Monday, March 16, 2015

Season One Show: Firefly

Dàjiā hǎo! Welcome to Season One Shows' Day One and yes I thought it only proper to get this ball rolling with one of the most talked about, beloved and thoroughly aggravating shows that Fox has ever cancelled. While House went kicked, punched and eye gouged the shark, this show got one season while the creator's main show and its spin-off were also being handled. Showing life in a frontiersman's setting across planets, cattle rustlers and criminals of the like not see in this here 'verse. This is Firefly.

Open the pod bay door, Joss.

Created by writer/director/producer Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Toy Story, Angel, Alien: Ressurection, Speed, Dollhouse, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and The Avengers) and set 500 years into the future, the Earth's resources, natural splendor and living conditions are done. Humanity leaves its cradle of civilization in search of new planets to live and prosper. Core planets are guarded, protected and shielded by an assortment of laws and regulations by the Alliance, while the outer rim planets are handled by cattle ranchers, pioneers and tradesmen that can be sacked, bushwhacked and paddywhacked at any time. These are the non-allied worlds. Soon after the push to space, the Alliance wished to add even more planets under the yoke of their rule and the non-allied worlds rose up in a intergalactic civil war broke out. With more tech, manpower and resources the Alliance finally broke the Independents and proceeded to continue to carve up space.

For former Independant or "Browncoat" Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion of Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Justice League, Drive, Desperate Housewives, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and Castle) being a criminal means taking risks so his ship can stay flying, sticking it to the Alliance and making a life for himself and his crew. Deft but goofy pilot Wash (Alan Tudyk of of Patch Adams, A Knight's Tale, Ice Age, I, Robot, Serenity, Young Justice and Newsreaders), his second-in-command Zoe (Gina Torres of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Cleopatra 2525, Angel, Justice League, Standoff and Suits), his hard headed bad ass desperado Jayne Cobb (Adam Baldwin of Predator 2, Wyatt Earp, The Cape, The X-Files, Stargate SG-1, Angel, Evil Eyes, Jackie Chan Adventures, Chuck and The Last Ship) and plunky engineer Kaylee (Jewel Staite of Space Cases, Flash Forward, Just Deal, Firefly, Stargate: Atlantis, The L.A. Complex and The Killing). Between ferrying legitmate cargo and taking on passengers, the thefts are always paying better but the law is always around, criminals looking to screw them out of their hard earn coin and a myriad of psychotic cannibalistic men and women known as Reavers take to the skies as well.

Dinner with all the trimmings.

Hard to sneak about and be viewed as respectable but licensed companion Inara Serra (Morena Baccarin of Roger Dodger, Still Life, Serenity, Justice League, Stargate SG-1, Stolen, V, Back in the Day, Son of Batman, The Flash and Gotham) gives them credibilty on the core worlds as well as picking up fares such as: holy man Shepard Book (Ron Glass of The Streets of San Francisco, Barney Miller, Crash, The New Odd Couple, Back in Business, Serenity, All Grown Up and Lakeview Terrace) and Doctor Simon Tam (Sean Maher of Party of Five, The $Treet, Firefly, Serenity, Much Ado About Nothing, Arrow and Son of Batman). Events unfold and Doctor Tam is revealed to be a wanted fugitive for rescuing his sister River (Summer Glau of Angel, Firefly, Serenity, The Unit, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, Knights of Badassdom, Arrow and Sequestered) from an Alliance research and development program.

Is this more than Reynolds bargained for? Can the crew and passengers co-exist peacefully? Is there a reward for the brother sister duo?

A quick few bits on the show now. Mutant Enemy Productions released this show in September 20, 2002 with the set of Serenity, the ship being as much as a character as the cast given she was split level and built full-scale across two sound stages for upper deck, lower deck, shuttle docking bay and holding bay and all sets were connected. The Alliance officer and solider uniforms were leftover armor and suits from Starship Troopers. Every scene in space did not have sound effects as it would be in real life as SPACE IS A VACUUM... of course the background music was still played but hey there is only so much realism.

Fox aired the episodes out of chronological order primarily because the pilot was deemed too long and less hard hitting as its second episode, "The Train Job". One of the first TV sci-fi shows to be exclusive without extra-terrestrial life it made certain that the two predominate powers and language would be English and Mandarin Chinese (which allowed swearing to get around the censors).

A clever story line allowing 8 main characters to be properly developed, giving them hurdles in life, put in real life scenarios as much as fictitious ones. Would it held up in another season or even 2? That has been the subject of many debates. In this humble reviewer's eyes, I feel we could have explored more of each crew members' back-story with the bonus of who they were to where will they go from here. With the completion of Serenity, many questions were answered and it did put a nice cap on a few issues. Is a sequel in the works to this day? Only Whedon knows.

Feel like a trap?