This is it, Orphan Black fans. The last dance. The final farewell. Or, as the production sheets said during filming of Season 5: Swan Song. This Saturday at 10 p.m. ET on Space, that beloved club of clones returns to the small screen for the last 10 episodes.
Earlier this year, TV, Eh was among a handful of media who were invited to the set for a super-secret tour guided by co-creator John Fawcett (I’ve included some images in this story) , got up close and personal with the experts on hair, makeup and wardrobe and locked in a few precious moments with Fawcett and Graeme Manson and stars Tatiana Maslany, Kevin Hanchard, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jordan Gavaris, Evelyne Brochu and Kristian Bruun.
Here are the answers we got to the queries we gave:
Co-creators John Fawcett and Graeme Manson
What are you most proud of when it comes to Orphan Black?
John Fawcett: There are so many things. I think I’m most proud of the fact that this was a show that shouldn’t have gotten made in the first place. Nobody wanted to make it and the show is a bit weird. What Graeme and I had in our brains was a mashup and I don’t think there was a lot of conviction from anyone. It was a ludicrous premise that we somehow made a believable place and garnered enough support from the media and from fans that we could keep the thing going for five seasons. It’s been a really, really wild journey. Graeme and I were new coming into this. Tatiana was new. We had all worked in the industry before but this was kind of our first show. It’s been life-changing.
Graeme Manson: We’re also all very proud of the fact we took this somewhat ludicrous sci-fi conceit, grounded it enough and imbued it with enough character that it became inspirational for so many young people, so many young women and that Tatiana and so many other women who work on the show kept the feminist themes of the show—identity, nature versus nurture, themes of diversity, inclusion—this is the fabric of the show and we were able to say important things on this crazy clone show. That’s something we’re all pretty proud of.
Did you always have the same final scene for the show in your heads from Episode 1 of Season 1?
John Fawcett: Graeme and I have had the same thing in our head from the very beginning. The process of making this show … there has been a very organic nature to it. Sometimes you absolutely know how things are going to go and often it doesn’t and it goes in a different direction. Our collaboration goes beyond just us. We have a much bigger collaboration because we have a very talented group of writers and really talented performers and we have a small family around us from the beginning and we’re very tight. The inspiration comes from all different directions. Things have altered, but have kind of stayed the same.
Jordan Gavaris and Maria Doyle Kennedy
Jordan, you said you grew up on Orphan Black. What did you learn about yourself as an actor and a person?
Jordan Gavaris: I learned I’m an activist. I learned that, if I wasn’t an actor I’d probably have gone to law school and probably working for the ACLU or in politics. What I learned more than anything is about the intersection between genders. I’ve been watching some very interesting artists over the years and the really, really great ones that everyone seems to celebrate culturally are these people who understood that gender is not real. David Bowie is a really good example. He got the intersection between masculinity and femininity, men and women. He figured out that women are great. And they always have been great. I’ve also learned a lot about leadership watching Tat. She moves through a business that is very much about aesthetic and it can be very oppressive. She is a unique paradigm when it comes to how she leads a set and there is a trickle down effect of her leadership. That perspective is what makes Orphan Black so unique. Her voice is in everything you see. Felix was such
Felix was such an exploration of all my feminine parts and I think it’s important to take the femininity to other characters that aren’t necessarily Felix or look like Felix or sound like Felix. They might be an attorney or doctor or whatever … I can bring what I discovered about my own feminity to them.
Are you taking anything from the set as a souvenir?
Jordan Gavaris: Oh yeah, I’ve gone full klepto. I’ve taken paintings, necklaces, cool pieces of costume. I’m stealing stuff.
Maria Doyle Kennedy: The only thing I want to take aside from my memories is this little wire bracelet. I think it’s the only thing I’ve had since Season 1 and I pretty much never take it off.
What are these final episodes going to be like for fans?
Kevin Hanchard: I don’t think we’re going for cheesy gotcha moments, it’s about the wonderful base and the wonderful story we’ve built and the tangents we’ve built from that. It’s time for the laser focus. It’s only 10 episodes, so it’s gotta go really quick. It builds to a head. I think fans will be happy.
Where did you put your Primetime Emmy?
Tatiana Maslany: My mom didn’t know it was in this box and she put a plant on top of it. It’s in a pretty chill zone.
Orphan Black airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET on Space.