Dollhouse: Season 1 [Blu-ray]

Dollhouse: S1Studio: Fox Home Entertainment

Starring: Eliza Dukshu, Harry J. Lennix, Tahmoh Penikett, Dichen Lachman
Directed by: Various

Rating: NR
Running time: 694-minutes

 

 

 

Series Review

Joss Whedon has created some of televisions most interesting series. Well, to me anyway. Unfortunately, he’s becoming infamous for having his latest stuff cancelled before their time. Firefly got the axe before it could enter the pantheon of great TV. It even managed to spawn a threatrical release. A release which was been extremely successful on the home video market.

Now, Whedon gives us Dollhouse, a sci-fi series, where people are programmed to be whatever they need to be. The concept is not all that unique as we’ve seen samples of such things in other movies, Total Recall anyone, but the delivery is. Within a few episodes you’ll be trying to guess who’s a doll and who’s not.

The beautiful Eliza Dushku stars with other Whedon favourites Amy Acker and Alan Tudyk in re-occurring roles. You never really know who she’ll be or how much ass she’ll kick, but you can be certain you’ll be entertained.

Dollhouse narrowly avoided getting cut, but thankfully has been renewed for a second season. A season I now look forward too.

Crave Factor – 8

Video

1080p / AVC

Dollhouse is pretty, but not as gorgeous as it could be. There are some visible inconsistencies due a touch of softness. It’s most evident during the facial close-ups and some of the set pieces.

At the same time I can tell you that Eliza has never looked so good. Things look crisp within the shows three-dimensional appearance. The color palette is solid and has natural looking skin tones. The picture is clean and free from any visible artifacting and noise.

Crave Factor – 8

Audio

DTSHD Master Audio 5.1

I applaud FHE for their consistent use of DTS, and while Dollhouse does use it well, like the video, there are a few issues. So, let’s get those out of the way. Firstly, the mix can be a little heavy at times and in a few sequences the vocals sounded somewhat muffled. Of course, this is not the norm.

For the most part the dialog is crystal with the LFE coming to life at times to enhance the shows audio effects. While not perfect it sure sounds better than it’s DVD counterpart. Ya, I went there.

Crave Factor – 7

Extra

Extras that are sure to appease fans of the series are two unaired episodes. One of them is the “Original Unaired Pilot” which has a different tone and feel then what the series ended up being. The other is “Epitaph One” which takes us to the future in a post-apocalyptic world. This was to be the 13th episode of the original order from Fox, but they decided otherwise and said it would be on the DVD instead.

There are three commentaries, one with Joss and Eliza on “Ghost”, another on “Man on the Street” with Joss, and “Epitaph One” by Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen. The best of the three is Joss solo and should be the one you give a full listen to.

There’s roughly 30-minutes of deleted scenes from 10-different episodes totalling 23-scenes. There’s a 20-minute making-of Dollhouse.

There are two other features you may want to check out are “A Private Engagement”, where cast and crew consider what type of Active they would choose if the house were real. The other is an impressive tour of the dollhouse in “Designing the Perfect Dollhouse”.

Rounding out the extra are Coming Home and Finding Echo. While interesting were my least favourite of the bunch. Not too bad for a show that only had 13-episodes in season one.

Crave Factor – 6

Conclusion & Final Thoughts

Each show Whedon manages to create is entertaining, interesting and engaging. While season 1 set the tone hopefully season 2 will eclipse it. It’s well worth the watch, especially on Blu-ray, there’s no doubt about it. Great looking video, solid audio and some decent extras. Dare I say it? Dollhouse is another Whedon series worth owning.

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