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2009 TV Preview: Joss Whedon's 'Dollhouse'
The series follows a group of men and women (the "dolls") who can be imprinted, Matrix-style, with different personality packages, including memories, skills, language and muscle memory, for various assignments. These assignments could be romantic, adventurous, uplifting, illegal - or even sexual.
At the end of assignment these dolls are mind-wiped, regressing them to a child-like state, then sent 'home' to a futuristic dormitory-cum-laboratory called The Dollhouse. The dolls have no memory of what they have been up to on their assignments, or much else besides.
The lead doll is Echo, played by Eliza Dushku (Faith from Buffy and Angel). Echo is slightly special because she begins to buck the mind-wiping process and develop a self-awareness of her situation.
Echo's best friend is Sierra, a "strikingly beautiful" doll played by Dichen Lachman of Neighbours fame. There's also Victor (Enver Gjokaj), a "distractingly handsome" doll whose character assignments range from Errol Flynn to a young DeNiro.
The Dollhouse staff includes include icy cold manager Adele (Olivia Williams); Topher (Fran Kranz), the computer nerd responsible for "imprinting" the Dolls; and Boyd Langton (Harry J. Lennix), Echo's handler.
Meanwhile an FBI agent called Paul Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett) comes sniffing around, having chased the myth of the Dollhouse for years.
Angel's Amy Acker is also on the cast in a recurring role as Dr. Claire Saunders, responsible for looking after the wellbeing of the dolls.
Click 'play' below to watch an extended trailer:
Despite a solid premise and the usual hype that accompanies a Whedon show, Dollhouse has already had a shaky beginning.
In July Whedon decided to shoot a new pilot episode, admitting that he and broadcast network Fox had "different ideas about what the tone of the show would be". The original pilot was then re-ordered to become episode two but has since been dropped altogether.
In September production shut down for a fortnight to allow Whedon time to bring several scripts 'up to standard'.
The show was originally due to premiere in the US in September, but has now been pushed back until February. It had originally been earmarked for a key slot next to 24 on Monday nights but has since been moved to a less-watched Friday night slot alongside the struggling Sarah Connor Chronicles. A UK broadcaster has yet to be confirmed.
Up next on Tube Talk's 2009 TV Preview: Moving Wallpaper is back - but Echo Beach isn't!
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