This summer marks the 40th anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws,
On February 13, 2009, Dollhouse premiered on Fox to mixed reviews from fans and critics. Despite not getting a glowing reception, however, the show lasted for two seasons, and some Whedon fans like myself discovered the show after it was off the air and fell in love. Though the cast included many newbies to the wonderful world of Whedon like Harry Lennix, Tahmoh Penikett, and Olivia Williams, one of the most entertaining parts about the show is its inclusion of actors from all corners of the Whedonverse. From Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, here are all the other places where you can find the cast of Dollhouse.
Eliza Dushku – Before she headlined Dollhouse as Echo, Eliza Dushku played Faith in both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she also got the chance to play Buffy’s soul in Faith’s body, which is good practice for later playing the chameleon character that is Echo.
Fran Kranz – Fran Kranz’s performance as morally flexible geeky genius Topher Brink is quite different from his other roles in the Whedonverse. Yes, Topher is sort of a comic relief character like Marty in The Cabin in the Woods and Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing, but he has a darker side. He is the brain behind the Dollhouse, so he is more detached and heartless than Cabin in the Wood’s lovable stoner Marty.
Enver Gjokaj – Enver Gjokaj’s place in the Whedonverse outside of his magnificent Victor (and yes, he is magnificent) is exclusively in Marvel projects. He plays Young Cop in The Avengers, and he is Daniel Sousa in Agent Carter. Technically, Agent Carter is not an official part the Whedonverse because Whedon is not credited on the show. He is not a writer, director, or producer on the show, but it could still be considered part of the Whedonverse because it is in the larger Marvel Universe which Whedon is overseeing.
Dichen Lachman – Dichen Lachman, who plays Sierra, is in season 2 of Agents of SHIELD as Jiaying, Skye’s super-powered mother. She was also Pillow Girl #1 in Husbands. Like Agent Carter, Husbands is not technically in the Whedonverse, but it was co-written and produced by frequent Whedon collaborator Jane Espenson. Joss Whedon even has a cameo appearance in an episode.
Amy Acker – Amy Acker is probably the most connected into the Whedonverse of the entire Dollhouse cast. She is Winifred “Fred” Burkle and Illyria in Angel, Lin in The Cabin in the Woods, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, Claudia on Husbands, and Audrey Nathan, a.k.a. Coulson’s cellist in Agents of SHIELD.
Reed Diamond – Reed Diamond is a bit newer to the Whedonverse, but he is already easily recognizable as Daniel Whitehall in Agents of SHIELD and Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing. His character Laurence Dominic in Dollhouse is not as straight-forward evil as Whitehall in Agents of SHIELD, but in both shows, he is a bit scary and demands respect from his subordinates.
Summer Glau – Bennett Halverson is quite a change for Summer Glau fans who love her as River Tam in Firefly and Serenity. Both characters can be dangerous but for entirely different reasons, and Bennett’s shy demeanor is very different from River’s wide-eyed skittishness. Additionally, she is credited as Prima Ballerina in Angel.
Alan Tudyk – Alan Tudyk’s character Alpha on Dollhouse could not be more different from his lovable, huggable Wash in Firefly and Serenity. Wash’s most vicious moment is playing with his toy dinosaurs, and Alpha has no qualms about slaughtering innocent people. Fans of Tudyk’s softer side need to experience his performance on Dollhouse, if only to understand his range as an actor.
Alexis Denisof – If there is anyone more connected into the Whedonverse than Amy Acker, it is Alexis Denisof. He plays Senator Daniel Perrin in Dollhouse, but he is also Wesley Wyndam-Pryce in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, The Other in The Avengers, and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing. Additionally, he is The Other in Guardians of the Galaxy, which Whedon did not director or produce but is a part of the Marvel Universe which he oversees.
Mark Sheppard – Mark Sheppard has appeared on nearly every major geek show, but in the Whedonverse, he only has two roles. Besides playing Tanaka in Dollhouse, he is also Badger in Firefly.
Maurissa Tancharoen – In addition to writing for Dollhouse, Agents of SHIELD, and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Maurissa Tancharoen played Kilo in Dollhouse and Groupie #1 in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. She also holds a permanent place in the Whedonverse as she is married to Jed Whedon.
Felicia Day – Felicia Day only appears in two episodes of Dollhouse as Mag, but she is an important character in both the season 1 and season 2 finales. She is also known to Whedon fans as Penny in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Vi in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Sexy Pizza Girl in Husbands.
Patton Oswalt – In Dollhouse, Patton Oswalt plays Joel Mynor, a loyal customer at the Dollhouse, but he has also pulled triple-duty as Billy, Sam, and Eric Koenig in Agents of SHIELD. Are the Koenigs identical triplets, clones, robots, or none of the above? It is still a mystery.