WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR SEASONS 2 AND 3 OF ORPHAN BLACK
Unless you’re a Flash junkie or taking San Andreas way too seriously, BBC’s Orphan Black was probably the bolded, highlighted, most highly anticipated panel of WonderCon. Or at least it was for me, as it belongs aside Game of Thrones, Hannibal and Mad Men on the Mount Rushmore of TV right now.
And the panel didn’t disappoint with SEVEN (!) sneak peeks at the forthcoming third season. Co-creator and writer Graeme Manson made us swear not to spoil anything that was shown, so that kind of leaves me sitting with my blog pants down. But here are the highlights, in bullet form, because I’m tipsy writing this from a hotel room four hours after the fact, and bullets seem right.
- In Attendance: co-creator and writer Graeme Manson, stars Kristian Bruun (Donnie), Dylan Bruce (Hot Paul), Evelyne Brochu (Delphine), Maria Doyle-Kennedy (Mrs. S) and Jordan Gavaris (Felix).
- Tatiana Maslany couldn’t be there, but filmed an apology and a hello to all members of the #CloneClub. Everyone in the entire convention center wants to marry her, as 76% of the panel was gushing about her talent and ability to act opposite herself and create several completely unique characters. But it sounds like she has good company in Ari Millen, who plays the Project Castor clone boys, the massive mind-&@%^ of a reveal at the end of season 2.
- In Dylan Bruce’s words: “Tatiana set the bar so high. It’s unfair to Ari to live up to the expectations that Tatiana set for him.” Buuut, “I’m so proud of him…he kicked so much ass this year…He plays these creeps so, so well. You guys should all be really really excited. He poured his heart and soul into these characters.” Manson added, “he was raised more as a wolfpack…a bent band of brothers,” unlike Sarah and company, who were raised differently and separately. Manson calls Millen’s performances a “far more subtle job of trying to portray this new kind of family for the show.”
- In season 3, Felix “shares a lot more time with Cosima, which is great for me. I think it’s a long time coming.” Not to reduce them to their sexuality, but “they have this thing in common” and are both lonely outsiders.
- Kennedy on Mrs. S’ decision to betray Helena: It was a “really dangerous move, duplicitous.” Mrs. S “makes lots of crazy decisions and she has good reasons for making them, [but] betraying Helena is a little closer to the edge in that respect.” While she’s “doing it to protect Sarah and Kiera, it’s a fundamental shift in where she’s prepared to go. It was hard to do, in doing it, I knew there would be massive consequences.” I love when actors talk in the first person about their characters.
- Will we see more of Beth, the suicidal clone that set the whole chain of events in motion? “Tons of people are intrigued by Beth…so am I. So is [co-creator] John Fawcett, who won’t let up about it. This year we do something really interesting to open up Beth’s story a crack. It’s definitely in the cards to look deeper to Beth.” Whatever that something is, Manson says they’re really excited for [it] and it’s kind of a beautiful thing.”
- Which clone combo has most chemistry? The question met with a lot of laughs, but Gaveris mentions how each couple on the show has such different chemistry with Maslany. That’s when Gaveris says what’s on all our minds: “We’re all just in love with Tatiana Maslany.” Brochu talks some heartwarming nonsense about how “everyone’s a perfect kisser for someone,” but Manson teases, “Who kisses Ari?”
- In the coming season, Delphine “has to keep secrets to stay in power, hard choices, sacrifices, heartbreaking decisions,” Brochu says. But, the “beautiful thing about power” is that you “have a chance at revenge.”
- This season, “a lot of questions are answered about Paul’s past,” Bruce says. He’s “finally in element with the military” and is the “quasi-leader of the wolfpack.” Bruce says there’s a “really interesting story arc for Paul this year,” but then again, what else would he say? This: “I had a lot of fun playing it, for sure.”
- Gaveris predicts that, “after this season, Donnie is gonna be more quoted than even Felix.” Kristian promises that now that Allison and Donnie are working together, “Team Hendrix is gonna be a force to be reckoned with. Team Hendrix is gonna tear up the suburbs.”
- Apparently Manson promised a five clone Thanksgiving dinner on the season 2 Orphan Black DVD. When asked if that was going to happen, he had no recollection of saying it, but had this to say: “When we get to the finale, there’s no way to keep John from doing some giant clone scene, some almost impossible clone scene, and we’ve done it each season…it’s another thing now we really plan for. We have to go to the networks to get an extra day, of course. To do those kind of scenes take 2 full days.” In regards to the Thanksgiving dinner, “I will say that we almost do that…It’s something like that.”
- How much of Felix is scripted or ad libbed? Gaveris: He was a “vibrant character on the page. To me he was very alive. Instinctually, the lines spoke to me, his background as a hustler, this is someone who lives dangerously. He’s either really self-assured or hates himself, and lives on the edge every day…he sits on that precipice of here but not here. I think there was a lot of discovery when I brought what I was bringing to the character.” Manson was expecting more of a punk, someone like Sarah, before they saw Jordan and saw great he was.
- Gaveris on his responsibility playing a queer character: “It’s difficult. We get stuck sometimes, as a zeitgeist, as purveyors of media, we get stuck representing minorities one way.” He continues: “Some of the most pervasive homophobia is in the gay community, and it breaks my heart. I try every day whenever I approach the character that he’s so much more than his sexuality. There are parts to him I don’t know exist…that I discover every day. It’s a wonderful reminder that there’s a million shades to everybody. If we can remember that instead of pigeonholing everyone, I think we’d be a lot happier.”
- There have been singing numbers each season. Will there be singing in season 3? “You may not all know that Maria Doyle Kennedy has several albums…I’ll just leave it at that,” Manson teases.
After one last, final sneak peek, that was the end, and we were left waiting until April 18th, at 9/8c, for the third season premiere. If you’re not caught up and watching this show by then, you’re not doing it right.