Echo (Caroline Farrell)
One of the Los Angeles Dollhouse's most popular dolls. Echo has begun to develop self-awareness independent of her original personality.
- Action Girl: A frequent imprint, and a defining trait of her integrated personality.
- Action Survivor: When not imprinted with combat skills she's still dangerous.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Caroline wanted to do 'everything'. Well, it happened for her.
- Big Sister Instinct: To Sierra.
- Blessed With Suck (or Cursed With Awesome, depending on the point of view): The emotional isolation of Echo's ability to retain imprints and to be anyone imposed on her, especially how it prevents her from opening her heart fully to Paul Ballard until after he dies in battle. Near the end of his life, Paul tells her, "A hundred personalities, and you're the loneliest person I know."
- Cool Big Sis: Acts like one to Sierra, and used to be one for Bennett.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: At some points in the series.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Though mostly due to the fact that most of the time, Actives don't wear shoes within the Dollhouse.
- Granola Girl: Her original personality as Caroline.
- Heartbroken Badass: After Paul is killed.
- Honey Trap: In "Vows", while helping Ballard catch a weapons trafficer.
- Heroic Sacrifice: The one Caroline made for Bennett Halverson led to her becoming a Doll.
- Magnetic Hero: Specifically cited by Bennett for her ability to get people to obsess over her or do what she wants even after her mind-wiping.
- Many Spirits Inside of One: After Alpha dumps all of her previous imprints into her head.
- Meaningful Name: She's one of the few Dolls who remembers fragments of her previous personality- perhaps we could call them echoes?
- Ms. Fanservice: Her other most common imprint.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Once she becomes self-aware.
- Spoiled Brat: Even Eliza Dushku agrees Caroline is this.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Her original personality. She really just wanted to stop Rossum, what with the animal testing. Even leaving an injured Bennett was because Caroline thought Bennett would be veiwed merely as a victim and not a traitor if she did.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Her original personality.
Sierra (Priya Tsetsang)
One of the newest additions to the Dollhouse. Formerly an Australian artist named Priya. The Dollhouse believes they helped her; five years of service in return for curing her severe paranoid schizophrenia. In reality, a high ranking Rossum employee drugged her into psychosis after she rejected his advances, sent her to the House, and rented out her services regularly. She eventually gets her payback.
- Action Girl: As with Echo, this is a frequent imprint.
- Action Survivor: As Priya.
- Amnesiac Lover: No matter what she is imprinted with, she loves Victor.
- Break the Cutie: Broken before the Dollhouse, and then again as a Doll when she is repeatedly raped by her original handler.
- Ms. Fanservice: In her unimprinted state.
- Love at First Sight: When she first meets Victor/Anthony and he is imprinted as an Italian art dealer, she is drawn to him, and almost leaves with him before Nolan intercepts her.
- Official Couple: With Victor.
- Ship Tease: Between her and Victor.
- Trauma Conga Line: Because rich, spurned, would-be lover Nolan won't take no for an answer, he committs her to a mental institution, that he runs, where she is drugged into insanity and her truthful claims that she wasn't crazy before going in are ignored, probably because everyone says that. Then, he presumably contacts the Dollhouse (or has a employee do it). Priya is made into Active Sierra without her consent. Then she is raped by her handler while in Doll state. It...goes on like that.
Victor (Anthony Ceccoli)
One of the most popular male dolls of the Dollhouse. His love for Sierra survives even in his unimprinted state. Formerly Tony, an Iraq war veteran who was recruited after The Dollhouse promised to cure his PTSD.
- Hive Mind: Operation Mindwhisper.
- Making Use of the Twin: Done with Enver Gjokaj's non-actor twin, Demir Gjokaj, in "The Attic."
- Love at First Sight: Before Priya/Sierra (Prierra, perhaps?) is a Doll, wealthy Dollhouse costumer, Nolan, hires Victor imprinted as an Italian art dealer to lend credibility to an art showing of a piece he commissioned from Priya. His plan backfires, however, when Victor and Priya hit it off.
- Official Couple: With Sierra.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: A notable aversion. Victor is frequently imprinted with personalities of various foreign nationalities just for the sake of giving Enver Gjokaj the chance to show off how good he is at doing different accents.
- Scars Are Forever: Averted. They're notably gone by "Vows" (2x01).
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: He originally entered the Dollhouse to be cured of his post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Ship Tease: Between him and Sierra. Eventually promoted to OTP.
- Super Soldier: Rossum has a mind-linked band of these as their independent contractors. Tony is recruited to be one.
The Dollhouse's 'madam,' in charge of the Los Angeles branch. Outwardly cool, stoic and very British, in her private moments she has revealed a melancholy and loneliness she would die rather than show to her employees.
- The Alcoholic: Lost total control of her drinking during season 2.
- Anti-Villain: She is entirely alright with wiping people's minds and sending misbehaving Dolls or employees to the infamous attic, she also believes she is helping both the Active (a damaged, depressed, down on their luck, etc. person give up five years for care and wealth in the end. Their original personality doesn't even realise any time has passed!) and the client (the often lonely individual gets to fulfill their bizarrest, most secret fantasy). She also truly seems to care for the Actives in her house.
- Batman Gambit: Pretty much her whole role in "The Attic."
- Broken Bird: Adelle has nobody in her life that she can truly confess her feelings to, instead using a doll as the closest thing she has to 'company'.
- The Chessmaster: Easily the biggest one in the show. "I played a bad hand well", indeed.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Adelle reacts to harsh circumstances by pouring herself a drink, and she finds herself increasingly doing this as the show progresses.
- Eating The Eyecandy: Has a rather brazen crush on Victor, as the trope below explains. Even after she permanently calls off the Ms. Lonelyhearts engagements, she still ogles Victor at the Dollhouse now and again.
- Embarrassing Secret: She is in fact the infamous Victor repeat-customer, Ms. Lonelyhearts. When a character discovers it, the reactions range anywhere from contempt, to confusion, to even hilarity - especially considering that everyone is under the impression that Ms. Lonelyhearts is a creaky old woman in a walker. While most of the other characters play this up for laughs, she herself is utterly ashamed and pathetic in the face of it.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In "Belonging" of the misogynistic Nolan:You're a rapist scumbag just one tick short of a murderer. I've forgotten, do you take sugar with your tea?
- I Am Very British: Trope Namer. She doesn't say hard 'r's.
- Kick the Dog: In both "Meet Jane Doe" and "A Love Supreme" .
- Lady Drunk: Due to her tendency to indulge in Drowning My Sorrows.
- Lonely at the Top: Due to her job demanding both complete secrecy and utter ruthlessness, she's unimaginably lonely. She tries to have a secret sexual relationship with Victor as the infamous repeat client Ms. Lonelyhearts, but it just ends up making her even more depressed and miserable. Not helped at all by the fact that most of the Dollhouse staff makes fun of her for it (without realizing it's her). This is later rectified as she establishes a motherly bond with Topher.
- Made of Iron: The woman takes a bullet right in the gut, and ignores it completely to finish what she was doing before getting treatment.
- Mama Bear: Toward the Actives in general and, eventually, toward Topher.
- Manipulative Bitch: She's got everyone under her thumb.
- More Deadly Than the Male: Easily the most dangerous character in the show.
- My God, What Have I Done?: A minor one alongside Topher, when she realises what they inadvertently did to Priya."You have made me an accomplice in something vile... and it ends now."
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Always true but specifically demonstrated when she breaks with Rossum in "Epitaph One".
- Spot of Tea: She tends towards green tea, though.
- The Stoic: She took a bullet during Dominic's mind-wiping and refused treatment until it was over.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: To quote the woman herself, any good battle plan must be fluid.Dominic: You played a good hand, ma'am.
Adelle: I played a bad hand very well. There is a distinction.
Echo's gruff but kind handler. An ex-cop, he has serious reservations about the work the Dollhouse does, yet constantly shows unswerving loyalty to Echo. Acts as the moral lodestone of the Dollhouse. Later promoted to head of security.
- Affably Evil: He's genuinely polite, kind and charming even while manipulating people to his own ends. He genuinely cares about all of the team and considers them "his family". Even when his cover is blown, he never loses his manners.
- Big Bad Friend: Boyd turns out to be the head of Rossum
- Chekhov's Gunman: The mysterious founder of Rossum Corporation had been hanging out in the LA Dollhouse for two whole seasons, right in front of the viewers faces.
- Deadpan Snarker: Not as much as Topher, but definitely has his moments - his quips make him come across as the Only Sane Man. Funny in that he's far from it - even lampshaded by Topher.
- Do Unto Others Before They Do Unto Us: He is afraid of imprinting technology bringing about the end of civilization... so he plans on controlling all imprinting technology so that he can control that civilization. Crosses over into Start X to Stop X.
- Evil All Along: He's been the head of the Rossum corporation all along. Even before the events of the show.
- The Handler: His official job in the Dollhouse is being Echo's handler. He's later upgraded to Chief of Security and essentially becomes everybody's handler.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Is turned into a Doll in his last moments, willingly and ignorantly blowing himself up with an innocent smile.
- Karmic Death: Of the Action Bomb variety.
- Large and in Charge: He's the tallest of the cast at 6"4" and revealed as the head of Rossum.
- The Man Behind the Man: He was the head of Rossum the entire time.
- Morality Chain: He serves as this to Adelle. Or at least he tries. Or so it seems.
- Papa Wolf: In regards to Echo.
- Positive Discrimination: Until The Reveal.
- True Companions: "You're my family. I love you guys." Has way darker undertones when the team learns what this really means (that he wants to safeguard them, and only them, against remote imprinting technology) and how batshit insane he is.
- Walking Spoiler: Due to The Reveal that he is in fact the head of the Rossum Corporation, he becomes very hard to talk about.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He believes that the imprinting technology will inevitably bring about the end of civilization, and he is (in his own twisted way) attempting to safeguard the people he cares about through it by using Echo's cerebrospinal fluid to create a vaccine for them.
The Los Angeles Dollhouse's genius head programmer. He creates and implants the personalities used by the actives, but has little regard for the morality of what he is doing... at first.
- Adorkable: So very much. Especially in the presence of Bennett.
- Affably Evil: He's actually a very fun person to be around. He just happens to be a sociopath with no morals whatsoever.
- The Atoner: After realizing he unintentionally caused the Apocalypse.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He requires a trampoline and a fridge to agree to work for the Dollhouse.
- Dating Catwoman: With Bennett.
- Deadpan Snarker: Odds are 9 to 1 if there's a dry quip to made in any situation, it'll come from Topher.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- Topher is horrified when he discovers what really happened to Priya and refuses to allow Sierra to be given over to Nolan permanently.
- He also had serious reservations about imprinting a batshit insane serial killer onto an active simply because his Uncle was a favored repeat customer.Topher: Certain enough that I have serious ethical problems trying to wake him up.Boyd: Topher has ethical problems. (Beat) Topher.Topher: Heh. ...Way to land it.
- He also becomes livid after Adelle sells his remote-imprint tech to Rossum in exchange for regaining control of her house, knowing full well it could end the world.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: In "Epitaph One," he's gone mad from the realization he might be responsible for the end of the world. Might have been helped by Bennett's murder having clearly traumatized him.
- For Science!: This appears to be his primary motivation.
- Heroic BSoD: After Bennett is killed right in front of him. He has a milder one earlier after helping kill and dismember the doctor who made Priya into a Doll.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In "Epitaph Two: Return," he restores the minds of everyone that has been imprinted with a pulse that kills him when activated.
- Insufferable Genius:"Of the two people here, one of us is a genius, and the other is a security guard in a very lovely suit."
- Jerkass: In first season, gradually evolving into Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As of the second season.
- Lack of Empathy: His defining trait, that is until Character Development sets in.
- Lonely at the Top: Due to the nature of his work (and possibly because of a general lack of morality), Topher is an incredibly lonely guy. Adelle realizes this, and to make sure he doesn't go crazy from it lets him imprint an active into a friend once a year (on his birthday). Later in season 2, this trope is largely averted as he grows closer to Echo, Boyd and Ballard.
- Mad Scientist: His technological advances brought about the thoughtpocalypse, after all.
- Manchild: In both positive and negative senses. He's playful and fun-loving in a childlike way, and on occasions when he's given an Active to play with, he only uses them for platonic play. On the other hand up until late in the show's run, he's never had to think about the consequences of his actions or deal with the morality of working for a place like the Dollhouse.
- My God, What Have I Done?:
- By "Epitaph One", due to his role in creating the tech.
- He has a smaller-scale one earlier when he realises that, instead of helping Priya by curing her psychosis, he was complicit in her enslavement and rape.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: A computer expert and neuroscientist. Though both are essential for his job.
- Computational neuroscience and neuroinformatics are actual sub-fields that pretty much have those as the basic requirements.
- Sanity Slippage: Throughout Season 2, he suffers one trauma after another. It culminates with Bennett's death and he completely snaps, regressing to a child-like state. Not helped at all with Rossum mentally torturing him by killing people and forcing him to watch every day for ten years.
- Pet the Dog: Intentionally treats his assistant like shit so she doesn't end up as messed up as he is. This no longer becomes necessary after they learn of Rossum's plans and the LA House goes rogue.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Type C, especially in season one. He's like a big very intelligent kid who does not care about right or wrong who performs Mind Rapes for a living. In some ways this makes him seem less threatening than some other type C's.
- The juice boxes and trampoline also help.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He has a phobia of rats.
- Would Hit a Girl: Knocks Bennett out when he discovers her duplicity.
- Played by: Tahmoh Penikett
FBI agent striving to investigate the truth about The Dollhouse, a job described as "the nicest version of fired the bureau has." Like Alpha, he has developed an unhealthy obsession with Echo/Caroline, but you know, a less slashy one.
- Agent Mulder: In Season One. He is obsessed with finding and exposing the Dollhouse, and his fellow FBI agents, believing the very idea of such a place to be an urban legend, think him a nutjob for it.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Wears one both as an FBI agent and as Echo's handler.
- Character Development: Starts in 1x06, when he begins to realize the Black-and-White Morality lens he's been viewing the Dollhouse through is somewhat inappropriate.
- Cowboy Cop: If the urban legend-y subject of his investigation didn't alienate him from his fellow agents already, his tactics of badgering witnesses and interfering in other investigations to try and find information on the Dollhouse sure did.
- Determinator: Even after being suspended from the FBI, he still sneaks in to convince a coworker to run prints and pictures for him in his quest for the Dollhouse.
- The Handler: Becomes Echo's handler in Season Two.
- Idiot Hero: For an FBI agent, he seems hopelessly ignorant of proper procedure and constantly goes into situations without preparation or backup. Of course, it's more that no one in the FBI would be his backup or follow the leads he does.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Especially after he starts working for the Dollhouse in season two.
- Mr. Fanservice: This guy finds shirts mostly unnecessary, especially in his own home. And in his own dreams.
- Not So Different: Evidently not above using an imprinted Echo to help him catch the people he never could while with the FBI. Fantasies, indeed.