In Saturday's new episode of the BBC America sci-fi drama Orphan Black, "Variable and Full of Peturbation," the audience met new trans clone Tony Sawicki. He is the newest member of the family of clones, all played by lead actress Tatiana Maslany, who are exploring their identities and the mystery of their creation.
Tony is a grifter who finds out he is a clone after the tragic loss of a friend. He meets the main protagonists who decide he should be sent away for his own safety, but with means to return.
Series creators Graeme Manson and John Fawcett spoke with Entertainment Weekly about creating Tony and incorporating him as just another part of the show's mission to explore identity:
"I don’t think we ever looked at it as risk. We looked at it as, okay, if we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it from exactly the right place creatively and story-telling wise and we’re going to commit 100%. And as long as we move forward with our hearts in the right place, hopefully the sexual politics rise above it. That’s sort of how we approached the storytelling, too. Throw the character in and treat the character exactly like you’d treat anyone else, and give them their dignity and respect."
"We were hoping the character could stand on his own a little bit and return, but also to be an outlier who didn't have to become attached and glued to the main story," Manson said. Fawcett continued: "We have a lot of balls in the air but we also like that we are finding parts of our puzzle from lots of different places. It's not just about discovering something on a piece of microfiche. It was important that Tony, even though we wanted to introduce a new character, that he came with a part of the puzzle -- it wasn't just something random. It was part of the intricacy."
Orphan Black, nominated in Outstanding Drama Series at the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, airs Saturdays at 9:00pm on BBC America. You can catch the newest episode and meet Tony yourself on BBC America On Demand or online at iTunes and Amazon.