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September 3, 2015

Epitaph One will affect Dollhouse season two, says Joss - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 1st 2009 11:21AM
Joss Whedon meets the press
Yesterday was cable's last day here in Pasadena, with only a few quotable lines of note (mostly from Omarosa, promoting her new TV One reality show, Life After). The afternoon was full of set visits; first to the Paramount lot to visit Three Rivers and NCIS: Los Angeles, then to Fox to drop by Bones and Dollhouse.

Of course, the last one is probably the one of most interest to the Squad's readership. And that's something Joss Whedon emphasized as he appeared first solo, then with the cast; despite the show's dismal Nielsen numbers, its "non-traditional" numbers -- DVR, online, etc. -- were enough to get the show renewed.

Still, Joss was astounded to be in front of us on that set again: "Welcome back to the biggest surprise of my career: our season two."

More on the panel, including the impact of "Epitaph One" on the second season, after the jump.

So, yes, the events of the "hidden" season finale of Dollhouse will affect the goings on this year, but in an effort to serve the "two masters" of those who saw the episode on DVD and those who didn't, things will be explained when the show comes back. "We will visit that future now and then."

Like any TV writer, he reserves the right to fudge character arcs as he and his staff mine new material, but the apocalyptic future of "Epitaph One" is not going away. "It'll give us direction on what to do in the 2nd season." But, since the events are ten years in the future, there's plenty of places to go in the timeline until then.

The setting of season two will be three months after "Omega," and Echo will still be sorting through all the effects of her personalities being downloaded into her brain. "Echo realizes she has a mission," says Joss, and that she finally has a sense of who she is.

A lot of the questions were about how the show took most of its first season to find its way dramatically, and he readily admits that the season was probelmatic. Joss joked that "The network didn't pressure us to have shower scenes. That came naturally." But he did continue by saying "We were pressured to make the show safer. And I'm not good at that."

But now that they're back for season two, the cast and crew are energized, and happy that the show has a sense of direction now. "We had a lot of trouble defining ourselves (in the first season), and the country got to watch that. Now we feel like it's defined."

When Dan Feinberg of HitFix.com asked him if he thinks he's been too candid to the press in the past, Whedon mockingly went "Oops," and jokingly concluded that, yes, he might be too candid:

"I can't help it. The struggle we were going through was monumental. The struggle these guys went through was reflected in the fact we never shot one single episode in order. And so we literally had to give them memos about what they knew or didn't know yet for every show, because we were scrambling so much."

If he's less candid in the future, then to blame the person who asked that question. Seeing Feinberg's account of the visit, he's mostly guilty, at least in a mocking fashion. That's OK, Dan, I don't think Joss has it in him to be silent.

In the reporter scrum afterwords (that's my green-shirted self at the left edge of the above pic), I asked Joss if he and FOX are all on the same page now and if the powers that be there ever get upset at his candidness:

Joss Whedon on if FOX is OK with his candidness (1:50)

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