The complete first season of the American sci-fi drama created by Joss Whedon. Eliza Dushku stars as Echo, a young woman who is part of a group of people known as 'Actives' or 'Dolls'. The Dolls are people who have had their personalities wiped clean in order to be imprinted with any number of new personas. They are then hired out for particular jobs, which can be anything from committing a crime to enacting a fantasy. Although the Dolls are all volunteers who have agreed to work for a period of five years, the organisation is highly illegal and under constant threat from Paul Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett), a federal agent who is determined to expose the Dollhouse and bring it down. Episodes comprise: 'Ghost', 'The Target', 'Stage Fright', 'Gray Hour', 'True Believer', 'Man On the Street', 'Echoes', 'Needs', 'Spy in the House of Love', 'Haunted', 'Briar House', 'Omega' and 'Epitaph One'.
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