“Here’s how it is: The Earth got used up, so we moved out and terraformed a whole new galaxy of Earths. Some rich and flush with the new technologies, some not so much. The Central Planets, thems formed the Alliance, waged war to bring everyone under their rule; a few idiots tried to fight it, among them myself. I’m Malcolm Reynolds, captain of Serenity. She’s a transport ship; Firefly class. Got a good crew: fighters, pilot, mechanic. We even picked up a preacher for some reason, and a bona fide companion. There’s a doctor, too, took his genius sister outta some Alliance camp, so they’re keepin’ a low profile. You understand. You got a job, we can do it, don’t much care what it is.” -Firefly
I had been hearing about a science fiction television series for quite a few years, and been told that it was very good by a number of people, before I actually watched it recently. I really love the science fiction genre in books, movies and of course television, so I was not surprised in the slightest when I really enjoyed watching Firefly. It didn’t take me that long to watch all of the episodes as well as the movie, seeing as there are only 14 episodes and then the film as well as the fact that I tend to get really into things and just blast through them quickly.
The two things that I enjoyed about Firefly the most were the actual concept of the show and the character development. The concept is actually relatively simple if you break it down: there is a “renegade” transport ship with a small, rag-tag crew and it goes around completing jobs for payment, all the while avoiding the clutches of the Alliance (a group that wanted all humans under their control after they moved away from the Earth).
Part of the reason I enjoy this concept so much is because I love seeing new places, both in real life and in movies/television/books. I also watch Doctor Who, and I just love seeing the new planets and different time periods during each episode. Firefly is similar in the planets respect, though the planets in Firefly are still inhabited by humans rather than alien species like the Slitheen in Doctor Who.
My favourite character, and character development, in Firefly definitely has to be that of River. Of course, I enjoy all of the characters and their respective developments in the series. For me, it’s interesting to see someone like River aboard the ship, who is not only extraordinarily smart and can do things the others cannot, but is also extremely troubled. In the beginning, and actually mostly throughout the series, the majority of the crew treats her like she can’t do much and often either wants her off the ship (in the case of Jayne) or end up being scared of her due to the unpredictability of her actions. River’s demeanour is a result of being tested/experimented on by the Alliance, and she is classified as their property and is being hunted down along with her brother, who rescued her from their clutches.
Objects in Space is the final episode of the television series, and it just so happens to be an important episode for River as well as my favourite of the series. While watching the series, people may end up thinking that River is unaffected by the crew members’ opinions of her, as most of the time she seems unaware. However, this episode proves that this is not the case, and she takes matters into her own hands in an extremely dramatic way during Objects in Space, while seemingly taking the crew members’ opinions of her to heart, and actually ends up saving the entire crew because of her nature.
Overall, Firefly is an extremely well-written television show, and I am quite disappointed that it was cancelled. I would like to point out however, that as much as I did enjoy Firefly and will most likely watch it multiple times, it is not my favourite science fiction television series. Despite my frustrations with certain aspects of Doctor Who, I have been watching it since its reboot in 2005 and have seen every single episode of the reboot and a number of the Classic Who episodes. It is also something that I started watching with my Dad, who grew up with the Classic Who episodes. I also really enjoy the adventures that the Doctor has. Finally, Doctor Who was the show that triggered my love of science fiction in the first place, and has inspired my current novel.
But, if I had to pick a second favourite…I would probably pick Firefly.