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Whedon, Dushku talk new season of Dollhouse - Comic-Con Report

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jul 25th 2009 10:02AM
Eliza Dushku faces the reportersJust a few short months ago, you wouldn't have thought that Joss Whedon's Dollhouse would have a presence at 2009's Comic-Con International. The show seemed on the brink of oblivion right up until its renewal for a second season.

Whedon and Dushku appeared at a press conference Friday to discuss the future and recent past of Dollhouse as it prepares for its new season this September.

The panel for the fans was built around a new, second pilot for the show, "Epitaph One." The story darkens the show and reveals Dushku's character in a new and very special light. (It's too late in the dead of night for spoilers, so more on this later.)

But, before the panel, Whedon and Dushku ran the press gauntlet and discussed how they saved their Dollhouse.

"(Executive producer Dushku) is very involved in the direction of the show," Whedon said. "We're very much a team. She was in on the process every step of the way as we examined how the show would evolve."

Without getting into details that would tip his hand, Whedon mentioned "a couple major guest stars" repeatedly -- hinting that the new roles and nameless actors were recurring and not one-off stunt casting.

Whedon also revealed that the show will be heading in some new, darker directions: "Starting with 'Epitaph One,' it's definitely a different vision for Dollhouse that will contain a lot of elements about the characters -- who they are and where they're heading -- that fans might not have expected."

"We're going to see new elements of Echo -- who she is and how she affects those around her," Whedon added. "I think we'll see more indications of her as a renegade -- as someone who has more significance than she realizes through her life as 'a doll.'"

In the end, the main questions hanging over Dollhouse aren't those Whedon can answer yet -- and they don't fit with the celebratory mood of Comic-Con.

Can Dollhouse recover from a shaky first season and lock-up a third without all of the behind-the-scenes drama and network machinations? And, can post-Buffy Whedon forge another hit and emerge from the growing aura of a guy who creates cult shows that struggle in the ratings?

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Alasdair Lumsden

This is the first show by Wheadon that I thought should have been cut, but it wasn't. It feels like his story was modified by management and he went with it so that not all his shows die in their first season.

July 26 2009 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Having seen Epitaph One, I am really excited about the show. After the first episodes being a bit too dumbed down, the show get better throughout the season, and just end at the level of quality I was expecting to BEGIN at the 13th episode has me really wishing the whole season would have been that good. I highly reccomend anyone who wasn't sure whether to keep watching take a look at that episode.

July 25 2009 at 10:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I disagree Tick. I enjoyed the last episode a lot. I think the episode before was better but sometimes the set up to the final of a season turns out that way. I am very much looking forward to season 2.

July 25 2009 at 4:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Better question - would anyone bother watching season 2 after that insanely awful, intelligence-insulting finale? The penultimate episode was the best of the season and then the finale was the absolute worst. So, so, so very awful. Awful on a grand GI Joe cartoon level scale.

July 25 2009 at 1:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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