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Winner of the Serenity pilot script posts details

Wednesday 16 August 2006, by Webmaster

Noted FFF.net Member Wins Firefly Script Auction

Okay, folks, it’s time to ’fess up. I was going to keep this on the QT, but it’s just way too shiny not to share it with my fellow Browncoats.

I, DonCoat, am the crazy person who won the eBay auction for Adam Baldwin’s script for Serenity (the pilot episode). It’s here at DonCoat Manor, sitting within reach as I write this, and I must say — it was worth every penny (especially since all those pennies went to a good cause).

Let me give you a little description. The package contained the following items: a nice personal thank-you note from Adam; an autographed photo of "The Man They Call Jayne" sandwiched between a couple of Serenity-logo publicity posters; and a neatly packaged script.

The script is a bit over 100 looseleaf pages held together with metal bendy tabs (not sure what those are called). The cover page is green, and is signed by all nine principals plus Joss and Tim Minear. There are a couple stains on the front and back covers — you can imagine the cast munching on donuts as they sat down for their read-throughs. The interior pages are typed or printed on one side only. There are a number of revisions; those pages are green as well, and include a few extra pages (e.g. 18 and 18A). The final revision is dated July 24, 2002.

Now here’s where things get really interesting.

Adam has highlighted all of his lines (or Jayne’s, if you prefer) in yellow highlighter, except on the revised pages. In a few places he has written some comments in the margins. And some of those comments are fascinating, and even hi-larious.

Page 8: (the script is describing the Dortmunder and its captain. Adam’s note: "The Boring People".

Page 30: after Mal’s line, "Jayne, your mouth is talking. You might wanna look to that," the script gives Jayne’s line as: "I’m ready to stop talking whenev —". Adam has written in, "—er and wherever you call it." Now, I haven’t checked whether this line was shot with that extension on it, or if Adam just wanted clarification about what he was supposed to be saying so it would sound more natural when Mal cut him off. Either way it’s pretty shiny.

Page 39: Adam got a little careless with the highlighter and left a mark in the margin. Maybe a random accident, but it happens to be just opposite Inara’s line to Book and Mal: "It’s all right. I mostly keep to myself. When I’m not whoring." So it doesn’t seem too much of a stretch that Adam might have gotten wild with the marker because he was laughing along with the rest of the cast at that point.

Page 63: in the scene where the crew are discussing Simon’s actions in forcing Mal to run from the Feds, Inara says "He didn’t shoot her." Jayne’s line is "But somebody on this boat did and I’m scratching my head as to why we ain’t dealt with him." Adam’s note to himself: Push their Buttons.

Page 82: discussing making the deal with Patience, Jayne says: "Still say there’s gonna be gunplay." Adam writes: (happy)

And now we come to the real gem of the whole script. Jayne’s last line comes on page 104, in the scene where Mal is asking him why he didn’t take Dobson’s bribe: "Well, that’ll be an interesting day." Now, imagine the scene. Adam has been hired for the role of Jayne, and knows only a little bit about him (he’s a mercenary, not too bright, not too dependable, etc.) The cast gets their script for the pilot episode and, for the first time, they read it through and get a real idea of the character they’re going to be playing. And what’s Adam’s reaction?

I’ll tell you what it is, because he wrote it down right there in the margin. And here’s what he had to say about Jayne:

....... I like him! .......

Underscored twice.

Adam, we are all so very glad you did. You made him unforgettable.

So that’s my initial impression of the Serenity script. I hope you enjoyed hearing about it. And if any of you folks were bidding against me, I offer my condolences, though I can’t honestly say I’m sorry I outbid you. This stack of paper is now one of my most valued possessions, and it will soon be in a bank deposit box for safekeeping.

Oh, one other observation: did you know the correct spelling is "Gorramn", with an n?

  I’m pointin’ right at it!