DAMN it, Azazel, you have ALWAYS been a RUINER!
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Posts tagged SPOILERS
The fantastic Cleolinda Jones, author of Movies in 15 Minutes and “The Secret Life of Dolls” sat down with me for an exclusive interview. If you haven’t seen her brilliant summaries of both movies and TV, check them out! Spoiler warning, as per usual.
Tattlers and Fannibals, I am so pleased to bring you my exclusive interview with the AMAZING Martha De Laurentiis. I was anticipating this interview greatly and anticipated it being excellent, but I didn’t know that I was about to wind up with one of the most beautiful and heartfelt interviews of my career. Buon appetito, amici!
[As usual, contains spoilers for the show, books and movies]
A Conversation with Orphan Black Showrunner Graeme Manson - Need Coffee
- W: Yeah, absolutely. Now, speaking of some of the more shocking and the deeper ideas in the show: Your work definitely speaks for itself on a very eloquent level, and one of the things it does seem to be saying throughout is that there's this kind of distrust of the Human Enhancement, Transhumanist, or H+ movements, out in the world. Would you say that's an accurate statement?
- GM: I would say... No. That… I think those movements are...philosophically I don't think they're that dangerous, or anything like that, or that they're not--there's no "Corporate Agenda" there, as much. You know, I think the "Neolution" concept, for us, is an interesting philosophy, and it raises a lot of questions about evolution and "interfering" with evolution, but it's on an individual level?
- W: Yeah.
- GM: And I think that where our conspiracy gets dangerous is when it becomes corporate and policy. So I would say that the more dangerous side is the gene-patenting, Monsanto, mono-cropping, agra-business type of thing. That's what keeps me up at night.
- W: That I think shows very clearly, especially in the season finale when we get to the point where Cosima and Delphine find the Patent in her genetic code, and that kind of--at that point, once you kind of see the corporate structure standing behind Leekie, who previously we kind of thought was just this Individual Mad Scientist, but who seems to have this much vaster network and machinery behind him, that, I think, is where--
- GM: Yeah.
- W: -- where what you're saying starts to really, really shine through.
- GM: Yeah, and if the Dyad Institute is really the Dyad Group of companies, then how much power does Leekie really have?
- W: Exactly.
- GM: Those are the kinds of things that we'll be getting into in season two.
- W: ...
- GM: And you know, it's, in terms of companies like Monsanto or whoever too, they put their Good Works out front, y'know?
- W: Absolutely.
- GM: It's like, "Here we are, trying to cure world hunger, but if you wind up with your mono crop in our fields by accident, we'll sue the shit out of you."
- W: Exactly. That's one of the biggest news items coming out from them…in that regard, actually. It's like, "Oh no, you accidentally got some cross-pollination from our home-grown wheat. Oh no, oh well, I guess that's ours, and now everything you've ever grown is now ours."
- GM: Yeah, and the interesting thing is not just what happens when their cloned wheat escapes, but what happens when a wild type invades their cloned wheat?
- W: Yeah, what kinds of mutations?
- GM: Yeah, they can't stand that.
- W: Exactly.
- GM: I find that very interesting, and that's talked about a lot less. That's what they hate: They're trying to control nature, and they can't, ultimately.
- W: Yeah, and I think that's something that shows through in your treatment of the Clone Gang on the show. There's all of this meticulous effort to control all of this very, very precise alteration of specific genes, and then there's all of this vast unpredictability that comes in, when they actually interact with each other--and the outside world. And that vast unpredictability is even then tried to be dampened down by the monitors. And that can't work either.
- GM: Yeah. I mean, that is Sarah. She is chance. She's the contingency to this experiment, where A) She's off the radar, B) At some point in her history, that zygote split. That was contingency, that was pure chance, nobody foresaw that. Nobody foresaw the fact that there was going to be twins and that those twins would disappear, and then nobody can foresee Sarah's personality, which is insurrectionist and impulsive so that they can't--
- W: Hm.
- GM: --She always takes a hard left and does what's unexpected, and works about her gut, and that's the unpredictability factor that I like about her character.
- W: Yeah, and in that vein… you've talked a lot about questions of identity and free will, especially in Cube, and previous, and those things are pretty well known within the science fiction world--but you guys seem to have made a conscious choice to explore them as deeply as possible with the clone angle. Is there anything else, in that regard, that you are hoping to say in terms of free will, in terms of identity, in terms of what it means to be an individual? Are there going to be other elements that you bring into this to really highlight these ideas?
- GM: Yeah, there will be. The thing that we cottoned onto very early in a story about clones is that the character-driven questions of identity are exponential, you know?
- W: Yes.
- GM: We have a show where--we don't wanna wear out the conceit, but we can meet new clones. And each time you meet them, they're a new person, they're entirely an individual, shaped by their own environment, discovering a shared biology. But we've always been more interested in their differences than their similarities. As I think anybody would be who met their own clone.
- W: Absolutely.
- GM: Immediately, you would wanna like, piss on your own territory. That's what I think. Right? [laughs]
- W: [laughing] Yes.
- GM: But in terms of new themes, I don't know, not exactly. We're just constantly rotating that globe and looking at it from a different character point of view. And Rachel's going to have a very different point of view, as the least "familial" of them all, because she's sort of raised within this corporate environment. Almost like raised "communally"--
- W: Yes [chuckles]
- GM: --within the least communal human structure. You know what I mean?
- W: Yeah, The Corporation-Raised Child.
- GM: Yeah [chuckles] So I think we're gonna see some very interesting ideas about identity through her, because she's ruthless.