SciFi Weekend: Epitaph One; The Next Seasons of Dollhouse, Torchwood and 24; Battlestar Galactica Top Show With Honors for The Big Bang Theory

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While I’ve been intrigued by Dollhouse, especially as we saw more of what Joss Wheden had in mind, there was always one thing which bothered me about the premise. The show shows advanced technology but it is used for fairly trivial purposes. They have the ability to imprint the memories and personality of a person into the body of another but use it primarily to create experts who could have been hired without this technology and create prostitutes who believe they love the person hiring them. We got a hint of the greater potential of the technology in an episode where someone comes  back from death by having their memories which were stored shortly before her death be restored but she only returned to life temporarily. The ramifications of the technology was finally considered much further in Epitaph One.

Epitaph One was created when a clip episode was suggested in order to have an inexpensive thirteenth episode. Rather than doing a conventional clip episode Whedon wrote an episode which takes place ten years from now. While it has not yet been aired, the episode was included on the DVD set for the first season. (Spoilers included here).

The episode begins in a post-apocalyptic world ten years in the future. The Dollhouse technology has become widespread and it has even become possible to wipe people’s memories and imprint them remotely. The Chinese used the phones to create an army in the United States and the country was reduced to warfare between those who answered the phone and those who did not. Mind wiping was also being transmitted and a group decided to flee underground where they could not be reached.

While trying to get as far underground as they can, the group found the Dollhouse. They found memories which were stored and used them to find what had occurred over the preceding years. Even before remote implanting was being used as a weapon there were signs of the dangers of the technology with some people permanently taking over the bodies of others in an attempt to obtain immortality.  There were suggestions of a possible defense against being imprinted and Caroline/Echo had left her memories to be used to guide people to a possible Safe Haven.

There is talk that the episode will still be aired. The episode would then provide viewers with knowledge of a general outline of what will transpire. Unlike the Terminator series, viewers will know of the terrible future but the actual characters will not. Whedon did leave himself with some wiggle room if he wants to vary from some of the memories reviewed. At Comic-Con he did note that these memories, as with all memories, might not be completely accurate.

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While Epitaph One gives a look at where the story might be going long term, Joss Whedon provided some information on what will occur next season in an interview with TV Guide. This includes information on Echo, played by Eliza Dushku (seen above in a recent picture from FHM). Here is a portion:

What’s your answer to those who are queasy with the idea that the Actives are basically prostitutes since they have no power over who they sleep with?
I never thought of that! No, I did. I think it’s a little more complicated than that. But there is that element of they have sex with people sometimes. We always deal with what it does to them psychologically. What good can come of it and what terrible can come of it and how are the people who are manipulating them feeling about what they’re doing. You get into the area of sex at all in America and it’s a touchy subject. Our response is to come at it head on and so we’ll see a lot of the consequences of what’s been going on with the Dolls over the next 13 episodes.

Who feels the consequences? The Actives aren’t self-aware.
Well, Echo has been reaching toward a kind of awareness and we’re going to be sending her further along that journey. She’ll start to form her own ideas about what’s going on.

Will she hide that from her handlers?
She sure will!

So what will happen as Echo starts to get her identity back?
That’s just going to make her life harder. We’ll also get to see more of Victor and Sierra and where they came from. And we’ll discover what got everybody there. We know Boyd is a moral guy; he was a cop so his presence here is a little incongruous. We want to tease that for a while and then actually explain it.

What is the former Fed Paul Ballard up to signing on to the Dollhouse? He was a good guy last season.
He’s going to definitely be more intimately connected to the house but that doesn’t mean that he’s completely lost his way. Yet.

Are you implying that he’ll be so deep underground that he’ll start to identify with what he’s enmeshed in?
Umm-hmm.

Is Paul working with any entity or agency this season?
At the beginning he’s solo, but he’ll form an alliance inside the Dollhouse—with whom I’m not saying.

Will Echo get enough self awareness that she could be Ballard’s in-house ally.
She m-i-ight. [Laughs.]

Why did Paul demand November’s freedom rather than Echo’s, since Echo, aka Carolyn, is his obsessive reason for bringing the Dollhouse down?
That is an essential question that comes up as well. Was November the girl he wanted to free because he had had a relationship with her and he felt worse for her? Or was he just getting rid of her because her being there would make him feel guilty for his obsession with Echo? It’s either the noblest thing he’s ever done or it’s the other thing. That question will come up early on.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeWbicbmScs]

The Television Critics Association has chosen Battlestar Galactica as Program of the Year. True Blood won as Outstanding New Show and Mad Men was chosen for Outstanding Achievement in Drama. The Big Bang Theory won as Outstanding Achievement in Comedy. The cast of The Big Bang Theory was also featured on the cover of TV Guide during Comic-Con. A video made at the time of the photo shoot appears above.

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Russell T Davies has hinted that he might be creating a new set of characters when Torchwood returns. Captain Jack left earth at the end of the third season mini-series and John Borrowman might not be available next season. He is being considered for a role on the next season of Desperate Housewives.

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TV Guide has some information on the next season of 24:

24 star Kiefer Sutherland says the new season, premiering in January 2010, is “the most realistic storyline I think we’ve done since season one. It centers around peace conferences taking place at the UN between the president of Iran and the President of the United States, which I believe is possible within the next few years. Obviously there will be a lot of people who will want to fight that. This is about fighting off that threat to peace.”

More information from Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe O’ Brian)–and note who will be playing her boss:

“Chloe is not up to speed in the new CTU, which is very different for her. Katee Sackhoff plays my new boss (Dana Walsh), and she kind of pats me on the shoulder and says, ‘Don’t worry—you’ll catch up,’ which is the worst moment for Chloe ever. Everything’s changed at CTU and my bosses are looking at me like I’m not doing it right. But then something happens in the story where I think I know some information which pits me at odds with my bosses.” Mary Lynn adds that the new New York City-based CTU looks “kind of like
a spaceship. It’s sleek with a lot of glass, and underground with a tunnel you drive through to get into it. I feel kind of like Batgirl. And our computers are under glass and there’s a huge screen with all the information on it that everyone can access.”

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12 Comments

  1. 1
    Dr Who News says:

    » SciFi Weekend: Epitaph One; The Next Seasons of Dollhouse … http://bit.ly/9Vvz8
    #Torchwood

  2. 2
    drwhonews says:

    » SciFi Weekend: Epitaph One; The Next Seasons of Dollhouse … http://bit.ly/9Vvz8
    #Torchwood

  3. 3
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  4. 4
    attractionman says:

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  5. 5
    Abe Day says:

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  6. 6
    abeday says:

    » SciFi Weekend: Epitaph One; The Next Seasons of Dollhouse … http://bit.ly/z2VSq

  7. 7
    Dr Who News says:

    » SciFi Weekend: Epitaph One; The Next Seasons of Dollhouse … http://bit.ly/9Vvz8
    #Torchwood

  8. 8
    Eclectic Radical says:

    A cast revamp on Torchwood is obvious pretty necessary, since everyone but Gwen and Jack are dead. Even if they came back, they’d need to pull in some replacements for all the casualties. 🙂
     
    I’m happy for John Barrowman about the possibility of a well paying, fame-producing job on American tv… he deserves it… but I was really hoping his hitchhiking off into space would mean he was going to show up on Doctor Who again. In my view he’s been the best companion of the revived show, hands down. I know Stephen Moffat has repeatedly said he wasn’t using Russell T. Davies characters, but I always assume show-bosses aren’t telling me everything. 🙂
     
    With Freema Agyemann on the new British version of Law and Order, it’s unlikely that Martha Jones will be back on either show too… which is a shame, though she works better on Torchwood than Doctor Who in my mind.
     
    Of course, as far as Torchwood goes, my biggest concern is whether I can keep watching it at all if stays the most depressing show on tv in two countries. Children of Earth was amazingly well done, but went too far down the depressive jag for me to really ‘like’ it. If they can’t find a way to make the new season at least a tiny bit more upbeat, I probably won’t watch the whole thing.
     

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:

    There is no doubt they will need to bring in new characters–and we saw one possibility in Children of Earth. They have left their options open with Freema Agyemann should she become available in the future. The question is whether the show is built around Jack and Gwen with one or more additions, only one returns, or if their is an entirely new cast. It is also possible that they might change the city where they are located. At very least they will need a new headquarters.

  10. 10
    Eclectic Radical says:

    I don’t see them changing the city. Both Torchwood and Dr Who (as well as Sarah Jane) are directly produced out of the BBC Cardiff affiliate station rather than the central network. It makes too much sense to keep Torchwood operating out of Cardiff, from a production point of view. I’m not saying it won’t happen, I just don’t think it will happen.
     
    If I were to go solely by the end of Children of Earth, I’d say they were planning to build around Gwen and Rhys. It would certainly strike me as a mistake not to, if Jack’s not coming back. Of course, I’m not Russell T. Davies.
     
    And of course there is always the chance that Jack’s hitchhiking off of Earth is just a set-up for a ‘life changing spiritual journey’ which generally works so very well to set up the new season of a tv show. 🙂
     
    Only thing to do is wait and see, I suppose, but I admit I love speculating.
     

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    Before he was mentioned for the role on Desperate Housewives I was wondering if they would set up the next season by having Jack return to Earth due to some new threat he discovers while off earth.

    Regardless of whether they film in Cardiff it is possible the city could change. While Cardiff is identified as the location of Torchwood, I don’t recall them mentioning Cardiff as site in Doctor Who. They could act as if they are in London while filming in Cardif (and throwing in stock footage of London).

  12. 12
    Eclectic Radical says:

    Well, no, Dr Who set up the notion of the rift in Cardiff, with the last surviving Slitheen from the original invasion force hiding out as Mayor of Cardiff. It was one of the two episodes (the other being the Dr and Rose getting snagged by Torchwood London) that set up the premise for the Torchwood series. Unless they change the concept of the rift, I think we’ll see Torchwood stay in Cardiff. But I admit I am speculating. 🙂
     
    Of course, you’re certainly right about the relative ease of changing the setting without changing the location. Movies and tv shows in the States are filmed in Toronto or Vancouver but set in New York, Los Angeles, or Seattle all the time, because Canada offers specific tax breaks to American production companies in return for filming there. So it’s asy enough, I wasn’t trying to dispute /that/. 🙂
     

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