The Firefly TV Series created by Joss Whedon is an American space western drama television series that originally aired on Fox in 2002. The TV show consists of a total of 14 episodes.
In this post, we will explain the premise of the show, what makes it such an entertaining watch and why you should watch it!
The show is set in the year 2517, after humanity has left a war-scarred earth and discovered an extrasolar planet dubbed “Sheppard” that has resources that can sustain humanity. The resources are radioactive and harmful to humans, so colonization is only possible with the use of special suits that protect people from radiation poisoning. However, this new world does not turn out to be the perfect home as it was first thought to be. The planet is populated with thieves, murderers and outlaws. The protagonist Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) was also framed for the attempted murder of a fellow soldier before he escaped by stowing away on a ship bound for Sheppard.
Mal makes a living as a “captain” of a Firefly-class transport ship called Serenity. He is joined by his pilot Zoe Washburne (Gina Torres), and her husband, engineer and weapons specialist extraordinaire, Hoban “Wash” Washburne (Alan Tudyk). The crew also includes physician Simon Tam (Sean Maher), mercenary Jayne Cobb (Adam Baldwin), strong-man mercenary resident character in the cargo hold, Kaylee Frye (Jewel Staite) and teenage genius River Tam (Summer Glau).
The series is filmed in a way to resemble traditional western movies with the exception that it is set in space. The main characters are: a group of misfits that are forced to escape from enemies and must deliver their cargo in time, while other characters struggle with personal issues within the crew.
The remaining characters serve as bit players that also have great importance for the story and help form connections between the main characters. The conflict between the Serenity’s crew and their enemies is based less on gunfights and violence, and more on wit and intellect.
The only violent scenes in the series often occur between members of the same crew. The characters are so well developed that we see how each character treats each other (for example, Zoe and Mal’s relationship), cementing the bond between them. This is best represented by Wash’s death that breaks the crew apart for some time until they manage to put themselves back together to continue their quest for freedom.
The show is written in a witty and intelligent style, with each character having their own unique personality. This makes the characters interesting as it is very hard not to know who they are because of the way they act and speak. It is also difficult not to love them because of their strength and survival – representing the struggle of humanity against war, violence, fear, crime and corruption in general.
The show is said to be similar to “Star Trek”. The reason is that the setting and characters are very much the same, despite the lack of technology in space travel in Firefly. The idea behind Firefly is also close to that of Star Wars, as it is about an old guy (Han Solo) and his friends who live in a distant galaxy where they form a crew to live by their own rules, not that of governments or empires.
Firefly has become a cultural phenomenon because it was cancelled after only 14 episodes due to financial problems. Fans were outraged because of the show’s sudden cancellation and formed a group called “Browncoats” after Captain Malcolm Reynolds’ call-sign “Browncoat”.