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Graeme Manson’s Final Letter to #CloneClub


John and I got away with some dumb shit, but not much. For that we have our own “galaxy of women” to thank. Claire Welland. Joanna Moore. Cosima Herter. Maria Doyle Kennedy. Karen Walton. Kerry Appleyard. MacKenzie Donaldson. Jillian Truster. Gosia Kamela. Trish Wlliams. Corrie Coe. Joelle Craven. Renee St. Cyr. Sherry White. Adrian Sheepers. Melanie Orr. Jenn Engels. Catherine Cooper. Kate Melville. Erin Jontow. Karen Troubetzkoy. Andrea Green. Many, many more. Too many to list. The men of Orphan Black thank you.

We’re thankful to BBCA, Space Channel, and our producers at Temple St./Boatrocker for trusting us with a loopy serialized narrative that employed a mash-up of tones. The ability to genre-leap in our own show kept us endlessly entertained. But beyond the pace and the thrills and the gore in the DNA of the show, many of us have a deep pride that we also spoke truth to power through a lense of fiction. We were given a voice, and we didn’t take the responsibility lightly.

Maybe I’ve been spending too much time with Cosima Herter lately, but I want to talk about science more than story. Science certainly isn’t what I thought it was when I started this show. Science is making bread. Science is in your kitchen and in your body. In this divisive time we need to refute the binary stupidity of fact vs alternative-fact, science vs anti-science. Science, like fiction, is only an avenue to the next question. Keep asking. Don’t get lulled by “answers.” Deduce and proceed. Be ready to go back and change course. That’s how we wrote Orphan Black, and now the show is over, I still have questions. If #CloneClub does too, that’s kind of intended. Keep critically thinking.

I urge you to remain aware that this is the Age of Biology, and that the struggle over our (collective!) genetic future cannot be trusted to agribusiness, big pharma, or even academia. Biology, our bodies, especially female bodies, are always political. If you respect history, and are interested in a progressive future that fights for something approaching equality, pay close attention to these issues in the coming years. Read between the lines. Use your voice. Follow the money. We are a species too clever (and mendacious) by half, so remember the tools of modern genetics hold the possibility of repeating every evil of our past, or realizing our most utopic sci-fi imaginings.

#CloneClub? You were the biggest surprise and biggest reward for all of us. We papered our walls with your art. You inspired us. You shaded the story with your emotion. Most importantly, you reached out to each other in an astoundingly supportive way. You created a community, a commons, where acceptance reigns as the guiding principle. You reflected the ideals of our show and our work ethic back to us. We love that. It gives us great hope.

So this is it #CloneClub, and yet it’s not. There’s a lump in my throat, but I’m good saying “fare-thee-well,” on John’s behalf too, because I know: “thee will fare-well.” You will make art and science and families of all beautiful stripes. There will be babies. There will be peaks of joy and valleys of tears. If there isn’t, the light is flat. Find your light.

From all of us at Orphan Black,


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