The Hive Observations, Unexpected Results, and Mind-Benders
“Don’t let the bedbugs bite.” – Helena
On The Road
The opening tent scene was something John and Graeme wanted to work into this season from the very beginning of development. They wanted to use the scene to further set up Sarah and Helena as sisters, giving their relationship time to grow in an environment where they aren’t on the verge of killing someone, or being killed. A road trip between clones is hard to shoot, especially since so much happens inside cars and tents. For the opening scene, the interior and exterior of the tent were shot in different locations. We had to cut off the top of the tent and take out the side in order to fit the cameras for interior shots. Without removing the top of the tent, we would have never been able to achieve that amazing bird’s-eye shot where you see the girls lying in their yin and yang formation.
A tent with a view.
You Are My Candy Girl
“Sugar, Sugar” was chosen as the song for Helena to sing on the road trip because of its vintage and catchy nature. We had to get into the mindset of Helena and envision what music she might possibly know from her past. “Sugar, Sugar” was perfect because it felt like the kind of North American pop song that Ukrainian nuns might have let Helena listen to—a “Super Sunshine Hit,” as Helena puts it. This is the kind of clue that helps to unfold Helena’s backstory this season.
“You are my candy girrrrrl…” – Helena
New Age, New Wardrobe
Vic’s wardrobe this season was designed to make him look like he’s trying to clean up his act. John and Debra thought it would be hilarious to have Vic dress similarly to Donnie, moving towards a more suburban look. It is pretty hilarious to see him dressed in his New Age meditation clothes and polos.
“I can’t help but think the godhead has put you here to test me.” – Vic
A lot of the eugenics files are based on some real and extremely disturbing historical stuff. Cold River Institute is based on Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York’s legendary genetics, biology, and neuroscience research lab (also the site of a Eugenics Record Office in the early twentieth century), and the photo of ”Better Baby” contests are based on real contests with the same name. Everything had to be recreated by our art department, but it’s all heavily based in reality. Remember the creepy baby picture crumpled up in Helena’s pockets in the opening of episode 202? Well, that picture came from files that Maggie Chen snagged from the archive!
The church where Sarah finds the Cold River Institute eugenics files is named St. James United Church. St. James was chosen because the writer for the episode, Chris Roberts, had just had his first child, James Roberts.
Cold River Institute evidence collection.
Patrick J. Adams was an amazing guest star. As a tow truck driver, what did Jesse need? The perfect trucker hat, of course! Below are some designs the art department mocked up for us to choose from. Eventually we went with a very simple design—mock up B—and the wardrobe department had a few made. The hats were a coveted item around set—everyone wanted to get their hands on one.
“You have a very nice hat.” – Helena
Set Inspection: Maggie Chen’s Locker
Between the Cold River Institute and the evidence Art takes from Maggie Chen’s locker, this episode was a handful for our props and art department. There are just SO MANY clues in this episode. Here’s a close-up on the evidence wall Art builds at Felix’s loft.
Maggie Chen’s evidence collection.
Below is our amazing crew hard at work with John Fawcett shooting the Sarah/Helena clone car scenes. Because of the nature of clone scenes, we had to film all the traveling shots in our studio. Blue screen is our VFX teams preferred color, as Helena’s hair doesn’t read well on a green screen.
John Fawcett and crew filming Sarah and Helena’s clone car scenes.
On Tap: Ginger Snaps
Here’s Mark and Paul to the left of these fake beer taps—courtesy of the art department of course. In these bar scenes, Ginger Snaps 2 can be seen playing on a TV in the background. John Fawcett, co-creator of Orphan Black, was also the creator of Ginger Snaps. Karen Walton also wrote the original Ginger Snaps film. Not only that, but the director for this episode, Brett Sullivan, also directed Ginger Snaps 2. Finally, our lovely Tatiana was part of the cast of Ginger Snaps 2, and we used a clip from the film of fifteen-year-old Tatiana playing over and over again in the background. Does that count as a clone scene?
Actors Dylan Bruce and Ari Millen between bar scene takes.
Not Without Cosima!
Cosima and Sarah’s phone call is such a great non-clone clone scene. Tatiana’s performance and development of this relationship between Cosima and Sarah is beautiful. So is their makeup! Sarah’s lip color is Mac’s “Spite” and Cosima’s lip color is Mac’s “Consume Me.”
“I’m the geek monkey.” – Cosima
Set List: Crazy
The haunting song “Crazy” was written and performed by Diana Salvatore. Diana plays Bobby from Bobby’s Bar in season one and two! Once John and Graeme heard the song, they knew it would capture and transport the audience into Helena’s headspace. You can download the song here.
With Vic missing a pinkie this year, he had to keep his bandage on. It was fun to put both Alison and Vic in similar positions physically and mentally in rehab. They both have hurt arms, they both have addiction problems they are sorting out, and they both have someone monitoring and controlling their lives—Donnie and Angie. Why wouldn’t they become fast friends?
“Two good hands between us.” – Vic
Mrs. S wears a shirt in this episode that was designed by actress Maria Kennedy Doyle’s friend in support of the Russian activist collective/band Pussy Riot. The shirt was Maria’s idea and John and Graeme instantly agreed it was a great plan—deepening her character’s past with a glimpse at her activist nature. Here’s a glimpse at her in costume from the wardrobe department’s portable printer. The printer is invaluable to our on-set wardrobe assistant Peter Webster, and he keeps it close to the set so he can quickly print and update his continuity binder for each character’s look.
Actor Maria Doyle Kennedy posing for a costume continuity shot.
Meet Your Maker
Ethan Duncan’s house is actually Mrs. S’s house, only painted, rearranged, and stuffed full of the type of things a bird-loving hoarder would have. Below is a shot of Duncan’s kitchen. Does it look familiar?
Ethan Duncan: A bird-loving hoarder.
Welcome to the Trip
Andrew Gilles is the actor who plays the clones’ maker, Ethan Duncan. We created continuity between the actor who portrays young Ethan in photographs and the Ethan of today by giving them the same glasses. Andrew had the privilege of performing with fake bird poop smattered on his clothes—and it’s sticky, gross stuff (though not as gross as the real thing). Andrew Gilles was an incredible asset to add to the complex story unfolding in season two; he really embodied the twisted and haunted clone creator that John and Graeme have always envisioned.