Today’s post comes by way of a hardcore fan of the Firefly TV series and Serenity, the followup movie after the series was cancelled. Whether you’re a knitter making a Jayne hat, or just a nut for everything Joss Whedon, take a look at this post and act according to your heart. Disclaimer: I haven’t seen a minute of the show or the movie, but I think the passion of someone who wants more of their favorite brilliant-but-cancelled show deserves a listen. Plus, I first heard about these shows via the Yarn Harlot, so there has to be something to it.
Calling All Browncoats!
In 2002, the Fox network debuted a revolutionary new dramatic series called Firefly. From the mind of Buffy creator Joss Whedon, Firefly was unlike anything ever before seen: part sci-fi, part western. And all extraordinary.
The show’s name derived from a class of transport ship; the “Firefly” class. One such ship, Serenity, serves a home to an eclectic crew of personalities as vivid as television has seen before or since: a war-hardened captain, a tough-as-nails second-in-command, her wisecracking pilot husband, a kind-hearted ship’s mechanic, a mercenary you’d want in a fight, a “bona fide Companion” (don’t ask), a preacher, a ship’s doctor, and his mysteries and deeply-troubled sister.
It is this crew that is the heart of Serenity; the heart of Firefly. There are no cliches here, no cardboard cut-outs, no stereotypes. These are people — real, living, breathing people — that care so deeply for one another that we, as audience, come to care for them just the same. There is hope, there is heartbreak, there is love. And, too, there is humor, with witty fast-paced dialog to match groundbreaking camera work and award-winning special effects.
Yet like many a revolutionary show, Firefly did not last, and was cancelled before the end of its first and only season.
But then something unexpected happened: The people who had watched the show, embraced it, loved it…they wouldn’t let it die. They couldn’t let it die. And in an unprecedented move, in 2005 Universal Pictures released a feature film based on a failed television show that didn’t even make it through its first season. The movie was called, simply, Serenity.
Since then, the fan base for Firefly/Serenity continues to grow; the fans proudly referring to themselves as “Browncoats” (one of many references to the show). And they want more of Serenity and her crew, more of Captain Mal and second-in-command Zoe, more of the mercenary man they call Jayne, more of ever-reasonable Companion Inara, more of ever-cheerful mechanic Kaylee, more of noble doctor Simon, and more of his deeply disturbed (and equally deadly) sister, River.
The fans won’t let Serenity die. More to the point, they can’t. They have embraced it, taken it into their hearts, brought Serenity’s crew into their homes.
Maybe you’re one of them, a Browncoat, an honorary member of Serenity’s crew. If you are, then snap to attention. The fight isn’t over. Serenity will fly again, but only if we do our part.
It starts with numbers. The suits in Hollywood need numbers to justify a sequel to Serenity. Two numbers are key: sales of the Serenity Collector’s Edition DVD, and participation in the Universal HD Forums Firefly message boards.
Signing up and participating on the Firefly boards is free. And, as an added bonus, you’ll get to interact with fellow Browncoats like you. Discuss the characters. Share favorite quotes. But most of all, simply make your presence known. Make it clear to Universal that we — the Browncoats, the fans of Firefly and Serenity — will never have enough of this story, that ship, these characters. Make it clear to Universal that they are sitting on a movie franchise gold mine with a built-in audience. It all starts by signing up, and again, it’s free:
The other key number Universal is looking at: sales figures for the Serenity Collector’s Edition DVD. If you loved the series but didn’t have time for the movie, here you will finally learn the true horrors that have burned up River Tam’s brain…horrors that the Alliance will kill to keep secret. And that’s just the beginning:
Now is not the time to give up. Now, once again, is the time to fight. Fellow Browncoats, the fight is in our hands, and the first shot can be taken as simply as joining the forum linked to above. Join. Participate. Be heard. Be a Big Damn Hero. And together, we will see Serenity sail through the black, even if just for one more time.