Why Orphan Black Is Ending With Season Five

Illustration for article titled Why Orphan Black Is Ending With Season Five

At the Orphan Black panel at Comic-Con on Friday, Orphan Black co-creator John Fawcett said the most obvious and yet the most wonderful thing about the show’s fifth and final season: “The focus of season five, obviously, is we all want answers, goddammit.”


But there’s another reason for ending the series after next season— to avoid a decline in quality. “We always sort of had five seasons in mind, and the thing that we just didn’t want to do is get kind of soft around the middle,” said Manson. “We really think that it’s cooler to cancel yourself than to get canceled, than to peter out.”

The two creators also said that they absolutely do have the final images of the show in their heads. “Much as planning the final season is bittersweet,” said Fawcett, “the fun is knowing the ending. Because we’ve known it for a long time. So that’s pretty cool.”

Dealing with the revelation that Neolution founder P.T. Westmoreland is still alive is “stepping through that last door,” said Fawcett. Manson added that how he managed that is the “big mystery” of the final season. (Less pressing but equally exciting was the news that there are plans to feature another musical, like they did with Jesus Christ Superstar in season four.)

Asked to come up with the worst last line for the series, Kristian Bruun, who plays Alison’s hapless husband Donnie Hendrix, ruined/improved the show with, “I guess this truly was a game of clones.” We’ll miss you most of all, Donnie.

Katharine is the Associate Director of Policy and Activism at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the former managing editor of io9. She writes about technology policy and pop culture.


It still amazes me how Donnie rose from non-entity in season one to the one of the greatest characters on the show. Kristian Bruun is a large part why but also the writing for this show is exceptional. I never imagined I’d be rooting for him and Alison to, literally, get away with murder (and drug dealing).

They’ve always said the plan was for five seasons and I’m glad they are sticking to it. So many shows doesn’t and they become mess squandering all the good will and great memories just to prolong the cash flow. And they are running out of people they can fake kill at the end of season and still make us care.