Firefly@N-Zone - Firefly DVD Review
By Jeff Ritchie & Lisa Origlieri
Thursday 11 December 2003
Firefly DVD Review from @N-Zone by Jeff Ritchie and Lisa Origlieri
Video Rating: 4 1/2 stars
Firefly was a western/sci-fi show that followed the crew of the Serenity. With a massive cast of nine main actors, Firefly was never at a shortage for storylines, and it is a shame that they did not get to tell them all. Led by Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), the Serenity had an eclectic crew that included a Shephard (Ron Glass), a Companion (Morena Baccarin), and a mentally disturbed girl (Summer Glau). Written by Joss and other Buffy alums, Firefly had all the workings of a Joss show - witty dialogue, great action, and strong, compelling storylines.
The four disc set contains every episode of Firefly. Disc One has: “Serenity - Part 1 and 2,” “The Train Job,” and “Bushwhacked.” Disc Two has “Shindig,” “Safe,” “Our Mrs. Reynolds,” and “Jaynestown.” Disc Three has “Out of Gas,” “Ariel,” “War Stories,” and “Trash (never aired).” Lastly, Disc Four has “The Message (never aired),” “Heart of Gold (never aired),” and “Objects in Space.” As a nice little touch the packaging on each disc has the original airdates of each episode.
Honestly, I was a bit disappointed with the video transfer. Offered in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, the video tends to get somewhat poor during dark scenes. It gets visibly grainy and loses a lot of detail. This is much less of a problem in lighter scenes. However, the CGI work looks quite crisp.
The only problem with the sound is that the voices can be somewhat soft. It is offered in English, French, and Spanish Dolby Surround, and really sounds great, especially with all of the space ship sounds. The music is also very prominent and enjoyable.
There are also two featurettes. “Serenity: The 10th Character” is an intimate discussion of the ship. It has interviews with Joss Whedon, Production Designer Carey Meyer, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Alan Tudyk, Nathan Fillion, Camera Operator Allen Easton, Visual Effects Supervisor Loni Peristere, and Summer Glau. They talk about the ship, its importance to the characters and audience, the design schemes, and the unique nature of each room. There are behind-the-scenes shots of the 190-foot set and shots of the Zoic Visual Effects Studio working on the computer generated images. Finally, they discuss the flying mechanisms of Serenity.
The second, and larger, featurette is entitled “Here’s How It Was: The Making of Firefly,” which is, at times, a bittersweet discussion on just about everything. It has interviews with Joss Whedon, Producer Gareth Davies, Executive Producer Timothy P. Minear, President of Mutant Enemy Chris Buchanan, Sean Maher, Adam Baldwin, Jane Espenson, Jewel Staite, Alan Tudyk, Translator Jenny Lynn, Assistant to Producer Kelly Wheeler, Nathan Fillion, Morena Baccarin, Summer Glau, Ron Glass, Gina Torres, Camera Operator Allen Easton, Visual effects Supervisor Loni Peristere, Associate Producer Lisa Lassek, and Composer Greg Edmonson. They talk about the origins of the show, the basic idea and genre, dealing with the networks, airing issues, and the decision to incorporate the Chinese language into the show. The characters and their relationships are discussed in detail, as well as the music, on set fun, the fan response, and speculation on what could have been if the show stayed on the air.
There are other special features as well. There are four deleted scenes: two in “Serenity,” one in “Our Mrs. Reynolds,” and one in “Objects in Space.” Before you choose one there is a text explanation of why it was cut. Most of the scenes are good, character defining scenes. The “Gag Reel” was created by Joss for their Christmas party which turned out to be their wrap party. It is one of the best put together reels I have seen, but is a little short. “Joss Tours the Set” is a short piece that has Joss talking about Serenity and some of the various rooms. Finally, “Joss Sings the Firefly Theme” has the intro with Joss Whedon singing the theme song and playing guitar.
Video Release Date: 09/12/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 09/12/2003
DVD Special Features: - DVD-Video
Dolby Digital Formats: