Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Comic Con 2009 - Dollhouse Panel Recap - July 29, 2009

Let me just say that I have been a fan of the Whedonverse for a long time now. There were two shows that I was worried about with getting new seasons. One was Chuck and the other was Dollhouse. Thankfully, both were renewed and I was a happy camper!! So, I'm always interested to hear what Joss and crew have to say at Comic-Con. This Q&A was a lot of fun and laughs as always.

A packed house with the Whedonverse as Dollhouse had its Q&A session at Comic-Con. First, Joss Whedon did an introduction and then showed the missing episode which did not air which is "Epitaph One". That was a great thing for the fans in attendance. If you haven't seen it and want to, it is on the season one DVD of Dollhouse that was just released. He joked that it would be shown there for all of the people that hadn't torrented it to death. LOL. He talked of how the reason that they are back doing the show was because of who he was looking at, the fans. They started filming two days ago and mentioned that we would be seeing some old friends this season. Joss and Eliza Dushku took part in all of the Q&A with Fran Kranz and Dichen Lachman joining them toward the end.

Here are some of the highlights of the Q&A.

Question: Will we ever see someone like Victor or Whiskey who has been disabled or disfigured come back and have to deal with their new physical reality?
Joss: "Yes, we will definitely be dealing with that particularly since Whiskey did discover that she is not who she thought she was for all of last season. We'll deal with that in particular. For Victor, Spoiler alert, might get better. "

Question: What led you to cast Alan Tudyk in such a great villainous role?
Joss: "I've met him. (laughs from the crowd) He's an extraordinarily versatile actor and he's a tough Texan, he's got a fiery streak in him which you don't see when he does Wash. Actually, it was another Shakespeare reading and we did Antony and Cleopatra and he did Julius Caesar and he was just really tough and I thought ok, he'll be that guy. "

Question: Which of the characters did you enjoy playing the most in season one?
Eliza: "I am a tomboy as some of you may know. So, I do like when I'm in action. I loved being on the street and loved all the characters in that. Joss loved the doily dress so much. Also, I had a really nice time shooting "Haunted" with Olivia Williams. That last episode was kind of awesomeness as well with Alan as Alpha and (me) as Crystal, the sort of white trash girl."

Joss talked about his writing staff saying: "This is without a doubt the best first year staff that I've ever had. It's a roomful of brains. Just floating brains in jars. (laughs from the crowd) So much of what you've seen and so much of what you've seen today didn't come from me. I really feel like this more than any other show is a real roundtable and it's always open to the next idea and we just pass it around and pass it around. The people that I'm collaborating with I am so grateful for. I get to sit up here and be all fabulous but this is truly a group effort. Every one of them has come up with a contribution that I wish I'd thought of and was grateful not to have to. "

Next question addressed social issues like in Buffy cause season one of Dollhouse seemed like Joss was setting up the world of what things were going to be. Will there be more social justice in season two?
Joss: "Well, as you can see from this lost episode, everything turns out fine (jokingly). Just all fun and games. Yes, we are very interested in dealing with the abuse of power and the various ways that people can do that and what it would bring out in our characters when they are pushed to the edge."

Question: We often see familiar faces in your projects, has it affected your creative process with people that you've worked with to inspire new characters?
Joss: "This is something that I can't stress enough with the way that I talked about the writers room. Being a roundtable and a circle, this is how my creative life exists. It exists because of a community. Everything that I see from them infers everything that I do. The show was created because I said I know Eliza can be sophisticated, funny, sexy, strange, different, and all these things that she's not going to get to play unless I get to play with her. (crowd laughs). Not just the writers but others actors as well. We were at The Guild panel this morning. When I thought of Dr. Horrible, it was Felicia's singing in her Christmas episode that made me want her to play Penny in Dr. Horrible. The idea to have her in this episode came from Sarah Fain. We thought that we needed someone who is absolutely wonderful and reliable and can get it done and she said that there was this red head that could get it done and I thought Yeah!! Oh!! This extends to other mediums as well. We were doing Buffy and on one day, I'm shooting Spike in a flashback and came up with the idea for Tales of the Vampires and Tales of the Slayers. The next day we came up with the idea to do the Shakespeare readings just because of all the different things that we were seeing, James's energy as an actor, Doug Petrie's as a comic book fan, and this year, all bets are off. Last year, we got Eliza and also got Amy and we didn't want to make it seem we were playing favorites but I don't care. (big applause from that comment) For example, I do believe we'll be seeing a few episodes involving Alexis Denisof."
Eliza joked about their history of fight scenes and said that "I could hit him again" .
Joss: "You will take a blade to him at one point. That is all I'm saying".

Question: If you could have been on Firefly, what kind of character would you have liked to play?
Eliza: "Ask him"
Joss: "A missionary."

Question: (This was funny cause he got a question similar last year) You have a habit of killing my favorite characters off of your shows. Are you going to kill my favorite character off?
Joss: "Who is your favorite character?"
Fan: "Maybe I should keep that a secret."
Joss: "I kill people for two reasons. One because it hurts very much and it furthers the story or two because I contractually had to. I do have as much integrity as a storyteller as I can. But there is also the realities of TV when someone is going to disappear, you have to think of something to make them cry when you have to."

Question: When are we getting another musical?
Joss: "Well, all the writers of Dr. Horrible are here today. Sometimes we get together and we talk about just that thing. I can't give you a date or any information at all cause I'm me but it's very much on our minds. We love it far too much to let it go."

Question: Did playing the role of Faith help you prepare for this role?
Eliza: "It's a part of me. That was 10 years ago now. I feel like that everything that I've done has sort of helped me in this role because every character that I've played in my career and in my real life has helped somehow or somewhere in this. Faith inspired me as an actor and it's one of my favorite roles that I've ever done. I feel like she's always sort of in me and helping me."

Question: Will Felicia Day be a regular on Dollhouse?
"We are going to see the character that she plays in the future again this season. Not a regular but she'll be in the house. She is one of those people that I can't seem to get enough of so I'll bring her in wherever I can. "

Some other happenings from the Q&A. Joss talked of the crossover between musicals and Sci-fi with fans of each going to the other and trying something different. He did feel that science fiction and musicals had a weird cross section of people cause they were both a step removed from reality and are both a bit bigger than life. He said that the best feeling is when you get someone to crossover from their fandom into something else. He loved that people crossed over to the Buffy season eight comics that wouldn't normally read comic books cause they were fans of the show. He was questioned about time paradoxes and what to do with the "accident" and played with the idea of time paradoxes but then threw it out. All the memories that the group is having may not be true. He did mention Heroes saying "as long as we don't send anyone to feudal Japan, we're ok, right?" Joss did talk about how Epitaph One was done with expectations that they would be canceled. A lot of it will be seen as memories but the happenings of it will be honored. He hinted at hoping to get a little bit of Summer Glau on the show. He got gasps when he said that he had never seen Lost. He replied back with saying "I'm busy. Ok, I'll watch TV instead of being (it sounded like he said "here for you"). There was a woman in line that got a funny line in referring to South Park and Kenny. Just replace Kenny with Penny and you get the idea. Joss mentioned that they were working with a new DP that is showing a new way of how to film and create a new look for the show.

This is the best thing to close this recap with. Joss and Eliza both talked of how this season is about giving people chances since the fans gave them a chance to have this season. Eliza said that it was because of the fans that we are back and we want to give that back. She also had this to say: "Just because you've been loyal fans doesn't necessarily mean that your going to follow us if it's not good (Joss gave a funny uh oh kind of reaction to that comment). People were (saying) the show found its groove halfway through the year and I feel like we always want to be honest back and go yeah, it's true. I appreciate that honesty. You're involved and we hear from you. You tell us what you want and you respond. You're the best fans that anyone could have".

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