Dollhouse: Season 1, Episode 3

Stage Fright (27 Feb. 2009)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 663 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 7 critic

Pop star Rayna is in need of protection due to death threats, so Echo is programmed as a backup singer/bodyguard for her. Sierra serves as additional protection. Paul's investigation into the Dollhouse might cost him his life.



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Title: Stage Fright (27 Feb 2009)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Echo / Jordan
Sierra / Audra
Rayna Russell
The Fan


Echo is programmed for her next assignment to be a backup singer to protect a wealthy pop star, Rayna Russell, from an obsessed fan out to kill her. Newcomer active Sierra is also programmed to be the Australian winner of the "Number One Fan Contest" to assist Echo to flush out the stalker. Meanwhile, Agent Ballard's investigation to find Caroline/Echo in order to link her to Dollhouse takes a turn for the worse when his Russian contact, Lubov, turns out to be an active for the Dollhouse and sets him up to be killed by Russian thugs of no relation to the matter he is investigating. Written by matt-282

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

27 February 2009 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The stalker smuggles a rifle into the concert hidden in a crutch. This is the same manner as titular character in The Day of the Jackal (1973). See more »


Jordan: What have you got to be miserable about?
Rayna Russell: No, right. I gotta be happy. I gotta be grateful. I gotta be rebellious, but just enough to give me cred, so people know I'm not a factory girl. But I am. I don't exist. I'm not a real person. I'm everybody's fantasy. God help me if I try not to be. I know you weren't grown in a lab, but I was. Been singing for my supper since when and for when and for everybody else! God put this voice in me and forgot to make it mine. I don't feel it. I don't feel ...
See more »


Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.118 (2010) See more »


Superstar (Smash It)
by Kimberly Cole
Performed by Jaime Lee Kirchner
See more »

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User Reviews

Enoyed it better than I thought I would
28 December 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The good; Not much. Ballard is one tough nut to take on the Russian mobsters. If you never watched the ep 'Echo' then Victor's true identity is a heck of shock

The bad; Such a weak story, you wonder if Joss had to take a week off sick? Must also have been hugely expensive?

Best line; Rayna (of Echo); "Did they grow you in a lab?" and Echo; "Bitch, you can fire me but don't ever think you can take me!"

Packing heat; Echo takes the villain's Walther PPK

Kinky dinky; Rock chick ED and scantily clad Rayna is stunning. Rayna's manager apparently uses twins (like Jonathon's in the Buffy story 'Superstar' and a recurring fantasy/fetish in Joss' work) from the Dollhouse to relieve tension (better than Valium?). Topher likes the idea of Rayna and Echo getting romantic

Notches on the Dollhouse bedpost; Echo; 2

How'd they get away with that? The diva is so blatantly Beyonce it's a wonder she didn't sue?

This weeks fantasy; Bodyguard and backing singer for Echo, No1 fan for Sierra.

Total number personalities; 1 each for Echo and Sierra Echo; 9 Sierra; 3 Victor; 1

Total dolls;3 Echo, Sierra and Victor

Addy is a bit British; Faced with another British actor her accent goes into overdrive

Topher is a bit geeky; Keen to know the inside scoop on the gorgeous music superstar

Subverting the Hollywood cliché The successful Hollywood diva is actually suicidal

Bondage; Sierra tied up; 1

Kills; Sierra; 2 kills Echo; 1

Dolls injured; Sierra roughed up

Know the face? Jim Piddock who plays Rayna's manager was memorable as the Valet in The Trial episode of Angel (also a screenwriter now). 5th Whedon alumni-Mark Shepherd, Amy Acker, walking action figure, Eliza Dushku, Jim Piddock

Guantanamo; Rayna's manager slaps her but possibly she deserves it? Echo then knocks her senseless with a chair and uses her as bait to trap the assassin.

Fanfic; Plenty where Rayna and Echo do get romantic.

Reminds me off; The assassin's crutches scene reminiscent of Day of the Jackal. No1 fan is how Mark Chapman described himself to Stephen King at a book-signing before later shooting John Lennon, a story which inspired Misery

Questions and observations; Does ED do her own singing? If she does it's a pity she missed Once More with Feeling on Buffy. In lots of little ways Echo seems to be breaking her programming and her kinship with Sierra becomes apparent. Why does the Dollhouse seem to use Victor to set Ballard up yet has Mellie trying to get the inside scoop on him?

Marks out of 10; 5/10, actually enjoyed this more when re-watching than I thought I would

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