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Joss Whedon on Dollhouse

Published October 1, 2009 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of Fox
Dollhouse Dollhouse

Fans of Dollhouse got their wish for a second season, and Joss Whedon is coming back to them with a doozy. In the season premiere, “Vows,” Echo (Eliza Dushku) gets married as her engagement. Her husband is played by fan favorite Jamie Bamber.

Whedon Talks Second Round of Dollhouse


“If you were those two, wouldn’t you get married?” Whedon joked. “They’re so cute. He came in as the guest star in the first episode, which was just besides a geek dream for me, an extraordinary experience because he’s not just very professional, and precise and talented, but he fleshed out a character that could have been a little bit of a cardboard cutout. He has such sincerity and gravitas that you feel terrible. He makes you feel you’ve betrayed him, even if he’s completely in the wrong. It’s something that he shares with Adelle. Maybe it’s a British thing, I don’t know.”

The big shift for the second season is to focus on the overarching story of the dollhouse. No more network notes about standalone episodes. “The show is going to be pretty arc-y. Clearly what people responded to was the workings of the dollhouse and the progression of the characters in it and we’re going to honor that. At the same time, I’m very much of the mind that you do need to resolve something in an episode. You can’t just create a series of twists and turns. You need an episode to have a sense of completion, so there will still be engagements or at least problems that need to be dealt with, but they will feed into the main arc as well.”



Echo’s arc will be to control all of the personalities she’s previously had imprinted in her. “She did have all those personalities dumped into her at once and as we pick up, we’re going to find out that that’s starting to affect her. Rather than be at sea in between engagements, she’s much more directed and driven, and even in her doll state is growing, and learning and starting to try to access these personalities to see what they can help her with, because she has a mission that she understands now, which is to get back to her personality and get everybody back to theirs.”

Even though the second season is tailored to regular viewers, it should still be easy to jump in if you’ve never seen Dollhouse before. “Well, we always try, especially in the first episode of the season, but generally we try and make the premise clear enough so that if you haven’t been watching it, you don’t have to do a huge amount of math. There’s a lot of exposition in the first episode of the season, to help that. But at the end of the day, you do have to go, ‘Well, if they don’t get the premise…’ and we’ve even rejiggered the opening credits to make it clearer, than they’ll either become involved in these peoples’ stories or they won’t. You have to move slow enough so people can grab a hold and jump on with you, but you have to keep moving.”

Dollhouse airs Friday nights on Fox.
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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Fox
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