Thursday, December 29, 2005

 

You can't take the sky from me...

OK, as promised back in the old days of my original blog I am finally going to write a short piece about Firefly and Serenity.

For the initiated, skip the next little bit, or if you choose not to, please do not pick holes in my limited knowledge of the show/film...for the uninitiated listen up, pay attention because you might learn something, and like me, fall for something that slipped under the television and cinema radar...

Firefly was a science-fiction TV show created by Joss Whedon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame...not being a Buffy fan theres not a chance I would have taken any notice at the time. Even as a dabbler in science-fiction it's unlikely I would have picked up on this show from the beginning, particularly as it was unceremoniously cancelled in the USA at the end of its first season, therefore making any chance of it finding its way to British terrestrial TV slim at best.

Now before all you non sci-fi people switch off - listen up! This is NOT your average science-fiction story. It doesn't get into inane dialogue about warp coils or other pointless jargon (sorry Trek fans!) and focusses on normal things like love, hate, violence - the techy stuff is entirely secondary and for the most part non-existent. Even the guns are pretty normal - no lasers here - we're real men and we use bullets! Added to this is the totally intended and rather interesting Western genre feel to the whole thing. We have people on the run from the law, renagades, vagabonds, misfits and a ships crew who live their lives stealing and bounty hunting. Add a dash of X-Files style government cover-up mystery to it, and I think that pretty well sums it up...

So how did I discover this little gem of a TV show? Well, the joys of the internet of course! Over time I gradually became aware of the Firefly phenomenon, and wondered what all the fuss was about. I also then became aware of a spin off movie called Serenity. A few blogchums then started to talk about it like it was the best thing since sliced bread, and I decided finally a month or so back to shell out a mere £20 for the DVD set of the entire cancelled series.

Over the period of a week Martha and I watched this little show with enormous interest and soon got swallowed up in the story, and when the 14th and final episode came to an end we were begging to see more! This of course meant seeing the movie Serenity which we'd already missed at our local cinema, so we had to wait for the DVD which came out in the USA a spit before Christmas - the UK version isn't out until February - for shame!

So, I preordered my copy and it arrived too late for us to watch it before Christmas...anyway, with one thing or another we finally got around to seeing it tonight and I have to say we were not disappointed. My only real reservation would be that someone who had not seen the TV series might not think the movie was all that good - I tried to think hard about how I would have felt had I seen it at the cinema before watching a single episode of Firefly, and I reckon I would have thought it was a good sci-fi film, on a par with some of the Star Trek movies, but maybe lacking some soul. However, its soul is right there, in the TV series. Once you understand the characters, how they operate and think, you then understand better why the movie plays out the way it does.

I understand there are some places on the web with petitions to resurrect Firefly as a TV series again, and it would be genuinely thrilling if someone rescues it...it has a strong story, good characterisations and what is lacking in some shows today, a sense of humour. On the other hand, maybe its better left as a hidden gem, there for people like me who get curious, to be discovered in years to come. Where something like Star Trek becomes a bit old hat and often a laughing stock for those who just don't get it, wouldn't it be nice to be told years from now by the younger generations that you were one of the "cool" ones who actually enjoyed Firefly and Serenity when it came out? Or would you rather see a 70 year old Mal or Jayne hobbling about laughably trying to save the universe? Although I heartily recommend everyone to see the TV series and the movie maybe some things are better left alone!

Comments:
Hello from Mobile, Alabama!

..and a huge Doctor Who fan!!

Happy HNT!
 
Well, you already know how much I love Firefly/Serenity. :)

Have you watched all of the "extras" on the Serenity DVD? There is an easter egg too. On the main menu (the one that has the "play" "scenes" "features" "languages" buttons (they may say slightly different things - I don't remember exactly) - keep pushing the "left" button until none of the main menu choices are highlighted.
Joss explains "Fruity oaty bars". :D

Deb
 
Hey...thanks for the comment!!

As for Doctor Who....we do not get the new series yet....and the old one is becoming rarer to find other than DVD....but we are supposed to get the first series on DVD in February!

Awesome!
 
Jarvis - We unfortunately missed the new Dr Who "Christmas Invasion" special but its repeated here on New Years Day so making a special note to see it! Not sure when the new series is starting...it really is a great revamp of the show though.

Deb - Yes, I thought this might catch your eye - we watched all the extras too and they were pretty neat - a lot of the deleted scenes were actually good and would have been good kept in the movie. Thanks for the tip off on the easter egg - I'll check it out...
 
I seriously doubt that it will come back...and if it does, that it will be in it's original form.

But if it did, I'm sure that the producers wouldn't let it go on forever, much as they stopped Angel and Buffy. Star Trek is a bit of an anomoly in the efforts to keep spinning off more and more series. And even then, they hit it big with TNG.

Anyway, Chris and I have been talking about watching Serenity again - it was a fast-paced movie. A second viewing would probably help us catch some of those fast comments and some of the amazing action.

And for me to drool more over Mal. :-D
 
Priya - Interesting to note that we have a TV Movie review show here and Serenity just got voted by the public as the best movie of 2005 - I guess the fans were calling in their votes in droves to make sure it got noticed!
 
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