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Series: Playing with Dolls

As far as nerdtastic news goes, you’d have to try pretty hard to beat “Joss Whedon has a new TV show”… but leave it to the guy himself to do just that: He rang eonline’s Kristin Dos Santos and gave her all the details.

Whedon is one of the few television writers to enjoy whatever the nerd equivalent to rock-stardom is, and if you’re a fan (like me) then you’re probably of the opinion that his status is completely deserved because, lets face it, that’s how the whole fan thing works. I mean we tend not to be fans of people that we believe to suck, so it’s almost inconceivable that someone who is a fan would not agree with the sentiment that I’m expressing. Of course, if you’re not a fan you can think whatever the hell you like, because I excluded you from the maw of this conversation almost eighty-nine words ago.

So, back to the subject at hand: Whedon has a new show which, as we’ve already established is news in and of itself… So where are the extra toppings? Well, helping out on this new series is none other than Tim Minear.

Tim Minear is something of a Whedon doppleganger. I don’t mean to take anything from Minear, he’s a creative master all of his own, however comparisons between his recent career and that of Whedon’s are easy to make. Both Joss and Minear have become renowned (I’m totally abusing that word) for creating smart, interesting, engaging, but unfortunately short lived shows: Minear was behind shows like Wonderfalls, The Inside, and Drive, he also worked [with Joss] on Angel and Firefly. So hearing that Whedon has asked him to be involved in this new project is something of a large gold star against its name.

Of course, that’s not all. The two extra things that push this latest Whedon project beyond awesome and into the stratosphere high above nerdboy fantasy planet is that the series features a strong, ass-kicking capable, hot female lead and that the role will be played by none other than the rogue slayer herself, Eliza Dushku.

The premise for show, titled ‘Dollhouse’, sounds pretty damn cool: Dushku will play ‘Echo’ (no, not the dude from LOST), one of a group of men and women who have no memory of their own. These people are imprinted with ‘personality packages’ — which include skills and memories — needed for various assignments:

The assignments can be romantic, adventurous, outlandish, uplifting, sexual and/or very illegal. When not imprinted with a personality package, Echo and the others are basically mind-wiped, living like children in a futuristic dorm/lab dubbed the Dollhouse, with no memory of their assignments or of much else. The show revolves around the childlike Echo’s burgeoning self-awareness, and her desire to know who she was before, a desire that begins to seep into her various imprinted personalities and puts her in danger both in the field and in the closely monitored confines of the Dollhouse.

On the whole, this show appears to have everything for everyone, a meaty role for Dushku — who is also acting as a producer — and an interesting premise for guys like Whedon [and Minear] to explore.

It’s not all good news though… The network behind this show is FOX. Now, usually I’d write the whole deal off now and say, as fun as all sounds, we’ll be luck to see three episodes of this actually get to air. However, the blessing here is that someone on the FOX side of things, has actually made a seven episode commitment to the series, so at very worst we’ll at least be able to buy a decent DVD of those episodes once FOX cancels it after only four are made. [source]

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    It always makes me laugh when people mention how shows are cancelled as if its always a bad thing. So many shows are made, so it only makes sense that not every one of them will surive. Say Whedon started 5 new shows…thats approx 5hours a week for a long time, that networks have to make room for. Its only natural that certain shows, despite how rabid their core fanbase is, are gonna get dropped in favour of easy to make ‘reality’ crap like idol, etc. FOX, however, are a unique beast. They purport to be THE channel, and network, yet they seem to have the biggest show turn-around. Not to mention their awesomely fair and balanced FOX NEWS…hahaha I kid I kid.

    Whedon has his work cut out for him, because despite being a success, his show will have to perform. I reckon it will have to do better than your average show purely based on his name, so his name is a blessing and a curse.

    But the show? Sounds interesting, but I have too many shows on my plate at the moment…perhaps I need a bigger plate?

  • Love Whedon’s work. I’m a big nerd fan. I also have a ‘hard-spot’ for Ms Dushku.
    I wish them both the best and I hope that this gives them a bit of a revival on to other nerd-supportive projects.