It was only good fortune and Joss Whedon‘s name that really led to the existence of a second season of Dollhouse, and fans of the show were not overlooked with the DVD release. It’s somewhat surprising that the ratings-troubled show managed a nice assortment of bonuses, and they are the sort of worthwhile additions that Whedon fans will enjoy, and have come to expect.
The second season came to audiences with an air of a show that knew it didn’t have far to go, and many aspects of the myriad conflicts and problematic elements of running a tech-based pseudo-slave service ran forward by way of plots that, one imagines, wouldn’t have surfaced had the show felt comfortable that it would be around for a while. Nevertheless, the strange, little show put together some interesting episodes, and certainly didn’t fall flat as might equally be expected of a show that had to know its days were numbered.
I suspect that much of what hindered the show in terms of its ratings are the exact things that were brought even more to the foreground in the second season, which didn’t help its lifespan, but perhaps ingratiated it even more to the fans it managed. Loved, hated, or ignored, it stands out to some degree at least as a show that took a chance, and tried to do something rather different.
The DVD release comes with a couple of strong featurettes – Defining Moments: A Retrospective with Joss Whedon, and Looking Back: Roundtable with Joss Whedon and Cast. Both of these are real treats, and fans of Whedon will naturally find a decent helping of the man himself, but these are interesting pieces even for those who are fans of neither Whedon or the show. While not particularly a Whedon fan myself, I found myself rather hoping that Dollhouse could get another season in, and perhaps find a foothold. The featurettes give a lot of interesting information about the show itself, and Whedon’s ideas for it, and how things came together in trying to get such a strange idea into homes.
Though neither of these featurettes really address the question head on, there is a good deal of Whedon’s own thoughts about his particular place in the grand scheme of things, being in the tricky position of creating popular fare, but fare that never gets any easier to sell to suits. He may have rabid fans, but Dollhouse sounds like something that is going to be hard to get people to watch, obviously for good reason, and it is a somewhat unique position to be in.
Also included are commentary tracks on some episodes, which are not quite as worthy as might be expected, but are still better than most. There are also a selection of deleted scenes and outtakes.
Possibly one of the more interesting bonuses (depending on your particular bent) is the included comic. This is definitely a nice addition, and not at all a bad piece of work in its own right, but its value to fans of the show is difficult to judge.
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Includes Exclusive, Highly Collectible 28 Page Comic Book From Dark Horse Comics
The collectible set includes all 13 episodes of Dollhouse, a limited edition exclusive comic book, and bonus audio commentary by Joss Whedon and series writers Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen.
Joss Whedon’s take on the ultimate identity theft follows a cast of Actives, or Dolls, who serve as agents of Dollhouse, an illegal underground organization providing elite clientele with programmable human beings. Personality imprints allow Actives to temporarily become anyone or anything—the perfect burglar, lover, spy or assassin. When the mission is completed, memories are wiped clean. The all-star Dollhouse cast is led by Eliza Dushku as Echo (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Tru Calling, Angel) and Tahmoh Penikett as Paul Ballard (Battlestar Galactica).
The Dollhouse Season Two four-disc DVD or three-disc Blu-ray collection includes a retrospective with Joss Whedon and cast roundtable about the series. A gag reel and deleted scenes from top episodes are also included. Disc contents include episodes 1-13: “Vows,” “Instinct,” “Belle Chose,” “Belonging” and “The Public Eye,” “The Left Hand,” “Meet Jane Doe,” “A Love Supreme,” “Stop-Loss” and “The Attic,” “Getting Closer,” The Hollow Men,” and “Epitaph 2: The Return.”
The complete 13 episodes of the final season are presented in wide screen format with English, 5.1 DTS sound and English, Spanish, French and Portuguese subtitles.
Dollhouse Comic Book
Each Blu-ray and DVD comes with a 28 page exclusive limited edition comic book by Dark Horse Comics. Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, joined by longtime Buffy the Vampire Slayer artist Cliff Richards, take us on an intricate trip through the precise moment when the Active technology went global, and how the protagonists from Epitaph One and Two narrowly avoided death, and worse. Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen wrote the Epitaph episodes of Dollhouse Seasons One and Two, and currently write for the Starz series Spartacus. This is their first work in comics. Artist Cliff Richards has drawn more Joss Whedon-related comics than any other artist, including issues of Buffy Season Eight.”
- Joss Whedon’s ‘Dollhouse’ resurrected thanks to ‘Remains’ music video (herocomplex.latimes.com)
- Eliza Dushku Talks ‘Dollhouse’ Comics And Joss Whedon’s Busy ‘Avenging’ Schedule (splashpage.mtv.com)