Firefly: I repent

There was this little show that was on Fox last season, in their dreaded Friday night timeslot, which was marketed to look like yet another Star Trek/Babylon 5/Farscape. When the show got cancelled (and we all knew it would), there was a HUGE cry of agony across the whole cafe society community. I thought “so what, I wasn’t going to watch it anyway”…but as the months went by, they didn’t shut up. They kept going on about how this was the worst tragedy that Fox has committed yet (and I was there when Futurama, Undeclared, Wonderfalls, Skin, and now most likely The Inside were cancelled, not because they sucked (which they didn’t at all) but because Fox are a bunch of idiots who don’t know how to make a good show work), and I just wanted those geeks to shut up and get over with it. Last weekend I finally cracked down and gave the show a try.

I repent.

Firefly is one of the most entertaining television shows I’ve ever seen. It’s like Futurama meets Deadwood meets Red Dwarf and even some elements similar to 24, all four of which could easily be on my list of top 10 favorite tv shows ever. This show breaks every movie/tv cliche in the book, and does it with style. I was going to try one episode (turns out the pilot was 2 hours) and stayed for 4 in a row. As tempted as I am to finish off the series in one night, I want to space out the viewings, to let the experience last longer.

Anyway, add me to the list of screaming fanboys who are PISSED that the show was cancelled. They managed to save Family Guy, so maybe the same can happen with Firefly. There’s a movie based on the show coming out next week, and I’m sure that everybody who gave the show a chance will be there to see it.

You are forgiven, my child. Go, and spread the news far and wide that Firefly has arisen! Get your tickets now for Opening Night. See it early, see it often.

Shiney. :slight_smile:

I, too, am a latecomer to Firefly. My son (blessed be he) requested that I watch the DVD’s as a favor to him. I’m a convert. And you know how converts are–more enthusiastic than those born to the faith.

How long did the show run before getting cancelled?

Eleven episodes were broadcast (counting the two-hour episode “Serenity” as one ep). Despite being the pilot, Fox broadcast “Serenity” last, and I seem to remember the offical word on cancellation had come down by then, but maybe it hadn’t. Anyway, if not then, soon after. Fox originally announced that it would still broadcast the other three unaired episodes (at least one of which was still in production when the word came down), but it never did. Those three episodes did appear on the DVD set, were broadcast in foreign runs of the show, and are going to be broadcast as part of the Sci-Fi Channel’s current syndicated run of the show.


Twelve episodes were aired (out of order), over a period of about four months.

Sixteen days until Serenity. Be there or be kicked into an engine.

Yeah, I can’t count.

Yeah, me too.

I was even farther in the other direction - I saw the “pilot” ( i.e. the train robbery episode ) and was unimpressed. I dislike the deliberately anachronistic Two-Gun Planet concept. It has always seemed stale and silly - the “pilot”, in addition to being a rather muddled introduction ( I thought ) to the setting and the characters, partially confirmed my fears about the show. Joss was going to milk this old west theme into the ground and despite his talent for snappy dialogue, it was going to get on my nerves.

So I stopped watching and ignored the fans.

Fast forward to several weeks ago, when some friends picked up the DVD set and after dinner one Sunday night at their house we watched the real pilot. This time I was impressed. Enough to borrow the DVD set. Then I bought my own.

I STILL don’t like it when Joss let the deliberate old westernisms get out of hand ( as opposed to being muted, but there in the background ), especially in the train robbery episode and the tough-frontier-whore-with-a-heart-of-gold episode ( and if I may digress for a second, lord do I hate Joss’ fascination with super-horses that can pace RV’s and hovercraft ), which I think are the two weakest overall. But I now give him credit for fashioning a much richer little universe than I had first assumed. I’m now a big fan :).

All in all I blame Fox. In particular for not running the proper pilot episode - the difference it made in my perception of the show was huge.

  • Tamerlane

Amen, shepherd silenus, amen!

I just started watching this show and have seen about 4 episodes so far.

And I love it.

My only questions are:

1.) Why did they cancel this show?


3.) How did I miss this show when it was on?

4.) Who was responsible for the decision? I need a name and address to go on my letter bom…er, hate mail…er, complaint letters(yeah, that’s it).

From this recent interview.

Also, regarding the casting of Summer Glau in the show:

Sounds like bad synchronicity as much as anything; the network attached Joss to a moron. Hard for anybody to overcome a handicap like that.

True. The only thing that comes to mind is shooting the guy in the leg and then blackmailing him when he comes to. But that’s the wrong show.

This was my experience as well. I was a big Buffy/Angel fan and was willing to give Firefly a shot. Just didn’t enjoy the pilot very much - it was on a Friday night (and I rarely watch TV on Fridays) so I just never watched it again. Picked up the DVD and LOVED LOVED LOVED the original pilot. If they had started with the pilot first, I would have been hooked!

For those of you who are new to Firefly: NETexan started a film festival this summer where we watched our way through the DVD set in preparation for the movie. A couple of the threads have been revived as the episodes have aired on SciFi. Here’s the link to the last thread in the Festival. The OP contains links to all the previous threads. Lots of good discussion and additional information. Should be fine to bump them if you want to add to the discussion.

I’m not normally a sci-fi fan (or a TV watcher, for that matter), but this is my favorite series ever. So, you are correct to repent. :smiley:


I watched the first DVD and decided I didn’t need to watch the rest of them. It wasn’t horrible, but it didn’t seem to be anything very great, either, and they layed the cowboys-in-space thing on way to thick for my taste.

I enjoyed Firefly during its first run. I tuned in every week, but I wouldn’t consider myself a fanboy. Yeah, it was an interesting concept, but the cowboys in space gets me at times as well. I haven’t picked up the DVD (maybe Netflix will do), and I don’t call out at night cursing FOX because of this (I do that for Andy Richter Controls the Universe ;)).

It’s just another good show that FOX killed too early (But I wouldn’t call it a classic or anything).

What a coincidence; I just finished watching the DVDs as well. I didn’t do a complete 180, but I do like it a lot better than I did when I saw them the first time.

For starters, the pilot is so much better an opening than “The Train Job.” After seeing it, I thought that this is a show I would’ve kept watching. But when I was watching the DVDs, I realized that I had seen over half of the episodes when they were originally aired, but had all but forgotten them.

I remembered that “Out of Gas” was the first episode that it really started to come together for me, and by that point there were already rumors of cancellation so it was too late. I didn’t bother watching the rest of them. And that was several episodes into the run. On the DVDs, it wasn’t until I saw “War Stories” that it all came together and I really got hooked. (“We’re going to get the captain back.” “How? We going to clone him?”)

So Fox made a lot of stupid moves with the show, but I don’t think that Whedon and Minear are completely blameless. I was a huge fan of “Buffy” and interested in “Angel,” plus I love “Cowboy Bebop.” So I’m pretty much the target audience for “Firefly.” And it still just never really came together for me. There were all the elements of a really cool series, but it just didn’t gel until way late in the run. They just kept moseying along saying “look how clever we are” without really getting to the point, always assuming that these characters and this big world they’d created were intriguing enough to dole out in bits and pieces.

I think it would’ve been a really solid year-long series. Maybe two years, if they’d planned for a definite story arc and a major event happening at the end of the first year. But even as much as I like it, I can’t see its holding up as a long-running thing. It just feels too much like a story instead of a series.

And I can’t wait for the movie.

Kids, the Cowboys in Space thing is one of the things that made it BRILLIANT! Think about it for ten seconds: You are the government with a bunch of planets that are sorta terraformed. Sure, you could spend loads of money making them all as shopping-mall-perfect as the planets are on Star Trek but you have an excess population of poor folks so instead you pack them off to those dumps and make them grow their own vittles and make most of their own tools. You don’t spend any more than you have to sending them or equiping them; you could give each settler a hovercraft but they’re expensive to buy, real expensive to ship and maintain, and you didn’t bother making any roads, anyway. Horses, on the other hand, make their own replacements, find their own fuel wherever they are, heal when they break, and make their own roads while traveling over land on which a hovercraft would bottom out. The government is glad to be shut of these people, especially since many of them fought on the losing side of a civil war.

So, you have poor dirt farmers given some land and told to make something of it, horses, and a central government that is paying as little attention as it can to these former rebels in its outlying districts. Sounds like the Old West, doesn’t it?

My brownshirt brethren and sistren, I have successfully converted another non-believer! My best friend, who’d watched one ep and been sort of “meh” about it, decided she wanted to see Serenity with me when it opened. Naturally I explained that she’d enjoy the movie so much more if she watched the series first. After some initial reluctance, she watched “Serenity” and “The Train Job” with me tonight and adored them. I left her my DVDs and she’s going to be sure to watch them all through before the movie.

One by one, they fall before our love.