Dollhouse

Kurt Iswarienko/FOX

As all Buffy, Angel and Firefly fans know, when Joss Whedon gets it right, he gets it very, very right. And if he gets it wrong—he'd rather us not know it.

The writer-producer confirmed on his Whedonesque website today (via a faux Q&A with "Rutherford D. Actualperson") that he is reshooting the pilot for his upcoming Fox series Dollhouse after both he and some network execs—who picked up the Eliza Dushku-starring sci-fi drama earlier this year based on concept alone—became concerned that his intended opener didn't make a whole lot of sense.

"What’s that, you say? A second first? How can such a thing be? Does it defy the laws of all physics?" the show runner blogged.

"I said [the pilot] was grand, I didn’t say it was comprehensible. I showed some scenes to David Lynch and he’s all, 'whuh?' Bad sign. But I kid," assured Whedon.

"The fact is, I’m very proud of the ep we shot and the series is making me crazy with the excitement. But I tend to come at things sideways, and there were a few clarity issues for some viewers. There were also some slight issues with tone—I was in a dark, noir kind of place (where, as many of you know, I make my home), and didn’t bring the visceral pop the network had expected from the script. The network was cool about it, but not sure how to come out of the gate with the ep."

The intended pilot will instead be Dollhouse's second episode and the production delay isn't supposed to affect the Monday-night series' midseason premiere.

“Joss came to the realization that there was a better way to start the show,” a spokesman for 20th Century Fox Television told Variety. “After he wrote episode two, he asked the network to use that as episode one.”

The drama, about a group of Actives—or Dolls—who have had their minds wiped clean so that their Handlers can impress upon them any persona, information, or skill necessary to carry out a particular mission, also stars Angel alum Amy Acker, Tahmoh Penikett, Dichen Lachman, Fran Kranz, Olivia Williams and Enver Gjokaj.

During a live Q&A Monday with WashingtonPost.com readers, Whedon was asked where Dollhouse measured up on the funny scale alongside Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly.

"Less overt humor," Whedon responded. "Dollhouse is more a real-world piece. But asking me not to make jokes is like asking Monet to lose the lily pads. We've all got our tics."

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