Well, most of you reading this may have heard me talk about Firefly before, but I figure I should give it a shot on here, for all of you who don’t see me too much.
Some of you may have seen the stunning previews for the upcoming science fiction/western movie Serenity. Turns out that movie is a continuation of the story set forth in Joss Whedon’s Firefly series, and I am in crazy anticipation for this movie. It’s not just because the Firefly universe is so dark and compelling, the characters are so real and human with senses of humor, the special effects are unbelievable, the storylines rich with actual character development, or that it has both a priest and a prostitute among it’s characters. It’s because of the promise that the success of this movie might fulfill for other beloved television shows crapped on by major networks.
This show has met it’s fair share of adversity on the corporate level. Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy and Angel, decided to pitch a story of frontier living in space to Fox, and once they filmed the original pilot (also titled Serenity) Fox decided it needed more action and less storyline. So, Joss made The Train Job, a one-hour fantastic joyride in which the bandits rob a futuristic train but realize the cargo are precious medicines needed by a town on the brink of famine. This second pilot did a great job of reintroducing all the characters without making anything from the first pilot moot, and it was the first episode shown on TV.
After that, the story is a mess. Fox decided to air the episodes out of order or not air them at all. So, in the fifteen episodes on the complete series DVD set, three were never aired, while the others were in such an order it’s no wonder people trying to follow it week-to-week scratched their heads — they had no idea really what was going on. The original pilot, which was meant to introduce viewers to this complex universe, was only aired last, right before cancellation.
So, fans started buying the DVD’s, and sales went through the roof. Through word-of-mouth, the phenomenon grew. There were so many DVD’s sold, Fox decided to give Joss Whedon his wish: to make a movie and wrap up some of the threads running unanswered throughout the show. Now, Joss had a unique opportunity and challenge: to introduce newcoming audiences for a third time to this crew and to satisfy long-time browncoats (Firefly fans) with the same consistently good storyweaving and dialogue we have come to expect.
I can almost guarantee it will be a cash cow. They have shown an unusually high number of pre-screenings that have all ended with thunderous applause, so I hear. The three-part comic series, which bridges the six-month gap between the final episode, Objects in Space, and the movie is sold out online and in every comic book shop I’ve been to. If it does well, then perhaps it will come back to television or be brought back some other way.
If it does well, then perhaps other beloved series, such as Enterprise will have a chance at another go.
Right now, Firefly doesn’t resemble a bug as much as it does a phoenix.