Graeme Manson Talks ‘Orphan Black’ Season 3, Male Clones, and Delphine’s Journey

Graeme Manson Interview on Orphan Black season 3

Co-creator/writer Graeme Manson promises another emotionally engaging season of Orphan Black when season three premieres on BBC America on April 18, 2015 at 9pm ET/PT. Discussing the new season while at WonderCon with cast members Kristian Bruun, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Dylan Bruce, Evelyne Brochu, and Jordan Gavaris, Manson revealed season three will start off with a bang. Episode one will introduce the first of Ari Millen’s clone characters, and the season will see other key characters put into difficult situations. “Sarah is in a situation that she would have never expected to have to pull off. I think Delphine, too, is in a very interesting and new place this season,” revealed Manson.

There’s been a five season plan for the critically acclaimed series in place since season one, but Manson says it’s really a loose master plan. “But I think that the arc of season three is loosely what we envisioned maybe not at the beginning of season one, but maybe by the beginning of season two. We knew we wanted to introduce male clones at the end of season two. Some of the revelations about that we already had. So, in one sense like that, it’s close to what we envisioned,” explained Manson. “On the other hand, we are always flexible enough to roll with the punches and be quick on our feet. For instance, we didn’t know that it was going to be Ari Millen’s character that was the male clone. That came about because we discovered a really fine actor and we decided not kill him. We decided that maybe it could be him and that the show would double back on itself and the revelation would come from our own cast rather than hiring someone new, which we kind of thought we would bring in a brand new person. But going back to our own cast and selecting Ari from that really helps draw it together.”

Asked if there’s a particular character who’s become even more interesting than he expected, Manson replied, “Yep. Kristian Bruun’s character Donnie. The moment when he pulled the trigger on Dr. Leekie, I think that’s when everybody was like, ‘Donnie rocks!’ And it was partly that moment and that discovery that gave us Alison and Donnie’s character arc as a couple for the third season, because we’d only seen them fractured and Donnie was a schlub and then he was an agent and then he was a liar, and then he’s back to being a schlub. But then they bond to protect their family. They come together over this slaying of Dr. Leekie, and now we get to see them together. We get to see Team Hendrix in all their perverted glory.”

For season three, Manson says it’s Delphine who’s been the most interesting character to write. “[She’s] very, very conflicted, revealing something much different than we’ve seen before, challenging the audience of what their expectations are of that character and what they want from that character versus what the character’s going to be able to give us. And a performance throughout the season that walks this tightrope of keeping this promise that she made in the second season that, ‘I will love all of your sisters equally,’ and having to go deeper into the beast in order to keep them safe. Making those sacrifices and not necessarily being a good guy to fulfill the promise,” said Manson.

“Also, Paul,” added Manson. “It’s kind of a similar character story for Paul where he’s even more of a double-agent and where does his heart lie? There’s really a nice journey with Paul this year discovering where his heart lies. Those were two very complex and very hard to write character lines that I think will play nicely – and very, very Orphan Black.”

And Manson admits that he actually agonizes over the pain he puts some of his Orphan Black characters through. “Even Helena who can hack it, who can take it. It’s like, ‘Are we just being too mean to Helena? Can we just give her a lollipop and make her feel better?’ So, yeah, we do agonize over it but that’s drama. The harder you make it on the characters, the greater the triumph if they can come out of it.”

Looking forward, Manson was asked if fans can expect a clone dance scene at the end of season three. Laughing, Manson said, “You can’t keep John Fawcett away from his giant clone scene. I can’t give it away, but yes we do do another great big clone scene in the finale. I’ve seen a cut of it and it’s pretty awesome.”

– More Orphan Black Interviews: Kristian Bruun, Evelyne Brochu, and Dylan Bruce / Maria Doyle Kennedy and Jordan Gavaris

Watch the full interview with Graeme Manson:

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