Firefly Recap: Season 1, Episode 1

fireflyImage Credit: 20th Century Fox/Everett Collection

Firefly – about a tight-knit band of war-scarred smugglers, seekers and runaways eeking out a semi-honest living in the final frontier of newly colonized space — is remembered as one of the great shoulda-been/coulda-been TV tragedies of the young century. A quirky blend of sci-fi space saga and Western frontier adventure, the short-lived Fox series arrived in the fall of 2002 with great expectations from critics and geek pop fans alike thanks to the pedigree of its creator: Joss Whedon, the acclaimed mastermind behind Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel, an ace dramatist with a distinctive voice renowned for telling stories great with wit, scope, heady themes and psychologically complex, emotionally accessible characters. Also? Much with the Whedon Speaky and cool pop culture references. Buffy and Angel had been youth-skewing niche hits for The WB (and, during Buffy’s last two seasons, UPN); the hope was that Firefly would appeal to bigger, broader audience on Fox. It didn’t. The show – airing on Friday nights – premiered with 6.3 million viewers and declined from there. Fox cancelled the series, airing only 11 of 14 episodes produced by Whedon. Those who had taken an instant liking to the show – a tribe of fans who called themselves Browncoats – were heartbroken, as was Whedon and his cast, led by its breakout star, Nathan Fillion. An attempt to pull a Star Trek and keep the Fireflycreative world alive as a movie franchise failed to launch: Despite admiring reviews, the Whedon-helmed 2005 feature Serenity grossed just $38.8 million worldwide. The dream of more Firefly was finally extinguished. Read More...


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