”:

Press/Video: Hiddleston, Redford, Maslany raise voices for ‘Planet Earth II’

The networks presenting Planet Earth II are taking audience targeting to a new level.

AMC, SundanceTV and BBC America — owned or operated by AMC Networks — will simulcast Saturday’s premiere of Planet Earth II (9 ET/PT), a six-part event “celebrating the planet, its creatures and the universal stories that unite and transcend,” according to network executives.

The remaining five episodes of the nature series, the follow-up to the renowned 2006 series, will run Saturdays at 9 ET/PT on BBC America.
To personalize promotion for the different networks, three different versions of a new trailer, made available exclusively to USA TODAY, are narrated by a star associated with each network.

Tom Hiddleston, who won a Golden Globe for AMC’s The Night Manager, narrates the AMC version. Oscar winner Robert Redford, the famed Sundance Kid, provides the voiceover on SundanceTV, which he founded, and Tatiana Maslany, an Emmy winner for BBC America’s Orphan Black, is the narrator for the trailer playing on that network.

The nature series, put together from 2,089 shooting days across 117 filming trips in 40 countries, is narrated by Sir David Attenborough.
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Press: Tatiana Maslany, Eugene and Dan Levy among presenters at Canadian Screen Awards

Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany, Schitt’s Creek leads Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara and Daniel Levy, and Sons of Anarchy alumnus Kim Coates will be among the presenters at this year’s Canadian Screen Awards.

Staged in Toronto on March 12, the awards honour the best in Canadian TV, film and digital media.

This year’s host will be comedian and America’s Got Talent judge Howie Mandel.

Other presenters are set to include:

Oscar-nominated director Atom Egoyan.
CBC satirist Rick Mercer.
Big Brother Canada host Arisa Cox.
Kim’s Convenience co-stars Jean Yoon and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee.
Comedian Sean Cullen.
Actors Wendy Crewson, Catherine Reitman and Stephan James.

Toronto singer Francesco Yates is lined up for a musical performance. The show will air on CBC-TV.
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Orphan Black season 5 premiere date announced

Prepare your goodbyes, sestras: Orphan Black‘s final season has a premiere date.

BBC America announced Tuesday the sci-fi drama’s fifth season will launch on Saturday, June 10 at 10 p.m. ET.

Additionally, BBC America revealed Tatiana Maslany, who won her first Emmy for fronting the show as several Leda clones in September, will join the full cast for a panel discussion at PaleyFest on Thursday, March 23 in Los Angeles. Jordan Gavaris (Felix), Maria Doyle Kennedy (Mrs. S), Kristian Bruun (Donnie), Kevin Hanchard (Detective Art Bell), Evelyne Brochu (Delphine), Ari Millen (Ira and Castor clones), and Maslany’s acting double, Kathryn Alexandre, will appear alongside the actress, as will series co-creator and writer, Graeme Manson.

Last June, the network confirmed the cult hit would conclude with season 5.

“We are excited to deliver an epic conclusion to the tale of Sarah and her clone sisters,” co-creators John Fawcett and Manson previously said in a joint statement. “The past four seasons have been a phenomenal adventure and we are eternally grateful to our loyal fans who have loved the twists and thrills of our weird little show. We are thankful to our partners at Temple Street, and to BBC America and Space for their support and giving us the opportunity to end on a high.”

Since premiering on BBC America in 2013, the program has aired 40 episodes and has garnered significant critical and industry praise, earning major nominations at the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the GLAAD Media Awards in addition to Maslany’s Emmy victory.

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Tatiana Maslany: Orphan Black clones would have been at Women’s March

The Women’s March movement can count the Clone Club among its supporters, according to Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany.

The Canadian actress posted several photos of herself in character on Instagram on Tuesday, along with the caption, “Some gals who wished they could’ve been at the #womensmarch and whose [hearts] are on fire for all those who were. #thefutureisfemale #cloneclub.”

The Emmy winner included photos of herself in character as scientist Cosima, former assassin Helena, and soccer mom-turned-criminal Alison — a handful of the 11 different clones the actress has played on the hit BBC series, which prominently features feminist themes.

The Instagram post follows a slew of social media updates from Maslany in support of the Women’s March on Washington and its sister marches around the globe on Saturday, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. On Saturday, Maslany posted an Instagram video from the Women’s March in Toronto, Canada. “My heart is pounding seeing all the beautiful images of protest and solidarity from around the world,” she wrote. She also tweeted, “Sending love solidarity strength to everyone across the world marching for human rights!!!”

 

More than 3 million women in the U.S. alone marched in support of the rights of women, people of color, and marginalized communities.

 

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Press: SXSW Film ‘The Other Half,’ Starring Tatiana Maslany, to Get U.S. Release

“The Other Half,” the indie drama that premiered at SXSW last year, has been picked up by distributor Brainstorm Media for release in U.S. theaters in March. Director and writer Joey Klein’s love story earned a strong review from Variety in its festival bow in 2016.

The storyline centers on a grieving young man, played by Tom Cullen (“Downton Abbey”), and his budding relationship with Emily, an artist depicted by “Orphan Black” star and Emmy winner Tatiana Maslany. Over the course of the film, Emily’s bipolar disorder brings trauma and tension to the already-precarious union.

“This film was a standout for us at SXSW, with such beautiful and intimate performances,” said Brainstorm Media president Meyer Shwarzstein. The distribution company will coordinate the U.S. release in theaters and on video-on-demand, both set for March 10.

Jonathan Bronfman from JoBro Productions and Nicole Hilliard-Forde and Joey Klein from Motel Pictures produced the film while JayJay Firestone, CEO of Prodigy Pictures, executive produced. Cullen and Maslany are also on the film’s team of executive producers.

Press: Orphan Black Among PaleyFest 2017 Lineup

PaleyFest 2017 has rounded out its lineup.

Set to open the March 17-26 event is AMC’s The Walking Dead, with Grey’s Anatomy, Bob’s Burgers, The Late Late Show, NCIS: Los Angeles, Orphan Black, Pretty Little Liars, Scandal as well as a CW DC Super Hero event rounding out the schedule.

“For 34 years PaleyFest has grown in size, presence and prestige — solidifying its spot on the Los Angeles cultural and popular landscape,” Paley Center for Media CEO Maureen J. Reidy said in a statement announcing the lineup. “We are so proud to present this incredible PaleyFest 2017 lineup as the centerpiece in our year-round Paley Center programming. This year’s festival brings together fans and introduces new audiences to the stars and creators of television’s most talked about and popular shows.”

The newly announced programming joins a roster of previously announced panels including HBO’s Westworld, NBC’s This Is Us and American Horror Story: Roanoke.

Here’s the full schedule:
Friday, March 17: AMC’s The Walking Dead

Saturday, March 18 (matinee): Super Hero panel with stars from The CW’s Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow

Saturday, March 18 (evening): NBC’s This Is Us

Sunday, March 19: ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy

Tuesday, March 21: CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles

Wednesday, March 22: CBS’ Late Late Show

Thursday, March 23: BBC America’s Orphan Black

Friday, March 24: Fox’s Bob’s Burgers

Saturday, March 25 (matinee): Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars

Saturday, March 25 (evening): HBO’s Westworld

Sunday, March 26 (matinee): ABC’s Scandal 100th episode celebration

Sunday, March 26 (evening): FX’s American Horror Story: Roanoke
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Press: The Other Half is Coming to Theatres Across Canada

Great news everyone! I will plan to see the film as soon as I can when it’s available for me. How about you?!

We are so excited to announce The Other Half’s theatrical release date across Canada will be:
December 2nd, 2016.

Mark it in your calendar, tell your friends and go see this incredible film.

For those of you in Toronto, go see it at the Cineplex Studios at Yonge & Dundas.
Click here for more info.

For those of you in Vancouver, go see it at the International Village.
Click here for more info.

For those of you in the States, stay tuned. It is scheduled to be released in early 2017.

We are grateful to all of your support along the way and are excited to share this heartfelt story with all of you.

Press: Tatiana Maslany among Walk of Fame presenters

Emmy-winning “Orphan Black” star Tatiana Maslany will be among the presenters at the upcoming Canada’s Walk of Fame induction ceremony.

Joining Maslany are two previous inductees: actor Kiefer Sutherland and retired astronaut Roberta Bondar. Retired hockey great Lanny McDonald, former tennis star turned broadcaster Chris Evert, and actress Sharon Gless of “Cagney and Lacey” fame are also among the presenters.

The late stage and screen icon Al Waxman is among six inductees in the 2016 class.

Fellow honourees include: NHL Hall of Famer Darryl Sittler, award-winning singer-songwriter Corey Hart, actor-director Jason Priestley, filmmaker Deepa Mehta, and veteran fashion entrepreneur and journalist Jeanne Beker.

Country star Brett Kissel will be the recipient of the Allan Slaight Honour, which is presented annually to a young Canadian making a positive impact in the music industry. Kissel is also on the list of scheduled performers, which includes singer Nelly Furtado and comedian Scott Thompson.

The newest inductees will be honoured at the Allstream Centre in Toronto on Thursday, and the event is slated to be televised Dec. 18 on Global.
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