Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Comic-Con: To Dollhouse and Beyond
A year ago, people got excited about Joss Whedon's return to TV with Dollhouse, about a woman who can be anyone except herself.
When Joss came back for this year's Comic-Con, the excitement was still there, and not just for the show.
It was for Dr. Horrible, the Buffy and Angel comic books, and everything he's done for the past 12 years.
However, Joss showed he was excited, too "There's never been a time," he said, "when the public can make its voice heard, like now."
He means how the public overrode the ratings, thanks to Twitter, MySpace, internet postings, and most importantly TiVo. All of that gave Echo and the Dollhouse a second season. However, Joss joked that it also ruined his summer vacation...and got a few apologies from the crowd. He's now busy making the first few episodes for season two, starting with "Vows" on September 25th. He also has his comic books, from Buffy season 8 to Dr. Horrible and a certain horror movie he just finished about some house in the forest or something. He says the future is in good, and calloused, hands.
This was followed by the showing of "Epitaph One",which was reviewed here earlier, and then Eliza Dushku.
And why shouldn't she smile? "I'm so thankful the lost episode was found," she told the crowd. "Every time I show up on a job, even though I know Joss loves me, I show up and I feel like it's the first day of school, and I wonder if I can still do it. And then I get to come here, and you guys like fuel me. So thank you for fueling me." She also says she's grateful Joss has given her the chance to be a producer as well as an actress.
Then, we got some insights, although he warned some of the answers would be oblique or French. He did say Victor would recover from Alpha cutting his face, and they'd deal with Dr. Saunders learning she was an Active at one point. He also said he had no doubt Alan Tudyk would do a great job as a villain, thanks to a Shakespeare reading he did with Joss.
Joss also had great things to say about his staff, which he called the best "first-year" staff he's had "So much of everything you've seen," he said, "including a lot of what you saw didn't come from me. I really feel like this, more than any to her show, is a real round table, and it's always open to the next idea."
The crowd got some surprise details, like Alexis Denisof coming as a guest star, and more of the Epitaph One trio. John Cassaday, who collaborated with Joss in the Buffy Dark Horse comics as an artist, will direct an episode. Joss says season two will be all about giving people chances to do something different, which is always good for TV.
But Eliza had a surprise of her own. She Twittered a couple of friends, and asked them to come down...
Fran Kranz, aka Topher and Dichen Lachman, aka Sierra. Enver Gjokaj was also at the autograph session when the panel was over. Joss talked about when Topher would get his comeuppance. That is in "Epitaph One", in a big way. Dichen also said she liked being the fangirl in "Stage Fright" and Topher's best bud on his birthday.
Eliza was later asked if her role as Faith on Buffy has helped her in her career. "It's part of me, I think", she said. "Everything that I've done is part of me in this role. Every character that I've played in my career and in my real life, somewhere in this.
"Faith inspired me as an actor," she continued. "It's one of my favorite roles I've ever done, and I feel like she's always, always sort of in me and helping me."
Finally, someone pointed out a possible similarity between the world of "Epitaph One" and the world of Firefly. Could there be a link between Rossum and Blue Sun, or Butchers and Reavers? Joss admits that "evil corporations are my cup of tea in the morning", but it's more than that...
"The entire structure is designed to mess with your minds, to combine selling you things with entertaining you. To keep you in line. To make you think that you need the things they want you to need, and to stay away from the things they want you to stay away from. To keep them in power, to share none of it. This is all happening."
He even says while there is "lights in the darkness", it is also almost like running day care in the Death Star, but his final point is this: "There is power and manipulation that is controlling almost all of our every thoughts, and that is why I love this show so much."
Maybe this is the show that our times really need. We'll see when September comes.