Joss Whedon Interview!

SciFiChick.com was able to participate in a conference call last week with Joss Whedon, Creater/Executive Producer/Writer/Director of Dollhouse. Below is a transcript of that call.

Dollhouse’s second season will premier Friday, September 25th from 9 to 10 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.

In Dollhouse, how will Echo, and of course the many other characters she is flashing to, come in to her own this season?

Basically, through force of will. She did have all those personalities dumped into her at once and as we pick up, we’re going to find out that that’s starting to affect her. Rather than be at sea in between engagements, she’s much more directed and driven, and even in her doll state is growing, and learning and starting to try to access these personalities to see what they can help her with, because she has a mission that she understands now, which is to get back to her personality and get everybody back to theirs.

How many seasons do you see Dollhouse running?

Dollhouse, the premise is limited and I think by season 17, you’re really going to see us repeating ourselves.

Last season you began with a number of restating pilot episodes where you wanted to make sure that you could bring in new viewers. This season doesn’t begin with that sort of episode. Could you talk about how you approached the idea of new viewers following the show?

Well, you know, we always try to make, especially in the first episode of the season, but generally we try and make the premise clear enough so that if you haven’t been watching it, you don’t have to do a huge amount of math. There’s a lot of exposition in the first pilot, in the first episode of the season, to help that. But at the end of the day, you do have to go, “Well, if they don’t get the premise,” and we’ve even rejiggered the opening credits to make it clearer, than they’ll either become involved in these peoples’ stories or they won’t. You have to move slow enough so people can grab a hold and jump on with you, but you have to keep moving.

Do you have a pitch to new viewers on how to reintegrate themselves or is the answer as simple as watch the DVD?

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Book Review: Ruined: A Ghost Story

Ruined: A Ghost Story

Ruined: A Ghost Story, by Paula Morris

When her father must go to China for work, 16 year-old Rebecca must go to live with her aunt in New Orleans for 6 months. Having lived in New York, Rebecca immediately feels out of place at her new school, full of strange customs and castes. One night, while following a group of the elite clique from school, Rebecca ventures into Lafayette Cemetery and comes face to face with a ghost.

Rebecca is a relatable character. She abhors the snobbish girls, cares nothing about popularity, feels invisible, has a natural curiosity for the history of the city, genuinely cares about the ghost Lisette, and is kind to her peers even when they don’t show her the same respect. The other characters are a bit mysterious. Rebecca can’t be sure who to trust. And as she slowly discovers the truth behind Lisette’s haunting, Rebecca uncovers a dark secret that affects her as well. Morris adds quite a bit of history of the area, which felt a little forced and unnecessary. For a girl who doesn’t want to be there, Rebecca does a lot of research into the city.

While the story is a bit predictable, it is extremely well-written, with plenty of suspense and trepidation. There’s an over-all feeling of creepiness when dealing with ghosts and curses, and Ruined holds just the right amount to stay appropriate for younger readers and yet hold the attention of adults. This is a entertaining read if you’re looking for an eerie ghost story with mystery, history, and good clean fun.

Book Review: Ranger’s Apprentice: The Siege of Macindaw

Ranger's Apprentice: The Siege of Macindaw

Ranger’s Apprentice: The Siege of Macindaw, by John Flanagan, is the 6th book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series.

Following the events in book 5, Will escaped to the forest when Keren took over Castle Macindaw. Alyss is held captive in a tower. And the evil Buttle escaped from the Skandians, returning to Castle Macindaw to work for Keren. When Horace arrives to help Will, a group of Skandians are hired to assist with the retaking of the castle as well. But Keren has plans. He has allied with the ruthless Scotti, who have plans to take over the entire area. Will and Horace must find a way to stop them before all is lost.

My hopes were high again for this installment, as the series has become one of my favorites. Will, Horace, and Alyss are fantastic characters constantly showing loyalty, conviction, and bravery. In this latest story, Will and Horace must rely upon their wits and intellect to combat an enemy with the odds stacked in favor of Keren. Circumstances also come to a head with the relationship between Will and Alyss, with whom there has always been an underlying attraction.

While this series is best read in order, don’t let the numbers trouble. These are quick, fast-paced, adventure-filled books for young readers. Though, the series has plenty of action, humor, and even a bit romance to appease fantasy fans of all ages.

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