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Orphans Exclusive

Being Human creator Toby Whithouse talks exclusively to SFX about his new superhero show, Orphans

Rest assured, Orphans , the new show from the Being Human creator/producer team of Toby Whithouse and Matthew Bouch, is going to be nothing like Misfits . And that’s the message from Toby Whithouse himself.

When the news broke on Friday that Whithouse and Bouch were setting up a new production company, Scoundrel, and that one of their first projects would be a superhero show called Orphans for BBC1, internet forums were full of posters wondering if the show would be too much like E4’s Misfits . After all, the brief description sounded similar: a “disparate” group of superheroes who live in a world that appears like our own but is gradually revealed to be quite different.

But this is what Whithouse revealed when SFX got in touch:

“I'm reluctant to go into too much detail about the actual show at this stage, quite simply because it hasn’t been commissioned yet. But if I’m honest, I am a little surprised by the assumption that we are simply capitalising on a current trend.

Orphans is a script I wrote in 2005. Then (as happens with exhausting regularity) there was a game of musical chairs at both the broadcaster we were developing it for and the production company I was working with. Literally everyone involved in the project was suddenly doing a different job in a different building.

“Consequently Orphans was... well, orphaned, and sat in a drawer for nearly five years, until I showed it to Matt and he suggested we make this our first Scoundrel project.

“I guess what’s more important to address is any concern regarding a crossover between this and other existing superhero shows. Well, it is possible to have two dramas that exist in similar genres yet manage to be very different. That's something – I hope – we proved with Being Human . Even though it had vampires in it, it was still very different to Let The Right One In , True Blood , Interview With A Vampire and Ultraviolet, etc.

“Context is everything. The world Orphans takes place in is unlike anything you'll have seen before. It’s not even the world of Being Human . Trust me. You’ll love it. If it gets made.”