|In the first season we are introduced to the Dollhouse universe, and its relevant concepts -- a corporation, Rossum, has covertly developed technology called imprinting, in which an individual, whose mind has been wiped, can be given new memories, skills, and talents, to the point of even making them actually blind, giving them the skills of a top flight self-defense expert, a negotiator with twenty years of experience. The wiped individual is called an "active", and is taken, purportedly from the ranks of volunteers who, for five years of service as an active, stand to be well-rewarded and their memories and abilities returned to them. When an active is not in the field ("engaged"), the active is left in a relatively childlike state with no life complications, no problems, and an innocent's trust in those around them. The place where actives remain when not in the field, and return to after their time in the field, is called The Dollhouse (from the colloquial name for an active being a "doll"). While there is only one single Dollhouse seen during season one, there are suggestions dropped that it is merely one of many. Complicating the situation for the Los Angeles Dollhouse is a persistent and determined FBI agent, whose obsessive personality leads him to the brink of destroying his own career in order to prove the existence of The Dollhouse, which almost every rational person around him is convinced is simply an urban legend.|
Also introduced are the main individual players in this scenario -- FBI agent Paul Ballard, #1 active Echo (whose original name appears to have been Caroline), her "handler" (field supervisor) Boyd Langton, LA Dollhouse supervisor/manager Adelle DeWitt, imprint genius Topher Brink, and actives Sierra and Victor. Further recurring individuals include Dollhouse security chief Laurence Dominic, Medical expert Dr. Claire Saunders, and active November.