Season two of Orphan Black kicked off on Saturday night with a fantastic season premiere that set up the Taken-like storyline this season with Sarah and Kira this season, and dropped a huge surprise (guess who is still alive?). It’s a brilliant show, and we absolutely love it here at Pajiba, and we want to be able to cover it extensively, but the audience — while incredibly passionate — isn’t large enough to warrant full recaps, especially for a show that airs on Saturday night and is thus so frequently time-shifted by its viewers. It’s also a really hard show to recap simply because it needs to be seen in order to juggle the various subplots with different characters played by the same person. (Ironically, I think it’s Paul — who is not a clone — that is the least distinct character on the show, and I still haven’t decided if that’s by design, or because Dylan Bruce is a weak actor).
But we will be watching the series and keeping a close eye on it for to cover things like AMAs, theory posts, casting news, and big plot turns.
In the meantime, do check the best answers from the Reddit AMA with Graeme Manson and John Fawcett, the creators and writers of Orphan Black (below GM = Graeme Manson and JF = John Fawcett).
1. What was the casting process like for the clones? Was it difficult to find someone like Maslany that you felt could fill the shoes of all these different people?
JF: The casting process was long and arduous. Graeme and I both knew Tatiana from previous projects and felt she was a strong contender early on. Through the casting process it became very clear that she was annihilating all the competition.
GM: And then there was a moment when we paired her with Jordan [Gavaris, who plays Felix] in a chemistry read for the network and from that point on it was unanimous that both of them were cast.
2. I’ve heard a lot of shows figure out their plot as they go. Do you already have a good idea of where you’re taking the overall series story arc?
GM: Yes we have a good idea. But it’s loose and flexible.
JF: However we have an end game. We know what end we’re working towards.
3. Will we learn more about the other European clones? Possibly see them in action?
GM: We’re really interested in that.
JF: Through developing the mythology of the series, we are very interested in exploring our European clones potentially prior to their death.
GM: We’d love to take the show to Europe.
JF: We talk about origin, potentially trying to do an origin story all the time.
4. Can we ever expect to see a revival or another sequel to the Ginger Snaps series?
JF: Wow. That’s so cool that you’re a fan of Ginger Snaps [Fawcett wrote the original movie]. About 3 or 4 years ago prior to Orphan Black we came very close to making it as a television series. At the time the reason why it didn’t fly was because, I think it was because Vampire Diaries started to write Werewolf story lines into season I would still love to make another feature film as an extension to Ginger Snaps. But I’m a little bit busy with this little TV show called Orphan Black these days.
5. What’s your favorite dialogue from the show?
JF: I have a few favourite quotes.
GM: Anytime Felix opens his mouth. I really like writing Felix dialogue and I really like writing Cophine scenes.
JF: Adios Dragsters & the Jordan improvised line, “Fetch me something gay.” And “Welcome to the trip, man.”
GM: “I’m kind of always late, and kind of always sorry.”
6. Who is your favorite clone character and why?
JF: My favourite clone character is Alison because I identify with her suburban paranoia.
GM: My favourite clone is Cosima, because I love her brain and her dance moves and she’s a stoner.
GM: Sarah, Cosima and Alison were the core of the show from the very beginning.
JF: It’s interesting that the origins of Alison came a little bit more me centric, but the origins of Cosima were a little bit more [Graeme] specific. I grew up in suburban wasteland Calgary and [Graeme] grew up on the west coast sort of ‘hippy-dippy’.
GM: Sarah was always this anti-hero that we had in mind and at a certain point in the process, she became British.
JF: Sarah is for us that we both identify with because she’s this young, flawed..
GM: She’s our hero.
JF: She’s our hero.
GM: Someone she always gets left off the favourite clones list, but I think she’s everyone’s true favourite.
7. Why did you decide to make Cosima gay? And are any of the other clones queer (or will we ever see another queer clone)?
GM: It wasn’t a decision to make Cosima gay as much as it was a decision to have a spectrum of sexuality and gender represented in the show. And then to not sing about it or make the sexuality of the characters their main problem, just to let them be. In the context of a show that’s sort of a biological mystery, their sexuality isn’t any more or less important than the colour of their eyes.
8. What is your favourite thing about Tatiana? About Jordan?
JF: That they’re so much fun to hang out with on set.
GM: They’re dorks.
JF: They’re dorks. Complete dorks. And so are we.
GM: Tatiana spends half her day pretending to be a cat.
JF: Meow. [John is now impersonating Tatiana acting like a cat.]
GM: And she eats like Helena.
JF: She eats a lot of chocolate. And leaves wrappers lying around all over the set.
9. IS COSIMA OKAY????
JF: She’s not okay at all.
GM: But she’s still the hot clone.
10. Do ya’ll have any cool guest stars lined up for season 2?
JF: Ooh, yes, we do. Indeed. GM: Patrick J Adams of ‘Suits’.
JF: Michelle Forbes of ‘The Killing’ and the ‘Hunger Games’ movie - the one that hasn’t come out yet.
GM: And Michiel Huisman.
JF: Of Game of Thrones.
GM: Who gets to make with Tatiana, Connie Britton and Daenerys Targaryen all in one year.
11. This show has done so much for women and their status within society as individuals and autonomy and ownership of their bodies, which I find to be very important and one of my favorite aspects of the show. My question is was this a conscious decision, to make so many complex and wonderful women? Rather than men, which is the norm? Do you think the show would be as popular if the protagonist and clones were male?
GM: The show wouldn’t be nearly as good. And there was never a question whether our lead character would be male.
JF: A big part of the science and the concept of the show revolved around female biology and Kira.
GM: Motherhood and sisterhood are strong themes and we have a secret weapon in Cosima Herter (the science advisor on the show), our real Cosima, who keeps our feminist themes so pertinent to the science that we’re exploring.
12. I am wondering about this illness plaguing the clones and wonder if it was in any way inspired by Dolly the sheep and how she died because of lung disease?
GM: Actually yes. In researching the genetics, we looked at Dolly and we looked at the theories about shortened telomeres from being a clone of an adult. Jury’s still out on why Dolly actually died is my understanding.