Apparently the creators of Orphan Black are considering a videogame version of BBC America’s critical darling. “There is some talk about a video game,” said co-creator Graeme Manson today during the show’s PaleyFest New York Panel. Not that any other details were provided, or anything that would suggest that an actual game is in production, but the tidbit was enough to make the cast as well as audience members vocalize their “holy crap” reactions loudly. And that was only the second nerdiest thing to come out of the panel. (More on that shortly)
Held to talk up the show’s upcoming fourth season, which airs sometime in 2016, in attendance were Manson, along with series stars Tatiana Maslany (clones Sarah/Alison/Helena/Cosima/Rachel), Jordan Gavaris (Felix), Maria Doyle Kennedy (Siobhan), and Kristian Bruun (Donnie). Spoiler alert: no spoilers were actually provided, but at least fans of the series are in good company — the stars themselves never quite know what’s going to happen on the increasingly labyrinthine series until they receive an episode’s script.
“If there’s something giant, something monumental we get a little bit of a heads up,” said Gavaris, though he quickly clarified that “God, I don’t know hardly anything.” Bruun concurred. “It’s really being hashed out from script to script,” but he says that makes it exciting to be on the show. Much like what fans experience, “when we get to watch the episodes for the first time is when we read that script,” he says.
Manson did admit that they have a general idea of where the show is going. “We’ve kind of always had an end point, like an end to the mystery,” but he implied that’s not something they’re planning on any time soon. The show will continue to evolve “as we see things develop in the writing that we push forward.” One example of that was the decision to make Ari Millen, whose character Mark Rollins was introduced in season 2, portray a different series of clones. “It’s nice when that kind of thing can happen,” says Manson, “when you pull from your cast to make a big twist.”
Orphan Black has become particularly popular with younger members of the LGBT community in part because of Maslany’s acclaimed ability to inhabit such different, distinct characters all of whom struggle with questions of identity, and in part because of the way the show includes several LGBT characters whose sexual identities are taken for granted as normal and unremarkable. Having her show connect with those fans so strongly is a responsibility Maslany herself is aware of, and takes very seriously.
“They enlighten that for me,” she said when asked about those fans. “I feel such a strong sense of a responsibility to the fans. I knew subconsciously we were talking about bodily autonomy, but it was reading essays from trans people and gay people that opened my eyes to how that was being talked about.” She also talked about how important the show’s feminist underpinnings are to her. “What I like is the show isn’t preachy, it just is. We put women at the center, [and] they’re the default, but who cares,” she says about the tone. “And that to me is so awesome and I hope for more of that.”
“It’s everywhere; reproductive rights, LGBT rights, transgender rights, I’m glad we get to reflect that. We talk about how your choices aren’t your destiny, your body’s not your destiny. You’re your destiny.”
Doyle agreed, adding that she show is also “about the proper component of love and relationships.”
* One hint about the upcoming season comes courtesy of Gavaris. “I think it’s gonna be cool this season to explore the idea of blood ties and biology and how much that bonds and connects people,” he said. “Sarah’s not really an orphan anymore and it’s going to be weird for [Gavaris’ character Felix] to be the only foster child.”
* Ari Millen was confirmed to return in Season 4.
* Asked about the question of fan shipping (when fans openly call for shows to entangle certain characters romantically – ala relationship), Jordan Gavaris and Kristian Bruun mentioned that they’d like their characters to have more interaction on the show, though in a bromantic rather than romantic way.
* While the show was always going to be called Orphan Black (because “it sounded cool,” according to Manson), the initial concept was much different from the final product. Early drafts would have had the clones behaving identically, with them differentiating one another by using color-coded code names, hence the name.
* And as for the nerdiest thing to happen during the panel? One of the final questions from the moderator was intended to ask Maslany which of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles she’d be. He didn’t even make it to a clear reference to the show before she recognized where he was going and blurted out “Raphael.” Secret of the Ooze is apparently one of her favorite films. She would also, by the way, be Blanche on the Golden Girls, and Pacey on Dawson’s Creek.