It’s all my fault that Dollhouse got poor ratings and taken off the air. OK, not really. Some of it’s your fault too – you should have watched it longer and let it grow into what it was going to become. But we can’t take all the blame – the show had some problems. One of the things wrong with the show is that it was ahead of its time but what might be the real deal-breaker with the Dollhouse is that it started in the wrong place in the timeline and set what was probably the wrong expectations. So it took some time to recover and by then, we’d all given up.
But that’s where something great about comics comes into play: low overhead. It’s cheaper to make comics than to make TV shows and we’ve seen Whedon do it with all of his properties – Buffy, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse all have comic lines now. In some ways it’s been great: I now know what happened in that dark alley where Angel ended but some of the Buffy stuff has been a little weak. Dollhouse has some formatting problems but all read and done, it’s pretty good – I’d even say that the formatting problems I see are probably the writers trying to harness that Whedonesque tone, banter and frenetics.
And so Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse: Epitaphs does what a third season couldn’t do; it picks up the story where those of us that finished watching it on Netflix left off. The apocalypse has come in the form of a world run rampant by butchers that have been programmed by the same tech that gave Eliza Dushku extra cool abilities and personalities in the show. I will say that one of the more interesting things the trade paperback does is not even bring Dushku’s character, Echo into the fold until near the end – it makes for some fun suspense. So, one Whedon fan to another, give Dollhouse a read and let me know what you think.