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'Dollhouse: Season One'
(Eliza Dushku, Harry Lennix, Fran Kranz, et al / 4-Disc DVD / NR / 2009 / 20th Century Fox)

Overview: From Joss Whedon, the creative mastermind behind “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel,” comes the provocative “Dollhouse,” a sexy, suspenseful thriller starring the stunningly talented Eliza Dushku. As an “Active,” the mysterious Echo (Dushku) serves as an unwitting agent of Dollhouse, an illegal underground organization that provides its elite clientele with programmable human beings.

DVD Verdict: 'Dollhouse' is the latest work of genre entertainment by man-god Joss Whedon to grace our television screens. So how did it work out? A second season is not expected. Thank you FOX's Friday night death slot, you've potentially killed yet another solid sci-fi series before it lived up to it's potential. 'Dollhouse' may have been underwhelming compared to 'Buffy,' 'Angel' or 'Firefly,' but it's still an outstanding and intelligent science fiction show that was better then 90% of what's on your television. Make that 99.9% if you count the endless stream of vapid, banal reality shows!

The story revolves around Dushku's character, Caroline (renamed Echo), who signs her life away (for 5 years, anyway) to a mysterious organization known (appropriately) as The Dollhouse. They are able to wipe a person's mind and then imprint them with the personality and consciousness of another person. They then rent these "actives" - as they are called - out to those who can afford it to use however they like. Whether you want a night with the perfect lover or just need the world's best assassin, The Dollhouse is there for you. The place officially doesn't exist and is considered a laughable urban legend by the society at large, but one detective finds himself obsessing over it and determined to uncover the secret and expose it to the world.

After all, there are certain moral quandaries to be discussed about whether so dangerous a technology should be used even with consent and indeed whether it should even be allowed to exist. This is what makes 'Dollhouse' work. Those who are able to see past Echo's "personality of the week" and all the sexy, sexy people in form-fitting clothing will find a fascinating work of modern science fiction just waiting to unfold. Unfortunately, it may never get to bloom to it's full potential.

The first season takes a while to get going and ends just when it is really starting to cook. leaving many questions unanswered. The original pilot and final episode remain unaired so we will have to wait for the upcoming DVD to see all there is to see.

Dushku is, of course, the sexiest thing on television and putting her in a tank top most of the time isn't going to harm that reputation. But it's the supporting cast that steals the show in the end. Fran Kanz is the comic relief playing the requisite lovable nerd character. He gets most of the show's best lines, plus he downloaded an active with the personality of a video-game geek goddess just for fun. That is awesome. Harry Lennix as Echo's "handler" has that kinda gruff-but-cool Denzel Washington thing going for him.

Dichen Lachman occasionally overshadows the star active with her outstanding performance as Sierra, who is quite popular within the Dollhouse, I must say. Olivia Williams as the stern British woman in control is just wonderful. Miracle Laurie just has a unique quality I cannot put my finger on, but she was probably the most endearing character on the show to me. Dushku has some competition in my heart all of the sudden. Oh, and then there's the rest of the Whedon regulars: Alan Tudyk, Amy Acker, and Felicia Day - who only appeared in the unaired finale. This cast is packed with talent.

And, with regard that unaired finale, not to forget the unaired original Pilot, those two bonus episodes - the aforementioned 'Pilot' and the unaired 13th episode, named 'Epitaph 1' - can now be found on special edition copies of this DVD and Blu ray (as per the Comic Con link below ... click it and see! [TCN] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the following Special Features:

'Ghost' - Episode Commentary by Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku
'Man on the Street' - Episode Commentary by Joss Whedon
Never-Before-Seen Episode, 'Epitaph One' - with Optional Commentary by writers Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen
Original Unaired Pilot – 'Echo'
Deleted Scenes
“Making Dollhouse” featurette
“Coming Back Home” featurette
“Finding Echo” featurette
“Designing the Perfect Dollhouse” featurette
“A Private Engagement” featurette

'Dollhouse - Season 1' Comic-Con Exclusive Blu-ray and DVD Info!

Check Out a DVD Clip of "Epitaph One" Here Now!