It’s hard to believe that it’s been 7 years since Serenity came out, and 10 since Firefly was on our screens. Not that I watched it when it was. I was one of the many who had enjoyed (for the most part) Joss Whedon’s Buffy and Angel, and when I’d heard he was starting work on a new sci-fi show, it’s fair to say I wasn’t that enthusiastic. It’s a genre I don’t particularly care for, and I felt he should be concentrating on the world I had already invested in. How wrong I was. When I finally got round to watching Firefly it was already off the air, and yet by the time I had finished the first (and only) season I was hooked. Screaming defiance at Fox for having cancelled the program, I joined the hordes of fans prowling the internet and even signed a ‘Bring Firefly Back’ petition. However, it became more and more obvious as the years went on that Serenity was all the closure we were going to get. The show isn’t coming back; the world has moved on – so why am I writing this article?
Well, firstly, if there’s anyone out there who’s yet to watch Firefly, then I’d like to take this opportunity to persuade you to do so. It’s an exceptional program, and while not everyone ‘gets it,’ it’s well worth taking the time to try it out. Right now. Don’t even finish the article first, as it contains some spoilers. Go and watch the show. Gone? Good.
Now that that’s out the way, we can get on with the business of examining exactly what made the show so compelling. This is going to be more than the adoring, incoherent babble of a committed fan (although that’s almost inevitably going to occur as well). It’s also an attempt to isolate the strongest points of the series and hopefully have a think about what makes great television. For any aspiring script-writers, that’s always worth doing.
We are currently seeking TV contributors on WhatCulture. To find out more about the perks of being a TV contributor, click here.