As anyone who has ever built a house can tell you, it takes twice as long as you thought it would, costs more than you budgeted, and consumes your every waking thought. And when it’s done, it might not be what you originally wanted, but that’s not necessarily bad thing.
Dollhouse is about a secret house where people known as “dolls” have their memories and personalities erased and replaced with new ones, enabling them to be hired out for various assignments, some of which are probably illegal. Eliza Dushku plays Echo, a doll who inexplicably begins to remember her real identity.
The pilot was written and shot, and then summarily scrapped, due to network unhappiness. In his post, Joss describes the joys of creating a pilot episode for The Man:
Basically, the network and I had different ideas about what the tone of the show would be… Their desires were not surprising: up the stakes, make the episodes more stand-alone, stop talking about relationships and cut to the chase. Oh, and add a chase. That you can cut to. Nothing I hadn’t heard before on my other shows (apparently my learning curve has no bendy part).
His learning curve has no “bendy part.” I love that you can always hear shades of Buffy, Willow and Xander in his voice. (Or is it the other way around?)
“They bought something somewhat different than what I was selling them, which is not that uncommon in this business,” he wrote, diplomatically.
Which explains a lot considering Fox President of Entertainment, Kevin Reilly told the L.A. Times the first time he met with Whedon he was “kinda drunk with the surprise of it all. He laid out the whole concept, but I think it was one of those things where I heard every other word of it.”
Oh well. No problem. Joss has nothing better to do than re-write scenes up to eight times, and re-shoot a scene with Eliza “three different times, with different characters in different places” even if “none of it will ever see air.”
The good news is that Whedon also reveals in the post that former Buffy scribe and producer Jane Espenson has been brought on to lend her formidable talents to the show. Jane’s credits include Gilmore Girls and most recently, co-executive producer for Season 4 of Battlestar Galactica.
This bodes well for Dollhouse because Jane is like Visa: She’s everywhere you want to be.