Firefly (2002–2003)

TV Series  |  TV-14  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 9.1/10 from 168,791 users  
Reviews: 663 user | 61 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 250 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.


TV-14 | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

20 September 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Firefly: The Series  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Summer Glau appeared as a Prima Ballerina in Angel: Waiting in the Wings (2002). Whedon remembered her from this and contacted her about the part of River. 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 »


Shepherd Book: [Regarding Mal's new "wife"] If you take sexual advantage of her, you're going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters. And people who talk at the theatre.
See more »


Referenced in Robot Chicken: Help Me (2008) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Could have been great
30 May 2004 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

As with BtVS, the world is divided into people who get Firefly and people who don't. In this series Joss Whedon created one of the most realistic post-war visions of the future ever committed to tape, that at the same time spoke about yesterday and today. Maybe a little too much today for its own good.

The series is anti-corporate, anti-government and, while it takes the stand that some things are worth fighting for, it is largely anti-war. No wonder FOX did everything in its power to kill it off, including airing episodes out of order, skipping weeks after airing only three eps and, inevitably canceling the show without even airing episodes 12, 13 and 14 (out of 15). This was particularly damaging, as Firefly had a greater sense of ongoing plot than any other Whedon series in its first year. Viewers were left wondering, on more than one occasion, when a character would reference something we hadn't seen yet.

The backstage dramatics aside, Firefly is intelligent and, like Buffy, mythic - except this time Whedon is dealing with the myth of America: the Frontier, the Civil War, the rise of the Corporation, etc . . .

Firefly is a demanding show. It asks its audience to appreciate the shades of grey in its characters' moral scale. The villains are not comfortingly dressed as an alien race. In 500 years mankind will still be its own worst enemy. Technology will be in the hands of a privileged few, and others will in "The Black" - Whedon's frontier third world - where it is possible to exist without the interference (or benefit) of civilization and government. Things will be dirty, and used. Firefly creates a universe that almost totally opposes that of (that bastion of television sci-fi) Star Trek: its Federation-like central power (the Alliance) is interpreted as being oppressive and dystopic. We are on the side of those who resisted (like the Maqui) and lost.

The acting is strong, the writing as excellent, funny and moving as on any Whedon show, and the effects and sets create a consistent, believable world. It is a shame the series didn't have a more hospitable environment in which to grow and become all it could have been.

1,171 of 1,251 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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