It's tough to keep such an adrenaline fueled show going, but after shocking twists and revelations in Orphan Black season 3, the writers proved that there's far more of this story to tell. Season 4 is promising to be a wild ride already, especially after Delphine's apparent murder and the mysterious new clone Krystal leaping into the fray. But you may have to wait a while to find out what happens next: the writers are considering going in a different direction for Orphan Black season 4, as BBC America president Sarah Barnett revealed.
"One of the many defining things of the show is that rhythm in the storytelling of Russian nesting dolls, so you think it’s painted itself into a corner, and then something else pops out which takes it in this crazy new different direction."
There are plenty of unanswered questions from season 3, and Susan Duncan's appearance heralds the development of old foe Neolution, but after 3 years of untangling this seemingly eternal web of conspiracies, maybe the show could benefit from a little shake-up.
Although it dropped a lot more plot hints for next year, season 3's finale did feel like a fitting end to the story. The dinner party, in contrast to season 2's delightful dance party, felt calm and content. As co-creator John Fawcett says, there was a "big victory for the clones" at the end of this season: while season 2's finale saw them uncertain for the future, and season 1 ended on a very concerning cliffhanger, season 3's end was more resolved with an optimistic outlook.
This seems like the perfect place to put a bookmark in the tale, to leave the Clone Club for a while and explore another side to the story. Which seems to be exactly what John Fawcett wants to do.
"This is the way we wanted the season to go out, which is with a very different tone. This is kind of almost like an emotional epilogue in a way. I just wanted it to feel like it really had some resolve to it, and yes, there are some cliffhangers and we’ve left some things up in the air, but what this allows us to do in season 4 is it allows us to breathe and reset ourselves a little bit."
There certainly was an air of finality to the last episode. And we'd love to see Orphan Black move forward: the vast majority of the plot so far has dealt with discovering the backstory of Projects Leda and Castor, and dealing with the consequences of what's come before. And after the discovery that Neolutionism has been a major player in the clone game from the very beginning, it would seem as though there's a lot more backstory discovery to come. But is this really what the show needs?
It would be nice to see the plot move forward in a new direction, by shifting focus to a different group of characters, or by returning to dropped characters like Topside's Marian or trans clone Tony. Or maybe we could see something totally radical happen - what if the news gets out about the clones? Suddenly the sisters would have to deal with a media frenzy, and demands from the greater scientific and medical community to share the advancements that Dyad have made.
What We Want From Season 4
One of Orphan Black's greatest strengths is remaining true to portraying multi-faceted and realistic characters, which is no small feat considering the complexity of the plot. We've had some amazing character development in the past 3 seasons, but the majority has been for the Leda clones. Let's see some other characters, like Felix or Arthur, get some more storylines!
There's also lots to be developed from a shift in focus, if this is the "reset" that Fawcett hinted about. So what new direction could Orphan Black go next?
- Time jump: this is always a radical way to shake-up the story. After season 3's air of finality, we could leap ahead 5 years or so. Things change so quickly in this show, who knows what crazy situations we could find ourselves in after a time jump!
- Another side: we thought Dyad was evil, but maybe not. Season 4 could follow some of the scientific underlings as they try and understand what's going on, while using the cloning technology for new (and potentially dangerous) uses.
- International clones: after Hellinski, were all the other Leda clones wiped out? Or are there still dozens who are just now discovering the mystery of their origins? If this was centered in Europe, we could see the consequences of Helena's clone killing spree. What if season 4 focused on a clone who survived Helena's attack, determined to hunt Helena down in search of answers... and vengeance.
- Veera's story: the Orphan Black comic book introduced new clone Veera Suominen, who grew up with Rachel and survived the Hellinski executions. She's set to star in her own comic, Orphan Black: Hellinski, but there's already hints that she'll appear in season 4 as well.
Whatever direction season 4 goes in, it's clear there are endless possibilities in the Orphan Black story, and many more mysteries yet to be solved. In fact, the writers have planned out arcs that will stretch into season 5 as well! So there'll be plenty more from the sci fi thriller for years to come.