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an open letter to the fox network - and all those who like this show and
want to see that long lost PILOT!
How cruel to launch a show as good as this without the pilot to introduce it to it's audience. The fact that there are many folks out there who love it should tell you something about the writing - it's fun, it's got lots of action, and it's cool! But to neglect to "start" it where it began, is not much short of sabotage guys. There are things we want - make that need- to know. Why is the Shepherd on the ship? Is he going somewhere? or leaving somewhere? And there's that mystery girl River..... So how did these folks find Serenity? Does Mal take out advertisements or what? It sure would be nice to start a nationwide email campaign to get that pilot shown...anybody interested?
This show has all the promise of Farscape. It gives a great feel to the space western niche. It doesn't rely on major Fx ,but on the story and character development. It has wit and enough sci-fi flavor to keep the viewer engrossed in it's unusual stories (the story line with Jane as a hero comes to mind). Very good program, I hope it lasts.
I think that it is a great show and really really good characters and story plot. I think it will make a really great show and I hope that it stays on a while. I think it has great potential and had a great starting show.
Firefly is simply a precious gem. It is extremely rare that a TV show
can ever achieve such a level of character, drama, and comic wit that
pulls your interest and keeps you hooked. Firefly does all of that and
more. The dialog is well written, the plot is always intriguing and the
characters are all complex and yet interesting in their own right.
Whedon and the cast have outdone many other shows, achieving a level of
storytelling with a sci-fi/western twist thats so unique no other
program comes close.
Personally I was introduced to the 'Verse after the motion picture Serenity came to DVD, well after the series was done with. I hadn't even really heard of it at all (most likely due to poor advertising by the original network) but I quickly became hooked. Never before have I seen a cast of virtual unknowns mesh together with such skill and character along with Joss Whedon's masterful talent at writing and directing to create a fluid and compelling work as a whole.
I truly regret that the show was canceled at such a young stage, there were many plot lines that were left unfinished due to the sudden halt to production, yet the show and the movie both leave hope of things to come. With luck perhaps another network will pick up the series for a second chance. Even if they don't, this collection from the original episodes is a must see for any sci-fi fans and even those not inclined to the ideas of Star Trek, Star Wars, and the numerous other space shows and movies that have turned up over the years. Don't let this boat pass you by.
Firefly was a show that could almost be called "before its own time".
It is a brilliant show that did not get the ratings it needed to stay
on television. One of the biggest problems was that nobody knew what it
was. Even today, after the dvds have been out and popular and now the
Serenity movie is out, most people I talk to do not know what this show
was or is.
To let you know, Firefly is basically a futuristic western with a little Chinese thrown in for good measure. The captain, who is played by the wonderful Nathan Fillion, can remind you of Han Solo. The crew is a bunch of people from many different aspects of life that come together as a family on this ship called Serenity, a Firefly class ship. They are mercenaries who will basically take any job to get money, but they have heart and soul.
What really puts this show over the top is the dialog. Once again, Joss Whedon writes some of most brilliant dialog in all of television and movies.
Overall, Firefly was better than your average canceled TV show and deserved better than Fox gave it. Luckily, the DVD set is available now and is a great set with some great extras and commentaries. Also, there is the movie "Serenity" which was in theaters in September and the DVD will be out on December 20th. I highly recommend both the TV series and the movie. You will not be disappointed with your purchase.
I came late to the party. Not watching TV, only DVD of TV shows. Well,
all i can say is I waited too long.
The show starts a bit slow,then just kicks in and gets better with each episode.
Much in the way Buffy would move me, Firefly did too. Joss and the Cast just hit it.
This show really is about the ensemble cast as it develops with hints of back story. I tell people its as if Buffy meets Star Trek only better. What makes it so compelling is how it is so grey. Not the black and white of most shows. When you have Mal doing many nefarious things then harshliy judging Inara's profession.
Congrats to all on Serenity too.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I listen to a weekly podcast called Slice Of Sci-Fi - among others. A
few months back (I think it was around July, 2005) Summer, one of the
presenters, was raving about a preview she'd gone to. It was for a
movie called Serenity (due for US release 30th September, 2005 and NZ
release in December, 2005) which itself is based on a t.v. show called
Last weekend I was in a bookstore and happened to find a box set of Firefly DVD's. I had NZ$80 burning a hole in my pocket and thought "What the heck. I can give these disks a good home." I felt I had to watch this program if I wanted to enjoy the Serenity movie.
It took me two days to plow through all the episodes and - WOW - what an awesome show! I don't think they've screened the series on New Zealand t.v. and that's a terrible shame. Not that it matters now I have the DVD's. Yay me.
The characters are engaging, the dialog is superb and the stories are very well conceived. I love the special effects - in space, no-one can hear you screaming around the galaxy - and the Serenity ship is totally gorgeous. There are themes - story, not music - that I've barely glimpsed on my first run through these episodes (I kept getting distracted by the plots). That's alright, though. I can do a deeper analysis at a later date now I have the DVD's. Yay me.
Human nature hasn't changed in the last 500 years. Why would it change in the next 500 years? Star Trek promotes the idea of a Utopian society where humans are 'shiny' examples of morality and decency. It could happen, I guess - even if history is littered with contradictory evidence and sadly lacking in supporting proof. The Firefly 'verse, on the other hand, feels more likely because The Black is full of danger, uncertainty and ambiguity (even the Good Guys ain't so good). It's going to be fun making comparisons between Star Trek and Firefly now I have the DVD's. Yay me. (*Sigh* I think the DVD joke has truly run it's course.)
There is one final note I'd like to make concerning the DVD's. Stay away from the episode commentaries for as long as you can if you want to preserve the magic. Once the actors, writers and directors start pointing out the various mistakes it becomes nearly impossible to suspend your disbelief.
Science fiction puts ordinary people into extra-ordinary situations. Star Wars may have spaceships and robots but falls into the category of epic fantasy - character growth as a result of the journey. It has more in common with The Lord Of The Rings rather than 2001: A Space Odyssey. Let's see if Firefly qualifies IMHO as Sci-Fi.
THAR' BE SPOILERS YONDER - BE WARNED YE LAN' LUBBERS!
Firefly is a western in space. It's set on a Firefly-class spaceship called Serenity. The crew consists of Mal (the captain), Zoe (the first mate), Wash (the pilot), Kaylee (the engineer) and Jayne (public relations). They're just ordinary people trying to get by in a very indifferent universe - something we can all relate to. Mal rents a shuttle to Inara, a Companion, but most of their income is made from shipping cargo - quickly, quietly, and sometimes illegally. They're not adverse to occasional theft, either. Especially if said theft is at the expense of the Alliance.
In the pilot episode, which like the upcoming movie is also called Serenity, our intrepid crew visit a planet called Persephone. They try to conduct a little business and also take on some passengers - Dobson, Shepard Book and Dr. Simon Tam. Unknown to the rest of the crew, Simon has also brought on board some very dangerous cargo. It turns out to be his younger sister, River. As it stands, River is the exceptional situation that completes the science fiction formula. (Firefly is still a western in space, though, complete with horses, bar brawls and flying bullets.)
River is a genius. Everyone thinks she's at a school for the exceptionally gifted but instead has been the subject of mind-altering Alliance experiments. Simon decodes her cryptic letters home, letters that contain a secret plea - they're hurting us, get me out! What's a brother to do? Well, that's obvious. He moves heaven and Earth-That-Was to rescue his sister and together they run, probably for their lives. Ah, but the Alliance isn't going to let their star pupil escape so easily. Two by two, hands of blue.
Oh, and it's very funny when Dobson gets shot. Watching someone take a bullet in the head shouldn't be funny but Joss Whedon set it up so the audience believes he deserved what he got. Even so, it's disturbing when you find yourself applauding a cop killer - even if the cop is a bully who works for a totalitarian regime.
SPOILERS END - ARRRH
All in all, I'm very pleased with the show. Great acting, nice sets, love the music - especially the theme song. Too bad Fox dropped the program. Oh, well. At least Universal has come to the party. And they're bringing a huge-as gorilla to do the catering, too.
Like Rick says: "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful franchise." Or something.
OK, just to make this clear: I hate Science Fiction. The genre is notoriously stilted and cheesy, with wooden characters and weak style. Firefly is completely the opposite. My brother made me sit down and watch the hour-long introduction, which I was prepared to hate. The first few minutes- the war scene- is typical gritty space hero SciFi. The difference is that Joss Whedon took it beyond that. He created believable characters, multifaceted and intriguing. One of the most appealing qualities to the series is that not everything is fully explained. Whedon will drop a hint about a character or event, and then leave you wondering. I can see how this would frustrate Sci-Fi loving audiences just looking for a cookie-cutter story of laser guns and aliens. But for an audience prepared to go deeper into the characters and not so much into the blazing guns (there's plenty of that, too), I recommend Firefly. After that first episode, I was hooked. I have never seen any of Whedon's other work, but I am interested now that I have seen the depths he can take classic SciFi to.
All I knew about 'Firefly' when I started watching my friend's DVDs was
that it was a Space Western, and the brainchild of Joss Whedon. The
former had me worried, as I have never been a fan of westerns. The
latter gave me hope, as I have a great deal of respect for Joss.
It did take me a little while to accept the very literal extreme to which the 'Space Western' theme is taken, particularly when they were riding around on horses with old-fashioned 6-shooters. But in later episodes where we visit some Alliance worlds, I finally understood how the show is mainly set on the frontier of space where there is minimal infrastructure and not a lot of high-tech gadgetry to throw around.
But the setting is incidental to the characters, and the characters of Firefly are, IMO, Joss's greatest creations. Mal is an enjoyable cross between Mad Max and Han Solo, with a wicked sense of humour, and his relationship with Inara is priceless. Every character has a vital and unique role to play in the show, creating one of the strongest 'ensemble' casts I have ever seen.
Then there are the visuals. The digital effects are masterfully executed, and it is often impossible to tell where reality ends and fantasy begins. The sets are gorgeous with a stunning attention to detail. The costumes are simply jaw-dropping.
It pains me to ponder where this series might have gone if Fox had at least let it run to the end of its first season. It is a tragedy to see such a masterpiece cut down in its prime.
I couldn't disagree with you more jellyneckr. This show gave us everything that is missing on TV today: clever writing, interesting story lines, and characters you actually care about. The fact that it was a western in space was an interesting and unique concept, but it was beside the point. What really mattered were the character interactions, and the idea that, even in the future, we're not this unrecognizable human race. As in any Joss Whedon show, it amazingly combined humor, drama, action, and intense suspense. It wasn't cliché and didn't follow the same mold as everything else on TV. This show got canceled well before it ever should have, and all I can say is I can't wait for the movie to come out.
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