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Dollhouse is a science-fiction television series created by Joss Whedon and was broadcast on Fox from 2009 to 2010. The show revolves around a group of people called “Actives” or “Dolls” who have had their memories and personalities wiped clean, allowing them to be imprinted with different personalities and skills for each mission or “engagement”. The Actives are leased out to wealthy clients for various purposes, ranging from sexual fantasies to assassination attempts to espionage. However, things take a turn for the worse when a rogue Active named Echo starts to regain her sense of identity and begins to question the morality of the Dollhouse program.

Eliza Dushku as Echo
Harry Lennix as Boyd Langton
Fran Kranz as Topher Brink
Tahmoh Penikett as Paul Ballard
Enver Gjokaj as Victor
Dichen Lachman as Sierra
Olivia Williams as Adelle DeWitt
Reed Diamond as Laurence Dominic

First Episode Broadcast Date: February 13, 2009
Final Episode Broadcast Date: January 29, 2010
Total Number of Seasons: 2
Total Number of Episodes: 26

Dollhouse explores the ethical and moral questions that arise when technology advances to the point where individuals can imprint their personalities onto others. The Dollhouse program is run by Rossum Corporation, which has the capability to extract or wipe clean the memories of its subjects, known as “Actives.” Each Active can then be imprinted with a different personality, language, and set of skills to fulfill specific requests from wealthy clients. The Actives are referred to as “Dolls” and are seen as nothing more than objects to be used by their handlers.

The main character, Echo, is a Doll who begins to develop self-awareness and a sense of identity throughout the series. Echo is portrayed by Eliza Dushku, who also serves as a producer on the show. Echo is imprinted with different personalities for each of her missions, but as her awareness grows, she starts to retain pieces of those personalities and memories. This creates a rift between Echo and her handler and friend, Boyd Langton.

Boyd, portrayed by Harry Lennix, is a former cop who was recruited by the Dollhouse to serve as a handler for Echo. Boyd believes that the Dollhouse program is a necessary evil, but as he becomes more attached to Echo, he too begins to question the morality of the program.

Topher Brink, played by Fran Kranz, is a genius computer programmer who works for the Dollhouse. Topher is responsible for the imprints that are used on the Actives and initially sees his job as nothing more than a puzzle to be solved. However, as the series progresses, Topher begins to see the damage he has caused and has to deal with the consequences of his actions.

Paul Ballard, played by Tahmoh Penikett, is an FBI agent who becomes obsessed with discovering the truth behind the Dollhouse program. Paul initially views Echo as nothing more than a tool, but as he spends more time with her, he begins to empathize with her and the other Actives.

Sierra and Victor, played by Dichen Lachman and Enver Gjokaj respectively, are two other Actives who become linked to Echo’s journey of self-discovery. Sierra is imprinted with a range of characters, and her bond with Victor affects his imprints as well.

Adelle DeWitt, played by Olivia Williams, is the head of the Dollhouse. Adelle sees the Actives as nothing more than commodities to be sold, but as the series progresses, she begins to show remorse for her actions.

Laurence Dominic, played by Reed Diamond, is a security officer who is assigned to keep an eye on the Dollhouse and its employees. He quickly becomes a thorn in Boyd and Adelle’s sides as he investigates their activities.

Throughout the series, Echo and the other Actives begin to uncover a larger conspiracy involving Rossum Corporation and the true purpose of the Dollhouse program. The second season deals with the fallout of the revelations and the Actives’ efforts to take down Rossum Corporation.

Dollhouse was critically acclaimed for its thought-provoking premise and dynamic characters, but it struggled in the ratings and was ultimately cancelled after two seasons. Despite its short run, the show has developed a cult following and remains a beloved part of Joss Whedon’s television legacy.

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