I have always felt a little sorry for our Joss, might seem a bit strange to feel sorry for a man currently having the year of his life and globally regarded as not only a bloody nice guy but a genius as well.
I feel sorry for Joss because he hasn’t had much luck with the networks – specifically the Fox network. Time after time his shows have been cancelled yet he keeps going back for more. After the shocking treatment of both Angel, you would have thought he would go elsewhere, like HBO or Showtime.
2002 saw the launch of a brand new show, Firefly; set in the year 2517 the story focuses on a rag tag group of misfits aboard Firefly class space ship Serenity. Lead by the charismatic Captain Mal Reynolds (played effortlessly by Nathan Fillion), the crew takes on board two mysterious passengers a Doctor and his childlike teenage sister River who are on the run from the Alliance.
There is no denying it’s a western, it just so happens to be set in the future and in space.
The Reavers are a horrific creation, the scourge of the galaxy, they pillage and plunder their way through space and eat their victims alive. They are what everybody in the ‘Verse’ fears.
Many of the cast are from previous (or future) Joss Whedon TV, from Adam Baldwin’s lovable rouge Jayne, to Alan Tudyk’s pilot Wash everybody is perfectly cast.
Only 11 of the 14 episodes were aired in the US, it was only on DVD that the series showed it had a loyal fan base. In 2005 Joss Whedon did the impossible, he got a movie version of Firefly off the ground and Serenity was released and heralded to be the next Star Wars.
Serenity acted brilliantly as an introduction to the verse and as a continuation of the series. To this day I can’t understand why it wasn’t a bigger success at the box office, it just about made back it’s shockingly low $39 million production budget back during its theatrical run. Serenity was a huge amount of fun, and gave Firefly fans the movie they had hoped for.
It did find an audience on DVD but not enough to get a sequel or TV movie follow up made. There was recent talk that Nathan Fillion was attempting to buy the rights to carry the show on, sadly nothing has come from that so far.
After Buffy and Angel you would think everything he touched would turn to solid gold. Angel had a well-documented cancellation; the network wanted less long running story arcs and more monster of the week. The network felt Angel was alienating potential new audiences by not having a story you could dip in and out of.
Firefly remains one of the best sci-fi TV shows ever made, and despite it’s untimely cancelation fans still live in hope to see our heroes on the small screen again. You owe it to yourself to watch this show, you can hear what me and Jim have to say about Firefly on Episode 11 of the Podcast.
“You can’t stop the signal”