Attention, Clone Club: “Orphan Black” is getting a post-TV afterlife.
Temple Street Productions, the production company behind the sci-fi thriller, inked a deal with premium digital fiction startup Serial Box to create a brand-new installment, “Orphan Black: The Next Chapter” — continuing the story of the clone sisterhood and their allies (and enemies) after the end of the TV show.
Tatiana Maslany, the Emmy-winning star of “Orphan Black” who portrayed 14 different clones on the show, is on board to voice the new episodes. The 10-episode series will be available later this summer in audiobook and text formats exclusively from Serial Box. Boat Rocker Studios, the parent of Temple Street, is an investor in Serial Box.
“Orphan Black” ran for five seasons on BBC America in the U.S. and Canada’s Space. In the TV series finale, the full list of 274 female Leda clones is revealed — prompting Cosima, one of the original Clone Club members, and her companion Delphine to embark on a quest to inoculate them against the respiratory disease the clones are susceptible to.
According to Temple Street and Serial Box, “The Next Chapter” is the official continuation of the Orphan Black story, set eight years in the future from where season 5 left off and features the same characters, all voiced by Maslany. The companies aren’t sharing additional plot details but said “#cophine” — a reference to Cosima and Delphine — “definitely plays a big part in the story.”
Serial Box has enlisted a new writing team for “Orphan Black: The Next Chapter.” It has signed Malka Older as the showrunner and Mishell Baker, Lindsay Smith, Heli Kennedy, Madeline Ashby and E.C. Myers as series writers. The writers’ room approach, according to the company, lets it release serialized fiction five times faster than a traditional book.
“We are delighted to be able to extend the Orphan Black franchise through this new and innovative partnership with Serial Box,” Ivan Schneeberg and David Fortier, Boat Rocker’s co-executive chairmen and executive producers of “Orphan Black,” said in a joint statement. “Orphan Black’s devoted fans will now get more of what they love on this exciting listening and reading platform.”
Serial Box patterns its service on traditional TV shows, with new episodes (chapters) of its serialized stories released every week in “seasons” that typically run 10-16 weeks. The first chapter is free; subsequent episodes cost $1.99 each or users can buy a season pass at an average price of $13.99.
The “Orphan Black” collaboration with Temple Street marks New York-based Serial Box’s second major entertainment partnership, after announcing a deal with Marvel Entertainment to create original stories based on Black Panther, Jessica Jones, Black Widow and Thor.
Separately, a TV series set in the “Orphan Black” universe — with a completely new story — is in the works at AMC Networks from Temple Street, Variety first reported earlier this year.