It should come as no surprise to you that I am a fan of Joss Whedon’s work. In fact one of my favorite television series to come out in the last twenty years is Dollhouse.
But, there’s a certain subset of Whedon’s fans that believe every single one of his works takes place in the same universe (including the obvious Buffy and Angel). But that also includes his somewhat lesser known things; like his script for Toy Story, and the handful of episodes he did for Roseanne.
In my opinion, there is no way all of these things are connected. But there are two that are far more likely than the others. Those two are Dollhouse and Firefly.
Why, you ask? Well, that has a simple answer:
Firefly and Dollhouse are the most similar projects that Joss Whedon has done which weren’t physically connected to each other (which means no shared characters). The two series take place in a somewhat realistic world, and both are firmly planted in the “science” aspect of Science Fiction.
There’s also the two (or one) corporations which run the show in both series. For Dollhouse, it’s the Rossum Corporation, and for Firefly, it’s Blue Sun.
Both corporations have a history of manipulating people’s brains (i.e. River Tam and the dolls), and both are absurdly powerful. Blue Sun makes every product seen in Firefly, and Rossum causes the apocalypse in Dollhouse, which brings me to my next point.
The apocalypse in Dollhouse could be the very same one that eventually led to the events in Firefly. And Rossum could have very likely evolved into Blue Sun.
Now, it’s true that in Dollhouse, Topher reversed the effects of the tech that caused all people to become dolls, returning them to who they were before, but we only see what happened in America.
We’re never told what’s happened to any other part of the world.
It’s established in Firefly the the U.S. and China have formed a powerful alliance, and evidently with the rest of the world as well, which explains why everyone speaks with Chinese slang interlaced with the English language. But how did Blue Sun get so much power?
Rossum was underground during the apocalypse in Dollhouse, and were biding their time until they could rise to power again. Knowing that the rest of the world held them responsible for the apocalypse, they changed their name, becoming Blue Sun. With their tech destroyed, they had to start over from scratch, eventually forming a space program and developing the technology to terraform other planets, and, voilà, you have Firefly.
Now, it’s possible that I’m overthinking this, but there’s a reason that we’re called fans. Give me your take on this, maybe we can debate.