Monday, August 10, 2009

Dollhouse | DVD Box Set | Unaired Episodes


So, the new series Joss Whedon has been manning for the past year Dollhouse is set to release the DVD box set of season one. And it answers some serious questions circulating over the shows rocky start. Like where all of the quintessential Whendon style went and was it omitted on purpose because of the sweetheart executives at Fox and their creative differences? Well, the animosity between him and Fox executives was pretty clear when Joss Whedon the creator of Dollhouse said in a Rolling Stone’s article that this project [Dollhouse] will be his last TV show. Statements made by Whedon throughout the article made it very clear that their was trouble behind the scenes, when phrases like ‘developed out of existence’ pour out of some one’s mouth like they did by Whedon, the worst comes to mind. What did he mean by that? At the time we couldn’t know because the original pilot episode was scrapped by Fox, but it has now been resurrected courtesy of the DVD box set along with a sort of end game episode which was also never aired.

Now in to mid July 09 we finally get that taste of what was supposed to be Dollhouse’s first episode. What makes these episodes so revealing is that they have the signature Whedon style that people have come to expect from the man who brought us a wealth of memorable characters and engaging dialogue through his shows. So, what should we have seen in the first episode; the one that Fox wanted out? Well, think of all the elements out of every episode that aired during season one, a few funny lines a la Topher, a couple of insightful lines of dialogue courtesy of the Dollhouse’s Madam and Elisha Dushku… looking pretty, then boil it down to one episode. That is what the original season premier was like, essentially two thirds of the season and one story arc were in that one episode (along with the much missed Whedon induced funny moments). Not that this first pilot went completely to waist, throughout the season we saw snippets of that lost episode when some reveal was needed. But think of what could have been if the show had not started out like an episode of Alias. Even after the shows rocky start, the season did in fact end with a bang, which really is a tip of the hat to Whedon. It seems that the show’s awkward period what Fox induced after all. Not surprising, given every early episode depended on Eliza Dushku and her ability to portray a different personality. Acting talents (or lack thereof) aside, one can get pretty tired of an actor or actress getting into mischief every week without there being any lasting consequences. Lucky for fans of the show, the Fox executives have made it clear recently in a press release that they will let Whedon do his thing creatively, and refrain from story/show development suggestions.

So, what’s in store for us next season in Dollhouse? If the unaired 13th episode of season one is any source of spoilers (which it is), we are going to see a deeper story arc where the technology of the dollhouse is turned into a kind of super weapon, used to reprogram people on mass for some terrible purpose, a team up with the funny/scary Alpha and Echo will be able to retain a single super persona while taking on new ones.

There are a few snippets of the unaired episode which made it into the rest of the season in one way or another.
- Topher’s bison speech: In the first episode Topher has a speech about how a few of the dolls were grouping together, as a kind of lead in to the idea that the dolls were evolving beyond their programming. In its original version in the unaired pilot Topher makes many more insights into the morality of programming people, making the point that all people are programmed to do certain things, from men wearing ties to how we get hungry after you see golden arches, even though you weren’t before.
-The luncheon that Echo Sierra and Victor have where Victor is revealed to be a doll: The conversation between the three of them made it into the another episode. The scene kind of makes the point that, even though these dolls are simple, in there simplicity they touch on what is most important to them and possibly what is at the hart of the show. In being their best, they are fulfilling what it is that everyone at some point or another is aspires to.
-The meeting between FBI and Victor about Dollhouse

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