Short-lived sci-fi/western hybrid created by Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Despite a troubled existence during its brief stay on television — studio interference led to a new opening episode (Train Job
) being written, and the plug being swiftly pulled shortly thereafter — Firefly
has managed to establish itself as one of the great "lost" shows of recent years.
Set some hundreds of years in the future, when human civilisation has spread beyond our own solar system, Firefly
is centered around the crew and passengers of the Firefly-class ship Serenity
Sticking with the DVD order, which actually makes sense, the opening episode, Serenity
, begins several years in the past, with one of the decisive battles in a civil war. Moving forward to the present day, some of the losers in that war now make a meagre living aboard the Serenity
. Captained by Mal Reynolds
(Nathan Fillion), Serenity
will take on passengers, move cargo, or smuggle illicit goods — anything to keep the ship in the air.
Over its fourteen episodes, Firefly
managed to credibly create a future civilisation, albeit one that has visible ties to the nineteenth century in its representation of the lawless frontiers where humanity is slowly making its mark.
But despite being cancelled halfway through its initial run, the show managed to attract a legion of fans worldwide, resulting in the eventual DVD release becoming an enormous success. Buoyed by this popularity, a big-screen movie titled Serenity
— written and directed by Joss Whedon, and reuniting the original cast — was released in 2005. Again, it was slow to find an audience, but to fans of the TV series it was a fitting end to a much-loved programme that disappeared long before its time.
Seriously, if you haven't seen Firefly
, you should. Buy it, rent it or borrow it. Feel free to ignore the affiliated links above. Just do yourself a favour and have a look — it's more than worth the effort.