Eagerly, nay passionately awaited by legions of Joss Whedon Fans, this new series on Fox Network follows the career of a woman called Echo, whose personality has been erased to make her a tabula rasa. She and other members of the Dollhouse can be “imprinted” with any personality her handlers care to download; she (and they) are then rented out to rich clients to perform special missions. The theory is that after each mission, an “active”‘s memory is erased; but as time goes on, it appears that traces of Echo’s real personality and real memories may not be fully erased.
The real shocker in the spring of 2009 was the renewal of Dollhouse. Not only was it in the ratings basement for most of the season, it was being critically panned right out of the gate. Even though later episodes improved once Joss Whedon finally got his Joss on, I figured it was a case of too little, too late, and too darn strange. Even the Hollywood Reporter was astounded:
“Dollhouse might very well be the lowest-rated in-season scripted drama to ever get a renewal on a major broadcast network. “
Despite this evidence of faith in the series (or maybe its creator), Fox decided not to order any more episodes of the show in November 2009, citing low ratings.
Ghost – Pilot. A young woman agrees to become an “active” and work for the Dollhouse. Her memory and personality are erased, and she is sent on a series of brief missions, erased after each one. But when she is sent on a mission as a hostage negotiator, her imprinted personality begins to remember suppressed memories the Dollhouse did not anticipate. Airdate 13 February 2009
Target – Echo is rented out to a psychopath who hunts her with a bow, while flashbacks show us how Boyd Langton came to join the Dollhouse. Airdate 20 February 2009
Stage Fright – Echo is assigned to protect a pop singer from a stalker. Airdate 27 February 2009