Happenings in Whedonsville
A couple of recent goings-on in tellyland for your attention, both concerning Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon. The first, and probably least interesting from my perspective, is that Firefly, his short-lived sci-fi western series, looks set to get a Blu-ray release at some point down the line. The release is still a considerable way off, given that it is described as only being in the “early development stages”, but it has been confirmed by a 20th Century Fox spokesperson, so this news will surely please its many devoted followers. Myself, I could never get into Firefly, which is odd, given how much I enjoyed its big screen follow-up, Serenity. In its defence, I didn’t try particularly hard to watch it, and had a lot of other things on the go when I rented the first disc of the DVD set, so perhaps I didn’t give it enough of a chance. I’d certainly be up for revisiting it in high definition to see if my view on it has changed.
Above: Eliza Dushku
Secondly, and in my eyes far more excitingly, is the news that Whedon has a new television series in the pipeline, which will be titled Dollhouse and will reteam him with Eliza Dushku (Faith in Buffy) and, erm, 20th Century Fox. Yes, the same 20th Century Fox whom he vowed never to work with again after they, in his eyes, screwed him over so royally with Firefly. Also, I must admit that, in light of the debacle that was Buffy’s sixth and seventh season, and its shark-jumping comic book continuation, my faith in the man to put together a half-decent show has waned somewhat, but there’s a little part of me that is nonetheless excited to hear that he’s returning to television, paired with the always-watchable Dushku no less. And come on, you’ve got to admit that the premise has promise:
Echo (Eliza Dushku) [is] a young woman who is literally everybody’s fantasy. She is one of a group of men and women who can be imprinted with personality packages, including memories, skills, language - even muscle memory - for different 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.
The word is that former Angel (and Firefly, and Wonderfalls) executive producer Tim Minear will also be involved, so here’s hoping he’ll help steer this new show in the right direction.