10 Things to Know About the Final Season of "Orphan Black"

by IMDb Contributing Writers | last updated - 10 months ago

The hit sci-fi show returns for its fifth and final season on June 10, 2017. We talked to the cast and creators at a PaleyFest panel earlier this year and found out what to expect when Sarah and Rachel face off for the last time. — Sharon Knolle

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Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black (2013)

BBC America's hit sci-fi show "Orphan Black" returns for its fifth and final season on June 10, 2017. This spring, we talked to the show's cast and creators at the PaleyFest to find out what to expect when Sarah and Rachel face off for the last time.

See photos from the PaleyFest panel

Evelyne Brochu in Orphan Black (2013)

1. Evelyne Brochu was just as in the dark about Delphine's fate as the fans

Fans hoped that just because we saw Delphine get shot, it didn't meant she was gone. Even Evelyne Brochu, who plays the French scientist, told IMDb she didn't know when or if she'd be back.

"[Co-creator] Graeme [Manson] sort of reveals his secrets like he writes," she said. "He gives clues, but he keeps it mysterious. I didn't know I'd be back until he called me and said, 'All right, you know when I said, 'I'll see you soon?' It's happening.' He kept it a bit in the mystery zone. I was happy to be back. He wanted to carry that love story [with Cosima] all the way."

She said she's glad she didn't know the whole time that Delphine was alive. "It was better for me, because then I don't have to lie for 18 months."

Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black (2013)

2. Rachel is only getting more powerful

The blond-bobbed clone is fully embracing her evil side, Graeme Manson said at PaleyFest.

John Fawcett added, "We wanted Rachel to rise to the top through her villainy. We’ve enjoyed finding the deeper aspects and contradictions in the character."

"I feel like Rachel’s had one of the biggest arcs in terms of characters for the clones," Tatiana Maslany said to the panel audience. "She's had a lot of things happen to her that changed her power entirely, so seeing her clamber back into that power was really interesting to me."

When asked to name their favorite clones, the two co-creators split right down the middle: Fawcett picked Rachel, and Manson picked Sarah — "She's the spine of the show," he said.

Stephen McHattie

3. We'll meet the man behind the curtain, P.T. Westmoreland

Although we don't meet him in the Season 5 premiere, prepare to find out more about the man behind the whole neologist movement, P.T. Westmoreland (played by Stephen McHattie).

Manson said at the panel, "John [Fawcett] and I knew that, in this feminist show, there’s a man at the top. Someone's got to bring the man down. Think of the most evil patriarchal figure — the world’s oldest man. Westmoreland’s the top dog, like Dr. Evil."

Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black (2013)

4. Here be monsters

When we last left Sarah, she had journeyed to the island to rescue Cosima, battled Rachel, and been left with a serious stab wound.

In the season premiere, we see her injured and alone in the island's wilderness, where she runs into something that doesn't seem quite human or animal.

"If you followed the show, you know we have a little fascination with The Island of Dr. Moreau, Fawcett said during the panel. "So there are some creatures there."

Genetically modified animals? Why not?

Tatiana Maslany and Evelyne Brochu in Orphan Black (2013)

5. Delphine and Cosima's romance is the heart of the show

The romance is the one fans are the most passionate about, and that makes the show's creators and cast happy.

"It’s the most important romantic love story of the show," Manson said.

Brochu said that LGBT people have thanked her for her portrayal. "If our show can have even a little impact, if it inspires reality to be more of what it should be, there’s so much pride," she said. "Delphine is one of the most important characters I’ve ever played."

Brochu told IMDb that because Delphine started out as Cosima's monitor, the underlying issue of trust will finally be resolved this season: "This season it's about: Are they going to accept the nature of their relationship? Delphine tells Cosima at one point, 'You can either end it or accept it as it is,' and we'll see what Cosima's going to answer."

We are definitely rooting for those two "crazy science" kids to live happily ever after together.

Tatiana Maslany and Kathryn Alexandre

6. There is a trick to spotting Tatiana Maslany's acting double

Kathryn Alexandre, who has played Maslany's acting double for every clone scene, explains how they put the pieces together: "They basically take parts of my body and put them on her. So if we're hugging, it'll actually be my arms around her. One arm will be mine. Sometimes it's me from the waist down and her from the waist up. Sometimes it's even her fact on my body. We have to be really specific in all of our movements."

Despite the digital trickery, some fans have spotted some of the physical differences between the two actresses: "It's mostly just hands. The fans have caught on to it, because my hands are so much smaller than Tatiana's. We've had a few scenes where we've had to put our hands together, and we usually put mine half in my coat sleeve, so you think maybe there's more hand."

Josh Vokey in Orphan Black (2013)

7. Nerdy scientist Scott was just supposed to be in one episode

Josh Vokey, who plays Cosima's fellow genetic researcher, said, "I was supposed to be here for one day, five years ago." Luckily, he soon became a series regular whose expertise has been handy in trying to find a cure for Cosima.

As Vokey told IMDb, he also wondered if there was more to Scott than we've seen so far. "I think everyone was always wondering, 'Is Scott evil? Is he secretly going to be an agent?' I've wondered that for a long time," said Vokey, adding that his character is thrown a few curveballs this season. "When you watch the season, you will know those moments."

Maria Doyle Kennedy, Tatiana Maslany, and Jordan Gavaris in Orphan Black (2013)

8. We learn a lot more about the lives of Mrs. S, Felix, and Sarah before Clone Club

Jordan Gavaris, who plays Felix, told IMDb that in the final season, "we learn a lot about the [Sadler] family unit prior to [Sarah seeing Beth on the] train platform."

Maria Doyle Kennedy, who plays Sarah's and Felix's foster mother, Siobhan Sadler (aka "Mrs. S"), says the actors are also all close in real life. She teared up when talking to us about the show's end. "I call Jordan and Tat my fake children. It's such a huge part of the rhythm of my life. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do. It'll only really hit me next September. I think I'm going to call them all and suggest we go on holiday."

Tatiana Maslany and Skyler Wexler in Orphan Black (2013)

9. We'll get answers to the show's biggest mysteries

Brochu, who plays Delphine, told IMDb, "A lot of questions are going to be answered. It's going to be quite the thrill ride. I feel like the whole show is like a spiral, and right now, we're at the center, and it's spinning really fast."

Gavaris (Felix) used a similar metaphor about getting to the heart of the show's mystery: "This is it. I think this is kind of the center of the labyrinth we've all been working toward since the very beginning."

John Fawcett and Graeme Manson

10. The current political environment changed the show's ending in a positive way

"We had an ending in mind, and we had some tent poles that we really wanted to hit, and we've had them for a long time," Manson said. "We ended up changing some of the things late in the game, which was the right thing to do, but it was a lot of pressure on a two-part finale."

Fawcett added: "When it influences the conversation around the set, and when you're dealing with themes about individual identity and inclusiveness, yes, we felt obligated to respond."

If that sounds dire, they reassured us that the ending isn't overwhelmingly bleak: "It's times that need hope," Fawcett said. "There's always been an optimistic hope in the show and that's kind of the way Graeme and I think about the series and how we feel about the characters."