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The Hive Recap: Nature Under Constraint and Vexed


“You don’t own us.” – Sarah Manning

The Hive Observations, Unexpected Results, and Mind-Benders

Season Two Storm
Wonder how we timed the teaser rainstorm? It’s fake! We had two blocks of SFX rigged rain, plus the help of our VFX team, and ta-da Sarah’s alone, stranded, and at her wits end in a rainstorm. It took two days to shoot the entire diner scene, so wardrobe assistant Peter Webster had quite the job making sure Tatiana looked drenched on camera, but was warm between takes.


“Fee, they took Kira and Mrs. S!” – Sarah Manning

Sarah’s Breakout Breakdown
The bathroom and the Diner are in two different sets. In order to capture Sarah escaping from the bathroom the art department built an entire bathroom set in our studio, a fake wall for the Diner’s backdoor. They had to build seven different test walls until we could find the one that was breakable and also realistic looking. Breaking out of that bathroom was quite an ordeal!

Proclone Style Check
Love Rachel Duncan’s lip color? According to the Orphan Black makeup department Rachel wears a lip gloss by Hourglass.


“What are you wearing?!” – Alison Hendrix

Felix Style Check
The assless chaps were Jordan and John’s conception. “I’m very sorry that I made that suggestion to a very eager John Fawcett on a plane right to San Diego,” Jordan explains. “I was really inspired by the ’80s for Felix’s character and I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to resurrect some of the fetishes in gay clubs and just because we can?’ We should because we’re representing that community. As we said before, ‘#CloneClub: All are welcome’ and I think that is reflected in our characters—all are welcome. Interesting wardrobe choices and all.” (via


“You know a gun dealer named Ramon?“ – Felix Dawkins
“He’s a gun enthusiast. He has many jobs. He is very hard-working.” – Alison Hendrix

Casting Call: Ramon
Ramon was one of our favorite characters from season two. The actor, Alex Ozerov, brought so much humor to the character. The improv Tatiana and Alex did on set had the whole crew howling. John and Graeme wanted a Jesse-like character from Breaking Bad, and when the name Ramon came into play we all knew this character was going to be hilarious. The deco’s on Ramon’s car are all done by hand with a sharpie. THE ENTIRE CAR IS COVERED.

Multilingual ProClone
Yes, Tatiana learned some German for Rachel – what can’t Tatiana do? We’ve always said that Rachel went to a prestigious boarding school across the pond and that she most likely knows a handful of languages.

Casting Doubles
We had to bring in four or five actresses to meet Tatiana to make sure that the gag with Daniel in the skate park would work perfectly.

“Can I touch your boob?” – Boy on the bus
Graeme and John argued over this character’s dialogue for a long time. Ultimately, John’s favorite line of the season made it into the show.

On Set: DYAD Institute
We found the perfect exterior DYAD building in BridgePoint, a brand new hospital in downtown Toronto. The older part of the building is actually an old jail that has been repurposed to house the administrative offices for the hospital. It is perfect because the DYAD Institute has been around for a long time – the first building blocks set in 1918 according to Leekie, but is ever growing and expanding. The BridgePoint building marries the old and the new, just like the DYAD Institute.


Blood Ties: The Musical
Part of John and Graeme’s vision this season was to have Alison in a musical. It was an Orphan Black must. However, finding the right musical proved difficult. Luckily, our assistant Mackenzie had just worked on Blood Ties and brought it to the table. Although it wasn’t Grease, when we all heard Blood Ties for the first time, we knew it was the perfect mirror for Alison’s troubles – MURDER. Plus it was campy and catchy as hell.

Other than Sarah Stubbs, the director, and Alison, the actors in the musical were cast because they had all been in the show before. In fact, the piano player and the blonde Kelsey, Anika Johnson and Barbara Johnston respectively, are the creators of the show. They had all just come back from performing Blood Ties at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and had a blast adapting and performing the show on Orphan Black.

In the scenes of rehearsals of Alison’s play, Tatiana’s singing was recorded live for authenticity even though she was prerecorded for safety. The ensemble was also live, although the piano was not. In both cases, Tatiana and the ensemble wear earbuds to hear the piano playback. If they show on-camera, visual effects paint them out. Stay tuned for more of the musical in coming episodes!

Chakra Talk
The Hive had fun with detectives Grigson and Diaz (originally Grigson and Chow until we found the actor Carlos Diaz). Although small characters, they are a nice throw to the policing world. Hopefully someday they’ll be back to talk chakras once again.


“Are you making fun of me? I made that!” – Alison

House of Handmade Cards
The art department made eight different versions of Alison’s handmade card, by hand. Tatiana actually signed all eight in Alison’s handwriting and wrote different messages to Sarah in each. Eventually, John picked with biggest writing so the camera could see it, but eventually edited out the insert.


John and Graeme Hitchock?
John and Graeme have a wicked cameo at the DYAD rooftop party. Did you catch it?

After the Party is the…
The rooftop party could have easily been an indoor lobby party. We shot it in late October and it was supposed to snow. Luckily the wind died down and it was above freezing so we went ahead.

High Art
We were really excited to build Art an apartment this season. Seeing into someone’s home gives you so much more of an insight into who they really are. For instance, if you look around Art’s you’ll see that he loves to cook and only with the finest tools. He loves football, he has kids that live with their mother (the pictures the Art department used are actually the actor Kevin Hanchard’s children), and that he has a workingman’s pet – a fish!

Buckle Up
The wardrobe and art departments came together to design the Prolethean fish belts. They had nine of them cast from the mold they designed. They are coveted items around set – everyone wants one.

NEXT: A Brief History of Cloning

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