Frequently Asked Questions
The characters will occasionally break into Mandarin Chinese, particularly when they are cursing. This comes from one of the ideas of the show that America and China had previously joined forces as they ended up the last two superpowers on "the earth that was" (as characters on the show call it).
The episodes are arranged in their intended order on the DVD box set of the series. That order is as follows: "Serenity," "The Train Job," "Bushwhacked," "Shindig," "Safe," "Our Mrs. Reynolds," "Jaynestown," "Out of Gas," "Ariel," "War Stories," "Trash," "The Message," "Heart of Gold," "Objects in Space."
The Fox order: "The Train Job," "Bushwhacked," "Our Mrs. Reynolds," "Jaynestown," "Out of Gas," "Shindig," "Safe," "Ariel," "War Stories," "Objects in Space," "Serenity."
"Trash," "Heart of Gold," and "The Message" were unaired in the United States until "Firefly" began running on the Sci-Fi Channel in July 2005.
The term "Browncoat" was used in the episode "The Train Job" to refer to soldiers of the resistance who fought against the Alliance and lost. Devoted fans of Firefly (2002) adopted the moniker, seeing a parallel between the Browncoats' loss against the Alliance and their own defeat when Fox cancelled the series.
The term "flan" comes from an interview with Firefly (2002) star Nathan Fillion at the premiere of the film In Good Company (2004). Meaning to say "Firefly (2002) fans," Fillion slipped and said "flans" and good-naturedly mocked his own mistake with the exhortation "Keep being a good flan!" an became a in-joke amid series fans and eventually gave rise to the name "Flanvention," given to a large Firefly (2002) convention in the United States.
The Verse (an abbreviation of Universe) generally refers to the star cluster that was settled by the human folk who left Earth-That-Was and founded the Alliance. Using material compiled by Josh Awtry, The Verse appears to consist principally of a trinary star system, with two other stars orbiting a central one. The Core and Border Worlds orbit the central "White Sun." The second, "Red Sun," which orbits the central sun in an 80-year orbit, and its planets comprise the Rim and the Frontier. The third "Blue Sun" orbits the central sun in a 730-year orbit and has no planets listed (although it may at some point be revealed to have its own planetary system). Malcolm Reynolds states (in "Our Mrs. Reynolds") that there are over seventy "little earths" spinning about, all told. According to Awtry, there are "215 terraformed worlds and moons, seven gas giants, seven protostars and five distinct star systems that comprise the star cluster known as The Verse."
The Ballad of Jayne Cobb
Composed by Ben Edlund
Jayne. The man they call Jayne...
* He robbed from the rich and he gave to the poor. / Stood up to The Man and he gave him what for. / Our love for him now ain't hard to explain. / The hero of Canton, the man they call... Jayne!
Our Jayne saw the Mudders' backs breakin'. / He saw the Mudders' lament. / And he saw the Magistrate takin' / every dollar and leavin' five cents./ So he said "You can't do that to my people." / He said "Can't crush them under your heel." / Jayne strapped on his hat and in five seconds flat / stole everythin' Boss Higgins had to steal.
Now here is what separates heroes / from common folk like you and I. / The man they call Jayne, he turned round his plane / and he let that money hit sky./ He dropped it onto our houses; / he dropped it into our yards./ The man they called Jayne, he stole away our pain / and headed out for the stars!
Here we go!
Although it was never explained on the show or in the movie, the story of Shepherd Book's past was eventually told in a graphic novel called Serenity : The Shepheard's Tale. After running away from home and his abusive father, the young Henry Evans fell into a life of crime, and was then recruited into the Independence movement. As tensions between the Independents and the ruling Alliance increased, Evans volunteered to infiltrate the Alliance military and spy on them using a video transmitter implanted in his eye. After killing a man named Derrial Book and stealing his identiy, Evans joined a law enforcement agency, from where his ambition and drive attracted the attention of the military. When war broke out, Evans/Book attempted to orchestrate a simultaneous six-planet strike to end the war "in one day", but instead presided over a massacre of Alliance forces, including the loss of the starship IAV Alexander and the 4,000 aboard. Book was then discharged and dumped on a nearby planet via escape pod. Several years later, Book woke up in a homeless shelter after being beaten by Alliance soldiers for his role in the Alexander disaster, and had a spiritual revelation while eating a bowl of soup, which prompted him to join the church and train as a Shepherd. Ten years later, he left the church as a missionary, and took passage on the transport Serenity (as seen in the episode of the same name).
Back birth - idiot <> Chin-cha-da - hell <> Companion - high class courtesan <> Dien-dyododo-chowen - bastard <> Doh-ma - understand/understood? <> Drops - narcotics <> Fa-ta-bien - impossible/nonsense <> Gengish - competent <> Gorram - goddam <> Gosa - slang for excrement <> Hey-shu-peegou - dumbass <> Jin-seen-yung - idiot <> Jon-su - bitch/hardass <> Jus-sa-gran - dupes/suckers <> Los-soh-ret - excrement <> Mah song - quickly <> Mai-hong - hello <> Mei-mei - little sister <> Moon brain - lunatic/crazy <> Niou-se - lame <> Nu-shu-quong - nice going <> Purple belly - officious bureaucrat <> Roller - tank or armoured vehicle <> Rutting - (as in animal rutting) <> Sheinou-niou - no good <> Sly - gay <> Swa-shi - petty/small-time <> Ta-gow - Oh god! <> Tien-sha-duh=rubbishjunk <> Trim - "bush"(slang for sex) <> Wah - what the hell? <> Weak tea - not good/cheap <> Wetware - smuggled organs or organic technology <> Won-gwa-pee - to urinate or defecate
There are three main answers to that:
1. Joss Whedon said that River had a connection to the ship, and walking around barefoot helped her connect in a tactile way. She was also seen touching and feeling the walls with her hands.
2. Summer Glau (River's actress) has said she doesn't really like wearing shoes.
3. Joss Whedon usually has female characters barefoot in his work, and many people agree that Summer Glau has very beautiful feet.
It's possible, Buffy/Angel and 'Cabin in the Woods' all feature otherworldly threats and secret government organisations (The Initiative trying to exploit them, The Conspiracy trying to appease them and Shield trying to combat them). Humanity may have left Earth to establish the Firefly/Serenity colonies after the 'Cabin in the Woods'/Dollhouse apocalypses and this would explain Paris being in ruins at the end of Alien; Resurrection. We also have the doll Miss Edith belonging to vampire Drusilla from Buffy/Angel in the basement in Cabin in the Woods and Thor glimpsing the three figures dressed as a Wolf, a Ram and Hart in his dream in Avengers; Age of Ultron, Wolfram and Hart being the villains from Angel.
Blue Sun is the name of a nefarious corporation whose involvement with the Alliance and River is mostly just hinted at within the series. It has been observed that River attacks Jayne when he is wearing a Blue Sun T-shirt, and she hysterically peeled the labels off of cans with the Blue Sun label. It is generally understood that Blue Sun would have figured strongly in the future of the series if it had not been cancelled. In the comic book "Those Left Behind," with events taking place in between the series Firefly (2002) and the film Serenity (2005) the men with blue gloves are revealed to be employed by Blue Sun. When River escapes them, the Alliance brings in The Operative instead. Whedon has said that The Operative is a better big screen villain than the gloved men would have been.
1. Nathan Fillion (3); Firefly, Caleb in S7 of Buffy, and Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
2. Gina Torres (2); Firefly, Jasmine in S4 of Angel, and Nebula in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
3. Alan Tudyk (2); Firefly and the villainous/heroic(?) Alpha in Dollhouse
4. Adam Baldwin (2); Firefly and Marcus Hamilton in S5 of Angel
5. Summer Glau (3); Firefly, Dollhouse, and the prima ballerina in the S03E13 Angel ep 'Waiting in the Wings'.
6. Carlos Jacott (3); The Fed in Firefly, Ken in the 'Anne' ep of Buffy, and Richard Straley in 'The Bachelor Party' ep of Angel.
7. Andy Umberger (3); the captain of the Dortmunder in Firefly, D'Hoffryn in Buffy, and the psychic surgeon in the Angel ep 'I Fall to Pieces'.
8. Mark Shepherd (2); Badger in Firefly and later turns up as one of Ballard's FBI colleagues in Dollhouse. Also a BSG alumni.
9. Jeff Rickets (3); one of the blue handed men in Firefly, Weatherby on Buffy/Angel plus the spiderdemon at the end of Angel season 4
10. Gregg Henry (2); the Sheriff in 'The Train Job' here, and he later recurs in Dollhouse s01ep10 'Ghost'.
11. Christina Hendricks (2); Saffron in Firefly and a bar maid in the Angel ep 'The Prodigal'. She later starred in Mad Men with Whedonverse alumni Vincent Kartheiser.
12. Ira Steck (2); The intern here and the vamp Buffy fights in 'Lies My Parents Told Me'.
13. Michael Nagy (3); one of the hospital staff here, the Rat Pack vamp Jay-Don in the Angel ep 'The Shroud of Rahmon', and Alfonse (one of vampWillow's lackeys) in the Buffy ep 'Dopplegangland'.
14. Cathy Cohen (2); the admitting nurse here and the estate agent who hits on cool Xander in the Buffy ep 'The Replacement'.
15. Jonathon Woodward (3); as observed in the commentary, a hattrick (but not the only one): Tracey here, the vamp Holden Webster whom Buffy slays in 'Conversations With Dead People', and the traitorous Knox in season 5 of Angel each character seeming good but betraying everyone at the end.