Dollhouse: Season One

Twentieth Century Fox

Joss Whedon excels at two things: making unique television shows and getting screwed over by Fox Television, and he delivers on both expectations with Dollhouse. In his latest series, a faceless corporation has created the technology to wipe and reprogram the human brain, turning average citizens into playthings for the insanely rich to use however they see fit. These “dolls,” specifically Echo (Eliza Dushku), allow Whedon to explore what it means to be human while sending the audience on Alias-inspired adventures. In the Buffyverse, Whedon showed that humans were often the last characters to act with any sort of humanity—a concept he joyfully revisits here. Unlike Whedon’s previous Fox endeavor, Firefly, Dollhouse will see a second season. Even so, Fox had to put its hands in the cookie jar, forcing Whedon to drastically re-shoot season one’s first episode and not airing the final episode in the U.S. Luckily, both the original pilot and the final episode, “Epitaph One,” are included in this set. “Epitaph One” takes us into the future where the corporation has lost control of the dolls. The intriguing episode ups the ante for the main characters and proves Fox still doesn’t know a damn thing about quality television.