Sunday night on the Science Channel, they aired a documentary on this year's Tenth Anniversary of Firefly, which premiered on the Fox Network, never received good ratings, and was canceled after three months.
The show always had its ardent fans, but after it was cancelled and reruns of the show appeared on satellite and cable, that fanbase grew and grew. My wife started watching it and soon clued me into its intrinsic quality. I normally trust my wife's judgment, but I was at first only mildly impressed.
Then she insisted that we see the full-length movie, Serenity, which was made after the show was cancelled--and now I am indeed a fan of the series.
It works because it is sci-fi but not just sci-fi. It is in part a western in which the New Frontier, as Kennedy dubbed space exploration, does indeed become the New Frontier.
It works because the cast is terrific and representatively diverse. That trinity which Dorothy Sayers claimed every work of art should appeal to--body, mind, and soul--is well represented in the series. It is by turns brutal, logical, sexy, altruistic, existential, and spiritual, but not particularly defined by any one of these elements. The dialog is witty, its comic relief astute, the crew's ultimate espirit d'corps endearing.
|The Serenity's sweet engineer, Kaylee|
The crew exists on the fringes of the global bureaucracy. They are independent entrepreneurs in opposition to both the totalitarian bureaucrats and the Reaver savages. Humanity betwix forced order and chaos.
At the reunion, there was some interesting talk about where the writers and directors might have taken the thread of the series. I would not be surprised if a reunion movie is made or if the series is not somehow otherwise revived.