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A Few More Details Emerge On Joss Whedon’s New Eliza Dushku Sci-Fi Fox Series DOLLHOUSE!!

I am – Hercules!!
Fox ordered seven episodes of Joss Whedon’s new sci-fi series “Dollhouse” back just before the writers’ strike; the plan as I now understand it is to shoot the first episode -- and only the first episode -- in May, just prior to the following month's Screen Actors Guild contract deadline. What happens next depends on how quickly SAG and the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers hammer out a contract. The series depicts a group of blank-slate secret agents who get different personalities, abilities and memories installed in her brains for each mission; all these attributes are also wiped away at mission’s end. The focus of “Dollhouse” is an operative named “Echo” (Eliza Dushku), whose memories somehow don’t get wiped away quite as thoroughly as those of her colleagues. TV Guide’s Michael Ausiello now has descriptions of some of the “Dollhouse” supporting characters (though I’m not entirely certain if the language is his or that of a casting exec):
ADELLE DEWITT The fortyish iceberg who runs the Dollhouse where the human Etch-a-Sketches reside PAUL BALLARD The thirtysomething G-man who is slated to become an offbeat love interest for Dushku's "impressionable" Echo BOYD LANGTON Echo's handler and father figure TOPHER BRINK The technogeek who enjoys his job as a Doll programmer maybe a little too much SIERRA The knockout Doll who is as close to a friend as Echo has VICTOR The distractingly handsome Doll who is called upon to play everyone from Errol Flynn to Robert DeNiro NOVEMBER The Tracy Turnblad of the Dolls DR. CLAIRE SANDERS The beautiful older woman with whom Topher is smitten
Note that all the blank-slate operatives have Whiskey Tango Foxtrot international radiotelephony spelling alphabet kinda names. (Can't wait to see who they cast for agents Zulu and Hotel!) All of Ausiello’s piece, in which he offers casting suggestions for each role, can be found here.

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Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 28, 2008, 7:08 p.m. CST

    mmm, knockout Doll

    by newc0253

    i hope there will be action figures at some point.<p> or blow-ups. either is good.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 7:12 p.m. CST

    The "Tracy Turnblad" of Dolls?

    by Christopher3

    Yeesh.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 7:13 p.m. CST

    Before anyone says it...

    by Assuming Arguendo

    ... this show sounds very little like Pretender or Joe 90, and I'm none too certain about Dark Angel, Dark City or Global Frequency either... <br><br> It's not a show about a super-genius chick who collects abilities left and right, it's aboud someone who gets mind-wiped each time she does something. <br><br> If anything, this reminds me something of the Bourne movies, MIB II, or ** SPOILER ** Nowhere Man. I'm just saying.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Tracy Turnblad

    by Assuming Arguendo

    ... is either "heavy set" or is basically the 'less attractive' of the lot, I am guessing.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 7:18 p.m. CST

    Did they wipe The Pretender's memory after every mission?

    by Hercules

    Because that would be similar.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 7:30 p.m. CST

    This is a rip off of Top Cow's Aphrodite IX

    by Han Cholo

    If I remember correctly, the aptly named heroine went on missions to assassinate key figures in order to get her creators what they wanted. After every successful kill, her memories leading up to that point were erased so she couldn't be held accountable for the crime. It was also a sci-fi comic. The series didn't go on for long due to the creator leaving for God knows what but I think Top Cow should look into that.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 7:34 p.m. CST

    OK, it's like "Paycheck."

    by Christopher3

    Anyone but me see that?

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 7:53 p.m. CST

    Tracy Turnblad of the Dolls

    by Yeti

    Fat and likes to dance and is pathalogically optimistic. Ugh. I need a qualude just thinking about that.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 8:13 p.m. CST

    I had jury duty today, and it was the perfect cure for

    by Pennsy

    insomnia; then I read this good stuff and hope Fox gives this show, say, an even month before they wipe their boots with it for one more cycle of The Moment of Truth.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 8:29 p.m. CST

    Christopher3: Yeah, I said that in yesterday's talkback

    by chrth

    <nt>

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 9:03 p.m. CST

    Boyd Langton? Topher Brink?

    by JimCurry

    I know it doesn't meant much, but jeez, what fuckin soap opera script did Whedon crib those shitty names from?

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 9:11 p.m. CST

    FOX: DON'T CANCEL 'DOLLHOUSE'

    by GregoryHarbin

    To Whom It May Concern: Dollhouse is one of the most original shows to air on television, and certainly on your network, since your early cancellation of Joss Whedon's 'Firefly,' a move which has cost you dearly in viewers and PR in the years hence. Since the incredible pilot, 'Dollhouse' has only increased in quality. Ms. Dushku represents the sort of strong female role that is missing on television, and the show itself is a powerful allegory for the situation the world is in right now. I am aware that 'Dollhouse' is only pulling in eight million viewers a week, but it is second in its demo, and with a better time slot and lead-in, I'm sure that could be brought up to twelve or thirteen million next season. Add to this that iTunes sales are currently high, and DVD sales will certainly be high, and it should be clear that 'Dollhouse' is a money-making factory that doesn't come around every day. I promise you, if you cancel 'Dollhouse' at this time, I will be finished. Your network will have screwed me over for the last time, and I will NEVER get attached to another show on Fox again. Until the next one. Signed, Gregory Harbin

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 9:12 p.m. CST

    FOX: DON'T CANCEL 'DOLLHOUSE'

    by GregoryHarbin

    To Whom It May Concern:<p> Dollhouse is one of the most original shows to air on television, and certainly on your network, since your early cancellation of Joss Whedon's 'Firefly,' a move which has cost you dearly in viewers and PR in the years hence.<p> Since the incredible pilot, 'Dollhouse' has only increased in quality. Ms. Dushku represents the sort of strong female role that is missing on television, and the show itself is a powerful allegory for the situation the world is in right now.<p> I am aware that 'Dollhouse' is only pulling in eight million viewers a week, but it is second in its demo, and with a better time slot and lead-in, I'm sure that could be brought up to twelve or thirteen million next season. Add to this that iTunes sales are currently high, and DVD sales will certainly be high, and it should be clear that 'Dollhouse' is a money-making factory that doesn't come around every day.<p> I promise you, if you cancel 'Dollhouse' at this time, I will be finished. Your network will have screwed me over for the last time, and I will NEVER get attached to another show on Fox again.<p> Until the next one.<P> Signed, Gregory Harbin

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 9:50 p.m. CST

    gregory harbin has a point

    by nora inu

    no joke, we really should go ahead and start the "save dollhouse" campaign now.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 10:21 p.m. CST

    Has the "Dollhouse" remake been skedded yet?

    by kabong

    Dollhouse reminds me of those Chained Heat women's prison movies. <p> Hmmmm. Eliza Dushku in the warden's hot tub. <p> Just putting ideas in Joss's mind. I hope many of the missions involve infiltrating strip joints.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 10:26 p.m. CST

    Sorry

    by Pouchstalker

    Fox has already cancelled this and replaced it with 4 lower quality series that have been cancelled too. The time slot will now be filled with repeats of Family Guy episodes.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 10:44 p.m. CST

    Fox, my nemesis...

    by the_patriot

    Whedon and Carter - why do you keep bothering to try with this mess of a network? I mean CHRIST, even when Family Guy makes fun of all the shows that have been cancelled by the insightful people working at that network (having even been a cancell-ee itself) will it be any surprise when this is cancelled in the 2nd week? Unless of course, there's plenty of nudity. Oh wait...that's ABC. DAMNIT.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 11:21 p.m. CST

    actually this has the most similarity

    by oisin5199

    to a Daredevil storyline with a deaf heroine who could pick up abilities by watching movies (also ripped off by Heroes). Her name was also Echo. <p>Can't wait for this. Although Ausiello's casting is lame. If any other previous Whedon actors get hired, I think they should cast Jonathan Woodward (one of two Whedon 'hatrick' actors who appeared on all 3 shows) as the technogeek.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 12:04 a.m. CST

    What's with Whedon and bitches?

    by sith_rising

    Did he not have any strong males in his life or something? The guy worships women to the point of creepiness. He probably pays chicks to kick his ass ala Payback.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 12:26 a.m. CST

    One Episode

    by jeandubacher

    Thank god they only produce one episode. I heard Fox has trouble airing Whedon-Shows in correct order coughfireflycough.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 2:08 a.m. CST

    Global frequency

    by board shitlez

    was a good comic. The characters did however all have specific talents that could be called upon, (free runner, confidence trickster, heavy, etc) they weren't blank slates. Like the use of the Nato Phonetic Alphabet tho. Can't help but thinking the actress having the deal before the show is made is putting the cart before the horse.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 2:10 a.m. CST

    Han Cholo

    by bacci40

    at least whedon wont deny ever have reading comic books....

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 2:50 a.m. CST

    anybody wanna start a death pool in this one?

    by clone-o-mat

    I give it 6 eps.

  • You could just say 'phonetic alphabet'. Or do you get paid by the word? :-)

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 2:57 a.m. CST

    actually turns out Dollhouse *is* a remake

    by newc0253

    of the 70s German children's/young-adult tv show Spielzeughaus, in which a group of gifted children lived in an underground bunker, presided over by a computer named Tennenbaum.<p> each child was given a special mission but next episode had absolutely no memory of it, because Tennenbaum was worried it would be too traumatic long-term.<p> It's all on google and wikipedia, folks, check it out.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 3:23 a.m. CST

    Screw this shit.

    by SUPERJIM

    <p>If these 2 are getting together and not making a Buffyverse series then they are truly mental.<p> <p>There is already a fan base which is still in place after around, what, 5 years? This thing could be huge. Buffy and Angel are 2 of the best series that have been on the TV for years, compared to this which sounds shit. Does no self respecting creator/actress want a cash cow any more?<p>

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 3:40 a.m. CST

    board shitlez: actor having a deal is normal

    by MGTHEDJ

    Hollywood does this all the time. Actors ink a deal with a network, and draw a paycheck while looking for a gig, then the network basically has first dibs. This is how Geena Davis and Dabney Coleman have kept working in failed show after failed show all these years.<p>Also look at the VH1 shows of Christopher Knight and Scott Baio, both former employees of Viacom/Paramount. Also look at Surreal Life and see how many of those actors at one time had a show produced by Paramount. These people have to do these shows because the suits are tired of them being on the payrole and have put them to work.-----later----m.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 4:27 a.m. CST

    Looking forward to this...

    by Brians Life

    The dude writes good television w/ the occasional good movie here and there. For the LONGEST time I thought Buffy the Vampire Slayer was produced by/and for 14 year old girls...and than I watched SEASON ONE...and I still thought the same thing. <br><br>But than I watched SEASON TWO, and THREE and FOUR...and bought ANGEL and watched that. <br><br>I'm hooked on some Whedon. I hear he's a dick though.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 4:32 a.m. CST

    Gotta agree with SuperJim...

    by Brians Life

    ...while I'm excited about the project I would love to a televised extension to the Buffy-verse.<br><br>It's not like Nicholas Brendon, Allison Hanigan or ANY of them are working...<br><br>I remember reading that Gellar is done w/ the Buffy character though. Sure David Boreanaz wouldn't mind picking up the Angel threads again?!

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 4:55 a.m. CST

    Oh well then

    by buffywrestling

    I hope it's a two hour first episode!

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 6:03 a.m. CST

    Whedonverse Character Archetypes

    by Sporadico

    Echo = Buffy Boyd Langton = Giles Topher Brink = Xander/Jonathan Sierra = Willow Paul = Angel/Riley Victor = Spike Dr Claire = Anya? November = ugly Cordelia? Adelle Hewitt = Professor Maggie Walsh (okay, reaching now) But hey, I'll be watching.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 6:05 a.m. CST

    Ugly last post

    by Sporadico

    Sorry! Echo = Buffy, Boyd Langton = Giles, Topher Brink = Xander/Jonathan, Sierra = Willow, Paul = Angel/Riley, Victor = Spike, Dr Claire = Anya?, November = ugly Cordelia?, Adelle Hewitt = Professor Maggie Walsh (okay, reaching now)... But hey, I'll be watching.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 8:20 a.m. CST

    BriansLife...

    by DanielKurland

    Alyson Hannigan is a cast regular on How I Met Your Mother, she IS busy. David Boreanaz has stated he's ashamed of Angel and trying to distance himself from it as much as possible, which is a true shame, as it';s nothing to be embarassed about. Whedon should get Alexis Denisof for this. He is never used.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 8:44 a.m. CST

    Where on wikipedia?

    by mbeemer

    en.wikipedia.org has no matches on "Spielzeughaus".

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Hey Brians Life

    by ByTor

    Not sure if you're aware of this, but Boreanz already has a gig ("Bones"), which is already in its third season and in no danger of being cancelled. Why would he leave that to do something he's already done that might not make it past the pilot stage?

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 9:30 a.m. CST

    DanielKurland

    by buffywrestling

    David said he was ashamed by "Angel"? When was that? Where can I find that quote? Seems wrong, somehow....

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 9:48 a.m. CST

    ashamed? probably more like tired.

    by Bouncy X

    im sure after 8 straight years of playing Angel, David just needed a break and do something different. i've never seen him once put that role down, and its brought up in most interviews he does. he always talks well of it. he'd have to be a hypocrite to be ashamed considering he wouldnt have a career if it wasnt for that role.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 10:01 a.m. CST

    So when will this be made into a movie that no one goes to?

    by ComputerGuy68

    And have people calling for it's return to TV years after its gone?

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Hmm

    by Cobbio

    This could be an cool show. I haven't seen any publicity for it (except on AICN), but I enjoyed Whedon's "Firefly" so I'll give it a watch.<p> Eliza Dushku is damn cute and she can play the "bad girl/good girl" thing well. Here's hoping Whedon and company give her something tastier to sink her teeth into than "Tru Calling." That show was just silly. It looked painful for Eliza to be part of.<p> Hopefully "Dollhouse" will kick some ass.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 10:17 a.m. CST

    This is a ripoff of "All My Sins Remembered"

    by OlafStapledon

    The is a near-duplication of Joe Haldeman's "All My Sins Remembered".

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 10:21 a.m. CST

    True Lies

    by Cobbio

    Hey, reading Dushku's imdb profile, I just discovered she was in Cameron's "True Lies."<p> No shit. I'll have to netflix that film and see if it's true. Or a lie.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Cobbio, she's in it, plays Arnie's kid...

    by ComputerGuy68

    a cute kid in the film, don't expect to see Faith in that flick.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Sounds cool, this show

    by moviemaniac-7

    But I wonder if we, the Dutch, ever get to see it. If so, it will be on DVD after a quick cancellation - like Firefly.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 11:40 a.m. CST

    Imagine Dollhouse turning into Faith TVS

    by Fernwick_

    Wouldnt it be cool, if Joss used this as a back door to the Buffyverse? For example, one day we see that the person who is being erased is Faith? That would be cool :)

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 12:09 p.m. CST

    True Lies

    by ByTor

    It's true -- she played the daughter of Ahhnold and Jamie Lee. But go watch the movie anyway, because it's outstanding.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Does anyone know the status on Goners?

    by Mr. Gunderson

    I asked in the previous DOLLHOUSE talkback but what's going on w/ Goners? I'm sure it's dead or something but I guess I missed that announcement.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Joss kidding

    by wellgoodgravy

    I can't stomach anything Whedon does ever since he screwed over the Alien franchise. Alien Resurrection sucked balls puss and I blame him for it.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 4:48 p.m. CST

    FOX EXECUTIVE SAYS:

    by ArcadianDS

    "I got a great idea. Lets air the segments of this episode in reverse order because that gives a much better commercial-break lead-in for our big sponsors."

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 6:25 p.m. CST

    Sorry but it IS Joe 90...

    by spud mcspud

    If Joe were incredibly hot and looked like Eliza Dushku. Mmmmmmmm.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 9:47 p.m. CST

    total rip off of Gilligan's Island

    by Buck Swoop

    sounds similar to that one episode where that mad genius put the castaways under a spell and trained them to rob Fort Knox but when they woke up they had no memory of their mission. will there be a bamboo car too?

  • March 1, 2008, 12:41 a.m. CST

    I like Alien Resurrection except the hybrid/human/alien sucked

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • March 1, 2008, 1:09 a.m. CST

    Okay, which one is the...

    by AnnoyYou

    ...big beefy macho moron, er, leader (ie, Angel, Riley, Mal), the winsome waif who gets irreparably altered in some way (a la Fred, River), the geeky girl with no life (I guess that would be the "Tracy Turnblad" doll), the wisecracking guy who is really a closet hero and also the "Whedon alter ego" (must be Xand-- um, "Topher"), etc. ad nauseam? And can we lay bets right now about when Gina Torres, Morena Baccarin, Amy Acker, Summer Glau (as soon as she's sprung from the DOA SCC), Tom Lenk, Jewel Staite, and (dare I say it) Fillion will show up in the cast (providing, of course, that this makes it past the pilot). Whedon is nothing if not predictible.

  • March 1, 2008, 3:20 a.m. CST

    So this is Mr Benn, right?

    by Son of Hades

    <p>For non-Brits:</p> <p>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr_Benn</p>

  • March 1, 2008, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Shoot, no Betsy Wetsy?

    by Drath

    Perhaps that's the inevitable guest role for Summer Glau? Also I'd suggest Dushku's Tru Calling costar Shawn Reaves for that technogeek role (or someone who interacts with Dushku as they appeared to work well together).

  • March 1, 2008, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Dushku needs to be on TV

    by Toby___Wong

    but in a Faith series. And it's a crime Tru Calling was cancelled. That show became so good at the end. And Jason Priestly was no fucking Brandon there. He was Jack Fucking Harper.

  • March 1, 2008, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Signature Tune?

    by reaper28

    "Roads" by Portishead Don't argue, Joss - just do it. You'll thank me later.

  • March 3, 2008, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Can I have Serenity 2 yet?

    by O_Goncho

    plz? I don't want dolls, or comics, or Eliza bloody Doucheku.

  • March 3, 2008, 11:41 a.m. CST

    there is nothing new under the sun...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    But the execution of the idea is everything. If they nail the style points, I'll be there.