Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I watched the premiere of 'Dollhouse', and although I found it a bit underwhelming and somewhat timid in its execution, I have faith in Joss Whedon's abilities. I'm sure that once he has the concept firmly established, the show will begin to kick ass. (The premise: operatives known as "Actives" are mind-swiped to be blank slates until they're needed for a mission; and then they are given a whole new identity installed with false memories mixed and matched from a data bank collection stolen from thousands of other people's minds.)

First off, no complaints on this end as far as star Eliza Dushku, who plays an Active named Echo, is concerned. And hopefully we'll get to see Toobworld Central fave Reed Diamond as more than just an obstructive head honcho of the corporation that runs the "Dollhouse". Harry Lennix provides a solid base as Echo's handler, and the guy who implants the false memories and personality quirks into the Actives (Topher Brink, played by Fran Kranz) looks to be the wellspring for the wiseguy humor on the show, to keep it from getting too oppressive.

I think 'Dollhouse' has the potential to be one of Toobworld Central's Essentials. The concept of the Actives could be used to splain away multiple appearances by actors either in the same series (if it's long-running enough) or across a variety of shows. This would be applied to those actors who are making one-shot guest appearances (to cut down on prolonged exposure to the nature of their characters) and whose characters survive the end of the episode (to live again with their minds swiped of their previous existence and new false memories implanted).

Just based on this one episode so far, the corporation that runs the "Dollhouse" activities is relatively new, probably no more than a few years in operation. (At least long enough to have a rogue Active on the loose in the outside world.) But that doesn't mean the process hasn't been in existence for quite some time before that. It's the type of science that would have been used by the government since the "glory days" of the early Cold War. I wouldn't be surprised to find that the Cigarette Smoking Man and Deep Throat of 'The X-Files' had their fingers in that pie.....

These Actives seem to be all young and quite... healthy, but if some other agency - the Bureau, the Committee, the Workshop, Toobworld has its fair share of shadow ops groups! - was using the process, their version of Actives could be of any age or type.

And with that type of concept at hand, Toobworld Central could make even more theoretical links between TV shows that might not otherwise have any discernible connections.

'Dollhouse' may not last more than the amount of episodes needed to make a decent DVD boxed collection (The ratings for this past Friday on FOX were apparently cause for alarm.), but it doesn't need more than one episode - even just one commercial! - to make for a Toobworld Essential.

Toby O'B

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fran Kranz plays the best character on The Dollhouse. Is anyone here a big fan? I also found him on showbizzle.com - this new website for actors. Characters like THESE show off their stories. haha, it's hilarious at times.