What can fans expect from season four of BBC America’s riveting, critically acclaimed series Orphan Black? During the 2016 WonderCon held in downtown Los Angeles, series co-creators Graeme Manson and John Fawcett joined Kevin Hanchard (‘Detective Art Bell’) for roundtable interviews in which they did their best to tease what’s coming up on season four without giving away any spoilers. The worm will be addressed, new clones including M.K. will be introduced, and Hanchard’s character will have an expanded role in the new season which debuts on April 14th at 10pm ET/PT.
We’ve heard this is the ‘Season of Art’.
Kevin Hanchard: “It is. It’s all about Art. There’s no Tatiana Maslany this season. [Laughing] It’s just me in a squad car.”
John Fawcett: “And clones…”
Kevin Hanchard: “And clones of me.”
Graeme Manson: “Art loves art. Some people may remember that Art actually loves art.”
Kevin Hanchard: “I love art so we get to explore that this season. No, I mean it’s a great opportunity this season for me to sort of jump back into the story on a bigger level and begin to answer some of those questions – not me specifically, but overall – some of those questions start to get answered for the fans of the show. So, for me to be a part of it was really exciting and I think the stories that we’re telling are going to be really exciting. I’m looking forward to people getting a chance to see it.”
Did Graeme or John give you a heads up you were going to be a bigger part of season four?
Kevin Hanchard: “Graeme and I had a talk last summer and we talked about what they were planning and what they were thinking and whatnot, and so I think I had a general idea. But I think when the scripts finally hit your hands and you start to read it, you know it’s even more exciting. I’m just excited about people getting a chance to see it because the story just goes to a whole different level this year. I’m just grateful to be a part of it.”
John Fawcett: “Plus, Art had a lighter season in season three. I think we knew that we needed you heavier for season four. I think we kind of knew that.”
Do you feel like this upcoming season has really taken the series to a new level?
Graeme Manson: “We’re super excited about this one. It’s really cool once you’ve gone three seasons that you’ve worked up your own mythology and that you can dig into that mythology. So, we’re excited that season four is really looping back to the beginning where it all started; it goes back to that moment on the train tracks and reexamines a bunch of things that we found really interesting but charged past. You have to ask in this season, ‘What did Sarah miss? What went past that she missed? What mistaken assumptions did she have?'”
John Fawcett: “Plus, I think we really wanted season four…First of all after two seasons of leaving finales in really dangerous cliffhangers, we left three with a kind of feeling of security. ‘Everything’s happy and we’re all safe.’ And now it’s great to kind of reset a little bit, and what we wanted was a real feel of returning, that feeling of season one, that feeling of not knowing who the bad guys were and not knowing who we’re supposed to trust. Or in this instance, who am I? Am I supposed to be playing myself or am I supposed to be playing one of my sisters? There’s a little bit of that kind of thing for Sarah playing off of her back foot and not knowing who the real bad guy is. So that’s part of, I think, the season one excitement that we’ve tried to feed into season four.”
Will the new season be lighter compared to previous seasons?
John Fawcett: “No, I wouldn’t say lighter. Lighter is not the right word to describe this season at all. If anything I would say this season is much more fraught, is darker, probably a lot more emotionally complex, and certainly has a number of reveals that will I think…”
Graeme Manson: “…break the internet.”
John Fawcett: [Indicating Kevin] “Especially for you.”
Kevin Hanchard: “Yeah, there are a lot of jaw-dropping moments, for sure.”
What was that worm at the end of season three and how soon will we find out more about it?
John Fawcett: “Well, that’s kind of you’re going to have to, I guess, watch the show.”
Graeme Manson: “But that thing – with the big question mark ‘worm thing’ – we will find out what that is.”
John Fawcett: “Those are the things that we like to do as showrunners to drop right at the end of the season to make everyone crazy, and make sure that the network will renew us. [Laughing] But, no, we like to have each chapter kind of have a new feel and a new vibe. It’s fun to tee them up right at the end of the previous season.”
Is there anything you can tease about new clones?
John Fawcett: “M.K., we’ve sort of revealed her to some degree. She’s sort of a mysterious character who’s come from Beth’s past. She’s a kind of information source for us but because she is so elusive and cagey, she’s difficult to pin down. So, she’s someone that we like a lot.
I never know what to say. I know that we’ve already – that there’s been some images and some talk about her. I don’t like to say a ton because I always like to leave it for people to see. But at the same time, it’s a clone show and we’re always excited to talk about all the new Tatianas.”
Graeme Manson: “And Aris.”
Will we get to see Tony again?
Graeme Manson: “I’d love to see him again, but we’ll have to leave that a mystery.”
You’ve ended the last two seasons with a clone dance party and then a family dinner. Do you feel challenged now to one-up yourselves with something really technically challenging?
John Fawcett: “Always. Yeah, it’s inevitably we wind up getting ourselves into this spot where everyone expects us to now be better, do more, so hopefully we’ve succeeded this year.”
Graeme Manson: “Technically, though, it’s not necessarily more technically to just put more and more clones in a scene. It’s just more and more time consuming.”
John Fawcett: “But I think what’s important is trying to do something that we haven’t done before, something we really haven’t done and something that’s fresh. I think that’s the important thing, not just how many Tatianas can we put in one scene. Although, that’s pretty cool. This year I think Graeme and I kind of went, ‘Okay, what are we going to do for the finale and how are we going to blow people’s minds this year?’ And we really sort of tried to think a little bit out of the box. Hopefully we’ve succeeded.”