In somewhat of a detour for this blog, which I haven’t updated since February, I wanna talk about Orphan Black, and share a poem I wrote a couple of years ago.
Orphan Black has been incredibly important for me as a writer and, frankly, as a person. Within it’s opening ten minutes it felt like it was achieving more with it’s approach to characters than most series get close to in their entire run. It felt like it was tuning into something deep within me; something personal. I showed it to my closest friend, who is the person I read all my poetry to first, and one of the friends I write endless scripts with. It tuned into something within her too. We’d always written together, but through Orphan Black we found a common ground, and our writing has gone from strength to strength. We’re truly on the same wavelength, and Orphan Black is on that wavelength with us.
It’s a show that celebrates uniqueness and diversity. It embraces people’s differences, showing the full spectrum of people you encounter in your life, and you find in yourself. It’s achieved something so powerful, and it’s made massive changes to television, as well as my own life. It’s aspirational. It’s important because it shows you that you can live the life you want – and you can live the life you want through and in spite of what is given to you. But you can also fight to change your fate. Living the life you want to live is worth fighting for – the people in it are worth fighting for. Life is worth celebrating, and being proud of. Orphan Black’s characters are unashamed in pursuit of themselves.
Me and my friend owe so much to this show. To Graeme Manson and John Fawcett for writing a series we could believe in and fall in love, and for creating characters who are modern, real, vibrant, emotional, funny, and whoever they want to be. That’s such an important message to send to an audience, and to me when I found this show, and I will forever be grateful for.
But most of all, I think, me, and my friend, owe the greatest thanks to Tatiana Maslany and Jordan Gavaris. Their intelligence and sensitivity when playing their characters – and talking about them/the show/the fans behind the scenes – has been so important. They have brought to life characters who are unlike anything I have ever seen. Characters I have fallen in love with, and who I shall forever try to emulate in my writing, and as a person. I cannot thank them enough for their dedication and absolute fucking brilliance in developing and playing these characters. They, and this show, are an inspiration.
The show has tuned into something in everyone I’ve shown it to. When I arrived at university, just before Season 3 aired, I showed the first two seasons to my flatmates. It tuned into something in all of them. It wasn’t the conspiracies, it wasn’t necessarily even the plots (all of which I have enjoyed and been inspired by anyway), but it was the people. This show has been incredible and it will take a long time for me to feel this connected, emotional and passionate about something.
So, in 2015, I think, I wrote this poem. It’s addressed to my closest friend and about our writing and our lives. She has read it, but I was never really planning to share it. It sums up, however, how much this show has meant to us, and I can think of no better tribute to it. It’s about how much this TV show has inspired us and actually, I think, brought us closer together. As we go on in our lives and Orphan Black fades into the past, it will have informed our future. We could not be more thankful for it x
Music Tatiana Maslany Will Like
There’s our John Lennon glasses in our short pockets,
There’s our bands round our wrists, our rings and our lockets
From a love, from a shop, and we keep talking
On the paths through the trees, through the city,
Through train stations, and the stars are so pretty,
When we walk around at night, the starlight
Over the market, the churches, the bats in the cathedral,
And we create our worlds, map them onto these paths,
Then we go our separate ways, back home, back to Bath,
With ideas in our head, casting in our minds,
Writing series and music Tatiana Maslany will find.
We picture the vehicles, the beats that people swing to,
We imagine the offices, the kitchens, the old and the brand new
Romances and interactions, we write their lyrics,
Write their words, orchestrate their attraction,
Decide what’s playing through their headphones and their spirits
From the clubs, how they dance, what they do,
How they love and how they choose,
And then we build up our worlds, we build up their words,
We turn to books and to music, work and spoken word,
We go off dreaming that the dream is near,
Writing words and lyrics Tatiana Maslany will hear.
Neither of us want office jobs like drones,
Driven to create by words and by clones,
Everyone builds their utopia,
So we build ours hoping her
Lines will be hers, and our characters come to life,
We go off writing music Tatiana Maslany will like.
Rock and Roll. Until the next time, Clone Club x