Weekend Cocktail: Dreaming of Firefly and Remembering Hitchens

Call it a coincidence, call it sheer chance, call it fate or whatever you’d like, but my decision to post this video with this quote in my latest entry coinciding with my finding the little article/write-up below has happened here and now and not through any design of mine.
I woke up yesterday morning and right on top of a page in the morning paper was this quote:

“There is the sky, which is all men’s together.”
– Euripides

And it instantly made me think of this song and nostalgia hit – as would be expected I guess. I ripped out the quote and kept it in my pocket to post along with this video:

And then a little later on I came across this bit of news about Arrested Development and Netflix and I had to share it for all the Browncoats out there!! So read and rejoice folks!

(NOTE: The following is not so much my post as something I found shared all over tumblr.com and as a browncoat myself I wanted to share it here too! Spread it folks, you can’t stop the signal!!)

PHENOMENAUT AEROSPACE: Could Netflix Bring Firefly Back From The Dead?

The greatest crew in the black... (click to enlarge!)

Ever since Joss Whedon’s space western was canceled back in 2003, its fans — at first, a relatively small contingent, but as time and DVD sales grew, so did the ranks swell — have wondered what could possibly rescue it from the tightly clenched jaws of death. And until now, nothing could. But with Netflix resuscitating other long-canceled shows, and green-lighting original programming, what had been a firm NO is now a wobbly MAYBE.

There were lots of reasons why Firefly never got a second shot at life (not counting the 2005 feature, Serenity), not the least of which is that ship-based science fiction shows are expensive. The rights can be a bit of a tangle: Fox owns the rights so if anyone wanted to make more episodes, they’d need to buy the opportunity — and networks who might be right for Firefly, like Syfy, have already crunched the numbers and found them not entirely attractive. Especially for a show that already failed once. And the cast could be hard to lock down—okay, Nathan Fillion will be hard to lock down. Since Firefly ended, he’s become a full-on TV star, and his time won’t come cheap if, contractually, it could come at all.

All of that makes total sense. Or, rather, it did…before Netflix made the deal to make new episodes of the late, lamented Arrested Development.

Suddenly, all of that logic goes out the window. Because, presumably, Netflix will rebuild all of those sets, has negotiated the rights, and got the cast to sign on. They’re trading on Arrested Development’s cult status to bring new subscribers to their service, in the same way that HBO counts on critical acclaim to enlarge their viewership. Add that to the fact that Netflix is producing original series left and right — from people like David Fincher and Eli Roth — and it’s a whole new ballgame.

Would shooting new episodes of Firefly be expensive? Yes, but I don’t think any more than your average episode of a TV drama: Special effects are getting cheaper all the time and sets are sets, whether they’re emergency rooms, police precincts, or starship bridges. Fox already does business with Netflix — the whole Whedonverse is streaming — so the rights issue shouldn’t be all that headache-y. (Plus, I’m sure Fox wouldn’t mind being able to eventually sell a whole new season of Firefly on DVD and Blu-Ray.)

And most of that cast, I’m sorry to say, isn’t all that gainfully employed — at least the surviving members of Serenity’s crew. I’m sure they’d drop everything to do more of a show they loved (and get paid for it). And Fillion has said, time and again, that Firefly was the best job he ever had and that all Joss had to do was call. I’m sure he could work something out with the Castle brass.

So, the question isn’t really “could Netflix bring back Firefly?” — it’s “what are they waiting for?”


But before I take your leave – I’d like to take a moment to say goodbye and a heart-felt thanks to one of the sharpest minds and


most incisive thinkers that I have ever had the pleasure to read. I speak of course of Christopher Hitchens, who’s book I reviewed not so long ago here, who was something of an icon in intellectual circles – a man who pulled no punches, spoke straight and argued for simple truth and honesty in life. He did all he did and was a great force in the modern thinking world, but he did it not to influence and make people believe as he did, he simply pushed people to step away from all the restrictions and foolishness with which we encapsulate and limit ourselves as people and a species.

Even at age 62, the man was unstoppable. Diagnosed with cancer over a year ago, he continued to work saying simply, “”Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” He leaves behind him a body of work that includes a dozen books, five collections of essays on issues as diverse as Feminism, George Orwell, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Rudyard Kipling.

But I will say no more and simply leave you with this quote from Stephen Fry’s eloquent piece about the man himself from yesterday:

Almost as many words have been written about Christopher Hitchens since he died as he would write in a typical working week. He was one of very, very few people on earth whom I would have missed just as much had I never had the pleasure and fortune of knowing him. He lit fires in people’s minds. He was an educator.

And with that ladies and gents, I bid you adieu until the next time.

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