In a recent post over at Whedonesque, Joss Whedon took a few moments from his surely busy day to update fans on the status of the upcoming Fox show, Dollhouse. We know that he decided to rework the pilot to better reflect the tone Fox was aiming for, and that he also shut down production for a few weeks in September to personally ensure that the show was headed in the right direction.
He reveals in the post even more behind-the-scenes tidbits: The original pilot was thrown out completely (which should make for a good DVD special feature down the line), several characters were removed from the show (though most of those actors are now in other roles), and he’s still very much a believer in Eliza Dushku.
Whedon seems a bit frazzled, but ultimately happy with the show’s progress thus far. His recounting of the production’s minor stumbling thus far is actually somewhat inspiring—perhaps because it appears that both he and the show will be stronger for it.
Yes, we’ve had to make adjustments. Yes, it’s been hard and I’ve been depressing to be around for awhile. Basically, the Network and I had different ideas about what the tone of the show would be. They bought something somewhat different than what I was selling them, which is not that uncommon in this business. 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) but frustrating as hell given our circumstances – a pilot shot, scripts written, everybody marching together/gainfully employed… and then a shutdown. Glad I was for the breathing room, but it’s hardly auspicious. So back into the writer cave I went, wondering why I put up with this when I can make literally dozens of dollars making internet movies.
With the premiere a few months away, it’s wise for Whedon to speak directly to fans and allay any potential fears they might have. But then of course, his fans (myself included) will watch the show out of sheer faith in his abilities. The real question for Dollhouse is how will it play with general audiences. Since Firefly, Buffy, and Angel have left the airwaves, television has actually gotten decidedly geekier with shows like Lost and Heroes attaining massive popularity. This bodes well for Dollhouse, I just hope Fox gives Whedon and the show a fair shot at success this time around.