Serenity (Firefly): The Alliance evil plot is kinda stupid (open spoilers)

So in Serenity it’s revealed that the Alliance, in an attempt to pacify the population, released a gas (Pax) on the planet Miranda. The result is that 99.9% of the population became so passive they stopped doing anything and died where they stood. The rest became reavers, the boogie men of the series.

Now the idea that the Alliance would use gas to control their citizens makes sense. What doesn’t is the way they went about it. It’s really stupid to gas an entire planet, with millions of people, without doing any small scale tests. If they had tried it on even one person first the problem with the gas would have been discovered. In the film the effects of the gas comes as a complete surprise to the researchers that released it.

It would have made more sense if the Alliance had used the gas during the war as a method to kill resistance, while leaving infrastructure intact, but then being totally surprised by the creation of reavers as the odds of that happening was too low in trials.

The way I understood it, they did do small-scale tests, but they were so small they didn’t pick up on the .1% or whatever that turned into reavers.

But having everyone die wasn’t something they wanted either. They wanted to control, not kill. Just one test would have shown the gas’ deadly effect.

That premise was a major weakness of the film, making it overall weaker than any of the episodes, I thought.

I don’t recall if it was specifically stated, but the planet they released it on didn’t have millions of people- it was one of many planets around the system, probably with a small population clustered around the starport. We don’t know exactly how many survived. In addition, the unforeseen effects make sense. This would have first been tested under controlled conditions in a lab. Here, they just dumped it on a planet and watched the results. Which, it turns out, were not so controllable.

Finally, it was a grossly wasteful “science” project to dominate others by raw force, foolish to the point of madness, and an utterly unnecessary actions based out of an insane desire for control, carried out by a disorganized and ignorant group with no scruples. Which is pretty much how Firefly sums up the Alliance as a whole: utterly devoid of common sense or morality and using a twisted logic to justify the pursuit of MOAR POEWR!

ISTR they stated there were 30 million people that just let themselves die. I suppose you could fanwank that either the intended or unintended consequences took several years to build up so small scale experiments didn’t produce them.

I watched film yesterday (hence this thread) and in the establishing shot of the city where they land on Miranda seems sizeable enough. Zoe also mentions there’s a dozen more like it on the planet. If only 0.1% of victims turn, you need a million to produce a thousand reavers. In the end fight there’s a lot of reavers. The series did establish that they can, somehow, turn their victims into reavers though.

It just seems weird that the Alliance had no idea that their gas just up and killed most people. It would have made more sense if the gas had the effect they wanted. People would have been a lot more passive, but still functional, and then totally unprepared as those turned reavers slaughtered their way through Miranda.

Yeah, it’s understandable that they didn’t catch the Reaver side-effect (though I remember it as being 1%, not 0.1%). But it’s not understandable that they’d miss the failure in the other 99%.

If I was going to fanwank I’d say it’s possible that under controlled conditions, intial testing, and during the beginning of full deployment that they had a different concentration of the gas. After a while it built up in the atmosphere to a level they hadn’t expected or tested.