Netflix’s ‘Archive 81’ follows archivist Dan Turner on a surreal journey as he begins to restore a collection of damaged tapes, only to find that they hold an ominous power within. Left alone to work in a remote research location, our hero delves into the supernatural world of the tapes and finds that they might be connected to the shadowy corporation called LMG that hired him. Well known for having a finger in almost every major industry, LMG also has a genetics program known as Wellspring DNA. But what is Wellspring DNA’s objective? And does the company actually exist, or is it merely a piece of the ‘Archive 81’ world? Let’s get some answers! SPOILERS AHEAD.
What is Wellspring DNA Testing?
Wellspring is initially introduced through an old commercial, in which a friendly voice champions the benefits of getting a DNA test done by the company. It becomes apparent that Wellspring offers services that allow customers to send in a sample of their DNA and get a report of their genealogy. Essentially, Wellspring offers DNA ancestry testing, at least according to their advertisement.
Of course, since Wellspring is a part of LMG, it is no surprise that the genetics subsidiary might be engaged in some shadowy affairs. It seems that a hidden section of the remote research facility where Dan restores the tapes is used to store records from Wellspring’s operations. Since the genetics company, now defunct, analyzed customers’ DNA samples, there is now a huge store of human blood and genetics reports that LMG has stored in the remote research facility.
Though the use of the blood samples and reports is not mentioned, a character hints that Wellspring might have been a facade for the powers behind LMG to search for someone. Considering Virgil Davenport started Wellspring (in 2006), the potentially ominous objective of the DNA company seems more than likely. It appears that Davenport might have opened Wellspring in order to find those that have magical (possibly Baldung) blood in them so he can involve them in his plot.
Interestingly, in the season 1 finale, Dan plans to use the old Wellspring blood samples to recreate the cult’s blood-magic ceremony. In the end, he doesn’t have to because a certain Baldung witch comes to his assistance.
Is Wellspring DNA Real?
No, Wellspring DNA is not a real company. It is a fictional subsidiary of the mysterious LMG corporation that hires Dan Turner to restore the tapes from the Visser building. As mentioned earlier, Wellspring DNA is a defunct company even in the world of ‘Archive 81,’ since it has been shut down. Davenport describes it as a pet project of his, and though the objectives of Wellspring are advertised as benign, its connection with genetics can likely be used to further the powerful CEO’s mysterious plans. Most notably, its leftover blood samples and reports of peoples’ genealogy are still stored in the LMG research facility and could be put to ominous use.
In reality, DNA ancestry testing does exist and is widely available. Multiple companies offer DNA testing kits that customers can use to get detailed reports about their genealogy and ancestry (if records are available). As an increasing number of people test their DNA, databases are updated with their information, making it easier to find ancestral connections between various individuals through their genetics.