PASADENA

Tatiana Maslany, the do-it-all dynamo who headlines "Orphan Black," isn't about to rest on her laurels. In the midst of filming 10 new episodes of the sci-fi clone conspiracy, she's ready for more challenges.

"I know these women now," she says, speaking of the seven roles she's required to play. "So it's about going deeper with it and fleshing out the worlds of the clones."

Maslany, a Golden Globe nominee for her rigorous performance, appeared at a BBC America panel session Saturday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. Accompanied by co-star Jordan Gavaris and creator-writer Graeme Manson, she reflected on a whirlwind year that saw her and the cult show achieve widespread acclaim.

"We were completely blown away by the critical response we received," Maslany told reporters. "We're a niche, odd little show that could have fallen under the radar, but because of the TV critics and bloggers and The Clone Club, the word got out."

Now, Maslany and the "Orphan Black" team want to fend off complacency. The actress insisted that getting comfortable with her multi-pronged role would be "dangerous" and that she's still "obsessed" with the job. Meanwhile, Manson said the series will take some "risks with our premise and push, technically, what we did in the first season."


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Critics were given a sneak peek at the season's turbo-charged opening sequence, which picks up immediately after the events of the finale. After learning that her daughter, Kira, was kidnapped, Sarah is seen frantically running through the rain before ducking into a diner. There she connects via cell phone with Rachel, who tries to convince her to give herself up. That's when a pair of mysterious men enter the diner and ... conflict happens.

Manson and his stars weren't about to reveal any major spoilers, but tossed out a few hints about what's to come.

-- Cosima's disease will force her to confront "her own mortality," according to Maslany. Added Manson: "It's hard because she's my favorite clone and we're putting her in this heartbreaking position. ... Narratively, examining her illness and looking into her science is part of our mystery."

-- The show will delve much deeper into Felix's background, according to Gavaris. "In Season 1, Felix was very much an integral cog in the mystery and Sarah's journey," the actor said. "What Season 2 does is establish him outside of the clones and as an individual with his own identity." Manson said Felix will form allegiances with other clones and his relationship with Sarah will be tested.

-- Don't expect any new characters with clones. "It's not like we haven't thought of that," Manson said. "But it's not territory we're treading in the near future. ... We still have a long ways to go with all of these characters. We'd like to keep on exploring this as long as we don't exhaust Tat."

-- Alison's guilt over not trying to save Ainsley in the finale will eat away at her. "She's got some explosions coming up," teased Manson.

-- Michelle Forbes ("The Killing"; "True Blood") will join the show and play an integral role.

-- It remains to be seen how long "Orphan Black" will run, but Manson revealed that the show was pitched with at three-year trajectory in mind. "We have a long-term plan that's pretty elastic conceptually," he said.

"Orphan Black" returns to BBC America on April 19.

Contact Chuck Barney at Facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.ChuckBarney, or Twitter.com/chuckbarney