'I bet we can’t control ourselves and that we come back to them,' says co-creator Graeme Manson
SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched the series finale of Orphan Black.
Orphan Black just signed off after five seasons with its series finale on BBC America. (And you can read our finale Q&As with star Tatiana Maslany and creators John Fawcett and Graeme Manson.) We saw the sestras finally freed from the conspiracy that has haunted and hunted them for five years. Helena delivered twins Arthur and Donnie; Alison settled back into suburban life; Cosima and Delphine were busy inoculating all 274 of the Leda clones out there; Sarah finally found peace and left with brother Felix and daughter Kira for a day at the beach.
But is the story really over? Especially with all those clones out there still at risk? We posed that question to the star and creators. “I suppose there’s always a possibility,” says co-creator Fawcett of more Orphan Black. “Certainly I love thinking about where Delphine and Cosima are going to have to go and the kinds of women that they’re going to meet in their journeys and in their travels. We’ve spent so much time creating diversity in our Leda clones and making all these very different individuals that represent all sorts of aspects of the world and culture and society that just thinking about that makes me think there’s all these other stories to tell. And certainly their adventures globe-trotting as they inoculate these girls is interesting dramatically.”
And those adventures could play out in a different medium. “Graeme and I have always loved the idea of potentially doing a feature film,” says Fawcett. “Maybe there is life after Orphan Black. We’re not sure.”
Manson notes that an Orphan Black movie would actually bring everything full circle for the franchise. “John’s right,” says Manson. “We’ve talked about a movie for a long time. We conceived the concept of Orphan Black in 2001 as a feature film, and we could never contain our story within a feature film, so that would be the biggest challenge.”
But since they have spent five years laying the groundwork, perhaps a stand-alone story could work now. “Now that we’ve told so much, maybe the parameters have closed in a bit and we could really come up with something to fit into a two-hour type format,” says Manson. “It would be a great challenge, and I think we’d need to take a little breather and spend a little time thinking about that. I’d like to let these characters rest a little bit, but then I’m going to miss them and I bet we can’t control ourselves and that we come back to them.”
In an age where it seems every show (Will & Grace, Roseanne, Gilmore Girls, Arrested Development, 24, Prison Break, Heroes, etc.) comes back from the dead, that sounds like a smart bet to make. However, the woman who plays all 274 of those Leda clones would have to be on board. So what does Maslany — who already has a movie about to come out, starring alongside Jake Gyllenhaal in the Boston Marathon bombing drama Stronger — think about bringing the show back in some form?
“John texted me yesterday,” she laughs. “He’s like, ‘I don’t want this to be over! How about season 6?’ I think that we all still really love these characters and this world. And I don’t know what could happen down the line, but I think it just has to be a different story and something that we haven’t seen or done yet. Same way as John always approaches the clone scenes every season with, ‘Okay, how can we make it harder, and more bizarre, and more difficult, and more fun.’ But you know, if we were to do a movie, there would have to be a really strong reason, I think, to do it.”
Until that reason presents itself, there is the expanding world of Orphan Black comics to satiate fans’ thirst for more story. Unfortunately, there don’t seem to be any plans to release Helena’s Orphan Black journals as an actual book. “I always loved the idea that maybe Helena actually gets a book deal out of this,” says Fawcett. “I really wanted to see her with the two babies out on book tours. But they won’t agree to publish it as nonfiction. It’s basically published as sci-fi.”