Perhaps a question that I should be asking about Dollhouse is this: how exactly do they put in the personalities into the heads - or wherever they put it into - of the Actives? Sure, we know that they can be easily erased and replaced depending on the needs of whoever hires them. And, for those who've seen the preview clips, there's this room where the transfer happens. Well, maybe a better question to ask is this: where exactly do they get the personalities they put into the heads of the Actives?
Insert Topher Brink, the resident geek (or at least that's what I think) inside the organization that rents those humans out. Well, let Fran Kranz - the guy who plays him in the series, which premieres on February 13 - explain further: He's the guy who understands and knows the technology behind how the whole imprint process works. The dolls are imprinted with different personalities for each of their missions or clients' fantasies, and Topher designs these personalities.
Possible spoiler warning: There are some that could spoil the experience up ahead. You've been warned.
Now, back to Kranz. Whether he's ultimately good or bad remains to be seen, he said. But certainly he loves his job, and that says volumes about who he is. Because of him people are used and abused. Some die...But he sees it as an artistic, creative process. When he builds these personalities, I like to look at it like he's building a brain. He's using real parts of real personalities. Nothing is completely artificial. They're pieces of real people. They're kind of his color palette, and his final product is a complete person. The show meditates on this, obviously.
Wait a minute. I've always had the impression that the Actives - led by Eliza Dushku, in case you don't know, and I highly doubt you don't - were somewhat bionic, somehow programmed like, err, the Terminators that come before Dollhouse's time slot. So these personalities are not programs, and are not fluids of some sort, but are actual personalities?
What I know and what I can say is that there is a place in the Dollhouse called the Attic that stores failed Dolls and personalities, Kranz added. There's like a whole warehouse where actual bodies are kept - It's like a library, so to speak. Where do we get them? I can't say. They are real people.
And that's all he's allowed to say, at least for now. Suddenly there's more to Dollhouse than I think...