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on 1 July 2017
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on 1 March 2017
son loved them xxx
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on 26 July 2010
Like all Joss Whedon's TV series, this is unusual, original and well worth watching.

Each of his series is genuinely different from all the others, but those who have seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel or Firefly will recognise some of the names of people involved in making them, although more of behind the scenes people than actors, apart from the star Eliza Dushku.

Two other familiar faces though who had not been my favourites in their previous roles (Amy Acker formerly 'Fred' from 'Angel' and [in a couple of episodes] Alan Tudyk formerly 'Wash' from Firefly) are both outstanding here. I also liked Dichen Lachman (is she the world's only half-Tibetan Australian actress?) who as shown in one of the episodes is able with the right make-up to convincingly play either a blonde westerner or an oriental character.

Particularly good also is the episode about half way through when the 'actives' are almost allowed to escape, and the last 'proper' episode, number 12.

For contractual and other reasons reasons an unbroadcast half budget episode 13 is included on the DVD set a few years later in a post-apocalyptic world, mainly with different characters and actors, written by Joss Whedon's brother & his sister in law. It is too bleak to be really enjoyable throughout. Watch it out of curiosity if you enjoyed the rest of the series, but don't watch it straight after the other episodes to avoid a slight sense of anti-climax.

I hope that as with Joss Whedon's other series, and also Eliza Dushku's other staring series Tru Calling, even if these are not initially the biggest ratings winners on television, they have a long subsequent life and enthusiastic following through DVDs etc., as they are something unique and likely to be long remembered by those who have seen them
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VINE VOICEon 21 May 2009
Ok, so the series starts off with Joss Whedon, celebrated writer-director-composer, except no-one wants to work with him, then he has a hit web show, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, and he catches the attention of the dark and shadowy Fox Corporation. Fox wipe Joss's brain to make him forget that he worked for them before when they became mortal enemies.

So now Fox can make Joss do whatever they want, everyday they activate Joss and set him to work making a television series for them called Dollhouse. Everything works out fine for them. The show is flashy, cool, sexy, confusing, humourless, disconnected and unengaging. Without the real Joss to complain Fox don't even have to spend much cash on it. But can the technology Fox has used really remove all of a person's memories, their sense of self, their soul?

As he works from episode to episode it becomes apparent that Joss starts to remember who he is, but knowing he shouldn't draw attention to this fact he keeps it to himself and works slowly to improve Dollhouse from within. From episode 6 `Man on the Street' flashes of brilliance begin to save the show, culminating in the superb episode 9 `A Spy in the House of Love', by now Dollhouse has become gripping, funny, dark and touching with an intelligent and complex storyline that has people thinking. Joss is even able to help other people taken over by Fox and makes Eliza Dushku realise that she is an actress.

By the end of the series we have been taken to a place we little imagined in the beginning. I won't give any spoilers but Dollhouse does end with Joss improbably winning renewal for a second series, this time will he be out to revenge himself on the people who did this to him and turn out a flawless piece of work from the start?
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VINE VOICEon 16 November 2009
I watched the first couple of episodes on TV and then gave up, not realising that Dollhouse would develop into something quite deep and thought provoking. Based on reviews and comments, I invested in this box set and I'm very glad I did.

The Dollhouse is an organisation that brain wipes individuals and implants them with whatever personality a client may desire. This may vary from a sexual partner to a federal agent. Basically anything goes with very little evidence of morality. The lack of morality does provide the viewer with plenty of Eliza D in skimpy clothes, but as the show settles into a rhythm, there is little of this.

After a superficial start, and a few very average episodes, the show really kicks into something with real depth as layers upon layers are revealed and you find that very little of what you have seen to date was what you first thought.

This is a show about identity in more ways then one, in fact the first few episodes are about Eliza unpeeling, but then the rest of the episodes are actually about unpeeling the Dollhouse itself, and the various characters involved. There are real shocks and twists as the show gains more and more momentum and if, like me, you are a first time viewer, it gets harder and harder not to watch 'just one more episode'..

The DVD had the famous 13th episode that was not broadcast (not sure why it wasn't broadcast, whether it is a DVD 'extra' or a studio decision) which takes a unique view into the future and a world where society has broken down due to the mis-use of the technology used in the Dollhouse. This gives a glimpse of a possible direction that Weedon might have been taking Dollhouse, but then again it could just be a view of what might occur. Some interesting flashbacks and very interesting, but by it's nature, not critical to Season 1 or Season 2 of Dollhouse.

This is a very clever and thought provoking series and it is tragic that it's cancellation has just been announced midway through Season 2, but at least the whole season will be completed and hopefully there will be the opportunity to properly close it down.
Dollhouse is well worth catching up on and highly recommended.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 10 July 2010
Fantasy fulfilment involving state of the art technology begins to unravel - "Jurassic Park", "Westworld" style....

Dollhouse is a highly illegal organization that plucks its "artistes" (dolls) from the outside world, drains them of all memories and subjects them to reprogramming to satisfy the needs of the ultra rich. Now everything is being threatened. Some of the programmed new identities begin to malfunction. A traitor within is seriously undermining. One doll, Alpha, his brain dangerously overloaded, has escaped and is intent on sabotage. Meanwhile investigative Federal Agent Paul Ballard grows ever closer.

Challenging viewing. Joss Whedon's name is the main incentive to watch - addicts of "Buffy", "Angel" and "Firefly" keen to sample more of his inventiveness and, at times, startling changes of direction. Some, though, may find this new venture heavy going, wishing for certain aspects to be be simplified (e.g. clarification from the start why Ballard is so obsessed with tracking down Caroline). Too much is revealed rather belatedly in dribs and drabs, causing much confusion about what is going on.

As Echo (Caroline) Eliza Dushku impresses in a variety of guises, perhaps never more so than in episode five - she, convincingly blind, infiltrating a religious sect headed by a man urgently sought by the police. Acting throughout is generally strong, it pleasing to see again Alan Tudyk (ex-"Firefly" and "A Knight's Tale"). The fight sequences certainly pack a punch.

Commentaries help, especially with the last episode, where ten years have suddenly passed. Bonuses clear up several matters that puzzled - further proof DVDs are by far the best way to watch.

Good, even gripping, in parts but the whole does not fully satisfy. I wanted to like it far more than I did. Perhaps another viewing will help me all the better to appreciate its worth?
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on 29 September 2009
Here's a tip for anyone who hasn't seen this show yet. Buy the DVD and watch the "Original Unaired Pilot Echo" first. This pilot is included on Disc 4 under "Special Features". It is is mind blowing and sets the scene perfectly for what follows in the early episodes, which are not slow as some reviewers have said, but are superb flashback driven action packed episodes making perfect sense having seen the pilot. Why the network never aired this pilot is beyond me - it adds immensely to the enjoyment of this brilliant original sci-fi drama. Lastly I must say Eliza Dushku is just superb in the role of Echo with a winning combination of action, beauty and naivete. This is unmissable sci-fi drama - just follow my tip and you won't be disappointed.
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Its an interesting idea; characters that get wiped at the end of each episode so you can really play with the story as much as you want as there is little plot linking episodes. You the viewer are the voyeur into a sort of underground recruitment agency. The twist being they program the temps you recruit to meet your needs: lover or assassin.. The first season episodes are good; but i wonder how they will keep up the story line without being able to ever development the central character.
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on 28 May 2009
Ok, so the first five episodes are rather slow, but that is not down to Joss Whedon (creator), its down to the fact the network (FOX) kept sticking there noses in and changing the scripts so the first 5 episodes could be "stand alone" and act as five pilot episodes so people could tune in and understand the show. Episode Six is really when the show hits its stride and the episodes following on get even better (Episode 8 is by far the best episode) all leading up to the finale which was a great ending to the season.

Please DO NOT just watch the first 5 episodes and stop watching, i PROMISE it gets better by episode 6. And by the looks of things this show is going to rock in its 2nd season :D

You can really tell Joss is spending time on this show, there isn't alot of TV series out there were it gets better every episode. Most of the time they start off good and begin to go down hill.
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on 9 March 2010
Three episodes in and I was thinking that maybe there was a good reason why Fox cancelled dollhouse. I just found these first episodes to be too dark. The scenarios in these episodes are just completely messed up. In the first episode Echo is imprinted with the personality of a woman who was kidnapped and raped as a child. She's sent to retrieve a girl who has been kidnapped only to find herself face to face with the man who kidnapped her all those years ago. In the second episode she is hired out to a man who tries to hunt and kill her for sport. In the third episode she's hired to protect a singer who is plotting with her stalker to be murdered. By this episode I was seriously considering not watching the rest of the series because it just seemed relentless, every episode seemed to bring something more and more disturbing and I understand that some people find that entertaining but I don't.

I wouldn't say that the episodes became lighter after that, this is a pretty heavy show all the way through but they became more entertaining. I started to see humour in the show where there hadn't appeared to be any before. As the series progresses the focus is more on the overall plot of Paul trying to find Caroline and various things going on in the dollhouse and not so much on Echo's assignments (although they are still important) and this made it more interesting for me. There weren't many stand alone episodes and I actually thought that was a strength of this series because although usually I think it's good to throw in a few irrelevant but entertaining episodes I don't think that would really work in Dollhouse. The plot in Dollhouse can be quite complicated, at times I found myself getting confused and I think that because the plot is so complicated the focus needs to stay on the plot. I think I would have been more confused if every episode hadn't been relevant and would have found it a lot more difficult to follow. The plot is really absorbing. I found myself getting really into it and dying to know what happens next and I would have been annoyed if the next episode hadn't produced answers. Although as with any good mystery as one question is answered another is presented.

There are some really great twists in Dollhouse. There were some things that happened that I was just completely shocked about, I didn't see them coming even though looking back all of the signs were there. Just when you think you've got it figured out something else is thrown at you that's even more surprising than the last thing. This show will keep you guessing until the very end of the season at which point Whedon takes it to a whole new level (in a good way).

The acting in Dollhouse is amazing. Dushku and the actors who play the dolls all prove that they are amazingly versatile and talented actors. I was really impressed with Dushku. As I've said I'm a big fan of hers anyway but in this she can literally be playing several characters in each episode and is flawless in each performance. I remember watching her in the first episode when Echo was in her doll state and just being amazed at how well she portrayed her. As a doll Echo is very innocent and childlike, she's basically like an empty person and Dushku really plays this convincingly. As the season progresses Echo changes and you can see the very subtle differences in each episode. In any one episode Dushku can go from Echo to a sassy assassin or the girl next door or an ambitious backing singer and each character is very distinct and believable. The other dolls are also very good and I was impressed with all of them. I can't think of a single person who didn't play their role convincingly.

I think the idea behind this show is great. There's something very dark and sinister about the whole concept. I loved the way that Dollhouse could be taking place in any modern city around the world, that it could be happening on your doorstep and while it's completely unbelievable there's a part of you thinking, what if they could do that? How far can science go?

Overall I really enjoyed season one of Dollhouse. It was a really engaging, well written, wonderfully acted and entertaining show and I can't wait for season 2.
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