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June 05 2009

'Enhanced TV' - the transhumanism takeover of television. h+ Magazine talks about the concepts in Dollhouse & TSCC among others.

'H+ covers technical, scientific, and cultural trends that are changing and will change human beings in fundamental ways.'

I'm pretty convinced that in a few years time transhumanists will have a lot of things to say about Dollhouse. No other Joss-show leaned itself so much in that direction.
I have to say that "Eleventh Hour" was sort of anti-transhumanist though. It actually made me mad that they made that show. It put cloning and other science into a worse light than Schwarzenegger's "The 6th Day" movie.

The writer points this out, but I do not think it should be on a list of transhumanist shows since it is actually anti-transhumanist.

I would like to see Joss do another transhumanist movie though. I loved Serenity so much and thought his warning about messing with human behavior was a valid one, unlike most of these shows that are against it because of religious beliefs.
I would like to see Joss do another transhumanist movie though. I loved Serenity so much and thought his warning about messing with human behavior was a valid one, unlike most of these shows that are against it because of religious beliefs.

Yeah, totally, that was one of the first things I thought about when I heard the promise of Dollhouse: He's actually doing a pre- or sequel to Serenity. How the 'verse managed the transition from everyday-how-to-get-food-and-keep-flying-storytelling to big Science Fiction With Capital S and F was stunning, but with Dollhouse he actually gets to start out with that setup. He starts out with the question about what we would do to each other, if we had a specific technology.

So, right now, Dollhouse satisfies my needs in that regard. Let's see, if Cabin in the Woods touches upon said issues.
How the 'verse managed the transition from everyday-how-to-get-food-and-keep-flying-storytelling to big Science Fiction With Capital S and F was stunning, but with Dollhouse he actually gets to start out with that setup.


I thought the Big SF was the weakest part of the movie. Had Joss been able to follow his original plan (I presume) of revealing the origin of the Reavers a bit at a time over the course of many episodes, IMHO the reveal would have been more subtle and convincing and I would have felt it more. I regret the necessity of burning through and oversimplifying a long story arc even more than the necessity of Wash's fate.

I agree that the premise of Dollhouse is serious science fiction and so far the consequences are being worked out in a fairly thoughtful manner.

My dream would be a TV series in which Joss collaborates from inception with a hard SF writer, so that the details of the technology would get as much thought and attention as the details of character development. Never gonna happen.
My dream would be a TV series in which Joss collaborates from inception with a hard SF writer, so that the details of the technology would get as much thought and attention as the details of character development. Never gonna happen.


Harlan Ellison did that for JMS on B5. The general consensus is that that provided some very interesting situations and realistic takes on sci-fi technology, but occasionally wooden or unconvincing acting. I agree that it would be nice to get the best of both worlds.
I regret the necessity of burning through and oversimplifying a long story arc even more than the necessity of Wash's fate.

Oh, I haven't heard that one before. Serenity was oversimplified?
The movie has a complicated structure; Joss commented somewhere that figuring out the structure was his biggest challenge when he wrote the screenplay. But the explanation of what the Reavers are and where they came from turns out to be simple.

In the episodes of Firefly that were made, we hear about Reavers and cross their tracks, but we don't really get a good look at them. I have the impression that Joss was working up to a Reaver story that would have been more complex, or at least that the process by which the characters unraveled the mystery would be more convoluted than arriving somewhere and watching a suppressed video.

There's even a loose thread in Serenity (I think) that might have been cut out of the Reaver story to reduce the running time. When the crew are exploring Miranda and River starts having Reaver flashes, she hears a voice calling, "Cut them down!" I've watched the movie repeatedly and I can't figure out whether this voice is a Reaver or someone talking about Reavers, or what it refers to.
Gads, what I miss not seeing the actual show. Rossum Corp.? Oh, come on, Joss; that's an idea on a par with calling a character Jubal Early.

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