Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Could Firefly return from the dead?

One of my favorite TV shows of all time was Joss Whedon’s Firefly.

It shared the same wit and narrative scope as Whedon’s show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but threw in a cool science-fiction/western aesthetic that I really loved.

Sadly, Firefly got swatted out of the airwaves before the first season had finished airing – the victim of cable television’s very short-sighted attitude towards television shows.

Fans – who call themselves ‘browncoats’ after the defeated revolutionaries from the TV show – were expected to be satisfied with the (admittedly sublime) movie adaptation that followed.

But apparently, there is a chance Firefly will fly again.

Star Nathan Fillon, who plays the Han Solo-esque Captain of the starship Serenity, joked to Entertainment Weekly that he’d buy the rights to the show if he won $300 million on the California lottery and start producing new episodes himself. Devoted Browncoats read that promise – and promptly started fund-raising.

Entertainment Weekly calculated that it would cost just a tenth of Fillon’s hypothetical lottery jackpot to score the rights to Firefly – but that depended on 20th Century Fox being willing to part with them. In addition, you’d need a pretty hefty change jar to fund a series, even on the Internet (unless you wanted it to look like the plucky, but underfunded Browncoats: Redemption fan film.)

Nevertheless, even the possibility is exciting. Firefly was so beautifully written that it’s a crime its no longer on television. The characterization was perfect, the scripts were laugh-out-loud funny and the onscreen action was intoxicating.

My favorite episode was Ariel; the ultimate heist scenario.

In that episode, the Serenity crew stole medical uniforms and infiltrated an alliance medical center to steal supplies.

True to Whedon’s style, the treacherous Jayne donned a hospital nurse uniform and promptly attempted to sell two of his crew members to the authorities.

Meanwhile Simon Tam – the only one actually qualified to wear that doctor uniform – discovered the severity of the medical experimentation performed on his traumatized little sister, River.

To pack all that into a single hour-long episode was outstanding production work – easily the rival of anything on TV today.

Maybe, even if 20th Century Fox are unwilling to part with the rights to Firefly, they’ll see from the devoted fan-following just how much promise the show holds and return it to our screens in short order.

After all, the devoted fan sight fighting to raise the money already has 100,000 subscribers. If that's representative of the ones willing to donate their time and effort - how many other fans would be willing to tune in?

1 comment:

The Dirty Scottish Bastard said...

Looks like I have a fan sight to sign up with. I would certainly love to see Firefly on the air again.

Here in Seattle we have a dedicated group of Browncoats that used to meet at a local coffee shoppe whose owner is also a Browncoat and she even sells FF goodies.................that was until the shop had smoke damage from a neighbouring business' fire one evening.

I'm proud to say that I yes I own the series and the film. I can't think of a better show.

Wash is my co-pilot.