Orphan Black is back this week!!!! Oh how I’ve missed this truly original and addictive show! Fast, smart, unexpected and fascinating, the third season critical and popular hit BBC America series will start up on Saturday, April 18th.
Can’t wait any longer? At Wondercon, I was lucky enough to chat with Graeme Manson (creator/writer), Maria Doyle Kennedy (Mrs. S), Jordan Gavaris (Felix), Dylan Bruce (Paul), Evelyne Brochu (Delphine) and Kristian Bruun (Donnie) who dropped a few precious breadcrumbs on what to expect this season!
Season three premiere = rocket ride
The season three premiere episode picks up right where the season two finale left off and pretty much takes no prisoners. Remember all the big changes in last season’s final hour? BOY clones! A little girl clone! Mrs. S betrays Sarah! Delphine is the new Dr. Leekie! Donnie and Alison getting along!?! There’s a lot for the new season to deal with…
“We wanted to start it off with a bang and introduce Ari’s first character (or characters) and throw a number of our characters into really, really tough situations,” begins creator/writer Graeme Manson. “Sarah is in a situation she would never have expected to pull off and Delphine, too, is in a very interesting and new place.”
Sarah isn’t going to be happy that Mrs. S gave Helena to the military. Maria gives some insight into Mrs. S’s reasoning behind the move: “I felt that I had to do something to save her and Kira and this was my bargaining tool. It was another person. It was somebody I didn’t care about as much and I felt I could really buy them safety.” Maria admits that “[Sarah] certainly isn’t going to react well and I think she that I knew that she wouldn’t as I was doing it.” And Sarah is the forgiving type, right? Just ask Rachel’s left eye…
Delphine, as the new Dr. Leekie at Dyad, is also in a tough spot where she needs to balance all the swirling corporate politics and also keep her promise to Cosima – to love all her sisters equally. Even as the big boss, Delphine has her work cut out for her. Graeme describes Delphine is one of the more intriguing characters this season because she is “very, very conflicted. Revealing something much different than we’ve seen before.”
Evelyne explains that “her motivations have to be hidden. She has a plan. She made a promise. She’s going to do a lot of power plays that we’re not necessarily going to understand, but I think we can try. What’s going to be interesting is how it’s going to unfold. Why does she need to make that move? What is happening? Who’s holding the strings behind it? What strings is she trying to pull by making this radical moves? So it’s going to be a very heartbreaking season in that sense. Sometimes when you want something, you have to give something up for the good of what you’re going for.”
But in spite of all this change and politicking, look for glimpses of Delphine’s real emotions. “I think that when you’re alone is when you’re most truthful as a human being. So I think we can trust that that’s a true feeling.”
While we might not see a lot of Paul in the premiere, there’s a lot in store for him this season as well. Graeme teases that Paul is “even more of a double agent. Where does his heart lie? It’s a nice journey with Paul this year, discovering where his heart lies. [Paul and Delphine] were two very complex and hard to write character lines that really play nice and very, very Orphan Black.”
Dylan is excited about where Paul goes this year since he’s “in his element. So he’s definitely more comfortable being himself and he kicks some serious butt this year. He gets to show his true colors. So it’s really fun for me to explore the character this year. Just to really dive head-first into what he’s doing and the Castor boys and being the Major that he is.”
Ever wonder about what life was like for some of your favorite characters before Beth went to that train station on that fateful night? We’ll learn a bit more about the past in a couple of different ways this season!
Maria reveals that “you will learn more about Mr. S in season 3. Sometimes it’s hard to understand why a person is or acts the way they are, but if you can have a look at where they come from or some of the things that have been around have formed their behavior becomes so much more understandable.”
Kristian also informs that we’ll see a bit about Donnie and Alison’s early courtship – in the third issue of the successful Orphan Black comic book from IDW: “You’re going to see Donnie and Alison – how they meet and some scenes from college, from what I’ve been told. I haven’t actually read it yet, but I can’t wait to. So we’ll explore that in that mode.”
But there is definitely more Donnie and Alison this season as Kristian promises: “What you’ll see now is probably closer to what their relationship was like right when they got married and everything was en pointe. In season one, it was very much a bickering couple that was not connecting at all. In season two, they find that at the end. So for the first time we see them in second honeymoon mode and they’re working as a team. And Team Hendrix is a real force to be reckoned with in the suburbs.”
At this point, Dylan and Evelyne burst in with “They are! They really are!” and the whole group bursts into laughter thinking about Team Hendrix this season. Such a tease!
Graeme explains it further: “The moment he [Donnie] pulled the trigger on Dr. Leekie, I think that’s when everybody was like ‘Donnie rocks!’ It was partly that moment and that discovery that gave us Alison and Donnie’s character arc as a couple for the third season. We’d only seen them fractured and Donnie was a schlub and then he was an agent and then he was a liar. Then he’s back to being a schlub. They bond to protect their family. They come together over the slaying of Dr. Leekie and now we get to see them together. We get to see Team Hendrix in all their perverse glory.”
Season three turns up the volume
Kristian enthuses that “a war really is brewing and we have so many characters. We get more answers throughout the whole season. It’s so exciting. Every episode is exciting. There is no lagging. There’s not time for that. There’s just so much story and we all get our due time.”
He continues with “Action! When people ask me to describe the season in one word, I always say action. Evelyne votes for the word “danger,” and Dylan uses the ominous description of “Violent. I think this season is very violent, but not excessively. It’s a violent season. It’s shocking. Some of the stuff that happens is truly, truly shocking.”
They all agree that the season is darker than the others. Kristian believes it’s because “the stakes are so much higher. It’s about family. On every level the show is about family.”
Dylan warns that “The Castor boys are so dangerous. The military side of things is pretty wild – that’s where I am. That’s where the darkness really comes in.”
Evelyne states that “just like in real life, truth can be dangerous. The closer you are to it, the closer you are to danger. I feel like, if this show was a spiral, if it started going like that, now we’re getting closer to the center so it’s more and more fast-paced and more and more dangerous for ALL the characters. Everyone’s in danger. I think when you’re in danger, you rise up to the challenge and you react in ways you haven’t before and that’s why there’s a dark side that will be revealed. It was there, it was always there, but you haven’t shown it because the situation was different.”
The difficulties help band our clone club members together as Jordan states: “Sarah can’t manage what’s happening with Leda and Castor and Dyad. There’s more reliance on each other. No is taking care of everyone. Everyone is sort of taking care of each other. And that was so great to explore. There’s been growth in Felix, growth in [Mrs.] S and she’s seeing her kids not as children any more, but as autonomous adults.”
Kristian promises jaw-dropping moments in each episode: “The script comes through in our email and I know when it does, I have to drop everything and to start to read it right away to see what happens. Almost every episode, there’s a ‘holy shit’ moment. It’s awesome.”
Do the first members of clone club have a favorite clone? Since Kristian hasn’t seen this season’s episodes yet so he hasn’t seen Ari Miller’s Castor boys in action. (Dylan interjects “He’s awesome!”). Based on last season, Kristian votes selects Rachel as his favorite because “she was so, so fascinating.” Dylan favors Rachel and Cosima though he “loves the comedy aspects, as well, of Donnie and Alison. So whenever Donnie and Allison are on the screen, I just love it.” Ever true to her girl, Evelyne unapologetically picks Cosima: “I’m a Cosima fan. I’ve always been Team Cosima. She’s my buddy.”
But in the future, which clone would they like to work with?
Kristian chooses “all of them!” (If I can interject my own vote, I would personally love to see Donnie and Helena together!) Evelyn muses that “Me and Helena can have a hair-off” as she tugs on her own luxurious, curly, blond locks. Since Helena was traded to the military, Dylan is content since “I work with Helena this year so that was like a dream come true for me. It was awesome. I shared some time with Helena.”
Graeme also indicated that there are, so far, no other clone types out there since “I don’t want to do any other clones…not yet. No, I think we will definitely focus on these two great actors.”
Last season’s finale featured a jaw-dropping, 4 clone dance party. This season will also end with a big, complex scene since, Graeme says: “you can’t keep (co-creator/director) John Fawcett away from his giant, finale clone scene. I can’t give it away, but yes, we do another great, big clone scene in the finale. I’ve seen a cut of it and it’s pretty awesome.”
As Cosima would say: Welcome back to the trip!
The long-awaited season three of Orphan Black begins Saturday, April 18th on BBC America. The premiere will be broadcasted on AMC, IFC, Sundance and WeTV at the same time. (The rest of the season will be on BBC America only.)
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