Dollhouse- Season One- Blu Ray Edition

DVD Reviews | Aug 10th, 2009

Starring: Eliza Dushku, Harry Lennix, Tahmoh Penikett , Olivia Williams, Fran Kranz
Created By: Joss Whedon
Studio: Fox
Buy on Amazon.com

Dollhouse, from the excellent Joss Whedon, creator of cult faves Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Firefly, is about an elite, illegal underground facility in which humans are treated in a odd human trafficking way. Scientists download skills, behaviors, and memories into the “Actives” brains and then they are set out into the world to facilitate the client’s needs and wants. Starring the beautiful and captivating Eliza Dushku, as Echo one of the elite “Actives” in the Doll house, Echo starts to have self awareness behaviors that starts her down uncharted territory. If fans of the Whedon-verse and Sci Fi did not get a chance to see this series yet, then you better get started now because it is worth it!

Based in several locations scattered across the globe, The Doll House is a very illegal organization that uses humans for any purposes or needs to make a client happy. Humans join voluntarily and agree by signing an agreement to be part of the program, without really knowing what to fully expect. All of them have their memories wiped to not know of where they came from and what they were. Within the dollhouse, the “Actives” are sat in a chair and have new information downloaded into their brains. This could be anything from being an expert hostage negotiator, to a wild, back up singer with hidden skills in body guarding to protect a pop star, or straight up prostitute for a client. Generally, the clients have a huge amount of cash and are willing to pay top dollar to get what they want. The premise sounds like something from The Matrix films but it’s not as serious and complex as those films were. “Echo” is just one of many “Actives” in the dollhouse and each of them have their own skills in which they are sent out for, sometimes there is a need for multiple “Actives” on an assignment as well. Each “Active” has a handler, which is a non programmed human who is like Father or Mother figure and has skills in protection. Harry Lennix plays Echo’s handler, Boyd and from what I see he’s actually not playing a jerk in a role in films or television. I think his character realizes he has a job to do and to protect Echo but you can tell he doesn’t approve of the ethics of it all. Surprisingly, the government is not really hot on their trail, except one FBI agent that is considered an outcast, Paul Ballard, played by Battlestar Gallatic vet, Tahmoh Penikett. He’s obsessed with finding Echo and exposing the dollhouse, yet no one else is as close as he is to finding this illegal facility in the LA area. As he gets closer and closer though, it only leads to more trouble and more of a sacrifice.

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Dollhouse on Blu Ray looks excellent. The high definition transfer from television is the way to go. Everything on this show has colors that just pop and jump out of the screen, from the lavish set of the dollhouse to the exterior locations, and the wardrobes make this show look great on Blu Ray due to the vibrancy of the colors for this show. Plus why would you want to see Eliza Dushku in standard definition? High definition is your best option. Audio for the show sounds great, especially during the action sequences. The extras include the never before seen unaired pilot, which was much talked about before the series even aired. Apparently, the studio and Whedon had different opinions on how the series should start and Whedon had to go back and re-shoot a new pilot episode to kick of Dollhouse Season One. On top of that, you get a few featurettes with the usual features within the set, including a look at the cast, a sit down with Creator Joss Whedon, and a tour of the Dollhouse. A few commentaries are included as well with your typical wit and charm from Whedon.

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The cast and crew are a good balance of veteran actors and for the most part unknowns. Eliza is the main reason to see this show, and Harry Lenix, Tahmoh Penikett, and Fran Kranz round out a solid supporting cast, with strong acting and some humor as well. For the show it takes a few episodes to get it going due to rumblings that the beginning episodes were stand alone episodes to try and lure viewers in, rather than stick with what Whedon and co. wanted. Once you get into the thick of the season, it is definitely enjoyable to watch and I will definitely be tuning in for Season two, and hopefully Fox doesn’t pull the plug.

Features:
-Original Unaired Pilot “Echo”
-Audio Commentary on Selected Episodes
-Deleted Scenes
Featurettes:
-Making Dollhouse
-Coming Home
-Finding Echo
A Private Engagement
Designing The Perfect Dollhouse

Audio:
ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1

Video:
Widescreen 1.78:1 Color

Subtitles:
English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
Favorite Episodes: The Target, True Believer, Echoes, Needs, Omega
Rating: NR
Running Time: 540 mins
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating:

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