Comic-Con 2009: 'Dollhouse' screens 'Epitaph One'

Elizadushku_dollhouse_290 Try as they might, no other panel could compare to the anticipation for the "Dollhouse" panel in Ballroom 20 on Friday.

Whedonites camped out in the room all day, anxious to see the infamous unaired "Dollhouse" episode, as well as some quality time with creator/Comic-Con uber-god Joss Whedon and series star Eliza Dushku.

4:19 p.m.- Joss comes out on stage and the room freaks out. He walks around the stage a bit, before approaching the stadium. He jokes that he's "not really sure how [it] happened" that "Epitaph One" wasn't the series finale. He looks out at the adoring crowd and concedes that "I'm looking at the reason [we're coming back] right now."

4:25- "We're definitely going to have some fun for you,"Joss promises and teases that there may be a few recognizable faces in season two.

4:25- "Epitaph One" screening:

Now I know a lot of fans haven't seen the episode yet, so I have some teases that won't outright spoil the whole thing.

- The episode is supposed to be a stand-alone, but I was left with a heck of a lot more questions when it ended than I had answers.
- Amy Acker is haunting.
- The episode does have some genuine laugh out loud moments. And since it's a Joss show, it also has moments that make you do a complete double-take.
- All of the series regulars are in the episode, though one is only shown in a picture.
- A familiar face returns.
- In the time lapse, the relationships between certain characters seems to have changed.

5:15- Episode over, Joss comes back out. He brings out Eliza and they start with the Q&A, but Joss warns "they will be oblique answers and some will be in French."

5:19- A fan asks how the Dolls might react when they come back to their original selves once their contact is over, only to find out their body has been scarred--such as the case of Victor.  Joss teases, "Victor: spoiler alert, he might get better."

5:19- Joss is asked what inspired him to hire Alan Tudyk as Alpha. "I've met him," Joss jokes. Serious answer is Alan played Julius Caesar in one of Joss's friendly Shakespearean readings and Joss thought, "Okay, good, you'll do [Alpha]."

5:21- Eliza is asked what character she most enjoyed portraying so far. "I'm a tomboy...so I do like when I'm in action," she says. "I loved 'Man on the Street'...I had a really nice time shooting 'Haunted' with Olivia WIlliams. And the last episode Crystal, the sort of white trash girl, that was cool."

5:24- When questioned by a fan about his tendency to highlight social issues in his shows, Joss notes sarcastically,"As you can see from this lost episode, everything turns out fine. It's all fun and games."

5:26- Felicia Day is smiling in the audience as Joss talks about casting her in "Epitaph One." Adorable.

5:27- Joss knows he has a reputation for working with the same group of people, but says he doesn't care anymore. He enjoys it. To prove his point, he announces that Alexis Denisof will be appearing in a couple episodes of "Dollhouse" season two, and "if the stars align we might see a little [Summer] Glau." Based on the cheering, the fans approve both casting moves.

5:29- "Just because you've been loyal fans doesn't mean you're going to follow us if [the material] isn't good," Eliza says about the show's rocky beginning.

5:31- A fan asks Joss why he has a habit of killing off her favorite characters, and requests he not do it on "Dollhouse." So why all the killing, Joss? "I hate people," he laughs. "I want them to suffer and die. And I like to think that's reflected in my shows."

5:33- As for deaths in the Dollhouse, Joss says "[fans] should be worried all the time....especially in the Dollhouse...there's one person who can be trusted, but I'm going to kill them." He's kidding. I think.

5:36: Fan comment: "Oh my god, you killed Penny! You b*****d." Felicia, who played Penny in "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" laughs, and gives a thumbs up, though the fan was too far away to see her.

5:38- On how the unaired episode will impact season two. "We talked about a lot of different things when we accidentally forgot to get canceled," Joss says. "What we intend to do is honor what you've seen here today, but also question the veracity of [it]...the future will inform with where we go with the show. He shares that the three characters who remain when the episode closes will be seen in the first episode of season two.

And before people give up on the show because they feel they know where it's going or how it's going to end, based on the unaired episode, Joss warns,"What you've seen [in the episode] is not necessarily the whole truth."

5:43- Fran Kranz (Topher) and Dichen Lachman (Sierra) crash the panel. Fans are excited!

5:46- Joss jokes he has a storyline dartboard to help figure out where the characters will go in the future. He also claims to have paper cut outs of each actor, and Fran says he wants his paper doll.

5:46- Eliza on the character of Faith: "I feel like she's always, always in me and helping me."

5:52- When a fan brings up similarities between "Serenity" and "Dollhouse", Joss moans how he has no new thoughts anymore. But, as he points out, "[w]ho doesn't love a good zombie apocalypse?"

5:55- Joss is questioned about big corporations messing with people's minds, which prompts him to ask, "Have you been in America?"

6:00- Panel is over!

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