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"Firefly" Tv Series - Numero57.net Review

Saturday 3 March 2007, by Webmaster

Firefly. Like Chris Carter before him, Joss Whedon decided not to follow the massive success of Buffy by retreading the same ground. And like Chris Carter before him, this clearly displeased the moneymen. Firefly was never going to sell calendars and mousemats and pencilcases the way Buffy did. It just wasn’t that kind of show. Mind you, at its deepest level, Firefly had exactly the same premise as Buffy... a bunch of outsiders and misfits unite against a hostile universe, and through their love and friendship forge a life worth living. The Ur-Plot. I guess most people will be more familiar with the later film, Serenity, than with the original source material. Which is a tragedy of sorts despite the movie being excellent in its own right. Firefly was cancelled after half a season, and the film serves as a stop-gap “end” to a rich story that had been slowly unfolding. For those unfamiliar with either the film or the TV series, Firefly follows the travels of a starship, ‘Serenity’ (a ‘firefly’-class freighter), as the crew scrape a living on the galactic frontier, all the while evading the law... hot on their heels (in the form of shadowy, sinister covert agents as well as big starships filled with uniformed troops). It’s the life you imagine Han Solo was leading right up until that fateful day in Mos Isley. That said, there’s no aliens in Firefly. Space turned out to be empty when mankind started to explore it. Instead the setting is a very human one. It’s a dirty, dusty future that fuses China with the Wild West. And gone are Buffy’s highschool misfits to be replaced by a bitter war-veteran (from the losing side) and his best friend. Then there’s the best-friend’s Hawaiian-shirted pilot husband; the good-hearted and lovely ship’s engineer; an elderly disillusioned priest; a high-class prostitute; a once-wealthy and influential doctor and his young sister (the character around whom the primary plot arc revolves). The writing was of a quality you rarely encounter in any medium... somehow the characters that Joss Whedon creates have a life and a reality to them that makes him the envy, certainly of this writer, and I suspect many others too.