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Whedon returns to TV with 'Dollhouse'

October 31, 2007 |  7:00 pm

Lizajoss_2 Joss Whedon's last experience with episodic TV left a bad taste in his mouth, but an old friend has coaxed him back.

Whedon and "Buffy" buddy Eliza Dushku (Faith from the show) will be launching a new series, "Dollhouse," with Fox.  The actress' Boston Diva Production and Whedon's Mutant Enemy will produce the show, which has gotten a seven-episode commitment.  Though a writers' strike could delay production, it's scheduled for fall 2008.

"Massacre is an exceptional phrase," says Whedon of the sudden cancellation and mishandling of his "Firefly" series on Fox.  "But it's a whole new crew now.  There's new blood."

Dushku will be a producer and play Echo, a young woman who is everybody's fantasy. She is one of a group of men and women who can be imprinted with personality packages, including memories, skills, language and even muscle memory, by a company/place called the Dollhouse.

Whedon ranks the character as one of his best, saying "she's absolutely the essence of strength boiled down.  She's at her strongest when she's at her least powerful. She has an extraordinary tenacity. "

As a first-time producer, Dushku was given a lot of freedom to come up with a show. They "really gave me the blessing to go out and bring them the kind of show that I wanted to do and be the character I wanted to be." And Whedon, whom she dubbed "the ultimate feminist male writer," was the first person she called.

"It was like I was fiddling with a Rubik's Cube while watching TV, then looked up and it was done," says Whedon of his lunch date with Dushku in which the two came up with the premise.

With a writers' strike looming, Whedon understands that the show could hit some snags before it gets off the ground.

"My timing is, as usual, great."

-- Jevon Phillips

Photos courtesy of 20th Century Fox

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