In case there be any doubt, BBC America’s Orphan Black is coming to an end because the people who create it think the time is right and not because the network cancelled it. “It’s cooler to cancel yourself,” co-creator Graeme Manson tells The Hollywood Reporter.
The news emerged yesterday that the clone show had been renewed for one final season to broadcast in 2017. “For a long time, we’ve had a pretty good idea that season five would be the furthest that we could take the ball down the field,” says Manson. “Four seasons on Orphan Black, we chew up a lot of story every season. We chew up a couple seasons worth of story every season; it’s a fast-paced show. I think we’ve done a good job of keeping the show sharp and relevant with packing all that much stuff in and our biggest fear is repeating ourselves.”
Manson admits that he and co-showrunner could not bear the idea of anyone else running the show.
“We just didn’t want the show to become watered down. To go out on your own terms telling the story that we want to tell. That’s the way we presented it to our networks and they were good enough to agree with us and to not want to drag it out and get other showrunners involved or anything. John and I made a pact that we would stay with the show until the end, and for a long time, we’ve had a pretty good idea that season five would be the furthest that we could take the ball down the field.”
He stresses, “It was very much a decision with John and I and, to a certain extent, Tatiana as well. It’s a creative decision.”
He also reveals that he and Fawcett have had an endgame in mind since the very inception of the series: “We always had our concept, yes. It was loose enough, but also specific that we felt like we knew where we were going. And then we’d be like, ‘Is season three the time when we’re going to get there?’ ‘No, feels like we’re going to get another seasons so we can’t do that.’ But that sort of flagpole we planted a long time ago. I believe that there are elements of the finale and the end point that we were considering… I believe that there were elements of it in the original pitch even before we had a show greenlit.”