Topher’s The Man Behind The Curtain

by admin on January 24, 2009

Boyd - Moral Compass?

SciFiWire have an interview with Harry Lennix, who portrays Langton Boyd on Dollhouse. In a show filled with questionable ethics and amoral outlooks, Lennix believes that Boyd is an important player:

“I love this character in the context of this show. He’s really not so much the conscience of it. He’s not really so much the kind of spiritual base, but he’s the guy that asks the question ‘Why? Why are we doing this, and what are the consequences of what we’re doing?’ So whenever that happens, I think that that in itself becomes the kind of dramatic core of the show. Why? The person that asks the questions is the one that I think has the responsibility of providing those answers.”

“Without giving away too much, I would say that my immediate why—why does the Dollhouse exist, why do people hire out other people to do certain tasks they can’t do themselves, or whatever?—is because they have a deeper need. Something exists outside of what we’re taught is right and wrong. Something exists that’s bigger than that. Some things transcend right and wrong. We have basic urges and basic needs that sometimes go beyond the simple black or white of an issue.”

So the Dollhouse is basically an excuse for people to step outside of the law in order to do bad things without getting caught. Or perhaps I’m being too cynical, there’s going to be many different reasons as to why an indivual would hire an “active”. In some instances these dolls represent an extension of humanity that enables us to do the things that normal humans can’t. I don’t think Dollhouse will get too fantastical too soon, but it’s perhaps worth considering that these dolls are like ‘superheroes’ – people with the ability to do superhuman things, a symbol of hope.

The problem with superheroes is – not all of them have altruistic world views, not all of them are ‘good’ (whatever that is). Granted, the dolls start off with no memories, no real conscious awareness of good and bad, but this could be even more dangerous, because it places all of their power in the hands of the programmer – ‘the man behind the curtain’. His world view is their world view . You can’t tell me that Topher wont bend the rules slightly, you can’t tell me that he wont add his own nuances into the melting pot of the “actives” uploaded ‘instructions’.

Lennix goes on to talk about his favourite aspects of the missions, the moral compass of his character and relationship building with Echo:

“My favorite pieces really are when I get to connect with Eliza’s character and Fran Kranz’s character, Topher. We get to talk about what’s going on, like on a more human level, a level that doesn’t have to do with the assignment. Like, what exactly are we doing in this Dollhouse, and why are we doing it? What are the ramifications of what we’re doing? Those are my favorite moments: when you ask a very simple question.”

“I don’t think it has to be a lot,” he said. “I also enjoy fighting and doing the stunts that I get to do, but I think one well-placed question can take five seconds, but it resonates. It will carry on to the next week.”

“These are the questions that only time will reveal. I cannot reveal that, because I don’t actually have all the answers myself. How does it work when you switch personalities from week to week, but they tell you every time you see this one person, you trust that person? What does that person’s brain do to make all of that make sense? I don’t know. It’s a very good question.”

Source: SciFiWire

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