What’s it about?
Firefly is set in the 26th century where humans have terraformed many worlds beyond Earth. The not-for-everyone utopia of the Alliance-controlled central planets hasn’t quite spread to the outskirts yet, where a tougher, more frontier-style society exists. This is the realm of the crew of the spaceship Serenity, as they do what they need to get by and avoid unwanted detection.
Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, Ron Glass
An Introduction to Firefly
Serenity is a small Firefly-class ship favored by smugglers, owing to its many concealed nooks and crannies. Her captain, Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), fought alongside second-in-command Zoe Washburne (Gina Torres), on the losing side of the war against the Alliance – a ruling entity reminiscent of Star Wars’ Galactic Empire; certainly not everyone’s ideal of government.
Cap’n Mal acquires a crew of diverse characters including pilot Wash (Alan Tudyk), mechanic Kaylee (Jewel Staite), and doctor Simon (Sean Maher), as well as mercenary Jayne (Adam Baldwin), a high-status courtesan called Inara (Morena Baccarin), and a preacher named Book (Ron Glass). Many characters have intriguing secrets, one of them being the small matter of a brilliant but troubled girl named River (Summer Glau)…
Mal would be content with just getting by on the edges of Alliance space, but there are additional challenges that make this nigh on impossible: having to deal with unreliable and/or unhinged ‘business associates’ in order to pay the bills, evading shadowy operatives of the Blue Sun corporation (“two by two, hands of blue”), and avoiding the demented space savages known as Reavers.
Often described as a ‘Western in space’ or a ‘space opera’ (see also: Battlestar Galactica and The Expanse), Firefly’s characters on the outer planets rely on horses, cattle and old-fashioned guns of the non-laser variety. Language is entertainingly peppered with occasional frontier-style and Mandarin expressions/curse words, reflecting the superpowers of this future.
Firefly’s universe and “big damn heroes” quickly become familiar thanks to superb writing, characterization and a likable cast. The show has elicited an extraordinary amount of love and appreciation from fans, cast members and creator Joss Whedon alike.
Famously cut short in its prime by the network, fan campaigns and consistent sales of the DVD box set meant that Joss Whedon was able to re-unite the cast for the 2005 film Serenity, providing a decent amount of closure for the faithful and winning over cinema goers unfamiliar with the TV show. While the film works perfectly well on its own, you’ll appreciate things a little more if you watch the series first. Highly recommended!
Check out the Season 1 Trailer here: