Tag Archives: Space

Link: Wynonna Earp: Katherine Barrell on Nicole’s renewed sense of purpose in Purgatory

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Wynonna Earp: Katherine Barrell on Nicole’s renewed sense of purpose in Purgatory
“Nicole is getting to a place too where it’s tricky because she wants to be respectful that she’s her sister and wants to protect her, but at the same time is like ‘Leave us alone! Knock!’ Nicole is so kind that she wouldn’t say that, but also Wynonna knows how to push her buttons. I think with any older sibling when you’re younger sister or brother is dating someone new you’re going to pick on the new person to see what they are made of a little bit. I think that’s what Wynonna does to Nicole.” Continue reading.

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Orphan Black 503: Alex Levine on Alison’s big episode

Spoiler warning: Do not read this article until you have seen Orphan Black Episode 503, “Beneath Her Heart.”

“Keep ’em outta the garage.” —Donnie

Saturday’s new episode of Orphan Black, “Beneath Her Heart,” represented a tonal change from the first two instalments of Season 5, not only because we got to enjoy a trippy visit with the Hendrixes and their friends (both dead and alive) in Bailey Downs, but because we got our first hints of closure as the series heads toward the finish line.

Alison facing down her addictions, guilt and perceived lack of purpose to one-up Rachel and keep Helena hidden from Neolution felt like the completion of her character arc, a feeling that was punctuated by her surprise announcement to go away for a while. As a result, Alison and Donnie’s sweet rendition of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” played like the first goodbye of the final trip—and was a bittersweet reminder that our time with the sestras is indeed winding down.

To learn more about Alison’s big episode—including if and when we’ll see her again—we caught up with writer Alex Levine.

This episode focuses on Alison, and I understand all the core clones will have similar episodes this season. Why was the choice made to give each clone her own episode this season? 
Alex Levine: The writers had always considered whether clones other than Sarah could carry an episode. Even in Season 1, we were asking ourselves that question—coincidentally, about Alison. But we backed off because we really felt, at least in the first and second seasons, that Sarah had to drive the story. She was the capital “H” hero, the woman of action, always asking the questions, always trying to uncover the conspiracy. So while we discussed and even tried to make an Alison-centric story early, we decided as a group to stick with Sarah. She’s really the heart of the show.  But in Seasons 3 and later, the other clones started elbowing themselves to the front of the stage. Helena was especially riveting as a hero in her own right. And Rachel also started to carry hefty amounts of story. And Graeme had written a particularly powerful, more personal story for Sarah in Season 4 (Episode 407 – her ‘dark night of the soul’). So when John and Graeme came into the development room last summer for Season 5, they were committed to doing separate, more personal stories for each of the clones, not just Sarah. And each of the characters were so well developed by then, their worlds so rich and fleshed out, that it was easy to see how it could finally work.

In a flashback, we see Alison and Donnie do mushrooms with Aynsley and Chad. (It was SO great to see those characters again!) The scenes were hilarious but also showed that Alison chose to cope by using drugs very soon after finding out she was a clone. Why was it important to show that moment? 
Early in the development of Season 5, John Fawcett wanted to have a church picnic. John’s really the curator of Alison’s suburban world. That church picnic morphed into the Fall Fun Fair that you see in the episode. We also knew we were going to focus pretty early on the stakes of Leekie’s body and Rachel using police leverage to try to force the Hendrixes to give up Helena’s whereabouts. What we didn’t have was Alison’s personal story. That character has been through so much over four seasons: drug dealing, adultery, pill addiction, letting Aynsley die, burying Leekie. She’s a high-strung suburban train wreck. Point is, we have delved deeply into Alison’s character, but we wanted to showcase a side of her that we haven’t seen.

So when we landed on the idea of exploring what she was like at the time she first learned she was a clone, it was exciting. But we still didn’t know how to dramatize her struggle from denial to acceptance, both in flashback and in the present. It’s a complicated personal story, but we also wanted to tap into that feeling everyone has that they might be living the ‘wrong life,’ so to speak. At the end of the day, this is an episode about one of our central themes: identity. We spun a bunch of versions of that flashback story before we landed on a mushroom trip. Not only was it realistic to show how Alison has used substances to cope in the past (and present), but the trip allowed her to explore and talk about her feelings about being a clone, her identity, and her life in a thoughtful, navel gazing, but realistic way.

 

After Donnie collapses on stage, Alison sees ‘ghost Aynsley’ in the audience. Does this mean she has forgiven herself for Aynsley’s death?
Yes. We wanted to resolve Alison’s feelings of guilt about letting Aynsley die in this episode in order for her to be able to move forward in her life, forgive herself, and recommit to her sisterhood. So that was an important part of the story that Graeme Manson really helped to focus in on during the rewrite process. The flashbacks allowed us to show that Alison and Aynsley were once extremely close and not as competitive and adversarial as we see them in Season 1. In that light, it’s easier to see how Alison might get over what she did—with Chad’s help of course.

After all the times that Helena has saved Donnie and Alison, the big payoff is that Alison—who is repeatedly told that she is useless—faces off with Rachel and saves herself, Donnie and Helena. What does that moment mean for her? 
This is really the culmination of Alison’s growth as a character. She’s gone from this somewhat selfish person to someone who gets involved in the clone fight reluctantly, to a real hero who is willing to put her neck on the line to save her sisters. Remember when we met her, Alison was the person who wanted to throw money at the problem and keep herself and her family far from the front lines. But so much has happened, including Helena having saved Alison and Donnie from the Cheek Choppers last season. So Alison hasn’t forgotten that. And she finally realizes it’s time for her to step up.

Alison tells Donnie that she is going away for a while. Does that mean we won’t be seeing much of her the rest of the season? 
Every season we have to park one or more of the clones in a bunch of episodes for production reasons. Season 5 is no different. The time it takes to change Tat from clone to clone in terms of hair and makeup is very difficult on production. We just can’t afford to show them all every episode, and frankly, we don’t have the screen time. So yes, Alison is going away, but she’ll be back before you know it. And she will come back with surprises!

Kira isn’t telling Sarah or Mrs. S much about what happens when she meets with Rachel, but also she appears to be holding Rachel at a distance. What is going on in Kira’s head right now? 
Kira, at this point in the story, is growing into a more mature person, realizing she’s not just an object anymore, not just something that everybody wants. Sarah has let her down a bit, in the sense that she has been overprotective like many mothers are. But Kira knows she’s finally in a position to make choices for herself. And Rachel is offering her the opportunity to understand herself and her biology. That’s an offer Kira has to take seriously.  But Kira understands Rachel better than anyone. She knows there’s strings attached somehow… How’s that for a vague answer?

Art was prepared to go all in and kill Engers when she dug up Leekie’s body. He’s in a really tough spot. What can we expect from his storyline in the next few episodes? 
Art narrowly escaped putting himself and his family in terrible danger. He has to continue to toe the line—to work with [Engers] for Neolution in order to keep his daughter safe, but he has to try not to jeopardize the clone sisterhood. Art’s life ain’t easy!

Whose idea was it to have Alison and Donnie sing ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ to end the episode? That was very sweet and moving. 
We knew Kristian is this multi-talented guy, that he could highland dance and play mandolin. So using those talents were targets of Graeme’s early on. As usual, when we use a known song, it comes down to fit and cost. We had a bunch of tunes we were choosing from, but we wanted to find a song that gets going quickly, where both singers in the duet get to sing pretty much right away. This song was perfect emotionally, but truth be told, we had no idea it would play so well. That’s a testament to the actors. Tat and Kristian have worked together in these characters for so many years there is a lot of trust and understanding there. I thought Kristian’s vulnerability in that scene was amazing. It felt real and honest and I was blown away.

Can you give us any hints about Episode 504?
I consider 503 a change up, a different kind of OB episode. 504 is more of a traditional thrill-ride. Sarah and Mrs. S team up and have to work through Sarah’s lingering resentment from 502/503. And we welcome back an old adversary…

Orphan Black airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET on Space.

Images courtesy of Bell Media. 

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Link: Wynonna Earp: Emily Andras talks “Gonna Getcha Good”

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Wynonna Earp: Emily Andras talks “Gonna Getcha Good”
“That’s the problem with someone like Doc in that he can be cool as a cucumber and reject your drunken self in the bar, but then with one line and one intense look with those blue eyes and a twitch of that mustache you’re back in! Tim Rozon is so good and he just gets it and what that line has to be.” Continue reading.

From Nivea Serrao of Entertainment Weekly:

Link: Wynonna Earp EP says Waverly is under ‘a stone-cold possession’
“One of the things I love about Wynonna Earp is there’s a real sense of destiny and fate versus free will. Wynonna has been fated to become this hero. She has to pick up the mantle of fighting these revenants. She isn’t really given a choice. The Ghost River Triangle is a mystical place that really likes to have its players where it wants it — so Dolls didn’t have a choice on some level. But we’ll find out very shortly why he’s back and how he has returned and what they’re going to do about it ’cause he’s not in the best shape. In fact, Waverly is looking at him like she looks at a spider snack.” Continue reading.

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Link: Dark Matter: Joseph Mallozzi talks “All the Time in the World”

From Kelly Townsend of The TV Junkies:

Link: Dark Matter: Joseph Mallozzi talks “All the Time in the World”
“I knew the guy I wanted in the time loop would be Three. Anthony just nailed it, he was terrific in this episode. Then it was just making use of his forte; besides his comic abilities, his knowledge of the French language, which figured in quite nicely as well.” Continue reading.

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Wynonna Earp: Brendon Yorke talks “Gonna Getcha Good,” cheerleading and The Guardians of the Galaxy

Yes, writing for television is a team sport and Wynonna Earp is no different. Everyone contributes ideas, thoughts and story angles before one person goes off to write a script. So, yes, Friday’s new episode “Gonna Getcha Good,” was—as always—the result of teamwork but Brendon Yorke’s name is on it, meaning he’ll be recognized for what could very well be one of the most memorable scenes in Season 2: Waverly doing her cheerleading routine for Nicole.

That wasn’t the only notable moment from Friday’s new episode; we found out where Dolls has gone (held captive in a barn by Waverly, surrounded by shiny things), what Doc has been up to (he and Rosita are re-creating Dolls’ drug), Nedley’s future for Nicole (taking over as Sheriff) and the apparent end for Mercedes Gardiner. We spoke to Brendon Yorke about these landmark, memorable storylines.

Fans have been anticipating this episode since the Season 2 teaser trailer was released, to see Waverly perform her cheerleading routine.
Brendon Yorke: That’s all Dominique and the director and choreographers, right? [Laughs.] When you write it you’re like, ‘Waverly does an awesome cheerleading routine and Nicole stands there with her jaw agape.’ It’s one line of direction and this is what they come up with. Apparently, it was a gruelling day to do those routines. They’re long and a require a lot of effort.

It was a 40-second routine on-air.
Yeah, and the rough cut was four times longer.

I know it’s a team effort, but how does it feel to have your name on a script that fulfils every WayHaught fan’s dream?
When you first conceive of that as a teaser—we understand who a lot of our passionate fans are and that they and most fans would appreciate that sort of thing—you don’t want it to be exploitative. The balancing act that you have to do is that you understand she’s doing it for her girlfriend and not for voyeurs or anything like that. At the same time, there is more going on with Waverly than meets the eye. She’s not entirely herself. I’m sure some degree of her Id is coming out.

You bring up a good point. Rather than just being a titillating moment, it really is a comment on the character too and how it evolves through the episodes to the final moments with Dolls.
Totally. And it oscillates between what she can and can’t control.

I wondered whether she could control what was going on inside her and thought she could.
What I would suggest is that, if anyone can control it, it’s her.

This episode had a ‘monster of the week’ feel to it that I enjoyed.
In the beginning of the season you’re kind of re-setting the story and by the time you’re getting to Episode 3, you’re getting to ‘Who is she fighting?’ and a bit more of a monster of the week type thing that touches on the series arcs as well.

Fans don’t want to see dissension and arguments between the main characters and I’m part of that group too. But there is something cool about having Wynonna and Doc not see eye to eye at first and she questioning his loyalty to the team. It just makes things more interesting.
That goes back to Doc Holliday’s core and who he was back in the day. It worked really well in Season 1 when he was working both sides at the same time. He’s a poker player; you never totally know where he’s going. We often use The Guardians of the Galaxy model: there is nothing more satisfying than bringing the team together. They have to go through their own journeys and conflict to get there to make it satisfying. It’s the balancing act we do over the course of a season to have some push and pull but at the same time know that, hopefully, at the end of the day everyone has each other’s back.

One of the hallmarks of Wynonna Earp is the slow-motion scenes. How did you come to the realization that was a fun way of storytelling?
When you have somebody like Melanie Scrofano, there are so many wonderful things that you can do. Like every series, you figure out what works best. There was a scene in Season 1 where she’s coming in with coffee and doughnuts after a drunken binge and cruising through the hallways of the Sheriff’s office and she can do so much with her eyes. She’s such a physical actress, she can do things with her hair that’s just amazing. When we saw that we were like, ‘Yeah, this is good. We need more of this.’ It also allows you to have a cool song and show more than tell.

We got a peek into Wynonna’s high school life. That was a cool little tidbit in the story.
Most of us in the writer’s room are from a small town. Alex is from Edmonton, but still there’s that off-the-beaten track Canadian experience and you kind of get the idea that gossip travels fast and it can be hard to live some of these things down. We also liked the idea that she didn’t apologize then and doesn’t apologize now for who she is. That’s one of the differences between she and Waverly. It seems Waverly did at least try to fit in a little bit more when they were younger.

Another character who didn’t apologize for who she was is Mercedes Gardiner. You blew the Gardiner story open tonight. What can you say about this family?
They will definitely play an important role. We always like to flesh out the world so it’s not always just Wynonna against the supernatural or the team against the supernatural. This is set in the real world and we like it to feel grounded somehow. There are humans here who are also providing complications and humans in this world who will become victims to these terrible things that are heroes are fighting against. I feel like it’s important to show that there is a real town here and real people.

We got insight into what Rosita and Doc are doing: making the drug for Dolls.
That’s one of the things with Doc too. You suspect his motives are one thing and they turn out to be something else and that’s what makes him such a great character for. Someday you think he’s doing something good and it turns out he’s doing something terrible.

There was a very sweet moment between Nicole and Nedley where he told her about the long game and wanting her to take over as Sheriff one day. He feels very much like a father figure to her.
We want Nicole to be a good cop, not just someone who helps our team or who is a love interest for Waverly. We want her to be a principled, good cop who came to this place she thought needed help. Nedley also says that he recruited her; it’s important for us to establish that she’s really good at her police job and there is something necessary about having someone like that in the world because there are regular humans with regular problems. I think it also helps ground the series as well so it’s not all biblical demon hunting all the time. [Laughs.] It’s also good to show the dynamic between Nedley and Nicole and their friendship. We don’t know too much about her backstory but I’m sure a supportive father figure is something she’d be happy to have.

You left us, in the final scene, with Dolls and Waverly in the same barn, with silver surrounding them.
I’m sure we’ll learn more about this coming up. [Laughs.] Let’s just say neither one of them is in a good place at the end of the episode and we need to figure out a way to get them out of it.

Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on Space.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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