Created by: Joss Whedon
Written by: Joss Whedon, Tracy Bellomo, Andrew Chambliss, Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon
Other cast: Eliza Dushku, Harry Lennix, Fran Kranz, Tahmoh Penikett, Enver Gjokaj, Olivia Williams, Amy Acker, Reed Diamond
Premiere date: February 13, 2009
Episodes: Series Regular
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Running time: 44min
A futuristic laboratory has erased the identities of lost young people, and now imprints them with the temporary identities they need to fulfill assignments for clients.
Sierra is introduced as the newest Active in the Dollhouse; her original mind wipe occurs in the first episode of the first season. She is instinctively drawn to Echo, but lacks her growing self-awareness. Sierra is a painter named Priya Tsetsang prior to having her mind wiped and becoming an Active. Unlike the other Actives, Sierra was committed to the Dollhouse against her will by a powerful man, Nolan Kinnard, after she rejected his advances. He then hires her out periodically for sexual encounters. During Season 1, she is also raped by her handler in her blank state, only adding to her trauma. When Sierra is sent to her original rapist and captor permanently, Topher sends Sierra as her original personality Priya, and she kills Kinnard in self-defense. Boyd and Topher dispose of the body and Priya agrees to return to the Dollhouse to be with Victor, whom she loves. Priya is later awakened to help retrieve Anthony/Victor when he is captured and enslaved by Rossum, and the two unite with Echo and the senior staff of the LA Dollhouse against Rossum. Ten years after the events of the series, Priya is shown to have a child with Anthony whom she raises alone, as she mistrusts him and his obsession with imprinting technology. Near the end of the series, Priya realizes Anthony’s unwavering devotion to her and introduces their son to him, reuniting the family.
All of the names of the Actives used in the Dollhouse are taken from the NATO phonetic alphabet (Alpha, Echo, Sierra, November, Victor, and Whiskey).
The show was originally more focused on the sexual aspect of the characters, but Fox was worried that the Dollhouse theme and their clients would resemble prostitution, so they pushed Joss Whedon to make it more a thriller.
Edward James Olmos (mentioned in the Pilot episode but not actually a cast member) would go on to play a character on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD along with other Dollhouse alumni, Dichen Lachman, Reed Diamond, Amy Acker, and Patton Oswalt.
It’s extremely common for Joss Whedon to cast actors/actresses he’s worked with previously and use them over and over again in both his series and films.
They can be anyone you want…
You can wipe away a memory, but can you wipe away a soul?
She can be anyone, except herself.
In a city of millions, many souls get lost…
Anyone can happen
Hearn: Do you want to play the game?
Hearn: But you remember to be very quiet during the game, right?
Sierra: Noise is upsetting.
Hearn: Lift up your dress.
[Boyd enters and hits Hearn, knocking him through the glass]
Sierra: That wasn’t quiet.
Boyd Langton: Wasn’t meant to be.
“Man on the Street”
Sierra: You’ll be putting yourself back in there. You didn’t fight to get out for nothing.
Echo: Not nothing. You guys are okay now. I go back in knowing that.
Sierra: Speaking of sci-fi, can we play with the sleepies?
Topher Brink: No.
Sierra: Come on, Topher. We could have them battle one another and bet on them like gladiators.
Topher Brink: Do you know where you are?
Priya: I’m in… hell?
Topher Brink: You’re in Los Angeles. I can understand the mix up.
Priya: What’s his name?
[Topher looks where she’s pointing]
Topher Brink: Victor.
Priya: I love him… Is that real?
Topher Brink: Yes. Yes. It’s real. He loves you back.
Priya: This secret we have, can you keep it?
Topher Brink: I can keep it. But I don’t know if I can live with it.
Priya: I know I can’t. But I don’t have to.
[Sits back and prepares for a treatment]
Priya: Do you want me wide eyed and demure? Or stupid? Did you want me to be a mute?
Priya: Which is it Nolan? Which fantasy did you want to keep forever?
Nolan Kinnard: Priya?
Priya: You just couldn’t take “no” for an answer.
Priya: I love him so much more that I hate you.
Pam: Hey, do they have royalty in Australia?
Priya: Uh, we have a queen, yes. But it’s the same one they have in England. Fickle bitch.
Echo: [Speaking of Victor] I needed him. I thought he could help me get everyone out.
Sierra: I’m sad too. But not for us. For him. He’s not ready to be by himself.
Echo: [Handing Priya a weapon] Know how to fire a gun?
Priya: Uh, my grandfather took me hunting in Gippsland once.
Echo: Know how this works?
Priya: Well, I-I shot at rabbits. I-I didn’t hit anything.
Echo: Same idea. Just bigger targets.
Anthony: In my scenario, I was constantly fighting myself, at war. Just trying to get home to my girl.
[Holds up a photo of Priya]
Priya: In mine, I was constantly making love to you.
Priya: And then you’d turn into the rotting corpse of a rapist I killed.
Echo: [Speaking of Priya and Anthony] The only way this scenario worked is if I didn’t have to fight for you two.
Priya: Then we’ll fight for ourselves. You don’t have to look out for us any more. You’ve been inside our minds, You know we’re just as abnormal and just as ready as you… We’re a team now. We go together!
Anthony: Look, you said it yourself. We have to help our friends. And this chair here, might be our only shot. And you know, no matter who I am, no matter what they put in my skull, I always remember you. That won’t change. But if I turn evil…
[Hands her a weapon]
Anthony: – shoot me.
Priya: I’m not gonna kill you.
Anthony: Well, seriously wound me then.
“The Hollow Men”
Anthony: I would do anything for you, for both of you.
Priya: Except for the one thing I asked you to do.
“Epitaph Two: Return”