The BBC America drama series Orphan Black is back for Season 3, in which the clone sisterhood (brilliantly played by Tatiana Maslany), known as Project Leda, will be forced to deal with the fact that they’re no longer alone, as they cross paths with a new group of militaristic male clones (played so chillingly by Ari Millen), known as Project Castor. More shocking twists and turns will arise, and characters will be forced to come into their own more than ever before, if they’re going to survive.
While at WonderCon to promote the return of the series, which premieres on April 18th, actors Jordan Gavaris (“Felix”), Maria Doyle Kennedy (“Mrs. S”), Dylan Bruce (“Paul”), Kristian Bruun (“Donnie”) and Evelyne Brochu (“Delphine”), along with co-creator Graeme Manson, talked about Project Leda vs. Project Castor, who came up with the idea for the scorpion, learning more about Mrs. S, seeing different shades and colors of Felix, what sort of leader Delphine will be, getting to know who Paul really is, Team Hendrix, the addition of more female clones, when Tony might return, and how close they’re sticking to their original plan. From those interviews, we’ve compiled 16 things you should know about Orphan Black.
According to co-creator Graeme Manson, the idea for the scorpion came from his fellow co-creator John Fawcett. “I said, ‘That’s stupid. That’s the worst idea, ever.’ And then, he just kept at it and, eventually, I was like, ‘I’ve never seen a scorpion like that, and Helena needs a little buddy.’ I definitely came around with the scorpion, and the scorpion is a lot of fun. We had a scorpion wrangler and Tatiana had to make really good friends with the scorpion.”
- The sisterhood of Project Leda is so great because they give each other their own space to do what they want to do. Cosima gets some space to relax, this year, and have some fun with Felix while taking a step back from the science. And she’ll be hanging out with Scott a lot, who will be having a good season. “He earned himself some more screen time this year,” said Manson. “We even meet his cat.”
- In regard to what we might learn about Mrs. S in Season 3, Maria Doyle Kennedy said, “We do get to see more. We get to explore her backstory, a little bit more, and therefore their backstory and how they got to where they are. It’s good, in explaining their relationships a bit better, and also her behavior and why she’s so tough, defensive and always in a war, even when there wasn’t one, all the time. We do get to learn more about what they came from, which explains what motivations them now.”
- As for what we can expect from Felix, Jordan Gavaris said, “We get to see different shades of him and new colors. You’ll see more of him, as a person, and less of him, as an accessory. He has less of a personal life, this season, but we’ll see more of who he is. We see a lot more of his depth.” Felix will grow up a little bit, this season.
When asked about how Delphine’s leadership of the Dyad Group differs from Rachel, Evelyne Brochu said, “Delphine is a very smart woman, so in terms of having a strategic mind, you can count on her for that. Her intentions are completely different than Rachel’s. The thing is, when you have the power, you can’t show your intentions or the truth beyond your power plays, all the time, or people will see what your next step is going to be. So, she will be a leader, but she will be a mysterious one, which is exciting. The audience will wonder what her next step is going to be.”
- For the Delphine/Cosima fans, Brochu said, “There is a huge connection between these two characters. And just like in real life, sometimes you have a huge connection, but you’re not always together, for various reasons. That doesn’t mean that connection is gone. That doesn’t mean you will never be together, ever again, either. Just like in real life, there is heartbreak. It’s going to be a very interesting season for Cophine.”
- Because Felix and Cosima will spend more time together this season, they’ll be relating to each other deeper than ever before. Said Gavaris, “They’re both gay, not that that’s who they are, by any stretch, but it is something that they share outside of the Leda drama and the sisters. When you know what it feels like to be oppressed and different, and to have to come out, that’s something that you share, that no one else can really understand. So, they find solace in one another. I think they’re both really lonely, especially after the way things have unfolded between Cosima and Delphine, and Felix can’t really seem to get anybody to stay.”
- Project Castor is different than Project Leda because Project Leda didn’t know about each other. They’ve been raised in different nurtured environments, so you can see that impact on their nature. Whereas the boys were raised together, they’re aware of their brothers, and they’re aware that they’re clones. There’s less of a wild differentiation and determined individuality with the boys than there is with the girls. They were raised together, so they’re more similar and the differences in them are more subtle.
On the difference in working with Ari Millen playing the Project Castor clones vs. working with Tatiana Maslany and the Project Leda clones, Dylan Bruce said, “I work with Ari a lot, this season, and he did a great job. Living up to the legacy that Tatiana laid down is a daunting task for any actor, but he really knocks it out of the park. I’m really excited for the audience to see the work that he did, this year.”
- In regard to Paul’s storyline this season, after all of the twists and turns in his character so far, Manson said, “Like Delphine, Paul is a complex character whose allegiances are really torn. Dylan Bruce has a really great storyline this season. We may just get to know who Paul really is.”
- When asked if Felix will cross paths with the Project Castor clones, Gavaris said, “I think they’re a bit dangerous, so I don’t know. Inevitably, they’re going to cross paths, but I don’t necessarily think it’s the warmest interaction.”
- As far as the state of their partnership, Kristian Bruun said, “This season, Donnie and Alison are on point. They’re on track and they’re working together. Team Hendrix is really a thing, for the first time, more than any other season. So, we get to see them work together for their family. Everything they do is for their family. It does put a lot of pressure on them, for sure. There are elements that come into their relationship, this season, that challenge them completely, but they’re strong. Donnie is stronger than people give him credit for, and we know how strong Alison is, so when you put them together, there ain’t nothing they can’t handle. So, they’re in for some fun times in the suburbs, that’s for sure.”
- Bruun said that he really didn’t know whether Donnie would turn out to be Alison’s monitor or not, until they finally told him that he was. But for the longest time, he played it as if he wasn’t, until he was finally told otherwise.
- When asked if there would be more female clones in Season 3, Manson said, “We like our clones, so I think I can just say yes.”
- Even though he wouldn’t confirm when it might happen, Manson did reveal that Tony will reappear. “It’s a long game. Tony will come back, definitely, at some point. I think Tony is Jack Kerouac-ing around the country. Sooner or later, Tony is going to come back into the fold.”
- In talking about how much of the reveals have all been a part of the original plan for the series vs. how much has come up during its development over the seasons, Manson said, “It’s a real mix. We always had a pretty good idea of the shape of the whole series and the endpoint, and some of these major things along the way. Going into the first season, we knew that Helena was Sarah’s twin sister. In the second season, we knew we wanted to reveal male clones, but we didn’t know who that was going to be. We keep loose enough to steer the story in directions that we discover, but within that, we have a general structure and some big general things that we want to have happen, along the way. Some of them are plot, and some of them are pure character.
Orphan Black returns for Season 3 on BBC America on April 18th.