Joss Whedon: Firefly

Posted on January 17, 2004

Firefly premiered as part of the fall 2002 lineup for Fox broadcasting. The Fox website describes Firefly this way:

“Set 500 years in the future in the wake of a universal civil war, FIREFLY tells the tale of Serenity, a small transport spaceship without a home port. Captain Malcolm (“Mal”) Reynolds commands Serenity for legitimate transport and salvage runs, as well as more “entrepreneurial” endeavors.

On Serenity, crew and passengers live together in close quarters as they shuttle between the Alliance-governed galaxy and the border planets that delineate the new frontier. The crew undertakes almost any job — legal or not — to stay afloat and put bread on the table. Each of the passengers has his or her own motivation for being on board – some honorable, some more questionable. All have unique pasts and different reasons for wanting to get to their destination.

Serenity and its crew flies to the border planets, many of which are barely inhabited, because they want to stay away from the Alliance and below its big radar. Thrust together by necessity, the disparate men and women of Serenity face constant challenges, which test and reveal their true identities. FIREFLY is about their unpredictable lives and relationships, as well as their search for meaning in a very uncertain time.”

Firefly is so much more than that. It’s a western. It’s a mystery (several actually). It’s science fiction. It’s good writing, brilliant humor and engaging stories. It’s a breath of fresh air in a world of “Who Wants To Be/Marry/Sleep With/Give Birth To/Have Dinner With/Serve Cheese Fries To A Millionaire.”

Unfortunately it looks as though Firefly will not go beyond this season. Fox has cancelled the show and UPN, while reportedly interested, turned down the option to pick it up. Television is lessened by this unhappy event.

Update: The gods have smiled upon us! Firefly has been released on DVD in its entirety. There is also a possible feature movie in discussion. Sometimes…. life is good!

The DVD release contains the series in the original order, not the butchered order that Fox used (hey, let’s put the first episode last… that won’t confuse anyone… dorks). The DVDs also contain 3 episodes that never aired. I have watched the series again from start to finish and I believe it is one of the finest TV shows ever made. Don’t believe me? Go to amazon.com and grab a copy. You will believe.