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Orphan Black (TV Series 2013–2017) Poster

(2013–2017)

Trivia

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To shoot the scenes with her clones, Tatiana Maslany would act alongside acting doubles, and then repeat the scene with other doubles. These "layers" would be edited together. Director John Fawcett described it as a a "very time consuming process."
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Tatiana Maslany said in an interview that she has a continuity team that keeps her from mixing up the characters. For instance, if she's doing a scene that has both Alison and Sarah in it and she's playing Alison, if the script tells her to roll her eyes, they make sure it's an 'Alison' eye roll and not a 'Sarah' eye roll.
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Co-creator Graeme Manson said that Tatiana Maslany roller-bladed to her audition, and helped the other auditioning girls with their lines.
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To help her prepare to play her "clones," Tatiana Maslany created playlists and dances which she thought epitomised their character. She gave Cosima 'rave dance' (with glow sticks), Alison ballet, and Helena was kept private in her trailer.
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Tatiana Maslany and writer Graeme Manson would collaborate and agree on a back story for each of the clones, including their parentage and upbringing.
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The show has a 'science consultant' whose name is Cosima -- like one of the characters. Her name is Cosima Herter.
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Evelyne Brochu, who plays Delphine, was one of the actresses in the running for the lead role. She wasn't cast, but the part of Delphine was written especially for her, according to series creator Graeme Manson.
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Tatiana Maslany is the only Canadian woman to win the Emmy award in the "Best Actress - Drama" category.
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Co-creator John Fawcett on his plans for Orphan Black (2013): "Let's say when we were initially designing this, yes, we were talking about five seasons. We were trying to design a story that would have a beginning, middle, and end. I want to know how the thing ends so that we can be focused on telling a cohesive story. I think that's what's really important. I don't want this to feel like we're just floating around and trying to invent stuff from season to season. It really needs to feel like we have a clear way that we're going forward."
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Tatiana Maslany is Canadian, but she plays characters of British, American, German, Canadian, Finnish, and Ukrainian origin. She's also the face of French, Italian, and Austrian characters.
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Jordan Gavaris on how he feels Orphan Black (2013) upends so much about the normative narrative about being human: "I think, and I love this term, it's about the mythology that we tell each other about what it means to be humans and how it's just not true... The mythology of the man, the mythology of the woman, the mythology of the lesbian, the science geek, the gay man, the housewife, they're all myths.
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Jordan Gavaris cites artists like Mick Jagger and Billy Idol as his inspiration for Felix.
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Co-Creator and Director John Fawcett has cited Memento (2000) as a major inspiration for Orphan Black.
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Main character and protagonist Detective Arthur "Art" Bell (Kevin Hanchard) shares his name with the broadcaster and author Art Bell, whose radio shows and books have dealt with a wide variety of scientific and paranormal themes...including 'cloning.'
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All of the episode titles in Season 1 are the names of chapters in Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" (1859) (although not in the same order as in the book).

Season 2 episode titles are taken from "Novum Organum," which describes a new system of logic, by British author, statesman and philosopher, Francis Bacon (1561-1626).

The episode titles for Season 3 come from the Farewell Address of former United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower in which he discusses the rise of a military-industrial complex.

According to the BBC, episode titles for Season 4 are taken from or inspired by the writings of Donna J. Haraway, Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz - specifically, "Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature" and "A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century". The show's writers were influenced by her writings in gaining an understanding of how the ethical considerations of human cloning might affect the main character(s)' psyche(s).

The titles for episodes of Season 5 come from the poem 'Protest' by American poet and author Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
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The ability of Tatiana Maslany to act with "herself" is achieved using an acting double, Kathryn Alexandre. In non-f/x shots, when more than one clone is on screen and one of their faces is obscured or hidden, that one is probably being played by Alexandre. She also appears as another character, Alexis, in three episodes.
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Sarah (Tatiana Maslany), Cal (Michiel Huisman), and Kira (Skyler Wexler) are collectively referred to as "Lumberfamily."
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Creators Graeme Manson and John Fawcett first thought of the idea for Orphan Black back in 2003.
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All of Sarah's (Tatiana Maslany) clone phone cases change color every season. In season 1, her case is pink, season 2 is green, season 3 is blue, season 4 is purple, and season 5 is red.
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It was announced on June 16, 2016 that the show has been renewed for a fifth and final season.
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Tatiana Maslany plays all the clones, made more impressive by scenes where the various clones are physically interacting with each other. Of course, she has help from computer graphics.
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Maria Doyle Kennedy (Siobhan Sadler) and James Frain (Ferdinand Chevalier) have previously worked together in the TV show The Tudors (2007). They played Queen Catherine of Aragon and Thomas Cromwell, respectively.
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Jordan Gavaris (Felix) and Maria Doyle Kennedy (Mrs. S) share the same birthday, September 25.
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Graeme Manson and John Fawcett are seen talking to Dr. Leekie (Matt Frewer) and taking a picture with him in season two, episode one, Orphan Black: Nature Under Constraint and Vexed (2014), at the 30:41-30:50 mark.
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Clone Club is the name given to Orphan Black fans. In some circles, especially devoted lesbian fans are "Clonesbians."
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In season 5, the scene when Cosima and Delphine upload the data to take down Neolution was semi-unscripted. While it was supposed to be a bittersweet scene, Tatiana Maslany really did burst into tears. The sympathetic reaction from Evelyne Brochu was genuine.
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Michiel Huisman is Dutch, but Cal is presumably American. Jordan Gavaris is Canadian but Felix is British. Melanie Nicholls-King is Canadian, but Amelia is South African.
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Andrew Gillies plays Andrew Peckham. Subverted because it's an alias. The character's real name is Ethan Duncan.
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John Fawcett directed Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed (2004), which starred Tatiana Maslany (Sarah Manning) as "Ghost", a mental patient obsessed with wanting a pet werewolf. The location used in Ginger Snaps -- Scarborough, Toronto -- was also the location for Orphan Black, and was given the same name in both projects: Bailey Downs. In Ginger Snaps, they refer to the werewolf problem as "the beast of Bailey Downs".
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Matt Frewer and Michelle Forbes who have guest starred on "Orphan Black" also both guest starred in episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987).
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Kevin Hanchard (Detective Art Bell) & Kathryn Alexandre (Tatiana Maslany's acting double) also worked together on the second season of Cardinal (2017) as Alan Clegg and Abby Harris respectively. Alexandre also played the role of Alexis in three episodes of Orphan Black.
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Tatiana Maslany was nominated for the 2018 Emmy Award in the Lead Actress in a Drama Series category for her various roles in Orphan Black (2013), but lost to Claire Foy from The Crown (2016).
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Julian Richings and Tatiana Maslany both appeared in the TV show Heartland (2007).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Co-creator Graeme Manson has claimed he wanted to make 8 seasons and a movie of Orphan Black.
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Over the course of the series, Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) has impersonated Beth, Katja, Alison, Cosima, Tony, Rachel, Krystal, and was mistaken for M.K. Helena has impersonated Beth, Sarah, and Alison. Alison has impersonated Sarah and was mistaken for Beth. Rachel impersonated Sarah and assumed Krystal's identity. Krystal (unwillingly) impersonated Rachel in a coma and was later mistaken for Sarah. Cosima impersonated Alison, and MK pretended to be Sarah and in the end was "mistaken" for Rachel by Ferdinand (James Frain). Mark (Ari Millen) pretending to be Rudy at the end of season 3 was the only time that a Castor clone has impersonated another on screen.
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Co-creator John Fawcett on preparations for the talking scorpion in season three: "Tatiana Maslany is doing the voice of the scorpion as well. We talked to her very early on... to create a sound that you could hear the scorpion before you saw it, so you knew it was around. I had this idea that the scorpion would kind of purr, partly like a cat and a velociraptor. The clicking and the purring and all of these different sounds that normally would be sound design and sound effects guys ... Tat has created all of those sounds herself."
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There have been 274 LEDA clones in total, as revealed by the end of the series. Only 19 of them make an appearance in one way or another, as follows. Season 1 features Sarah Manning, Beth Childs, Katja Obinger, Alison Hendrix, Cosima Niehaus, Helena, and Rachel Duncan, who are all seen on-screen, plus three Europeans seen only on photographs: Danielle Fournier, Janika Zingler, and Aryanna Giordano. Season 2 introduces Jennifer Fitzsimmons (seen only on tape and in the morgue), Tony (born Antoinette) Siwicki, and Charlotte Bowles (the younger clone). Season 3 introduces Krystal Goderitch and an unnamed Polish girl (seen in a file with redacted identity). Season 4 introduces M.K. Season 5 features Maryam Vonsen (seen dead in a flashback), Camilla Torres, and an unnamed Eastern European girl (Helena's first victim in a flashback). Only 9 of these survive by the end of the series.
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Co-creator Graeme Manson on the talking scorpion that appears in season three: "Only Helena (Tatiana Maslany) sees her scorpion. It would be, like, her intuition, her inner wisdom or the good angel versus the bad angel .. But the scorpion is not new in Helena's life... Pupok appeared to her when she was quite young as a child and was trying to deal with surviving the torture of the nuns back in the convents in Ukraine. It became her guidance and her strength."
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Co-creator John Fawcett on using a scorpion in season three: "We had a scorpion wrangler and auditioned a number of scorpions. I've never worked with a scorpion before. It was all just us going, 'Wouldn't it be great? This is a hilariously cool idea. Have you done that before? Nope,' So it could have gone very sideways on us. It's not easy to shoot with a scorpion, but it's not the hardest thing either. This little dude turned out to be a pretty good actor."
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According to an April 2015 interview with show-runners Graeme Manson and John Fawcett, in addition to the many onscreen clone roles played by Tatiana Maslany, she was also the voice of "Pupok," the scorpion that Helena hallucinates while incarcerated during Season 3. The onscreen scorpion, however, was played by a real scorpion--picked from an "audition" out of a selection of scorpions provided by a "scorpion wrangler" on the set.
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Co-creator John Fawcett on the talking scorpion that appears in season three: "It started with this funny idea that we would have an imaginary spirit animal for Helena (Tatiana Maslany). We thought maybe it would speak Ukrainian to her and that we would subtitle the scorpion."
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Total body count: 62 (not counting characters whose death is only mentioned in passing, like the European clones killed by Helena). There are 5 deaths in season one, 11 in season two, 19 in season three, 10 in season four, and 17 in season five.
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Kieran Kennedy, Maria Doyle Kennedy's musician husband, plays a musician named Kieran during the third-season trip to London. In the story-line Kennedy's character, Siobhan, used to perform in the band alongside him. The song performed was written by both Maria and Kieran.
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With Project Castor, Ari Millen is this to the male clones. As Season 3 begins, there are at least 4 of them.
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