Joss Whedon Previews Dollhouse's Final Season
By Ileane Rudolph November 12, 2009 08:31 AM EST
On Monday, I said TV Guide Magazine would run Joss Whedon’s recent reveals on the remaining Dollhouse episodes next week, but since the not entirely unexpected news broke of the show’s cancellation yesterday, I wanted to publish the interview from November 4 as soon as possible. Fox will complete Dollhouse’s 13 episode season with three weeks of back to back episodes on December 4, 11 and 18, then single episodes on January 8 and 15 before the series finale airs January 22.
Here, Whedon shares scoop about this season's upcoming episodes before he received the news about the show’s cancellation.
Are you writing episode 13 to be a finale, just in case? Hedging your bets?
You know what, we hedged the last time and we got renewed, so we’re definitely hedging them again. People forget but I did this every year with Buffy. That’s just insurance. I didn’t do it with Firefly and look what happened. I went mad as a March hare and made a movie. So we’re doing that this time. Hopefully we’ll have nine more to do it after. We always wrap everything up and then unravel it again, if we’re told to.
Do you really have hope that you could come back with nine more?
Do I have hope? I do think the December double airings are kind of interesting. I’m not planning a trip to Vegas, but I live in hope. I know how the show would go on. That’s the most important thing. I will pitch that to Fox, if they find that the economics are working out for them, they may say keep it going. If they don’t, which is likely, they’ll say the other thing. But the point is to be ready for both, though there is a sense of resolve at the end of 13.
You have some choice guest stars upcoming. What can you tell us about Summer Glau’s character, Bennett, who shows up on December 4?
She works for the Washington D.C. Dollhouse, along with Ray Wise’s Howard. She’s someone from Caroline’s (Echo’s pre-House name) past. She’s got information about Caroline that will really surprise people, especially Echo (Eliza Dushku). And she has a dead arm, so what’s not to like. One of her arms doesn’t work and it’s in a sling.
It just felt right for the character, just like it felt right that she should probably dress like a schoolgirl and be very nice and a little odd. I would call her the Topher of the D.C. House.
But she’s actually ethical, unlike the amoral Topher?
Yes, she has morals.
Is Wise basically D.C’s Adelle, the head of the House?
Yes, he would be Adelle’s counterpart. He’s not so big with the morals. It’s a departure for Ray Wise (laughs). Another person in power, Harding, played by Keith Carradine, will be back. What a wonderful actor.
Why do Echo, Adelle (Olivia Williams) and Topher (Fran Kranz) visit the D.C. House?
That involves the D.C. House starting to take action against the Senator, played by Alexis Denisof, who’s targeting them. The corporation [Rossum] sees that there’s a problem there. Why LA gets involved, I can’t tell you.
You promised that Alan Tudyk (V) will return as psycho killer Alpha. Does he?
He’s back in a two-parter (Dec. 11) and he comes in with a bang. You don’t bring Alpha back unless you’ve got something really fun for him to do. He has very interesting questions to ask of someone and really appalling ways of asking them.
Thankfully, he sounds as vicious as when we last saw him.
He’s not a Franciscan monk. One of his personalities is a Franciscan friar. But he happens to be a very violent one. I will say he will be dealing not just with Echo but other members of the House as well.
Does Amy Acker return for more episodes? Is she still Saunders?
Amy Acker will return. We have two more episodes that we’re allowed to use her because of [her new ABC series] Happy Town. She comes back in an interesting fashion that I will in no way describe to you, a little bit later on. She’ll be the Doc, Claire Saunders. Where she’s been may be a surprise to people.
Is it true we’re finally seeing the feared Attic where they send the rebellious on December 18?
We’re going to finally reveal what it’s like. I can say without hesitation that it is a joyride, it’s like going to Disneyland on really bad acid.
Who will we see in the Attic?
Echo’s not the first person who will have been sent there. That’s all I’ll say about that.
What’s happening with Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett), the FBI agent turned Echo’s handler?
His relationship with Echo will change. His whole life will change more than once. They made an agreement to try and accomplish something and we’ll see that evolve. I know I’m being annoyingly coy.
Will they kiss?
Will Echo and Ballard kiss? It would be beyond reprehensible for him ever to kiss her. So, yeah!
You also wanted to bring back Felicia Day from “Epitaph One”…
She’ll be in a later episode. I would like to go back to the future, as in “Epitaph One.” I would love to see what happens to our peeps ten year on.
Where is the Dollhouse storyline heading?
This whole season has been about, and is getting more and more about, the larger conflict, not between Echo and the Dollhouse but between Echo and Rossum. When Echo first decided she wanted to deal with the Dollhouse, she didn’t realize how global it was going to be. What we’re heading for is bigger. We’re going to start getting to the top where the real power is and it’s going to get very, very twisted. That’s not strange coming from me, but even we’re thrown by it.