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October 17 2008

(SPOILER) TWoP Poster reviews the Dollhouse Pilot. Very complimentary to the plot & cast. There's also an interesting tidbit about control of the memory wipe/imprint.

Gives big kudos to Enver Gjokaj, but thinks Dichen Lachman is still getting comfortable with Whedon material.

...Echo's installed personality is remotely wiped while she's locked in a bank vault and the Company gives it to Sierra (Lachman's character) so that she can save the day.

This bugs me slightly. Why can't the same personality be imprinted into two actives at the same time? If, we assume, they start off on a computer then it's a file and should be able to be copied. The same thing bugged me on Voyager, for example, where they only had one Doctor. Why not just open the same file ten times and have ten identical Doctors to treat ten patients at once?
I can understand why it was done for plot reasons but it just made no sense technically. ( I realise I'm criticizing a minor point in Voyager for not making sense technically... )

Having a personality that can only exist in one body at a time is moving it into a "soul" thing and not merely a product of technology and memory implants.

I have got to stop reading these spoilers. Only three months to go...
How spoilery is this review? TWoP-summary-of-an-episode spoiler? Or just standard, stuff-only-a-harcore-avoider-wouldn't-wanna-hear?
Having a personality that can only exist in one body at a time is moving it into a "soul" thing and not merely a product of technology and memory implants.


It's entirely possible that this is the point. I imagine the restriction will be explained sometime during the show's run.

Besides, there can only be one slayer.
There isn't a full summary of the episode (though the poster does promise a more in-depth review later on), but there is some additional info in there that goes beyond the generic summary of the series as a whole (i.e., there's a little bit of info on the specific mission Echo is on, as well as the trouble she gets herself into and how she gets out).

It is, however, all covered up in spoiler-text over there, so if you did want to follow the link, you wouldn't accidentally stumble over anything you didn't want to see, unless you go around highlighting parts of the page.
Awesome. Sia. Another reason to like the show before it premieres.
So if the press is now getting copies of the pilot to review, when will it get leaked online? Gah!
I don't know if it's been said elsewhere, but no where in that review was it stated that only one doll can be imprinted with a particular personality at a time. All it says is that it was given to Sierra after Echo, doesn't claim it's technically impossible to do them both simultaneously, only claims that they didn't.

This was nice, not so spoilery that I minded reading. Good way to build my hype.
If they have the ability to imprint more than one person with a given personality, then there wouldn't have been any reason to waste time wiping Echo before imprinting Sierra. Sure, they didn't state anything outright, but it does seem to be implied by their actions.

Getting back to the "soul" thing, remember what Adele DeWitt says in the trailer: "I know you've heard colorful rumors about what an Active is...robots, zombie slaves. They are, of course, quite the opposite. An Active is the truest soul among us.".
esg, this was a screening at MipCom. Press are not getting copies to review. Yet.
Oh, so that's what that black stuff was....
If they have the ability to imprint more than one person with a given personality, then there wouldn't have been any reason to waste time wiping Echo before imprinting Sierra.

I didn't get that impression exactly... to me it came across as "Echo had personality X so she could do Y, but then that got accidentally wiped and couldsn't be reinstalled so Sierra got personality X so that she too could do most of Y and get them out."

But it wasn't very clear, no - the mythology could be either, so far.
Or it could be: If Sierra goes to rescue her, Echo's personality won't take kindly to being rescued, therefore, blank her memory, so she's complaint with Sierra.

But accidental makes most sense, as remote-wiping would be awfully hard from a bank vault I imagine.
Yay! Sia will be featured in this episode! I'm excited about Alpha rogue too...
Or, it could be that they wanted to wipe Echo's memory because she was "caught" or whatever. Maybe they don't want her to spill the beans, and the best way is to wipe her memory clean. Then giving the memories to the other active would be a perfect way to get Echo out!

I didn't get the impression that it was only one person with that personality at a time.
Yeah, there are no press copies yet. No pickups from Mipcom.

I think putting the same personality in all the dolls at the same time could lead to... much strangeness.

[ edited by gossi on 2008-10-17 23:42 ]
The pilot could "get out" a bit early so the fans could watch it...
I think putting the same personality in all the dolls at the same time could lead to... much strangeness.

Maybe they did, once, put the same personality into two Actives at the same time while they were working together at the time and indeed it created problems. Not of the technical variety, but of the "wtf you're just like me" variety. After that, they knew not to try it again.
Rikardo, that may happen, but I would prefer that the "fans" watch it live on the network so that we get to the third episode.
I think I recall from earlier articles that there's a time limit on the personality imprints. The programming expires after a certain number of hours. So an active trapped in a vault when midnight strikes risks automatic pumpkinification.

Perhaps the built-in "expiration date" is necessary
Wow, that's a whole lot of in-depth analysis about a small plot point that we know nothing about, heh.

I'm the type of viewer where I really don't care either way. Sci-fi is sci-fi. You buy the premise or you don't.

Another reason I don't care is that, like anything in sci-fi (or fantasy; see Buffy), anything can be explained in any way the writers choose. "How did this happen?!" "Well, the gem of _____ reacted with the _____ and caused a _____." Ah! So that's the explanation. Delving too deeply into those rules doesn't make much sense when you consider they're all arbitrary.
Being arbitrary (as if almost everything in scifi/fantasy fiction) doesn't mean "inconsistent". The arbitrary choices made by the writers still ought to be at least reasonably consistent, internally.
Right. Wait, we're talking about consistency now? Cause I wasn't and I don't think anyone else was.

And inconsistent with what? We know nothing about how it works (and how it works is arbitrary in the first place).
Wait, we're talking about consistency now? Cause I wasn't and I don't think anyone else was.

Conversations evolve. That's why they are conversations. ;)

how it works is arbitrary in the first place

Yes, you'll note that I just agreed that it's arbitrary.

But the way you said it seemed to suggest that this arbitrariness precludes any examination, and that doesn't make sense to me -- because (surprise) I think that as arbitrary as they might be, the rules still need to have an internal consistency to them.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-10-18 06:42 ]
Yeah, I'm with bix on this one - rules can be arbitrary but need to make some sort of sense. Okay, the show hasn't started yet but we can still compare new... er, news... to things we've already heard. Plus I think there is - especially when we know so little - a tendency to see whether it 'feels' right. The rules of some sci fi just don't make sense to me in an emotional sort of way, and the result of that is usually that I forget about them... they don't feel quite right, so I ignore them. Like, say, a sonic screwdriver being able to unlock absolutely anything - even ropes. Um... I'm getting rather off topic here.

I was wondering if putting the same personality in two dolls at the same time might cause more technical problems along the lines of... well, resonance. Either you'd end up with two Actives who couldn't work together because they were too identical (although I've never been convinced by the whole 'opposites attract' thing), or... and this is the idea I like... they'd sort of feed off each other. On your own, you subject your own actions to scrutiny. In a group of different people, you let others rationalise your suggestions. But when you're with someone who thinks exactly the same way you do, don't you just egg each other on? You show off, you encourage each other, you forget about looking before you leap. I don't think that would be desirable in Actives.

And now I'm thinking about Cylons. Hmm. Ahh, I do enjoy a good pointlessly deep discussion before breakfast... :)
TamaraC, I'm not from USA, so I'll just watch on the internet and then buy the DVD. ;-)
There will only be a DVD if the show makes it. So I hope you wouldn't want everyone in the US to watch it online before the broadcast.
skittledog, in my head the potential problems are more along the lines of two Actives realizing they are exactly the same might cause the wipe/programming to fracture or fail.

That said, the previously-mentioned premise that what happens in this episode is they run up against the time limit makes the most sense to me right now.
Tamara, they don't and can't log what everyone in the US is watching. They have particular people who have their viewing logged and ratings are then based on this small sub-population. Nielson ratings, for instance, are based on approx. 25,000 families. It doesn't make much sense to deride people for choosing to watch a programme on the internet if they are making no difference to the rating score.
theonetruebix - yeah, I can see that happening too. I don't know - it all depends whether it actually is a case of no more than one with the same personality simultaneously, or if it's just happenstance in this case. It'll be interesting when we actually have some real mythology to discuss...

[ edited by skittledog on 2008-10-18 22:22 ]
flug (can I call you flug?), I understand the desire of people who are in other countries to watch the show on the Internet. Years ago, Dr Who ended up on my computer since we didn't know when or if we were ever going to see it here. My point was if DH was available on the internet for non-USians then it would certainly be available for USians and that might just be counter-productive to good ratings. Because folks who do have Nielsen boxes also tend to have access to the Internet...

Where was the derision? Pointing out facts is not negative. It just is.

[ edited by TamaraC on 2008-10-18 22:36 ]
People should watch via Hulu if they aren't Nielsen families. Even people outside the US - it's quite easy to watch via Hulu from abroad, and the networks have easy access to the stats. Plus you don't have to bother waiting for Torrents to download, or installing stuff.
Yeah but the problem with Hulu is that it's flash, even for 720p stuff, which doesn't work with most TV set-ups.
So the complaint isn't that it's unavailable, it's that you feel you are entitled to watch it on TV rather than on your computer?

(FYI, I watch Hulu streams on my TV all the time and it's fine.)
I love it when piracy actually comes down to a preference instead of a legitimate access concern. Nice.
Filesharing will always be a matter of preference, people do have the option to wait, wait and wait some more until the DVDs or local broadcast, some like myself just prefer not to.

Personally the not available in your location message have turned me off Hulu in a bad way and my set up doesn't allow me to get streamed tv my tv screen either, but the Fey/Palin intro SNL sketch seems to be available worldwide on Hulu (at the moment at least), funny stuff.

ETA, for clarity.

[ edited by jpr on 2008-10-19 11:53 ]
Oh you're all so high and mighty. I'd watch it on live TV if I could, sure, why not. But there's no definite news of getting it broadcast in my country. Even if someone does buy it it might be months or years, and probably won't be broadcast in HD and will be cut for pre-watershed broadcast. Or I could wait for the DVD/blu-ray which, again could take months or years and isn't guaranteed. All this when I can't contribute to ratings anyway?
as arbitrary as they might be, the rules still need to have an internal consistency to them.


Right, so, more random stuff interjected to make yourself sound smart? I get it it. Trust me, I get it. You're better at stalking Whedon show stars, bix-- you should stick to that.

[ edited by dispatch on 2008-10-19 10:12 ]
dispatch: that was uncalled for. If posters want to sling mud at each other then they'll be shown the door.

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