Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Firefly - The Complete Series

Finally finished watching all 14 episodes of Joss Whedon's Firefly - The Complete Series. Joss Whedon is the man behind the amazingly successful Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel series on TV and this was his first foray into the realm of science-fiction.

The series follows the adventures of the captain and crew of the Firefly class spaceship Serenity. Mostly outcasts, on the run or searching for something more esoteric, the group operate on the fringes of Alliance controlled space as mercenaries, smugglers and, if needs must or the opportunity arises, downright thieves and brigands.

Having just taken aboard a couple of fugitives from the Alliance, a courtesan and a preacher, the rest of the crew now find that they are now living in "interesting times".

Basically, it's a Western set in space. The settled frontier worlds are far from the civilized centre of things and life is much harder. People have to make do with what is available and that usually means that things are less science-fiction and more homespun. Clothing is at a standard of the old west, home furnishings are still made of wood and the weapon of choice is the handgun. That's not to say that there aren't any more up-to-date gadgets or weapons, they're just not the main focus of the stories.

It's unfortunate that there were only ever 14 episodes of this entertaining series but, as has happened so many times before, its run was cut short by penny pinching studio bosses who couldn't see farther than their pile of dollar bills. Firefly, like Buffy and Angel, is a class piece of work - excellent story-writing and scripts, well developed characters and a cast of pretty decent actors. Things were starting to come together quite well too - relationships were forming or failing, storylines were picking up from earlier episodes and the major story arc with River was starting to pan out. Luckily fan pressure and the excellent DVD sales won out and helped Whedon continue the story onto the big screen in the movie Serenity. Here's hoping that the success of that venture will spawn a sequel or even a comeback for the series.

It may be unusual and at cross-purposes with the classic view of futuristic progress in space travel and exploration but forget all that and just enjoy the ride! Highly recommended!

Genre: Drama, Science-Fiction, Western
My Rating: 9/10

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