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January 11 2010

The truth about Dollhouse's evil mastermind. Tim Minear talks to io9 about "Getting Closer."

And I shot Bennett in the head because it's funny.


Classic Minear :).
Slight disappointment that the Boyd thing wasn't planned from the beginning, and that they are having trouble making the Epitaph One scenes fit (which kind of shows).

But I like that Minear is so pragmatic, honest, and open with the realities of writing and producing a TV show.
"And I shot Bennett in the head because it's funny."

This is hilarious.
He's a bugger isn't he ;).

Good to hear some details and also that they wrote this season with Big Bad Boyd in mind (good because the idea's embedded to some extent and also, to flip that around, because it means I don't have to ransack season 1 looking for clues - any that're there are just happy script coincidences). Like his honesty, especially about choices which we may think have amazing significance but were actually made mainly for writery reasons.
It's a relief, 'cos all these peeps were speculating how there was foreshadowing in season one - I was sat on my hands. The reality of TV is you make shit up as you go along and try to make it work as best as possible. If you plan too far ahead you end up boxing yourself into something. That isn't to say season two wasn't well planned by the way - they did wonders, I thought.
It worries me a bit that Boyd wasn't planned since season one. His behavior this season is easy enough to explain if he's been evil all along, but... it just doesn't fit with a lot of what we see in S1. Of course, I'll happily be proven wrong by the explanation they come up with, but I'm getting pretty concerned that this one is going to be a twist for the sake of a twist, without much concern for what came before. But Joss has always been true to his characters, so I'll hold out hope.
I like how honest Minear is. And the "because it's funny" explanation.

The pragmatism of the writing worries me a little, though. Sometimes, of course, it leads to awesomeness--e.g. the "ghost chair" wipe. It does bother me a bit that the quasi-redemption of Caroline was done for story structure purposes--it was decided not because it was important for Tim to say something new about that moment, not becaues it was important to redeem Caroline. To say nothing of the "removing Paul's connection to Echo," which I had kinda been hoping was a mislead. (I guess it still could be.)

Re: Boyd from the beginning of S2, rather than S1: well, this also worries me (as does his line about working out for ourselves how this could even be possible). But I'm still hoping for an explanation that either makes sense, or at least is so awesome that I don't care.
I agree with bonzob. Its a bit disappointing to hear how they're having problems making Epitaph One scenes fit in, and that Boyd wasn't planned until later on as it does kinda show.
But this season has been amazing so far, so fingers crossed it all works out in the end.
It makes sense that they hadn't decided what Boyd's backstory was in Season 1. They probably figured that by leaving him as something of a mystery, they were free to go whereever they liked with him later on. Besides that, I remember at one point Joss saying his original idea was that Rossum wasn't even evil, just misguided. It was the Fox execs who convinced him to go with the Evil Corporate Overlords trope. So there wasn't much chance that this was originlly part of Joss's five-year plan.

Unfortunately, this means that some major contortions will be forced on them as they try to square Season 1 Boyd with Season 2 Boyd. It's going to make it hard as hell to stick the landing and pretty easy for critics to point out contradictions and absurdities. I'm still hopeful they can do it, but more worried now. If they can, I think they'll have pulled off ME's best series ending, not to mention one hell of a string of excellent episodes. God, this makes me even MORE keyed up to see how it will all play out. Didn't think that was possible.

Interesting how Tim said that he had to follow stuff that Jed and Mo had set up in Epitaph 1, not that ME had set up. Is he implying they were left to their own devices, and weren't following an outline set up by everyone in the writers' room? I kind of got that impression about his writing of Getting Closer too. That he is individually responding to previous plot twists other writers set up, rather than that this was all worked out collectively. I didn't think that they had that much autonomy, based on descriptions of how previous ME writers' rooms had been run.

ETA: Some of my points now just part of the chorus. Damn my slow typing skills!

[ edited by shambleau on 2010-01-11 20:56 ]

[ edited by shambleau on 2010-01-11 21:01 ]
So the lobster scene won't get explained any further and we are supposed think that it had already happened in the past? I don't know, I don't like this scenario. The whole scene seemed very important and like it would have serious ramifications on the subsequent events. Like if it was exactly that point when all things started to go to hell. But in reality we didn't see (or heard about) any consequences of that scene at all, which, if we accept the theory, that it had already happened, seems odd.

I would rather place the scene in the time period between The Hollow Men and E1 (which could be hinted through some further flashbacks in E2), if there's no place for it in The Hollow Men. After all, in order for the E1 storyline to make any sense, we know that at some point, the crew must return back to the LA Dollhouse. Yeah, it doesn't have to mean, that the House would also be back in business (the actives seen in E1 could have been rescued and sheltered there from other Houses), but why not use the vast timeframe between The Hollow Men and E1 for everything, that didn't fit (for time or writing reasons) in all the other episodes of Season 2 preceding E2.

[ edited by Anuris on 2010-01-11 21:04 ]
Knowing that a large part was just made up on the fly really lessens a lot of the interesting discussion I've read, since it now means absolutely nothing because there was no thought to some of what happened besides "making this work". I am a bit disappointed.

[ edited by JAYROCK on 2010-01-11 21:10 ]
shambleau, I think he was talking about what Jed and Mo left him with re: Paul, given "The Attic." He talked about E1 with a "we".

I do wish that Tim had either included the Ambrose scene in flashback or referred to it more explicitly. I do like the idea that this was one of the determining factors for Adelle to agree to take on Rossum. It is still implied, as he says, but we have to do some contortions to get there. I guess that's true generally (see my post on how to square Dominic's escape from the Attic with the last episode, in the Getting Closer thread!).
My take on the Boyd thing is this - it's not the process which takes us there, it's the on screen story. For example, nobody knew who or what the Senior Partner's were in Angel. Yet they kept getting referring to for years. The process of creating the story is always just making stuff up - the viewing of the story, if well created, is where the joy is.

[ edited by gossi on 2010-01-11 21:13 ]
I figured they had trouble with the "Epitaph"-flashbacks. I guess they wouldn't have had any problems if they had more time, more seasons to make it all fit, but they wanted us fans to have as much pay-off as we could possible get, so they tried to adress as much as they possibly could. I think they still did a good job.

As for the Boyd-reveal not having been planned from the beginning, that is sort of a let-down. I hope they thought a lot about this twist and came up with a reasonable explanation in the end. I can accept Boyd's shady past, it fits in, but his feelings for Echo, his moral center should not be fake, because it would be too much of a contradiction to S1-Boyd, who just seemed so sincere about it that it's difficult for me to buy into it all having been a big fat lie.

I wonder how much influence Joss had on these twists...
Does anyone else feel he's a bit... disenchanted with the process? It seems like he's not really into it when he's being interviewed, like he doesn't care about the show very much. Maybe I'm reading too much into things.

And though I'm disappointed they're having to make E1 work, they're making it work well, right? So what's the big deal?
It's not even just the Boyd stuff -- some Caroline stuff, some E1 stuff, I don't know. I know it's a bit silly because shows make things up as they go along all the time, but the past few days I've been engaged in really interesting discussion and knowing a large part of it was actually pointless is a bit of a bummer. I can't help feeling this way, I know it's silly.
Agree with Gossi. You see this thing all the time in film school. There's often a lot of resentment between the theory and production people, because theory people can talk for hours about a shot's symbolic meaning, whereas production people will say, "well, we had to shoot that shot because we were losing the light and that was the only angle that worked."

But here's the thing: just because a writer didn't intend something, doesn't make your interpretation invalid. A shot can still be fraught with symbolism even if the people who took the shot weren't thinking about symbolism when they took it.

So if you rewatch season one and see a clue as to Boyd's true nature, in my mind it's still valid, even it it was actually a happy accident. What goes on behind the scenes shouldn't color what happens on screen and how it affects you.

If what's on screen doesn't make sense/convince you, of course, that's another story.

Also, to the person who said he sounded like he wasn't into the show -- to me, this just reads as Tim's cynical, world-weary voice. Plus, he sounded like a writer -- mostly concerned with making the story work, which is often pretty unglamorous, especially on a TV schedule.

[ edited by bonzob on 2010-01-11 21:21 ]
I think the main concern here, gossi, is that in the past ME has been good about keeping their newly-made up stuff consistent with their past (minutiae of vampire physics, like how long it takes to turn to dust, aside). So far, there doesn't seem (for me) to be a way to reconcile, "Let's save this little girl, Adelle, however much it may risk our organization/I have genuine affection for Echo beyond as an experiment or whatever" Boyd with, "I am the head of Rossum and probably at least a bit evil and Echo is my test subject," Boyd. Again, I'm still erring on the side of, "ME can pull this off," but I have concerns.
Agreed, Gossi. But the short time left means that it may hard to create the story ending well enough for me to view it with joy. Still, so far this season, I've gotten more and more sucked in - this is now a true ME show, where I'm so invested it's practically painful, probably from my fingers being crossed so tightly.
So far, there doesn't seem (for me) to be a way to reconcile, "Let's save this little girl, Adelle, however much it may risk our organization/I have genuine affection for Echo beyond as an experiment or whatever" Boyd with, "I am the head of Rossum and probably at least a bit evil and Echo is my test subject," Boyd.


Why should those two interpretations be mutually exclusive? Boyd could be genuinely caring for Echo as the head of Rossum not because Echo is an experiment but because she is his only way to escape the destruction of mankind. I don't see a contradiction there.
I guess they wouldn't have had any problems if they had more time, more seasons to make it all fit, but they wanted us fans to have as much pay-off as we could possible get, so they tried to adress as much as they possibly could. I think they still did a good job.

Yep. They had to rush a lot to get ten years into half a season.

Besides, it's kind of contradictory to complain about both the problems keeping the Epitaph One stuff consistent and not locking in Boyd's plot from day one. Whatever they do, they're making stuff up. That's what they're paid to do.
Also, hair continuity is SO important.
One thing I don't understand: If not make an actual flashback to the kitchen-scene... why not have Adelle just mention it?
I think he's saying that she implies that it's already happened.
Yep, but he also mentions the plan to have her actually mention it, i.e. mention that Ambrose came in the body of Victor. I wonder why that wasn't included.
I hope "I shot Bennett in the head because it's funny" = there's more to the Claire/Boyd or Claire/Topher story that I'm not going to reveal before next week's episode. I hope we get more details on her backstory.
Tim is refreshingly honest and forthright. Of course this stuff is made up as they go along. Just because Joss plans rough outlines of seasons doesn't mean all the details aren't made up on a weekly basis. Thus the problem with and futility of overanalyzing (picking apart) something that is just funny/just a line/just a hairdo.

Keep up the great work, Tim.
I'd say the Adele/Victor-flashback happened somewhere in-between 2x08 and the beginning of 2x09. If the last scene of "A Love Surpreme" is any indication, with Adele emotionally observing Echo, maybe it happened right before that scene, but after Alpha's escape. Would also give more layers to Adele losing it in 2x09 and then conspiring with Echo herself. As for the hair, haven't Joss and the other writers established that what we saw in E1 were memories, so they might not be accurate? So in my opinion they could have easily gotten away with Adele having short hair. ;)

Never mind that the whole budy upgrade twist feels like a twist that would happen at the end of season 3 if things were not rushed into being to make the short-lived renewal satisfying for the fans. :)
The Bennet comment had me laughing out loud. By myself. I never do that. He's wonderful.

And if only we could have had Enver doing his best Eliza Dushku impression before the show ended...shame we missed that.

[ edited by CaptainB on 2010-01-11 22:39 ]
Oh and on second thought, Tim could have given Ambrose a line in which he expresses disappointment about her having taken her Active's body back and having made the wrong choice.
It sounded like he had settled on the Victor-Ambrose scene taking place when Adelle's hair was actually long. But I maintain the content fits around A Love Supreme/Stop-Loss, before Victor was released, obviously. If it took place before Vows it would undermine Adelle's entire argument to Harding about Sierra in Belonging.

And wiesengrund, I think that was the purpose of the "Do you think a Rossum board member would confine his consciousness to one body, bla bla" line, it was intended as a more subtle reference to the Victor-Ambrose scene.
Tim's Facebook status says he shot Bennett cos too many characters have the same hair style.
I chalk up any hair continuity errors in the Epitaph One flashback scenes--specifically regarding Adelle--to the whole “memories vs. factual flashbacks” debate. If the scenes had been read, we would have visualized Adelle with long hair since we had only seen it that way. Specifics like Saunders' scars--which future!Echo specifically mentions in one memory--seem more important. The scene between Adelle, Topher and Ambrose!Victor could have taken place over the three month gap, which would’ve added to why Harding took over the house.

I used to think Boyd might have been sending messages in actives to Ballard since Dominic never confessed to doing so, partly because Echo immediately dismissed Boyd as innocent because she trusts him. That dismissal still works with what we’ve since learned. Boyd has also gone against Adelle’s wishes or guided her decisions and acted on his own, something that the founder would do.

Re: Season one Boyd in light of Getting Closer, when the tripping college girl looks at Boyd and says, “You have mansions in your eyes. Did you know that?” We all know that it’s the mentally unstable who speak the truth in the Whedonverse. There’s plenty to interpret in that line, regardless.
I think he's saying that she implies that it's already happened.

But without any ramifications?

You know, I like the idea that it was Adelle's turning point, when she decided to go against Rossum, but I would expect that such an important scene would be at least mentioned since then in the previous episodes. And if switching bodies is a service that Rossum provides from that moment and Adelle has to fall in line, shouldn't the LA Dollhouse then, you know, provide the service to it's clients as well? And what about Victor? Didn't Ambrose's personality take his body with him?

Well, I guess he might have returned him later and as for the body switching thing - maybe the LA Dollhouse in fact provides it, but on a smaller scale just for some of Rossum's highest ranking bigwigs and not for all the usual clients... Either way, I would like if the writers responded to this and didn't leave it for speculation, because, as I already said, the scene seemed pretty major...
Tim's Facebook status says he shot Bennett cos too many characters have the same hair style.

Hahaha, it's just so true.

And that's a nice suggestion, Donnie. Hmm, well I guess Ambrose didn't really have to bring it up, I think for a while Adelle was considering agreeing to his terms of selling off actives.

Anuris, I would guess Adelle could have made a deal and swapped Victor for other actives, or managed to buy a little more time. After all, they do know about Mrs. Lonelyhearts and would certainly not be above using Victor as a bargaining chip. I'm with you on all this in theory, because within the context of Epitaph One that scene was the turning point. But in light of our getting to see the meat and potatoes of what really happened, it's only a small part of what went down. So I'm okay with that scene being almost allegorical in a sense, when trying to cram it into the season two timeline.
And what about Victor? Didn't Ambrose's personality take his body with him?


Well, if I recall correctly, Ambrose says something along the lines of "you can take this body back, but I'll know if you do. And you'll have picked a side." So she gets Victor's body back, which makes her pick a side, rogers Roger one last time, then releases him. And gets absolutely hammered because she probably feels really guilty or something.

[ edited by JAYROCK on 2010-01-11 22:59 ]

[ edited by JAYROCK on 2010-01-11 22:59 ]
For me, honestly, the Victor/Adele-scene is not a problem at all. I think it fits in nicely in-between 2x08 and 2x09 and maybe Ambrose didn't take Victor's body permanently, because they have these super soldier-plans with Anthony, so that Adele could play along at first, but then turn on them.

What does not fit in with me so far is why there are so many Actives in the Dollhouse when the Apocalypse has started above them, when they have just released all their Actives in the most recent episode.
I think we'll find out how some of the actives return to the house by the end of the series, based on the press release for Epitaph Two.
I chalk up any hair continuity errors in the Epitaph One flashback scenes--specifically regarding Adelle--to the whole “memories vs. factual flashbacks” debate. If the scenes had been read, we would have visualized Adelle with long hair since we had only seen it that way.

But the thing about memories in this show is that they kind of are factual flashbacks. I think Topher would swear by them being direct copies, unless they were tampered with later, which we have no reason to believe they would be. It's not the same as say in HIMYM, where Ted's memories probably are fuzzy.

Then again, I guess the characters never actually "saw" the memories. Mr. Miller or whoever would have been describing them. And what we saw aren't the actual memories either, because they were from the 3rd person pov. So...I don't know. It's all Olivia's fault for cutting her hair!
The hair discussion reminds me at the audio commentary of the Angel episode "Spin The Bottle", where Joss said that Charisma wanted to cut her hair or try a different hairstyle, but they told her she couldn't do it, because the episode picked up where the other left off. So she didn't, but David just got himself a haircut, who was in the same scene with her. LOL.
When I was out there, they had just started filming season two. I was stood there going "erm... Olivia's hair. Soooooo.."
"And I shot Bennett in the head because it's funny."

Way to break my heart again.

I wish we had got more actual info on the Boyd/Claire scene. Though I suppose answers for that might be spoilers for next week.
Adelle's hair reminded me of the times when Will and Grace did those flashbacks to Karen in the 80s.
Many writers, such as Paul Abbot (State Of Play) and Tony Jordan (Hustle, Life On Mars) freely admit that they will write half the story, get their characters into a hole, and only then think "How the hell am I going to get them out of this?" and make up whatever they can to make it work. As a viewer it's actually closer to "real" truth, in real life people do not follow a plan from day one, they have to react to whatever happens to them. That's life.
True zz9, some of the best writing happens that way. Still, reality is automatically consistent with itself whereas created "realities" only are if you make them that way and that's the balancing act with that approach - the solution has to make sense when looked at with ALL the information.

It's all Olivia's fault for cutting her hair!

I'd say there should be a law against it only it really suits her IMO ;).

I guess i'm willing to cut them a fair bit of slack when it comes to not fitting things in or rushing plots slightly because the alternative is that we're left hanging, which, for me, is much worse. Hopefully they'll have enough in place so that the story doesn't fall apart but knowing that Boyd has been head of Rossum since before the start of season 2 makes me feel better - I had nightmares that it was something forced on them when cancellation looked definite, as a shortcut to resolving the show.

But here's the thing: just because a writer didn't intend something, doesn't make your interpretation invalid. A shot can still be fraught with symbolism even if the people who took the shot weren't thinking about symbolism when they took it.

Exactly bonzob. Any interpretation is just building a coherent narrative from what you see, that's not always the same coherent narrative the creator intended. And all symbols have different meanings for different individuals - we each put the pieces together in different ways, that's why there's so much to potentially gain from different perspectives and why no-one, not critics, nor peers or even the author his or her own self can tell you what you see in a piece of art.
One thing I don't understand: If not make an actual flashback to the kitchen-scene... why not have Adelle just mention it?


She did, wiesengrund, and I thought it was pretty obvious in the scene. Boyd shoots him in the head, and Adelle says that he'll be pissed when he finds out you shot him. When Boyd questioned that statement, she summed up with "he's in more than one body" thing.

And I thought we all decided that the Lobster/Ambrose/Victor scene happened post-Harding and pre-Alcohol binge. Back when she still had no power, but when she still believed in openly talking about the Actives' souls.

I honestly don't see that as much as a turning point for Adelle (with or without E1, but more like another nail into the coffin of what she can't positively influence).

That would also match Topher's creepiness. He's still all cool and quiet (like he is with the new tech), and not too voicy on his opinions (a la break-down Topher).
I'm saving my judgement of the Boyd twist until I see how it's played out. I don't think they'd only do it for the shock value without adequate follow-through, and there are many ways it can go- I'm not convinced his connection to Echo was fake, or that Rossum's intentions are entirely evil, for instance; you never know, it could even be a way for Joss to finally get the morally ambiguous company he was planning!

As for the Lobster!Victor flashback, I'm glad that was clarified, even if not on the show. I'd have preferred a comment by Adelle explaining that it had already happened, though her line about Ambrose's consciousness serves just as well, I suppose. I was beginning to think the E1 scene would turn out to be a memory of a dream of Topher's. I even imagined him describing it to Adelle, and ending with "And your hair was all... old." (complete with frowning and Topher-gesturing, of course)

Edit: Oh, and I think they're doing a good job of incorporating the E1 memories. One turned out to have a big twist (Claire/Boyd- size of twist depending on if she was acting of her own free will, whatever that may mean), one I found very creatively changed (Paul/Echo in the elevator), and I could almost see Topher in the pod superimposed on the scene in which he was freaking out about Bennett- they even had Adelle holding him. And I have all hope we'll be able to deduce the context of the ones they don't clearly show from the final two episodes.

[ edited by alqualond on 2010-01-12 00:12 ]
Exactly bonzob. Any interpretation is just building a coherent narrative from what you see, that's not always the same coherent narrative the creator intended. And all symbols have different meanings for different individuals - we each put the pieces together in different ways, that's why there's so much to potentially gain from different perspectives and why no-one, not critics, nor peers or even the author his or her own self can tell you what you see in a piece of art.


I think Joss himself coined the term "byo subtext" back in Buffy S3 when he paddled back on the Fuffy-topic. Fan-interpretation not aligning with creator's intent has always been part of his work, and he seems to know and respect this.

She did, wiesengrund, and I thought it was pretty obvious in the scene. Boyd shoots him in the head, and Adelle says that he'll be pissed when he finds out you shot him. When Boyd questioned that statement, she summed up with "he's in more than one body" thing.


Yeah, sure, that's the inferrable option, but I meant something along the lines of "He's probably in more than one body right now. He visited me last month in Victor's body." which would have been a more hands-on reference to the E1-scene.

[ edited by wiesengrund on 2010-01-12 00:07 ]
I appreciate Tim's frankness as a writer. I always like getting insight into the process of how the shows I enjoy are created. I think that we can't speculate too much about the Boyd twist, because we still don't know what his true motives are at this point. I trust ME can make it work. He was left a fairly blank slate for season 1 (no real back-story given, and the ex-cop lines could be explained as a cover-story), so they were able to do what they wanted in season 2. I'm sure in the writers room they thought up many possibilities of what to do with his character, and making him the head of Rossum was simply the most AWESOME possibility. It does tie things together quite nicely. :-)
Oh. Well, I was pretty sure she said the first part (but obviously not the second part).
And I thought we all decided that the Lobster/Ambrose/Victor scene happened post-Harding and pre-Alcohol binge. Back when she still had no power, but when she still believed in openly talking about the Actives' souls.

I honestly don't see that as much as a turning point for Adelle (with or without E1, but more like another nail into the coffin of what she can't positively influence).


I think that's about right, but post-Adelle getting the house back. Ambrose is speaking to her like it's her house and her choice, so she had to have a fair amount of authority.

And I stand by that scene as a game changer with regard to the contextual differences when looking at E1 and at all of season two. Within E1, it is a turning point. It means "Hey, we're Rossum, we're evil, pick a side" and it informs the decisions Adelle makes for the rest of the episode. But watching all of season two, it's just another piece of the morally grey stew her brain had become.
Hrm, post-Adelle gaining her house? Maybe I'm off then. Should it be pre-Harding but post-Echo leaving? The house was still hers, and she was still vocal about her concerns.

Maybe she makes a choice (keeping Victor), and that, along with letting Echo go, led to her punishment as paper-mule while Harding ran her house.

So then she picks the other side by giving them Topher's technology... which leads to her drinking binge and the apocalypse.

That makes more sense to me. Especially with regards to Topher. He doesn't much leave his lab, nor want to be near Adelle after she takes back her house and slaps her. She hasn't reached "coldest bitch I know" moment yet.

So... pre-Harding post-Echo?
Hold on, I have to go watch it again...

ETA: Haha, okay. It could work between The Left Hand and Meet Jane Doe as another small instance of insubordination on Adelle's part that helped lose the house. And it would be kind of cool little bit if Victor was part of a sacrifice in that right. She saves him, hands the house over. And it works for Topher emotionally, as you said, and would explain some of why he was terrified of what Rossum could do with the tech he invented in Jane Doe.

But on the other hand, I thought Ambrose's reference to Topher "practically building" their ark meant the remote imprinting tech, which would place it post-Jane Doe, not to mention the look Adelle gave him at line ("Uh, sorry I gave him that tech. We still good?"). And I like the thought that Victor's Borg abduction was part of the permanent imprint thing, i.e. he was going to be sold off anyway, so Adelle negotiated a last one-nighter in Stop-Loss at that price. Ambrose would so use Victor's body as a bargaining chip for her.

So basically it could work in various places during season two, with minor discrepancies no matter what. This is my thinking.

[ edited by GoldDust12 on 2010-01-12 01:10 ]
Oh, well if you're going to use DIALOGUE and everything... ;)

Do we even know what the ark tech is? I thought the "imprint everyone!" was a different type of tech, and the ark was more of an interface between houses.

Nonetheless, I would think that that "look" Adelle gave him would fall in more with pre-slap where he does now and *maybe* ask questions later. After Adelle grabbed the house again, there was no way Topher would incur her wrath. In other words, he's still too cocky in that scene for post-slap.

I thought the final shag was solely because Victor was returning to the wild, not because he was up for auction.
Well, we totally don't know the specifics of anything they say, haha. I took the "place on the ark" to mean Adelle and Topher have a place with Rossum. The ark being a Noah's ark reference, as in "A storm's a'coming, join us or die." And the tech Topher created was a major shove forward for Rossum's control over humanity (mwahahaha).

I agree about the Stop-Loss shag, it was totally written as a mid-breakdown, desperate reach for human contact. I just think it would be an interesting little twist if they had gone back and seen that there was more to it, like allowing him to be taken into the Borg as opposed to carrying Ambrose 9.0 around for ages. I'm starting to get into "If we had four or five seasons..." speculation, which only makes me sad so I'll stop. :(
You're confusing me with Borg references. Not that I don't know what Borg are, but that I immediately think Jean-Luc Picard & his time as Locutus. Can't blame me- that man was my teen crush. TNG 4 EVA!

Anyhoo, I never thought to consider the "ark" as a metaphor. Hmm... interesting. I had always envisioned it as Ark Technology or some sorts. I guess I always figured the introduction of the keypad to store isolated memories & skills was an arc, like a jump form the wedges.

But, you may have something with this metaphor. Have to re-watch E1 to think about this some more.

You know what would be cool, since you brought up Star Trek, GoldDust12, is if the "science" in this show actually became science later on. Like TOS communicators to cell phones sort of thing. That would be so cool! No more worrying about memorizing facts. Download your notes for the day on Printy, and when it comes time for the final, just load them back in. That would be so sweet! :)
Um.... I feel a little dumb but if there's some obscure reference in "I shot Bennett because it's funny" I'm not getting it. Help?
No, the joke is just that he's so callous about killing a character, as far as I see it.
He's just being deadpan and hilarious.
Poor Tim. So misunderstood. I hope he never changes. Keep with the killing, Tim. You do it better than almost anyone.
Gang. I don't have time to go through and specifically respond to everything. I had no idea that the simple exchange I had with io9 would stir up anything. Let me just say a couple of things here.

First off -- "because it was funny" -- um, that was a joke. It's when you say the thing that is clearly the opposite of what you mean. Or at least I thought that would be clear.

In terms of the other stuff -- I was giving a kind of nuts an bolts view of how I made some of the choices I made. I couldn't fit all my ideas into the 44 minutes or whatever, and when narrowing down what a story needs to be, and when servicing other things that came before, you make choices.

And to say it seems like, through that exchange, that I somehow didn't or don't care about the show is not correct.
And one other thing I'd like to say -- television stories evolve. I'm sure there are some shows that know exactly what every twist and turn is going to be from the first episode. This is not my experience. All my favorite twists and reveals on all the shows I've done have twisted and revealed themselves to us, the writers, in much the way they do for the audience. This doesn't make them wrong. It often makes them organic and true. When something hits us in the room as "of course! That thing was there all along!," we get as gobsmacked as you do. And then we can't wait to share it with ya'll. So beyond the nuts and bolts, the magic happens here and comes out there, babes.
Post post posty McPostenstein.
I loved the interview, saw nothing in it or to it besides a discussion of the craft. It made me wish all the writers had done post-episode interviews.
Absolutely, what b!X said verbatim. Thanks Tim McPostenstein Minear!
God, was there a purple moider in here??!! Yikes. :=)
I dig the idea of io9 somehow hunting down the writers too. (Didn't they get Mo at least once? I think for Belonging?)

I actually loved the fact they're getting closer to properly integrating some of the Epitaph One scenes though I am still a bit curious how that plays out in most of their cases. (Like when it was in The Attic between Paul and Echo I wasn't sure if that was a construct or corruption of a memory.)

I sort of even wish they'd reshot that kitchen scene with Ambrose in Victor's body just for Adelle's hair continuity and to put it into a more reasonable timeframe. (I sort of imagine that in Epitaph Two they might finally explain when these memories were taken and I could imagine it happening much later when people might get a bit revisionist with their recollections.)

And a totally unrelated but sort of slashy note I picked up: they always keep slapping people we've already seen into Victor (aside from Sierra as Taffy) and aside from the opportunity to see him as the fourth Caroline--which would have been great-- Topher did mention that he even had a crush on Bennett when he thought she was a dude. Somewhat like that line about how it was funny to shoot her in the head, it'd also be kind of amusing if they reveal the reason one of the cuter relationships ended was to fulfill a different one. Which, classically-Whedonesque, also ends.
The comment about why Bennett was killed will definitely make me chuckle a little the next time I watch the episode ;-)

Thanks for the great interview and posts Tim!
It's like a purple marathon ! A suffusion of purple ! Purpletastic !

Cheers for the interview, posts and clarity Tim. Keep tellin' it like it is.
Thanks for posting Tim!
Wow. Tim Minear, you are made of awesome.

All my favorite twists and reveals on all the shows I've done have twisted and revealed themselves to us, the writers, in much the way they do for the audience. This doesn't make them wrong. It often makes them organic and true. When something hits us in the room as "of course! That thing was there all along!," we get as gobsmacked as you do.


That is exactly how I'd envisioned the process.
Tim, your explanation of making the story up is better than mine. It's almost like you pitch things for a living.
I think I've looked into the sun for too long. I keep seeing purple spots.
I mentioned Paul Abbot and Tony Jordan, they explain how they make it up as they go along here. A very interesting series of interviews. (The whole of this episode is on Youtube in five parts.)
I tend to plan more and know the ending first, but still frequently come up with things on the fly.
I love purple. Thanks, Tim, both for doing the interview (so we could chat about it) and for follow-up questions here. :) "Getting Closer" was like jumping out of a plane and eating special brownies while yodeling. I love TV best when they keep me entertained for much longer than 40 minutes. Kudos on such an excellent job. :)
Purple makes me happy. It's always nice to hear from the PTB. :)
Now I'm confused. On Facebook he says he killed Bennett because there were too many brunettes in that episode! Which to believe? Which is actually canon?
He killed her with a cannon? That would have made a mess of the room....
Wait a minute, Saunders is a Christian priest who's a member of a cathedral chapter ? Twisterama !

And yep, too messy. Death in the Whedonverse rule No. 1 "Leave a good looking corpse. Except for Warren".
Tim's the coolest. I love it when writers post here.

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