When Orphan Black returns with its eagerly anticipated third season in the spring, the show will delve into the mysterious Project Castor, featuring a multitude of male clones played by Ari Millen.
The sisters -- aka the Clone Club (Alison, Sarah, Helena and Cosima, all played by the amazingly talented Tatiana Maslany) -- will have to fend off the male military clones that were revealed at the end of a jaw-dropping season-two finale.
Orphan Black co-creator John Fawcett revealed during Saturday’s Television Critics Association’s winter press tour that Project Castor -- and male clones -- was always part of the original plan, even from the very start of the show.
He also added:
“In the process of season two, we cast Ari in the role of Mark, but that character was interesting, because originally we were going to kill him. But it was a little bit of an organic process: who was going to be the face of Project Castor? And partway throughout season two, we realized our answer, and that's how that came to be.”
Millen, who plays both Mark and Rudy, the lethal, psychotic clone with a scar across his face and a mohawk (see the pic above), who’s known as "Scarface" (nope, not THAT Scarface), only learned of the true depth of his involvement in the middle of production. Basically, dude had no idea he was playing clones. And the late intro of the male clones into the series means that the characters’ looks were fully developed waaaay before the actor even knew about them and their personalities. Millen noted, however, that the way the multiple male clones looked helped him realize what would be in store for him, especially as Scarface:
“When the Castor boys were introduced at the end of season two, I found out two weeks before [I was playing clones], and then two weeks later, I had a mohawk and a scar, but I didn't have any other information, so we started with a visual first," Millen acknowledged. "And then over the summer, I asked [co-creator] Graeme [Manson] and John, what can you tell me? So by the time we got to the season, I had a bit more information. I had formulated in my head who he was, and obviously with a scar and mohawk, this guy is probably a little bit crazy. Especially the way he was introduced at the end of the season. So the first thing I read [for season three], is [Rudy facing off with Sarah]. And [the intensity for Rudy] continues. He will continue to get under people's skin and just pick at you and pick at you until you blow up and he's won. And then you get a smile. That's Rudy.”
Of course, the question that's on everyone's mind now is this: Will these be the only clones that’ll be around for the remainder of the series? And by that, we mean the Clone Club played by Maslany and the Project Castor clones played by Millen. Can we expect another line of clones played by another actor/actress? Fawcett remained mum on the subject, only saying:
“Listen, I really think that the thing that I love about our show is we're always trying to make choices that evolve the show in directions that people aren't expecting," he explained. "And as much as I think Graeme and I have the big master plan, there's always room for deviations, and we always like to keep people on the edge of their seats. And what's cool about the show is it's kind of a mashup; it could go in any direction we want. It seems like we can go in a horror direction, a comedic direction, we could go in a dramatic, action-orientated direction. I think, so far, anyway, we're managing to put all these genres together and make something that is really unique. And the more often we make decisions that people aren't expecting, the better the show is.”
As a not-so-side note, season three will also see the introduction of perpetual villain James Frain (Marvel's Agent Carter, Grimm, True Blood, etc.). “James Frain plays a really amazing, scary guy that’s come in from Topside and is a very dangerous threat to our girls,” Fawcett revealed. Interesting. Will Frain stick around for long, though? Fawcett also teased the season-three finale, saying that it was the best of the entire series, and that two other new characters will appear in season three. One will make its stingy debut in an upcoming episode: a scorpion that'll be crawling all over Helena. "The scorpion is a cast member," Fawcett confirmed. That should be boatload of fun, except for those who hate the little critters. The other new character will be played by Justin Chatwin (Shameless), and will be from Alison's past, creating some tensions between the happy-couple-in-crime of Ali and hubby Donnie (Kristian Bruun).
What do you guys think? Are you looking forward to seeing how the sisters will handle the threat posed by the new male clones?
Orphan Black will return to BBC America on April 18.