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Apollo Sunrise

Dollhouse and Mission: Impossible

I just watched Joss Whedon’s “Dollhouse”; I’ve also recently seen a lot of early 70s “Mission: Impossible” episodes and it occured to me that “Dollhouse” is a natural progression from MI.

Jim Phelps, Paris, Barney Collier, and all the rest of the MI agents were cyphers. For all we know about their personal lives, they might as well have been mindwiped “actives”, living someone else’s life for the purpose of their current mission (er, “engagement”, to use the Dollhouse term).

It’ll be interesting to see where Joss takes us with this premise. His concept, that Caroline’s original personality will start to re-emerge in bits and pieces, could lead to all kinds of interesting storylines. Whatever happens, I suspect “Echo” will wind up having more personality than any of the MI characters.

(And to jump to another show, “Dollhouse” has a bit of the “La Femme Nikita” vibe, as well. The character of Dollhouse’s Adelle seems very similar to Nikita’s Madeline.)

Comments

Well, I feel mucho stupid now. I kept thinking "Why the hell is Whedon doing Ibsen?" Seriously, I did. It's "Dollhouse" not "Doll's House". As Emily Litella would said, that's different. :)
Oh, Lord, Emily Litella! Memories!
LOL! And you got me too, as I had to go google Emily Litella. :-)
I haven't seen an MI episode in many, many years. Are you watching on cable, or have you Netflixed it, or what? I am so far behind the times, don't even do Netflixing, just don't have the time. But Dollhouse sounds intriguing. I immediately wondered at the length of the story arc to make that work, though. There's a lot more there to sustain it, right? Not that I'll watch it, as we just don't watch series shows, but I'm interested in how that might work.

Oh, well, curious as a cat!
A friend gave me all the Nimoy MI episodes. It's fun seeing Nimoy in all kinds of costumes. I sure hadn't remembered these characters had no personalities. It was all about the parts they were playing, of course, but I've watched the better part of two seasons now and there have been maybe three episodes where we get any sorts of hints as to who these people might be, other than government spies.

I remember seeing the Nimoy episodes back in the day; now I'm being entertained at seeing all kinds of Los Angeles locations being used as stand-ins for Eastern Europe, South America and South Africa. They used the Arroyo Seco bridge, a mile from where I used to work, for one of their classic Cold War "your papers please" border crossing scenes. And the Angeles Crest Highway is used for just about every mountain scene. They also used a Coldwater Canyon mansion as a stand-in for an English stately home - but that California vegetation sure detracts from the illusion! At least they kept the palm trees out...

I wonder how long they'll be able to keep the Dollhouse premise going. It seems a difficult concept to sustain past a few episodes. The concept was pretty clearly laid out in dialogue at the beginning of the first episode. "Echo" - still herself as Caroline - is told that, because of unspecified crimes, she can "volunteer" to be mindwiped for the next five years and then have her memories restored, or she can presumably go to jail. She's told that she will be a "clean slate". Her response is, it's impossible to truly clean a slate; something always shows through. The plan appears to be they'll go with the "bits showing through" aspect. I just don't see them being able to carry this one for more than half a season, though. But Joss certainly can surprise me. Who knew that I'd ever fall in love with a show with the title "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", or that he could do so many fascinating things with that premise.