Orphan Black returns for season three in spring 2015 (on BBC America in the U.S. and Space in Canada), but EW has an exclusive first look at the season right here, featuring Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany) coming face to face with one of the new male clones (played by Ari Millen) of Project Castor. (Click on the magnifying glass icon to see the full picture in all of its glory.)
Who is it? What does it mean? And what about our other favorite clones? We chatted with Orphan Black co-creator Graeme Manson to get the scoop on this image and what else to expect in season three.
EW: Let’s start with what you can tell me about this image. We see Sarah and this male clone, the one from Marian’s basement in last season’s finale, I assume.
GRAEME MANSON: That’s correct. Being Orphan Black, we hit the ground running, of course. No six months go by.
So is this meeting of the male and female clones happening right after the scene we saw in the season 2 finale?
Shortly thereafter. It’s not immediate, but shortly thereafter. We don’t waste a lot of time. That scene is what we like to call clone speed dating.
And I understand this clone has a name now?
Yep. The boy’s name is Rudy. And obviously Rudy—or Scarface, as we call him in the writer’s room—is not Mark, who is the other Castor clone that we’ve known before. So immediately that poses a bunch of questions for us: How are they different? How are they the same, these brothers? And what the heck is Mark up to? Is Mark a traitor? Is Mark undercover? Like everyone else on Orphan Black, Mark has divided loyalties.
How many male clones are we going to see this season?
A few. Like our Leda clones, we don’t like to introduce them lightly. We don’t do a lot of red shirts. And I think that holds true with these guys. How many of them are there actually? Well, that’s part of the mystery too.
Is this season going to be a Leda vs. Castor situation? Is that the framework we’re working under?
Definitely intrigue within them, for sure. Are these guys going to break the bonds of our sisters? Because this does remain Sarah Manning and her sisters—this does remain their story. So is the threat that these guys pose—will it bring them together or will it break the bonds? They are definite pressure, and within the season again, Sarah is the lynchpin. So whatever more she understands about these Castor boys, she understands more about herself and her sisters and their origin story.
I think it’s interesting what you just said because I know you guys did it in season 2 and it sounds like you want to do it more in season 3—which is expanding this world. So tell me how you do that while keeping the focus firmly on these sisters.
Well, that’s it. We want that audience to be taking that journey with Sarah, throughout the whole series. She’s going to be leading her sisters and protecting her family. And that’s the drive. She’s the one that the audience roots for, so when these guys show up, it’s fantastic that we’ve got this new diverse villain in the form of clones—villains or whatever they may turn out to be. Because now we get to exercise with Ari Millen, who is doing a fantastic job with these guys. But it’s always been important to us and it’s always been [co-creator] John [Fawcett] and my focus that this is a story about Sarah tracking down her own story.
I wanted to ask you about Ari, because obviously you all thought highly enough about him where you changed your minds about killing him off last season. And then you expanded his presence by now giving him a lot of different roles to play, which is showing a lot of faith in him. What’s that been like for him do all these different parts?
It’s been a great experience for him, and like Tatiana on set, he’s a serious professional who is always prepared and who really takes on the challenge of differentiating these guys—in a different sort of way than Tat does, but still, differentiating these characters. Always, for us, he asks important questions about them and he’s really managed to bring something to the table that’s badass, that’s sexy, and often vulnerable at the same time. He’s done a great job of giving us a mix of things with the characters he’s playing.
What’s it been like in terms of getting things done on time and on budget when you add a whole new group of clones that requires a lot more technical work to film? How does that affect you from a production standpoint?
Well, we’re just stupid. The show is already extremely difficult to schedule. You add another clone to that mix and it becomes all the more difficult to schedule. But at the end of the day the difficulties in production and doing something this ambitious on a budget that didn’t get any bigger has been a huge challenge, but it’s paying off. Everybody’s doing wonderful work again this season
I think I am contractually obligated to ask you if there will be any new female clones this season.
There is always the possibility of a new clone in Orphan Black.
Wonderful! As general and vague as I expected! Okay, I want to hit you with a few big questions that fans will have after the season-two finale and where they might be headed in season three. Let’s start with Cosima’s health. What can fans expect when things pick back up?
Of course, Cosima’s health is still on the table, but near the end of last season Cosima went through something that is perhaps quite mysterious to her with Kira. The stakes will still be high on Cosima’s illness and she still has a very important role in saving her sisters, but there’s more at stake than just science this year.
What about Rachel’s situation after taking that pencil through the eye and possibly into her brain?
I suppose the main question for Rachel is, how deep did that pencil go?
Will Tony the transclone be back in season three?
Can’t really comment to that, but the Hendrixes are certainly hitting the ground running. Bonded by murder, the Hendrixes will certainly face a lot of survival challenges. A lot of fun to be had with the Hendrixes.
Does that mean there will be some Donnie tighty-whitey sightings?
It’s safe to say whenever Kristian Bruun is on screen there is a good chance he’ll be wearing tighty-whiteys, even on his head.
What can you tell me about the new characters we’ll be meeting this season, because you have announced a bunch of new cast members.
Can’t say too much except to pay some homage to the caliber of actor that we’ve managed to attract here. James Frain has been absolutely fantastic—don’t want to say anything about his character. Both guest roles and recurring roles are juicy and really spread throughout our clones. So each world—Cosima’s, Sarah’s, Allison’s—are gonna get a juicy new character to interact with over the course of their season.
For more ‘Orphan Black’ intel, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.
In a related video below, the cast of Orphan Black explains the entirety of the show in just thirty seconds: