Have You Watched Firefly Yet?
May 10, 2011
On September 20, 2002, the Fox Broadcasting Company aired the first episode of a promising new science fiction drama by writer and creator Joss Whedon. Except, it wasn’t actually the first episode. The show is called Firefly, and after only eleven of fourteen episodes aired, the show was cancelled. The premise of the show isn’t exactly a new one, but it was approached in a very original way. Basically, Earth became overpopulated and all her resources were harvested. Luckily, technology had progressed far enough that humans were able to build ships and travel to find new worlds to inhabit and terraform to support human life. A new government was formed to unify all of the colonies together.
The "Central" planets-The Alliance- are technologically advanced and filled with the upper class. The "Outer" worlds are more like the wild, wild west where people travel by wagon and horseback and resist Alliance control. The show follows the adventures of a ragtag team of space pirates who do "jobs" in order to get by. They live and operate aboard an old space clunker called "Serenity". They get by fairly easily until they pick up a passenger: a genius doctor who is on the run from the Alliance. He is traveling with his even more of a genius sister who he broke out of an underground, government mental institution. We watch their lives as they struggle to find work while protecting the newest members of their family from those who would do them harm.
The show was cancelled for a number of reasons. The biggest reason was that the show didn’t have very many viewers. This, however, is not because of the show’s content or the acting. Fox aired the episodes out of order, not showing the pilot for quite a while. The show was also a little risky. The Alliance- the communist, technology rich society that were this Star Trek, would be the good guys- is the antagonist. The underdogs are the ones we, the viewers are rooting for. The show dealt with religion a lot too, creating Christian characters who are actually portrayed in a positive light which is kind of a taboo in Hollywood. The show was innovative and different right down to the way the characters talked (with a Western/Mandarin dialect). Turns out, Fox just wasn’t ready for Joss Whedon’s brilliance.
Three years after the show's cancellation Universal Pictures produced a film called Serenity (2005) which tied up most of the loose ends from the show. The show itself had developed a massive cult following, and they were just not ready to be done with Firefly yet. The main cast members all returned for the film, and it was well-received by the fans. To this day, those who love the show and its quirky characters still wish that, somehow, the show could be picked back up by a network. But, it doesn’t look likely. Regardless, we have fourteen amazing episodes and a fantastic film. I suggest you go out today and borrow, rent, or buy the show and watch it. This is my personal disclaimer. You will not be disappointed! …At least, I don’t think you will…
Blue Ridge Branch