Dollhouse, the short-lived Fox series with a fascinating premise that failed to live up to my personal expectations, still holds a place in my heart. You see, despite its inherent flaws, rarely since has a concept for a television series had me as intrigued as this tale of mind-wiped Actives, identity, and shadowy corporations.
It was a surprise to many that Fox renewed it for a second season, but where would the story have gone had it survived for third season? Dollhouse Executive Producer, Tim Minear spoke to Assignment X and revealed that the show’s protagonist, Echo, would have levelled up on her way to becoming a more compelling character. Kinda like a certain Vampire Slayer.
Head past the jump for the juicy details.
Speaking to Assignment X, Minear revealed that a third season would have seen Echo becoming a whole lot more interesting than the rather one-note, unlikable, repetitive shell that she was for the most part of the series (my opinion). He goes on to make the Buffy comparison:
“What I think we came to was, by having Echo become this sort of superhero and having her become the sum of all these different imprints, of all these parts, and allow her to become this sentient being with [all of this incorporated into her], we found a way to make her a character. I think the problem in Season One was, you had this concept that sounds great when you’re pitching it, but when you sit down to write it, it’s, “Okay, so now we’re writing a show about a main character who can’t remember what happened last week.” Which I think was a little boring for the audience, because they’re so far ahead of her. So when we started allowing her to remember things, and then started taking the concept and making it into what her superpower was, it started turning into something else. I think what you would have seen in Season Three is [a series] a lot more embracing of its mythology and turned into more of a superhero show. It would have been a little bit more like BUFFY in some ways.”
Very interesting indeed. I always thought that the show was fundamentally flawed with the Echo character (the presentation of her story and the portrayal of the character), so it’s revealing to hear Minear admit that she was a problem. When you have a central protagonist who can’t remember yesterday, that’s always going to be a challenge. But not an impossible one. Some of the most compelling movies of recent times have tackled memory issues (Eternal Sunshine, Memento), and Fringe does a fine job with Dr. Walter Bishop (though that’s approached from a different angle).
I do like the idea of evolving Echo into a kind of ‘superhero’. It seems logical, and I think (if done right) it would have made the character a lot more compelling and possibly worth investing in. The idea of drawing on her different personas is fantastical, but also relatively believable since people do it all the time – everyone has different sides that make them who they are. I would also say that we saw shades of this ‘Echo Evo’ in season 2, so it’s fairly easy to see how it could have been amped up in a third season.
What do you think about a Buffyesque super-powered Echo? Would you have liked to have seen that character in a third season of Dollhouse?