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Firefly (2002–2003)

TV Series  |  TV-14  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 9.1/10 from 172,986 users  
Reviews: 667 user | 62 critic

Five hundred years in the future, a renegade crew aboard a small spacecraft tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions as well as authority agents out to get them.


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2003   2002  
Top Rated TV #16 | Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete series cast summary:
 Captain Malcolm 'Mal' Reynolds (14 episodes, 2002-2003)
 Zoë Washburne (14 episodes, 2002-2003)
 Hoban 'Wash' Washburne (14 episodes, 2002-2003)
 Inara Serra (14 episodes, 2002-2003)
 Jayne Cobb (14 episodes, 2002-2003)
 Kaylee Frye (14 episodes, 2002-2003)
 Dr. Simon Tam (14 episodes, 2002-2003)
 River Tam (14 episodes, 2002-2003)
 Shepherd Book (14 episodes, 2002-2003)


Captain Malcolm 'Mal' Reynolds is a former galactic war veteran who is the captain of the transport ship "Serenity". Mal and his crew, ensign Zoe Alleyne Washburne; Zoe's husband, pilot Hoban 'Wash' Washburne; muscular mercenary Jayne Cobb; young mechanic Kaylee Frye; former Alliance medical officer Simon Tam; his disturbed teenage sister River (both on the run from the interplanetary government "The Alliance"); the beautiful courtesan Inara Serra; and preacher Shepherd Book do any jobs, legal or illegal, they can find as the Serenity crew travels across the outskirts of outer space. Written by Daniel Williamson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Meet the most spaced-out crew in the galaxy.


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Release Date:

20 September 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Firefly: The Series  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Joss Whedon originally wrote the role of Mal Reynolds with Nicholas Brendon in mind. However, the shooting schedule conflicted with his commitment to Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997). See more »


The Chinese characters for "Blue Sun" change from throughout the series. On Jayne's T-shirt, "Blue Sun" is Qing Ri, but in logo signs, it's Lan Ri. In ancient China, as well as Japan, green and blue were seen as different shades of the same color. The character Qing was used to represent both green and blue. In modern China, Lan is the character used for blue. See more »


[opening narration for episodes: Safe, Ariel, War Stories, Heart of Gold]
Mal: Here's how it is: The Earth got used up, so we moved out and terraformed a whole new galaxy of Earths. Some rich and flush with the new technologies, some not so much. The Central Planets, thems formed the Alliance, waged war to bring everyone under their rule; a few idiots tried to fight it, among them myself. I'm Malcolm Reynolds, captain of Serenity. She's a transport ship; Firefly class. Got a good crew: fighters, ...
See more »


The Ballad of Serenity
Performed by Sonny Rhodes
Written by Joss Whedon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

You will either love it, or hate it - read why...
22 January 2004 | by (Duisburg, Germany) – See all my reviews

There is one big premise that you have to swallow in order to like this show. If you can't cope with it, you won't like it, because it will smack you in the face in every episode.

It is like the James Bond movies, if you don't accept, as a premise, that Bond, James Bond, can do everything, fly, drive, shoot, use *every* piece of machinery on the planet, that he can shoot better than all his adversaries (who all miss, all the time) and gets *all* the babes, if you don't accept this, you have to hate James Bond movies, because they are ridiculous. We talk about suspense of disbelief.

The one thing you have to swallow, without thinking about it, is, that in this particular science fiction universe, the future looks like this:

You have core planets, which are like one would imagine future worlds: Big, beautiful buildings, hight tech gadgets, spaceships and shuttles, modern weapons (some that don't kill by using some kind of sonic boom), flat displays, a modern, digital credit system instead of localised currency, a totally diverse people influenced by every imaginable culture, heavily influenced by the chinese society, the only remaining superpower besides the USA and so forth.

But, and this is a capitalized BUT: There are also the outer rim planets. They don't have a developed infrastructure and such. Settlers are dumped on planets with next to nothing, exploited to recover raw materials, used as cheap labor, trying to survive. Still sounds reasonable, no? The catch is: all these outer rim worlds look like you have been thrown into a cheap spaghetti WESTERN movie.

They trade cows, they use old revolvers, drive horses and dress in western-style garments. You have little, old, dirty small villages with a saloon and stuff. These outer rim planets, out of reach of the civilised Alliance, are a no-mans-land, with superstitious, uneducated fools, where the strong fist rules - if you have the most men and guns behind you, you are the law. The poor grunt is like the cowboy in a typical western movie.

Hard to accept? Partially yes, of course. But there is logic in almost everything: there are future references everywhere! Real food (as opposed to synthesized proteins) is a rare commodity, the RICH guys have laser guns or state of the art display devices.

And - they stay true to this premise throughout the show, which is a rare thing in today's entertainment.

But apart from this (for some) hard to accept premise, this show is the most entertaining, clever, realistic(!), funny, imaginative, creative, thrilling piece of entertainment I had the pleasure of viewing (by downloading it from the internet) in years (don't get me wrong: I downloaded it because I live in Germany and the show was never aired here, and I asked my brother, who lives in the USA, to get me the DVD as a christmas present - and he did)

As for realism: Why do they still use guns to kill people, why not lasers like in Star Trek (which i am avid fan of)? I say: guns kill people, bullets are cheap. Guns get the killing done. (And there are modern (bullet) guns and lasers in the show, they exist, they are simply not widespread and only available to the rich.

No sound in space - a little thing with big impact. Not only is it realistic, but it adds to the atmosphere. Instead of ridiculous sound effects the scenes in space are underlaid with vivid music, only emphasising the vastness and nothingness of space.

The basics of the universe comply with our world. In the outer rim, where modern civilization hasn't gotten a foothold yet, things - which are to us - common, are valuable merchandise! Just imagine the third world... How much worth are medicine, guns, food there? There are (to us) barbaric customs in uncivilised areas of the world and all this is being portrayed in the show.

The Plots are great, not like in Enterprise where you seem to have seen everything somewhere before, these plots are unique, thrilling and exciting. I have seen episodes where I thought "ok, I get it" and then *wham* the story turns into a totally different direction. Surprises at every corner.

The show is so refreshingly politically incorrect, I don't want to give away plot details, but there are situations you know from your movie/series experience and think OMG there we go again (Hostage situations someone?) and then*boom* - the protagonist does EXACTLY what WE would wish to do but which every movie/series is afraid of doing because it is not PC.

The characters are three dimensional and so well laid out. This "family" on board a little spaceship, a confined space(!), with all their motivations, quirks and problems, trying to get along and achieve their goals, are so believable and make for a hell of a ride.

The creators of this show have, in the first 14 episodes, established plots, characters and atmosphere that other science fiction series have only managed to achieve - if ever - in the last seasons of their time on air.

Such a pity that most American viewers couldn't see behind a bold, unique, hilarious - if difficult to accept at first glance - premise... and see the beautiful gem of a show behind it.

482 of 537 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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