Welcome to the Dollhouse. Fox unveiled its new Joss Whedon-helmed, Eliza Dushku-starring series during last week’s network upfront presentations. In addition to releasing cast photos, the ambitious sci-fi series’ trailer was unfurled. The show has been given a mid-season slot and will debut in January.
The trailer looks kind of – oh, what’s that word – awesome. It lays out the premise (the Dollhouse employs a secret group of “actives” who have their personalities and memories erased to be imprinted with new ones for assignments) while giving us a sense of the show’s tone, pacing and humor. But enough talk, give it a look yourself.
Cool, right? Eliza gets a chance to flex all of her acting muscles in this role. Often typecast as the tough girl, as Echo she will get to run the gamut of emotions. And already I think I love the deliciously calculated Adelle DeWitt (played by British actress Olivia Williams). As the head of the Dollhouse, she is exactly as described: “beautiful, sophisticated, cold as an alp.”
The trailer also gives us our first glimpse of all of the series regulars together and interacting. The actives, in their non-mission states, have a childlike quality. The cast, whose role descriptions were released earlier, looks young and fit and spry. Other than Olivia, it’s hard to tell who the standouts will be yet.
We haven’t caught sight of Amy Acker as Dr. Claire Saunders, the woman who looks after the active’s well-being. And I would have liked to see more about the show’s overarching theme of self-realization. Joss has said that the show will revolve around Echo’s burgeoning self-awareness.
The series’ mid-season start shouldn’t be read as a vote of no-confidence from Fox. The network had what it called a “high-class problem” with its fall schedule as it launched not one but two high-profile shows from high-profile creators as both Whedon and Lost’s J.J. Abrams are debuting new hour-long sci-fi dramas. Abrams’ Fringe got put on the fall schedule Tuesday nights behind House.Dollhouse debuts in January on Monday nights after 24. Fox execs said they went with Fringe for the fall and Dollhouse for mid-season because the former had been in development longer and completed more episodes.
So, what did you think? Did the trailer impress you? Do you want to play in Eliza’s Dollhouse?