Firefly: Season 1, Episode 1

The Train Job (20 Sep. 2002)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 2,523 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 9 critic

Mal and his crew pull a train robbery.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Towles ...
Valerie Red-Horse ...


Captain Mal Reynolds and his motley crew of space traders get a job that seems to be right up their alley. Gangster Adelai Niska wants them to rob a train and deliver the goods to them. Mal and Zoey have little trouble getting the job done and even convincing the local authorities that are just a married couple who have come looking for work. When the overhear that the stolen cargo was urgently needed medical supplies, Mal reconsiders whether he wants to do Nishka's dirty work. Back on the ship, Dr. Simon Tam continues to worry about his sister River who is still having nightmares about her institutionalization. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



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Release Date:

20 September 2002 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The two-hour Firefly: Serenity (2002) was originally intended as the pilot for the show. The network (FOX) however, decided not to air it, citing that they wanted a pilot with a more action-packed feel to it. With exactly one weekend to write a new pilot, executive producers Joss Whedon and Tim Minear wrote Firefly: The Train Job (2002), which appeared first on the show. A slightly retooled version of "Serenity" was later showed as an 'origins' story after Firefly (2002) had been canceled. See more »


The position of the rolling tray, the objects knocked off it, and the sheet on the medical bed changes between shots after River awakes from her dream. See more »


Inara Serra: A companion chooses her own clients. That's guild law. But physical appearance doesn't matter so terribly. You look for a compatibility of spirit... There's an energy about a person that's difficult to hide. You try to feel that...
Mal: [walks in] And then you try to feel the energy of their credit account. It has a sort of aura...
Inara Serra: What did I say to you about barging in to my shuttle?
Mal: That it was manly and impulsive?
Inara Serra: Yes, precisely. Only the exact phrase I used was "don't."
Mal: Well you're holding my ...
See more »


Referenced in Slither (2006) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Action Railway Style
30 December 2006 | by (Albuquerque New Mexico USA) – See all my reviews

OK, this show Firefly was a great show that got screwed over by fox. Premiting show times, moving show times, and most important not showing the pilot first. Train job was the first aired. This is out of sequence. Serenity pilot should have been the first aired. So fox who didn't like the pilot wanted a more A team approach so this was written in literally in a weekend. Its still a quality job done by the firefly boys. A western railroad train heist in the spirit of Ole Jesse James Gang except ya have a space ship coming down on a hyper train riding on air in arid type planet of the future. The crew of Serenity on the wrong side of the law perform a heist on a train in military fashion. With a sheriff who is fair and extremely upset that what is stolen is medicine for his small mining town. The crew of the firefly transport working for a gangster are remorseful and give it back. But now the motley crew has to deal with the gangster's hench men.

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