“Orphan Black: The Next Chapter” has New Mysteries, New Clones and Possibly a New Queer Character

Last we spoke about Orphan Black: The Next Chapter, I expressed how nervous I had been for a continuation of one of my all-time favorite TV shows in this new, different format, and how it exceeded my expectations. I’m happy to report that six episodes (and five “chapters”) in, aka halfway through this season, I’m still really loving it. Tatiana Maslany’s voice is so calming, and I think it really helps that so many of these characters are people we’ve seen before, so it’s easy to imagine their mannerisms as Tatiana effortlessly flits from voice to voice. Though, I will admit, I’m having no problem envisioning the new characters too, even the ones that aren’t supposed to look like some version of Tatiana Maslany.

I’ll be honest, despite the fact that I’ve loved a lot of them, I have reboot fatigue. I feel like I’m too young for them to be remaking the shows I watched as a teenager, and also, aren’t there any new ideas? So this Serial Box experience (I still don’t know if it’s an audiobook or a podcast or what) being just a new way to continue and expand upon the show I loved instead of rebooting it or trying to unfairly leverage a franchise’s name by putting it in “the same universe” without having much to do with the actual show at all is really refreshing.

This new story, not unlike the show, is funny at times – that Charlotte grew up to have quite the sense of humor – and very mysterious. There are new clones that aren’t from Project Leda; older than Charlotte but younger than the sestras. There are self-aware clones and at least one clone who was shocked to see her own face staring back at her. There’s murder, there’s intrigue. And, just like the show, it’s queer as hell.

We have our resident lesbian and bisexual crazy science duo, of course. Cosima and Delphine have been married for quite some time, and are even having fights about kids and building a house together. They help out Art with Charlotte and Sarah with Kira whenever they can, and are still very much in love.

And since they were such a centerpoint of this story, plus we have bisexual Sarah Manning running about, I was truly and extremely surprised when Kira started working at a non-profit gene company (or something that sounds smarter and sciencier than that) called GeneKeep, where she meets Emmaline, aka Em, is a Métis woman around Kira’s age (Kira is 18 now! Our little girl, all grown up. :wipes tear:) who works at GeneKeep and is FLIRTING WITH KIRA. Kira!!! It’s not entirely clear if Kira returns the sentiment, but she certainly doesn’t seem opposed, and she asks Charlotte how to tell if someone is flirting with her, which is a rainbow flag if I’ve ever seen one, at least in the eyes of me, an Oblivious Gay.

I want to know all of your thoughts and feelings; how are you liking this new extension of our favorite story? Do you think Kira is really queer? Is Tatiana Maslany’s voice also soothing you in ways you didn’t know you needed to be soothed? Let’s have a spoiler-filled chat about it in the comments, like a book club for…whatever medium this story is in.

Just a nerdy, TV-loving, Twitter-addicted Hufflepuff who loves reading, watching, and writing about stories. One part Kara Danvers, two parts Waverly Earp, a dash of Cosima and an extra helping of my own brand of weirdo.

Valerie has written 187 articles for us.

10 Comments

  1. I have been listening week to week and IT. IS. SO GOOD.

    Tatiana Maslany’s doing an impeccable job as always (her doing an impression of Art is amazing, her Sarah south london accent sounded a bit rough in this week’s podcast but i’ll give her a pass).

    Yes Kira is foshure returning those butterfly feels !!!

    Also like SHIT HAS HIT THE FAN THIS WEEK (i’ll keep it spoiler free) but in my car on the commute I was for real saying HOLY SHIT out loud!

    • I’ll also say that i’m really into audio storytelling right now because of how long my commute is and it is suuuch a good medium to continue Orphan Black, but at the same time, again it REALLY works thanks to Tatiana Maslany you know? Her DELPHINE voice has me swoon even!

  2. I am LOVING the story and Tatiana Maslany’s narration is spot-on; her Delphine gives me chills. I look forward to the show every Thursday and start listening first thing when I walk my dog and finish it during my commutes to and from work. NEVER END, ORPHAN BLACK! Never end.

  3. Orphan Black will always be one of my forever loves and I really want to listen to this but I’m waiting until all the episodes come out before I decide. I don’t want to get my heart broken if something happens to Cophine (I’m like 73% they wouldn’t do that but… the did kill Delphine for like a season and a half). Valerie – will you do a full recap/review once all the eps are out for us gunshy little fragile shippers?

    • Generally I don’t like audio books – I’ve tried a few others of the Serial Box stable, where I like the author, and not got past the free episode tester (although there’s one I’m considering for after this). But with this I’m hooked. I think in part it’s the story and the characters, I believe I’m back in the Orphan Black universe completely because it’s well written, and in part it’s Tatiana’s voice – of course Sarah, Alison, Cosima etc. just leap out of the podcast fully formed, but so do Kira, Art, Delphine and the the range of new characters. Including my namesake who hit on Delphine – who can blame her!

      So, while your mileage may vary of course, for me, definitely worth it.

  4. I really and truly started tearing up at hearing Cosima’s voice in the first episode. Hearing these characters again feels like a hug, and like I’m just watching the show like normal. As someone who watches a lot of tv, this is somehow still the “tv” episode I most look forward to every week (or, this and Supergirl, maybe).

    I’m really wondering when we’ll see Felix though. And I’m assuming Helena will show up in the last episode to save everyone from some sort of dangerous situation.

    I didn’t think queer Kira was a question—I wasn’t sure in the first episode, but by the time she asks how to tell if someone is flirting I think they’ve made it pretty clear.

  5. I’m really enjoying it too. I found “Delphine” a little distracting the first couple of eps, but either I’ve adjusted to it or Tatiana has warmed up a bit, because it’s fine now.

    Agree that Sarah’s accent was a tiny bit ropy at a couple of points, but it’s barely noticeable.

    Given the way that Kira’s being a total Gay Disaster around Em, I think her queerness is barely in question, heh.

    Now the action has kicked into gear, I’m looking forward to each new ep. I was getting a little frustrated with Cosima and Delphine not pulling together as a team, but now we’ll definitely have to see what happens now that Cosima’s really put her foot in it.

  6. I’m loving it! I didn’t think I would listen to the serial when it was first announced, since I felt good about how the TV series had ended and didn’t want that to be ruined, but I decided to give it a try after Valerie’s glowing article about the first episode. It’s so good! I’ve almost missed getting off at my bus stop a few times because I am so engaged in the story.

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