'Orphan Black': Creator Graeme Manson reveals how they created the new clone
[SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched Saturday’s episode of Orphan Black.]
The chase is on! Tonight’s episode of Orphan Black featured a reunited Sarah, Kira, and Felix on the run. And that run led to a cabin in the woods occupied by none other than…Kira’s father! Turns out he’s an old flame named Cal that Sarah scammed back in her grifter days. Meanwhile, Cosima pored over the video diaries of another clone named Jennifer Fitzsimmons who seemed to be suffering from the same respiratory illness that she is. In the serious bummer department, it turns out Jennifer just died from it three days prior. (Gulp!) And in the serious cliffhanger department, Rachel’s henchman Daniel showed up and took Sarah at gunpoint, but the episode ended with their car being plowed into by another vehicle. (Double gulp!) We spoke with Orphan Black co-creator Graeme Manson to get the inside scoop on everything that went down in tonight’s episode. And click on the video at the end to see more of new clone Jennifer’s video journal that you did not see on the show!
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First of all, what kind of role model are you teaching children of the world like Kira how to shoplift? Shame on you, sir!
GRAEME MANSON: Girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do [laughs]. I think, to us, that was Sarah at that age — as a foster kid and an orphan. That was who they were when they were very young before they grew up, doing what you have to do to get by. Both Sarah and Felix have known that their whole lives. But it’s Sarah who says, “What we did was just wrong.” It’s that theft I think that prompts her to go to Cal. Because I need another way, I need a new way. So I think, you know, it’s a measure of how much Sarah has grown up.
EW: Since you brought up Cal, let’s talk about introducing Kira’s father, which is certainly no small thing. How big a part can we expect him to play?
MANSON: He’s a very important part. When Sarah can’t trust anyone, here’s a guy who she’s taking a risk on trusting. How deeply is she going to trust him? Not the whole way. But she does need allies. It would be nice for her to trust someone. Can she trust Cal completely? Not yet. Should she? Well, it’s Orphan Black. We were always looking forward to meeting Kira’s father. And we always wanted to make him a surprise But also, his biology may be very important in the mystery that is Kira.
EW: I see. Interesting. Clearly something to keep an eye on there. Let’s talk about the new clone of Jennifer and how you brought her in via these video diaries.
MANSON: It’s interesting. In a practical sense it’s an efficient way to introduce a new clone without overly taxing Tatiana in an already ridiculously busy slate. But also, really what it is, is she’s a mirror for Cosima. She’s someone that Cosima can look at, and go, look at that hearty person and look what I could be in for. Look at the stakes here. And I think those are the stakes that Delphine wants her to see to get her on side with the Dyad for reasons of her own health.
EW: How did you guys decide what kind of person she was going to be? Stuff like her personality, her profession, and where she’s from?
MANSON: It starts with John Fawcett and I and the writers really looking at a story function for the character. Once we know what the story function is, we have a loose idea of what that character might be or some of the qualities that would help us tell the story. And now that we’re getting used to his process, we went straight to Tat. And we said we’re thinking of a character that’s a bit like this. And then we discussed the character back and forth, so okay, we make a decision, well, she’s wholesome, she’s Midwest, we’re not going to do a big accent thing, we’re not going to do a big hair and make up and wardrobe thing. We wanted to find a very natural person, and then at some point she became an athlete and we all liked that, I think Tat liked that. We had her as a skier or a basketball player, and then settled on swimmer. And teacher. Tat really liked that she was a teacher and you know, we wanted someone who was life affirming and looked really healthy off the top, and someone who was very normal in comparison to say Rachel, who we’re also in the process of exploring.
EW: Are we going to meet any live clones this season?
MANSON: Like we always say, we’re a clone show.
EW: This is a really big episode for Felix, who after always being there for Sarah and always putting up with everything finally for the first time says “enough” and takes off. What does this mean for their relationship and for Felix going forward?
MANSON: It’s interesting that one of his reasons for leaving is this is typical Sarah. You lied by omission to get me here and I follow your s— all the time, and that sort of self-incrimination from Felix. He’s got that, yes. But he’s also got “Alison needs me.” He has fealty not just to Sarah anymore, he really has fealty to Clone Club. That look on Sarah’s face, I always felt that was a little jealousy in return, when she’s sitting at the table and he says, “Alison needs me.” Sarah’s got a little disgust in that well, and maybe some of that is self-disgust for Sarah. Maybe a little jealousy. Felix maybe sees the big picture a little better than Sarah — at least from a Felix sort of perspective, being the one who might be able to be some use in the middle of what could become a sister fight. Of course, he can see that coming.
EW: Well, it gives you an excuse to get Felix and Alison back together.
MANSON: We love them together, and Felix is right, Alison does need him and I think that the guilt of walking away from one clone sister to go away with Sarah…that is where his localities lie. But now those loyalties are being rocked by biology in a sense, which is interesting.
EW: Okay, Mr. Cliffhanger, so who’s driving the car that crashes into Sarah at the end?
MANSON: I think it was just random.
EW: It’s not Vic? Can Vic even drive with the finger issue?
MANSON: All we know about that car is that it’s orange.
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