Saturday, June 28, 2008

"Did I Fall Asleep?"

Echo: Did I fall asleep?
Topher: For a little while...

Based on the little teaser in the last post, I think a “Dollhouse” post is in order. I certainly don’t think it’s too early to start spreading the news about Joss Whedon’s new show set to premiere as a mid-season show beginning in January 2009.

Earlier this June, I submitted my senior thesis which was entitled “New Lines: The Fan and Textual Poaching in the Work of Joss Whedon,” a version of which I was privileged to be able to present at the recent Slayage Conference 3 in Arkadelphia, AR. The following section occurs in the conclusion of my paper:

New Echoes

Building on the success generated by "Buffy," "Angel" and "Firefly," Whedon is on track to once again sit in the creator’s chair and bring a new universe into being with the development of a new television series set to premiere in January on Fox called "Dollhouse." To the delight of fans, the Fox network, formerly a target of much fan derision for its cancellation of Firefly, has green lighted thirteen episodes. As of April, production on "Dollhouse" had already begun. The pilot episode is completed and the trailer has just hit the Internet. Excitement builds as fans wonder what kind of world Whedon will offer them. As an expansion of the Whedonverse, the Dollverse will probably seem a bit familiar. The show’s description already contains recognizable elements—horror and science fiction tropes as well as echoes of Whedon’s own creations.

In a recent conversation between the Sci-Fi Channel, and Whedon the interviewer comments, “People will compare this show to loads of other things...” Whedon responds in his typical candid fashion, “People would come to me with ‘It’s just like...It’s just like...It’s just like’ I always feel a little guilty, if you have enough of those, I feel that’s what makes it original” (Spelling). These words seem to encompass what textual poaching is all about. "Dollhouse" reunites Whedon with "Buffy" alum, Eliza Dushku. Dushku plays a member of a team of agents programmed to accomplish certain assignments, who then have their memory wiped at the completion of these missions. Dushku’s character begins to remember what she should not. Her character is appropriately named Echo—a conscious nod to the revisionist nature that such a premise denotes as well as a fitting term for Whedon’s own creative process.

*End Passage*

Naturally, due to the cancellation of Firefly, there are already “Save Dollhouse Campaigns” across the internet, pre-empting any possible negative action by Fox. However, I agree with this article in that it would seem hype and fan-promotion in general would probably do more good in the long run. Whedon has voiced his newfound faith-no pun intended-in Fox; apparently they’ve undergone an administration change. In addition, it seems clear that Fox is already very confident with the series, foregoing a pilot episode in exchange for a beautiful, feng shui-inspired, multi-million dollar set designed by “Buffy” and “Angel” production designer, Stuart Blatt. And as I already mentioned, thirteen episodes are already in the works. The first trailer for the series was released several weeks ago.

I’m definitely excited about the series, and even though I know a number of Whedon fans would see anything he produced, even if it involved a guy on a park bench reading a newspaper as I once heard, “Dollhouse” really does show great promise and I look forward to the promotional campaigns that are yet to come!

Fellow blogger and author of two of the best guides on “Buffy” and “Angel,” Nikki Stafford, also has a couple of posts relating to the show that are worth checking out.

Echo: Did I fall asleep?
Topher: For a little while...

1 comment:

Ryan said...

You are a blogging machine! I marvel at your output level.

I agree that Fox will probably give Dollhouse a fair shot, not necessarily because they think it will be good/"what they're looking for," but because they know that it will make a fortune in DVD sales.

I read an article awhile ago (sadly the link escapes me) which said that some networks are considering skipping broadcast altogether in the future and going straight to DVD, releasing short seasons in anticipation that people will buy/rent them, as DVDs are so profitable. Regardless, we know that there will be a Dollhouse DVD set of some kind, and Fox is ready to cash in.

(My humble opinion.)