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TCA: Joss Whedon Talks 'Dollhouse,' 'Dr. Horrible'

Joss Whedon joined the cast via satellite in Boston to answer critic’s questions about his new Fox series “Dollhouse” during the show’s panel at the Television Critics Association’s Winter Press Tour.

The show made the media rounds last summer when it was announced that Whedon would have to reshoot the pilot after executives screened the original and requested changes.

The cast addressed the reshoot during the panel.

“We follow that man and what he says goes,” star Eliza Dushku said. “I followed him other times and other places. He makes it right. He is the captain of the ship. I think we all have a fundamental, full-force sense of trust with where he’s taken us.”

Actor Fran Kranz said, “It wasn’t too difficult for me. I never saw it as doing another pilot. I never saw it as a step backwards, but a step forward.”

“Joss looked at it as an opportunity,” the show’s Tahmoh Penikett  said. “It was a warm up to working with Joss and everyone. It kinda warmed you up for new thing. We took it a slightly different direction.”

Whedon said the structure of the episodes make it possible for someone to join the series without watching previous episodes, while still advancing the show’s mythology.”

“The first five are all very much standalones. The sixth gets into working of the dollhouse, and the back 13 get into mythology.”

Dushku also gave critics insight into her character’s development over the course of the thirteen episodes.

“I have had many flaws and many glitches,” she said. “That’s sorta where the show takes off and we’re focusing on Echo’s character and she’s absolutely ‘glitching’ and staring to become self aware. Memory wipes aren’t entirely working.”

Whedon says he initially had mixed reactions to being moved from Monday night to a Friday night slot, but has eventually became more comfortable with it.

“I had a bad experience once on a Friday. At the same time I knew that was just sort of a instinctive reaction to what’s happened before,” he said. “I’m excited to be matched with ‘Terminator’. This was a different agenda. It’s about rolling out 13 episodes and letting people come to the show and grow with it. Ultimately, I feel much more comfortable there than Mondays.”

Critics who saw the pilot asked Whedon whether “Dollhouse” will incorporate his trademark humor as the series moves forward.

“I have less opportunity to be totally silly,” Whedon said. “But it’s me we’re talking about. We can’t fight the funny. Humor finds it way into the mix. I couldn’t make a show that is relentlessly serious.

When asked about whether he would do something like “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog,” his strike-induced musical project again, Whedon said, “We’d like to do that again. It’s a matter of time and the venue.”

“Dollhouse” is set to debut Feb. 13 at 9 p.m. on Fox

Watch a promo clip below: