It’s fair to suggest that there are television series that have sprung out of the blocks with more confidence and momentum than Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse
. The latest show from the creator of Buffy The Vampire Slayer
centres on Eliza Dushku as Echo, a woman who has different personalities transplanted into her depending on the mission she’s been hired for. It’s a tremendous premise, and one laced with just the kind of threads that Whedon has shown real skill at exploiting. But the first half of the season is a muddle. It takes some time for the show to settle down and find its feet, and the first couple of episodes in particular are more disappointing than anything else.
But then Dollhouse suddenly finds its feet. And while it doesn’t iron out all of the creases, once the show slips into gear, it finally begins to realise some of the immense potential here. What’s interesting too is that this first season DVD set includes the terrific missing episode that was never broadcast when the show debuted in the US.
A second season of Dollhouse is incoming, and given how soundly all concerned recover their footing with season one, that’s something to genuinely look forward to. This maiden season? It has its problems, but when it finally hits top gear, it rewards both your financial and time investment. --Jon Foster
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
creator Joss Whedon crafts this science-fiction-themed television series concerning a highly-illegal, underground organization known as the Dollhouse that caters to the wealthy, powerful, and connected by leasing out 'Actives', people whose personalities have been wiped clean so they can serve whatever purpose the client demands. Echo (Eliza Dushku) is an 'Active'. She doesn't just perform the role that she has been hired to play, but actually becomes it since she knows no other life than the one she is living in the moment. Actives can become whatever the client wants or needs - a lover, a best friend, a corporate negotiator, or even an assassin. Echo and fellow Actives such as Sierra (Dichen Lachman) receive their assignments from Adelle Dewitt (Olivia Williams), one of the leaders of the Dollhouse. Upon completion of her mission, Echo always returns to the Dollhouse to have her thoughts, feelings, experiences, and knowledge erased by genius programmer Topher Brink (Fran Krantz) while her handler Boyd Langton (Hary Lennix) supervises the process. But the powers that be have caught wind of the Dollhouse, and with every tip he receives from Russian informant Lubov (Enver Gjokaj) FBI Agent Paul Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett) moves one step closer to the truth. But now, as Echo stops forgetting and her memories gradually begin to return, she becomes determined to solve the mystery of her secret-shrouded past. Features the complete first series of the show.