Firefly (TV series)
|Created by||Joss Whedon|
|Theme music composer||Joss Whedon|
|Opening theme||"The Ballad of Serenity" performed by Sonny Rhodes|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||14 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||44 minutes|
|Productioncompany(s)||Mutant Enemy Productions|
20th Century Fox Television
|Audio format||5.1 Surround Sound|
|Original release||September 20 – December 20, 2002|
|Followed by||Serenity (film)|
Signature show elements
- Nathan Fillion as Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds—the owner and captain of Serenity and former Independent sergeant in the pivotal Battle of Serenity Valley. Malcolm grew up on a ranch, and was raised by his mother and the ranch hands. In the Unification War, he fought for the Independent Army, the "Browncoats", as a platoon sergeant in the 57th Overlanders. He is cunning, a capable leader and a skilled fighter. Mal's main character drive is his will for independence. While he is not above petty theft, smuggling or even killing to maintain his free lifestyle, he is generally honest in his dealings with others, fiercely loyal to his crew and closely follows a personal moral code.
- Gina Torres as Zoe Alleyne Washburne—second-in-command onboard Serenity, a loyal wartime friend of Captain Reynolds, and the wife of Wash. Her surname during the Unification War was Alleyne. She was born and raised on a ship and served under Mal during the war as a corporal. Described by her husband as a "warrior woman", she is a capable fighter who keeps calm even in the most dangerous situations. She demonstrates an almost unconditional loyalty to Mal, the only exception noted being her marriage to Wash, which the captain claims was against his orders.
- Alan Tudyk as Hoban "Wash" Washburne—Serenity's pilot and Zoe's husband. Deeply in love with his wife, Wash expresses jealousy over his wife's "war buddy" relationship and unconditional support of their captain, most particularly in the episode "War Stories", in which he confronts Mal regarding their relationship. He joined pilot training just to see the stars, which were invisible from the surface of his polluted homeworld, and he joined Serenity despite being highly sought after by other ships. He is very light-hearted and tends to make amusing comments, despite the severity of any situation.
- Morena Baccarin as Inara Serra—a Companion, which is the 26th century cross between a geisha and an escort or mistress, who rents one of Serenity's two small shuttles. Inara enjoys high social standing. Her presence confers a degree of legitimacy and social acceptance the crew of Serenity would not have without her on board. Inara displays great dignity, civility and compassion. There is strong romantic tension between her and Mal, who share many character traits, but each jokingly objects to the other's "whoring" or "petty theft", respectively. Both refuse to act on their feelings, and try to keep their relationship professional.
- Adam Baldwin as Jayne Cobb—a mercenary. He and Mal met on opposite sides of a rivalry; Mal, while held at gunpoint, offered Jayne his own bunk and a higher cut than his current employer, so he turned coat and shot his then-partners. In the original Pilot "Serenity" he intimates to Mal that he didn't betray him because "The money wasn't good enough," however previously he had pointedly asked the Alliance agent whether he would be required to turn on the captain to help him, and in "Ariel" defends his actions alerting the authorities regarding Simon and River by claiming he had not intended to betray Mal. He is someone who can be depended on in a fight. He tends to act like a "lummox" who thinks he is the smartest person in space, but occasional hints of intelligence peek through this façade, giving the impression that he acts dumber than he is.As Whedon states several times, Jayne is the man who will ask the questions that no one else wants to. Even though he is a macho character, he has shown a particularly intense fear of Reavers, more so than the rest of the crew. Despite his amoral mercenary persona, he sends a significant portion of his income to his mother, again suggesting that there is more to his character than what he presents to the rest of the crew.
- Jewel Staite as Kaywinnet Lee "Kaylee" Frye—the ship's mechanic. In the episode "Out of Gas", it is established that she has no formal training, but keeps Serenityrunning with an intuitive gift for the workings of mechanical equipment. Jewel Staite explains Kaylee's character as being wholesome, sweet, and "completely genuine in that sweetness", adding "She loves being on that ship. She loves all of those people. And she is the only one who loves all of them incredibly genuinely." She has a crush on Dr. Simon Tam. Kaylee is the heart of the ship: according to creator Joss Whedon, if Kaylee believes something, it is true.
- Sean Maher as Dr. Simon Tam—a trauma surgeon of the first caliber (top 3% in his class at a top core-planet institution), who is on the run after breaking his sister River out of a government research facility. In the episode "Safe", it is revealed that he and River had a privileged upbringing with access to the best education. In rescuing River over his stern father's severe objections, Simon sacrificed a highly successful future in medicine. His bumbling attempts at a romantic relationship with Kaylee are a recurring subplot throughout the series, and at every turn he seems to find a way to unwittingly foil his own attempts at romance. His life is defined by caring for his sister.
- Summer Glau as River Tam—smuggled onto the ship by her brother. A highly intelligent, compassionate and intuitive child prodigy. Experiments and invasive brain surgery at an Alliance secret facility left her delusional, paranoid, and at times violent, though her uncanny ability to seemingly sense things before they happen leaves questions as to where the delusions end and reality begins for her. The experiments seemed to have made her a psychic. The experiments also gave her with a seemingly innate ability in hand-to-hand combat, and she is capable of killing or incapacitating several stronger opponents with ease. She gets frequent fits of anxiety and experiences post-traumatic flashbacks of her time in the Alliance facility. Her mental instability and uncanny abilities, paired with several erratic and violent acts, are a recurring source of fear and doubt among the crew, especially with Jayne, whom she once slashed with a knife. Jayne very frequently requests that River and Simon be taken off the ship.
- Ron Glass as Derrial Book—a Shepherd (equivalent to a pastor). Although presented as a devout Christian, Book has profound, unexplained knowledge about criminal activities, police corruption, and military strategy, tactics, and weapons. In "Safe", he was shown to have sufficient status in the Alliance to receive emergency medical treatment from an Alliance ship, with no questions asked. He is also proficient in hand-to-hand combat and the use of firearms. While objecting to violence most of the time, on a rescue mission he joins the fight, stating that while the Bible is quite specific about killing, it is "somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps". Book is a moral guide for Mal and the rest of the crew, a voice of reason, conscience and spirituality. At the same time, he seems to get along well with the amoral mercenary Jayne, with the twospotting each other while working out using a bench press. His hidden backstory would have been gradually revealed, had the series continued, but was instead explored in the 2010 comic book The Shepherd's Tale.
- Badger (Mark Sheppard) is an established smuggling middleman on the planet Persephone. He provided jobs for Serenity on at least two occasions. In the DVD commentary for the episode "Serenity", it was revealed that this part was originally written with the intention of Whedon himself playing the part. Badger appeared in the original pilot "Serenity" and in "Shindig", with a return in the comic book series Serenity: Those Left Behind.
- Adelai Niska (Michael Fairman) is a criminal kingpin who has a reputation for violent reprisals, including severe, prolonged torture, against those who fail him or even irritate him. He appeared in "The Train Job" and "War Stories".
- "Saffron" (Christina Hendricks) is a con artist whose real name is unknown. She first appeared in the episode "Our Mrs. Reynolds" as Mal's involuntarily acquired wife. She has a habit of marrying her marks during her scams. She returns in episode "Trash", where Mal jokingly addresses her as "YoSaffBridge", a portmanteau of her three aliases, "Yolanda", "Saffron", and "Bridget".
- "The Hands of Blue" (Jeff Ricketts and Dennis Cockrum): Two anonymous men wearing suits and blue gloves who pursue River, apparently to return her to the institute from which she escaped, as shown in "The Train Job", "Ariel", and the Serenity: Those Left Behind comic. They kill anyone, including Alliance personnel, who had contact with her, using a mysterious hand-held device that causes fatal hemorrhaging in anyone at whom it is aimed. River, during anxiety attacks or psychological meltdowns, has repeated the phrase "Two by two/hands of blue" in a way that resembles poetic meter. This suggests that River has had close experience(s) with them.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|1||"Serenity"||Joss Whedon||Joss Whedon||December 20, 2002||1AGE79|
|Malcolm Reynolds is a veteran and the captain of Serenity. He and his crew are smuggling goods, but they need to pick up some passengers for extra money. However, not all the passengers are what they seem.|
|2||"The Train Job"||Joss Whedon||Joss Whedon & Tim Minear||September 20, 2002||1AGE01|
|The crew of Serenity takes on a train heist commissioned by a crime lord. They steal the goods, only to find it is medicine that is desperately needed by the town.|
|3||"Bushwhacked"||Tim Minear||Tim Minear||September 27, 2002||1AGE02|
|Serenity is pulled in by an Alliance cruiser while investigating a spaceship that was attacked by Reavers. Simon and River must hide to prevent capture, while something is wrong with the lone survivor of the attacked spaceship.|
|4||"Shindig"||Vern Gillum||Jane Espenson||November 1, 2002||1AGE03|
|Inara attends a formal society dance, only to find Malcolm there as well, attempting to set up a smuggling job. Mal comes to blows with Inara's conceited date and finds himself facing a duel with a renowned swordsman, and only one night to learn how to fence.|
|5||"Safe"||Michael Grossman||Drew Z. Greenberg||November 8, 2002||1AGE04|
|Mal must choose which crew members to save when one is gravely wounded and two others are kidnapped. Simon finds an uneasy haven in a remote village, but River's uncanny perceptions jeopardize the Tams' temporary safety.|
|6||"Our Mrs. Reynolds"||Vondie Curtis Hall||Joss Whedon||October 4, 2002||1AGE05|
|As an unexpected reward for an unpaid job, Mal finds himself married to a naïve, subservient young woman named Saffron. The crew are amused at his discomfort and Booklectures him on propriety, but things are not as smoothly straightforward as they thought them to be.|
|7||"Jaynestown"||Marita Grabiak||Ben Edlund||October 18, 2002||1AGE06|
|Returning to a planet where he ran into some serious trouble years ago, Jayne discovers that he has become a local folk legend. Mal decides to use this entertaining distraction to complete a job, but some unfinished business may derail his plans.|
|8||"Out of Gas"||David Solomon||Tim Minear||October 25, 2002||1AGE07|
|After Serenity suffers a catastrophe that leaves her crew with only hours of oxygen, flashbacks show how Mal and Zoe acquired Serenity and assembled their motley crew.|
|9||"Ariel"||Allan Kroeker||Jose Molina||November 15, 2002||1AGE08|
|Hard up for cash, Serenity takes on a job from Simon: help him get a thorough diagnostic of River in return for the opportunity to loot the vast medical stores of an Alliance hospital on central world Ariel. But River's pursuers are hot on their trail, and they receive some unexpected inside help.|
|10||"War Stories"||James Contner||Cheryl Cain||December 6, 2002||1AGE09|
|Angered at Zoe's unshakable war connection to Mal, Wash demands a shot at a field assignment. Unfortunately, crime lord Niska chooses this moment to exact a brutal vengeance for Mal's failure to complete an earlier job.|
|11||"Trash"||Vern Gillum||Ben Edlund & Jose Molina||July 21, 2003||1AGE12|
|Saffron returns to plague Serenity with a scheme to steal a rare antique weapon from a wealthy landowner. Unfortunately for Mal, she neglects to mention just how she came across the information needed to break into the landowner's home.|
|12||"The Message"||Tim Minear||Joss Whedon & Tim Minear||July 28, 2003||1AGE13|
|A former Independence soldier who had served with Mal and Zoe returns in a dramatic manner, with a vicious Alliance officer chasing after him for some unusual smuggled goods.|
|13||"Heart of Gold"||Thomas J. Wright||Brett Matthews||August 4, 2003||1AGE10|
|A Companion-trained friend of Inara's who runs a brothel on a remote planet calls for help from Serenity when a local bigwig reveals his intentions to take the baby from a woman he impregnated.|
|14||"Objects in Space"||Joss Whedon||Joss Whedon||December 13, 2002||1AGE11|
|Serenity encounters a ruthlessly professional bounty hunter, Jubal Early, who will stop at nothing to retrieve River. But River, feeling unwelcome on the ship, takes a novel approach to escaping from the long arm of the Alliance.|
|Soundtrack album by Greg Edmonson,Joss Whedon|
|Released||November 8, 2005|
|Track listing (tracks 1–17 appear in both the digital and CD releases)|
|1.||"Firefly — Main Title"||0:52|
|2.||"Big Bar Fight" (from "The Train Job")||1:56|
|3.||"Heart of Gold Montage" (from "Heart of Gold")||2:10|
|4.||"Whitefall/Book" (from "Serenity", "The Message")||2:20|
|5.||"Early Takes Serenity" (from "Objects in Space")||2:36|
|6.||"The Funeral" (from "The Message")||2:36|
|7.||"River's Perception/Saffron" (from "Objects in Space", "Our Mrs. Reynolds")||2:14|
|8.||"Mal Fights Niska/Back Home" (from "War Stories", "Shindig")||1:54|
|9.||"River Tricks Early" (from "Objects in Space")||3:30|
|10.||"River Understands Simon" (from "Safe")||2:04|
|11.||"Leaving/Caper/Spaceball" (from "Trash", "Objects in Space", "Bushwhacked")||2:39|
|12.||"River's Afraid/Niska/Torture" (from "Ariel", "The Train Job", "War Stories")||3:21|
|13.||"In My Bunk/Jayne's Statue/Boom" (from "War Stories", "Jaynestown", "Bushwhacked")||2:28|
|14.||"Inara's Suite" (from "The Train Job", "Serenity", "War Stories")||3:29|
|15.||"Out of Gas/Empty Derelict" (from "Out of Gas", "Bushwhacked")||1:50|
|16.||"Book's Hair/Ready for Battle" (from "Jaynestown", "Heart of Gold")||1:59|
|17.||"Tears/River's Eyes" (from "Serenity", "Objects in Space")||1:59|
|18.||"Cows/New Dress/My Crew" (from "Safe", "Shindig", "Safe")||2:11|
|19.||"Boarding the Serenity/Derelict" (from "War Stories", "Bushwhacked")||2:02|
|20.||"Burgess Kills/Captain & Ship" (from "Heart of Gold", "Out of Gas")||3:26|
|21.||"Saved/Isn't Home?/Reavers" (from "Out of Gas", "The Train Job", "Serenity")||2:55|
|22.||"Reavers Chase Serenity" (from "Serenity")||3:22|
|23.||"River's Dance" (from "Safe")||1:50|
|24.||"Inside the Tam House" (from "Safe")||2:22|
|25.||"Dying Ship/Naked Mal" (from "Out of Gas", "Trash")||2:10|
- For River, mostly jewel tones were used to set her apart from the rest of the Serenity crew. River had boots to contrast with the soft fabrics of her clothes, "because that's who she is—she's this soft, beautiful, sensitive girl, but with this hardcore inner character," recalled Trpcic.
- The designers also wanted to contrast Simon, River's brother, with the rest of the crew. Whereas they were dressed in cotton, Simon wore wool, stiff fabrics, satins and silk. He was originally the "dandy", but as the show progressed, he loosened up slightly.
- For Kaylee, Trpcic studied up on Japanese and Chinese youth, as originally the character was Asian. Other inspirations for Kaylee's costumes were Rosie the Riveter and Chinese Communist posters.
- Inara's costumes reflect her high status, and are very feminine and attractive.
- Trpcic designed and created the clothes for the minor character of Badger with Joss Whedon in mind, since he intended to play that part. When Mark Sheppard played the role instead, he was able to fit into the clothes made for Whedon.
- For the Alliance, besides the grays and cool blues, Trpcic had in mind Nazi Germany, but mixed it with different wars, as the first sketches were "too Nazi". The uniforms of the Alliance soldiers are from the 1997 film Starship Troopers.
- In the commentary for the pilot episode Whedon points out that "bad guys wear hats, good guys don't".
- Alan Tudyk had the idea for an episode about a planet that is always day on one side, and night on the other. On the night side, Jayne accidentally spills a type of pheromone on himself and the crew, which attracts a species of dogs. The crew are chased back to the ship by these dogs. There River uses her mind powers to domesticate the dogs.
- Adam Baldwin wanted to make an episode in which Jayne goes up against Mal as captain of his own ship.
- Tim Minear revealed the secret of Inara's syringe, as seen in the pilot episode; she is infected with a deadly disease. There would have been an episode where she is gang-raped by Reavers. Because she injected herself with the syringe, all of the Reavers on the ship die.
- According to Nathan Fillion, there was an episode in which the crew land on a dying planet. The inhabitants try to steal Serenity, after they explain to the crew about their need to get off the planet. The problem is that unless they were to run into another ship along the way, with the extra passengers, Serenity would not have enough fuel and oxygen to make it to the closest destination. While everyone else is asleep, Mal takes the ship himself and discovers that help never would have arrived.
- Emmy Award: Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series, 2003
- Visual Effects Society: Best visual effects in a television series, 2003 (episode "Serenity")
- Saturn Award: Cinescape Genre Face of the Future Award, Male, 2003 (Nathan Fillion)
- Saturn Award: Saturn Award for Best DVD Release (television), 2004
- SyFy Genre Awards: Best Series/Television, 2006
- SyFy Genre Awards: Best Actor/Television Nathan Fillion, 2006
- SyFy Genre Awards: Best Supporting Actor/Television Adam Baldwin, 2006
- SyFy Genre Awards: Best Special Guest/Television Christina Hendricks for "Trash", 2006
- SyFy Genre Awards: Best Episode/Television "Trash", 2006
- Visual Effects Society: Best compositing in a televised program, music video, or commercial, 2003
- Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA, "Golden Reel Award": Best sound editing in television long form: sound effects/foley, 2003
- Hugo Award: Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form, 2003 (episode "Serenity")
- Hugo Award: Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form, 2004 (episodes "Heart of Gold" and "The Message", which at that time had not been shown on television in the USA)
- Golden Satellite Award: Best DVD Extras, 2004
Home video releases
|Firefly: The Complete Series|
|Release dates:||Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|December 9, 2003|
November 11, 2008 (Blu-ray)
|April 19, 2004|
September 19, 2011 (Blu-ray)
|August 2, 2004|
December 3, 2008 (Blu-ray)