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SCRIPTEASE Dollhouse

It’s back! The reduced SFX Company relives the first season of Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse in one bite-sized script…

Dollhouse: Season One

[Warning: contains major spoilers]

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OVERALL SYNOPSIS OF SHOW

A bunch of mind-controlled humans known as “Actives” are rented out to wealthy clients for nefarious purposes (and lots of rumpy-pumpy). This is MORALLY DUBIOUS and DISTURBING , but the Actives are hot, so nobody seems to be concerned about their rights. Also, because this is a Joss Whedon show on Fox, there is (a) angst and (b) the threat of imminent cancellation.

ACT ONE

A HOT WOMAN is having a wicked fun time: DANCING , wearing a VERY SHORT DRESS and RIDING A MOTORBIKE (because men think women riding motorbikes are SEXY ). After some HIGH-OCTANE ADVENTURES , the HOT WOMAN meets up with her “handler”, BOYD LANGTON , who takes her back to a laboratory. She sits in a BIG CHAIR .

HOT WOMAN: “ I had a fantastic time tonight! And the guy I was with was sooooooo attractive. I loved him. Really, really a lot.”
LANGTON: “That’s nice, dear.”

Her BRAIN is WIPED by the BIG CHAIR and its operator, TOPHER BRINK . When the HOT WOMAN wakes up, she is ECHO .

ECHO [blankly]: “Did I fall asleep?”
TOPHER: “For a little while.”
ECHO [blankly]: “Shall I go?”
TOPHER: “Yes. Run along and play. I’ll stay here with my super-scientific mind-wiping chair being slimy and creepy so it’s hard to identify with me. However, I’ll also make a few Xander Harris-style wisecracks every now and then to show I have a nicer side.”
THE AUDIENCE: “This is going to be a confusing show, we can tell already.”

Meanwhile, in her BIG IMPORTANT OFFICE , DOLLHOUSE ’s head honcho, ADELLE DEWITT , is drinking tea from china cups.

ADELLE: “I’m very British and cold and unfeeling, just like this fine bone china. It’s all rather symbolic, isn’t it?”
LANGTON: “I’m uncomfortable with Echo going off on missions and having sex with strange men we’ve mind-controlled her into liking.”
ADELLE: “And?”
LANGTON: “Er, nothing. I’ll live with it.”
ADELLE: “Good. Anyway, this is a Joss Whedon show on Fox, so we’ll probably be cancelled before your conscience gets the better of you. Have some tea, dahling.”
LANGTON: “Don’t mind if I do!”

ACT TWO

DECTECTIVE PAUL BALLARD is becoming unhealthily obsessed with finding a woman named CAROLINE . We know CAROLINE is actually ECHO , but we can’t tell him, so he has to WORK IT OUT FOR HIMSELF. He confides in his neighbour, MELLIE .

BALLARD: “I’ve heard stories of a mythical place called the ‘Dollhouse’ where men and women have a lot of sex but don’t remember it afterwards.”
MELLIE: “That sounds like your average college frat house. Are you sure this is a bad thing?”
BALLARD: “They’re mind-wiped or something, I don’t know. It’s all very sci-fi but I’m sure it exists.”
MELLIE: “Well, I will support you every step of the way as you search. Mainly because I have a secret crush on you.”
BALLARD: “Sorry, what was that? I was staring at this photo of Caroline.”
MELLIE: “Er, nothing.” [Pines]

Back at the DOLLHOUSE , we are introduced to other ACTIVES alongside ECHO . SIERRA is getting sexually harassed by a colleague, which is VERY DISTURBING , while VICTOR is being sent out to feed information to BALLARD . ECHO , meanwhile, has LOTS OF ADVENTURES , not all of them NICE .

ECHO [blankly]: “Did I fall asleep?”
TOPHER: “For a little while. You also got hunted and attacked by one of our customers and may possibly be having problems being mind-wiped, but whatever.”
ECHO [blankly]: “Oh. I’m going to have a massage now.”
TOPHER: “I’ll say one thing for this place – it may be morally dubious but you can always get a good back-rub.”

ACT THREE

ECHO has lots of personalities downloaded into her BRAIN , from a BACK-UP SINGER in a band to a BLIND WOMAN , but seems oddly the same whoever she is. She has MANY MORE ADVENTURES using her SKILLS . She also has A LOT OF SEX .

LANGTON : “I’m really not sure about all this sex stuff. Aren’t we just running a very expensive brothel here? This is icky.”
ADELLE: “Shh. Have some tea.”
LANGTON: “Don’t mind if I do!”

Meanwhile, the AUDIENCE is experiencing a PROBLEM .

THE AUDIENCE: “Look, this show is slick, and funny, and exciting, and full of great Whedon dialogue and twists, but It’s very difficult to empathise or identify with Echo when she’s a different person every week. In fact, it’s hard to empathise or identify with anybody on this show because they’re all kind of evil.”
TOPHER: “But I quip a lot!”
ADELLE: “And I have a softer side, even though you haven’t seen it yet!”
LANGTON: “I care about Echo! For now, anyway!”
BALLARD: “I’m a good guy, honest!”
ECHO [blankly]: “I’m... er... I forget. Did I fall asleep?”
THE AUDIENCE: “Hmm. We’re not convinced.”
ADELLE: “Remember, we’re a Joss Whedon show on Fox, so we’ll be gone before you know it. Don’t waste time worrying!”

ACT FOUR

Despite the fact they’ve been MIND-WIPED and are empty shells, VICTOR and SIERRA have fallen in love.

VICTOR [blankly]: “I don’t understand these feelings.”
SIERRA [blankly]: “Nor do I. Fancy a massage?”
VICTOR [blankly]: “Don’t mind if I do!”
TOPHER: “That’s not right! I’ve got to fix them! There’s no place for love in the Dollhouse!”
ADELLE: “Yes! Destroy their innocent love! Plus I’m sleeping with Victor on the side, so I’m jealous.”
THE AUDIENCE: “What? Ewww! But he’s a helpless, mind-wiped shell and you’re his boss! This show is really gross!”
ADELLE: “Our love is pure and true. Anyway, a woman can only drink so much tea. I have needs . You’d totally do it too if you were me and could mind-wipe a hot guy or girl to shag you whenever you felt like it.”
THE AUDIENCE: “ No way! Never! Um.... Maybe...” [Guilt]

Back at BALLARD ’s apartment, MELLIE is nervously flirting.

MELLIE: “I love you very much!”
BALLARD: “Pardon? Sorry, I was watching this recording Caroline sent me.”
MELLIE [sadly]: “Nothing. Here, I baked you a pie!”
THE AUDIENCE: “Mellie’s really sweet. Let’s identify with her!”

MELLIE gets a PHONE CALL from ADELLE which makes her kill a man. She’s a SLEEPER-AGENT ACTIVE who is really called NOVEMBER !

THE AUDIENCE: “Curses! Foiled again!”

ACT FIVE

BALLARD finally meets CAROLINE , aka ECHO . It turns out she was an ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST who signed her body over to the DOLLHOUSE for a set period of years.

THE AUDIENCE: “An animal rights activist? Really? She couldn’t have been something a bit more exciting?”
ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS: “Have you ever been an animal rights activist? It can be massively exciting! Wiping lipstick off beagles’ lips is also very fulfilling, we’ll have you know!”
ECHO/CAROLINE: “I know who I am! And I don’t want to be here! I want to rescue bunnies. I am a bunnie girl!”
BALLARD: “Erm, not quite. That’s what I’m saving you from!”

He doesn’t.  He also realises he kind of LOVES MELLIE , but she is now NOVEMBER and leaves him. Distraught and resolute (and square-jawed and hunky), BALLARD seeks out ALAN TUDYK , the guy who built the DOLLHOUSE , to help him break into it.

ALAN TUDYK: “I’m a helpless, harmless geek!”
THE AUDIENCE: “You’re Wash from Firefly and so we instinctively like you and your character! At last, someone we can identify with!”
ALAN TUDYK: “Bwah ha ha ha! Surprise – I’m actually an Active named Alpha who went bugshit crazy and killed a ton of people! And now I’m going to do it again!”
THE AUDIENCE [stunned] : ...
JOSS WHEDON: Didn’t see that coming, did ya? I win!

ACT SIX

FELICIA DAY is allowed time off the internet, and gets a special episode all to herself set in the future. It’s very TERMINATOR and SUPER-COOL and kind of SCARY .

THE AUDIENCE: “This is great! Why couldn’t all of Dollhouse have been like this?”
JOSS WHEDON: “Meh, I was just messing about because I knew the show would be cancelled anyway. You think we could afford this every week on Fox? Whatever.”
FOX NETWORK: “Actually, even though your series is morally dubious and we don’t like any of the characters or even like the concept, we’re going to give you a second season after all!”
JOSS WHEDON [blankly]: “Did I fall asleep?”
TOPHER: “For a little while.”

ENDS

Script by Jayne Nelson

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