Well, the idea to do a new first episode wasn’t the network’s. It was mine. I understood their consternation, and saw the gap between my style and their expectations, and I suggested I shoot a new ep and make the one I’d shot the second. It isn’t going to be buried, like the pilot of Firefly. It’s simply coming after another, slightly cleaner ep.The junking of the original pilot?:
The original pilot was in fact thrown out. Again, at my behest. Once it became clear what paradigm the Network was shooting for, it just didn't fit at all, even after I'd reshot more than half of it (see above re: despair). To get a sense of how completely turned around I was during this process, you should know there was a scene with Eliza and the astonishing Ashley Johnson that I wrote and shot completely differently three different times, with different characters in different places (actually I wrote it closer to eight times), and none of it will ever see air.Similarly, Whedon has gone out of his way to defend Fox throughout these changes:
They're not wrong. Oh, we don't see eye-to-eye on everything, but wanting the first episodes to be exciting and accessible is not exactly Satanic. Being Satan is, but that's in their free time and hey, there's no judging in the Dollhouse. This kind of back and forth has happened on every show I've done, so if you liked those, chances are that was a part of why. And the need to focus on the essentials of what makes this universe tick - and which wire to cut to make it stop - really does bring up our game. So we as a staff have gone from blinking like unhoused moles to delving in with the same relish we had when we started.(He's also said "We both know from years of experience that I’m a crap soldier, though I am an accomplished fan-dancer. No, this is a very cold look at what’s going on, and it’s not an Us vs Them," lest you think that's just playing the role of the good soldier.) Taking Fox's obvious anti-Whedon agenda out've the equation for now, what seems to be left is a show that is having trouble finding its feet and coming together; yes, the network have asked for it to be more accessible, but that isn't the same thing as shooting a new pilot and later junking the original after telling people that that's not going to happen. The real problem with the show, I think, isn't Fox; it's Joss Whedon not being able to make the show that he imagines in his head, and getting so frustrated by that that he'd rather throw what he's done away and start again. In one way, this is admirable - I'd rather have an overly ambitious show than CSI: Mindwipe, after all - but it's also worrying. What if Whedon isn't able to bring the show together in the short amount of time he has (Remember, the show was only given a seven episode order by Fox)? Are we going to be left with the SF equivalent of Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip, and if we are, the question is worth asking: Is a flawed, unsuccessful (but probably interesting, let's face it) show that pleases no-one involved with its creation better than no show at all? And so, I ask again: What if Fox is doing the right thing by quietly trying to kill Dollhouse?