You’ve trawled through all of their originals, you’ve re-watched their Disney offerings too many times to count and so you delve deeper into the Netflix Vault to see what you can find. There are some, far braver than I who trek deeper into the realm of obscure to find shows that you’re not quite sure what an Earth Netflix was thinking. This time around my search was cut short as I was recommended Firefly with ardent enthusiasm and I got stuck in over the Christmas break.
I wasn’t completely oblivious to Joss Whedon’s creation, I’d heard about it here and there and more so about how it was cruelly cancelled after it’s first season despite a passionate fan-base, well balanced cast of characters and a promising outlook for the future. I must admit, thinking back to that era of the early 2000’s and what was on the box I’m stumped as to why this show of all shows was axed before it was given chance to fly.
Firefly, named so for the class of ship that carries a crew that we get to know and love is Western and Science Fiction hybrid, that drives a galactic concept while maintaining a gritty sense of realism through the keeping of complex characters and recognisable human traditions. Set in 2517, the Captain of the Serenity, Malcolm Reynolds as played by Nathan Fillion is a Space Civil War Veteran turned Space Scoundrel still clinging to his freedom and independence through the form of thievery and smuggling. In tow he has fellow veteran and loyal second in command Zoe Allyne Washburne as played by Gina Torres and her husband and pilot Hoban ‘Wash’ Washburne as played by Alan Tudyk. There are more to account for and more that join the crew on their intergalactic exploits that is the core of this series.
Of course, the path of smuggling is rarely a smooth and simple one, the crew of Serenity soon find themselves harboring fugitives but not just any run of the mill fugitives; the highest class of fugitive in the entire galaxy. River, a highly intelligent child prodigy was subjected to horrific and painful experimentation and it was her brother Simon who organised a rescue only to end up seeking passage on board Serenity. The episodes are fast paced and generally character driven, it is the universe that is less explored to allow for character arcs and backstories to take precedence. Personally, this is where I believe the success of this show derives and enabled it at the time to be refreshing in the genre. Again, it baffles me that Firefly, given the opportunity to flourish.
The cast is somewhat diverse and surprisingly balanced in gender with not so limited representations which I admit I was expecting with a series that was first broadcast in 2002. Television has come some distance since then I would say. Perhaps Firefly was ahead of it’s time then? A saddened thought but naturally it does not come without fault. There were occasions where the varying cultures throughout this universe could have been handled with more thought and care, stereotypes heavy handed to portray certain cultures that have remained in a more explored universe. You’d think that society would have branched out and become more open minded in a space age era but many still are laden with outdated and old fashioned ideals. Perhaps this was purposeful to prove humankind’s inability to complete change? That prejudices and ignorance spreads further the wider the scope of humanity? Perhaps, I’d prefer to leave that thought open for debate.
FUN FACT: Summer Glau as pictured heading the above Serenity promotional poster is also known for playing Isabel Rochev in hit superhero television series Arrow.
Netflix doesn’t only provide the first and only season of the series in their vault but also Serenity, which I’m sure didn’t provide the fans with much comfort seeing as they’d been robbed of a possible seven seasons but better than nothing right? I cannot speak for a steady fan following that I have not been a part of since the show’s release but I personally enjoyed the plot taken. Serenity managed to fulfill my expectations, maintain the heart of the show that I feared would be lost and ended…well, I continue to remain bitter toward the ending but to tell you why would be spoilers! However, I was most pleased to see more of River’s story as I imagine her arc would have been fascinating to see play out in several more seasons.
In conclusion, I too watched Firefly and was amazed as to why it was dropped. The dialogue is delightfully witty as to be expected, the episodes ranged from super intense and frightening at times to a hilariously placed filler that still managed to contain relevant plot points or character development. I just wish we could have seen this develop and grow, who knows maybe there’s talk of a resurgence going on somewhere out there?
Have you been a fan of Firefly since the very beginning? Why do you think the show got prematurely cancelled? Do you think there’ll ever be talks of a new season? Were you a fan of the follow up film? Let me know in the comments! Once again, thanks for reading and you can follow me on twitter @bingebox for updates and general binge goodness.
Binge Rating: ★★★1/2