It’s hard to imagine that it’s been a decade since the lives of so many people around the world were touched by the cultural phenomenon and legend that grew from something so small.
I speak of course of the genre-defying and epically short-lived drama by Joss Whedon (current Hollywood darling after The Avengers) known as Firefly, which on the 20th of this month crossed 10 years since its TV debut. Personally, I was not fortunate enough to have seen it when it first aired – in a way I’m happy about that I suppose, because not only were the episodes aired all out of order, they were not all aired and not all on time and realistically, the odds that something like it would have ever aired in India in a hurry…
But it was through a friend who told me about a movie coming soon, back in 2005, that he knew I’d like as a fan of sci-fi and that I that I should definitely watch it. That movie was Serenity – a movie that no one believed could happen, a movie that picked up the threads of that TV series, because the fans and the people who had made the show never gave up on it.
And the amazing thing is that folks still haven’t. Like so many other Browncoats (dedicated fans of the shows universe – and yes we have our own wiki-entry) across the globe, I’ve watched the many campaigns and attempts to bring the show back over the years, seen fan-films, documentaries, even a few independent projects like one called “Bellflower” that is a series set in the same universe and is made by fans of the show themselves with their own resources.
The most prominent of these fan efforts the past couple of years has been Browncoats: Redemption: a film set in the universe of Joss Whedon’s cult favorite Firefly, received Whedon’s blessing in 2008 as well as 20th Century Fox’s nod of approval because its focus was on raising money for charities, including Equality Now, Whedon’s charity of choice. Dougherty and Browncoat Big Damn Fan Films, Inc. (“BDF”) were able to include cameos from original cast members of Firefly, including Adam Baldwin (Chuck) and Michael Fairman (Young and the Restless), who were happy to donate their time. The project was funded entirely by supporters and fans of the show and was filmed and produced by volunteers, and DVDs were shipped to all seven continents.
Hands down however, the most successful effort by the fans for this show I think was the movie “Done the Impossible” which was one of the most entertaining and touching tributes to an idea by fans. And of course, what really sets it apart is that it shows a sampling of what a diverse and interesting fan-base this universe has and how it’s affected them and how they see the world around them – for me, this is what being a story-teller is all about.
And for those that didn’t know this, just by the way, DVD’s of Firefly were taken up and are currently on the ISS, i.e., the International Space Station.
But I’m not going to bore you with trivia and such – if you’re a fan, you’ll get a kick out of some of this stuff and out of the images I’ve used around here. The loooong one on the side here is actually an info-graphic for folk that don’t know much about the ‘Verse, not to worry, it’s simple enough and the amazing thing about this little show is that even now a decade later, it still finds fans and every single one of them is just as shocked as older fans that there was not more of this.
But before I get to the end of my ramblings, here’s a treat (for those of you who’ve made it this far!). The full footage, courtesy the folks at TFAW, of the panel held at the VERY recent San Diego Comic-Con for the show’s 10th Anniversary. Joss Whedon, Tim Minear, and cast members Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Summer Glau, Adam Baldwin and Sean Maher were present and talked to the fans in attendance and took questions – some moments bringing a tear to eyes both on and off the stage (and even at home if you understand whats being talked about). Ten thousand people lined up to get into the panel, and the panel ended with the entire crowd giving the cast and crew a standing ovation. Ten. Thousand. Just think about that number.
In case you didn’t watch it, there was a spoiler in there toward the end I didn’t want to ruin for anyone who would watch it. You see, since the cancellation, Joss and his creative family have worked to keep it alive and not given up on it. All this time. The most successful effort being the comics they’ve been producing through Dark Horse(as mentioned in the video) which has included comics set between and around the series and movie and a one-shot that gave us the mysterious past of the man known as Shepherd Book.
BUT! As we heard from the horse’s mouth himself (no offense meant Mr. Whedon!), he and Zack have been discussing moving forward with comics that would build on the story AFTER the movie and maybe move in the direction of carrying it on in a comic based new “season” of stories like they have done (remarkably well I might add) with his other shows that are no longer airing : Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Dollhouse.
I’ve got some more videos to accompany the article and images I’ve posted up here, the first of which is this compilation of references and homages to the show on Castle the current hit-show starring Nathan Fillion – a.k.a Captain Mal Reynolds from Firefly.
Next up, this single example of the many in-jokes and references made to Firefly in other shows that have no connection with it – like Battlestar Galactica and Community, this one being from the hit comedy The Big Bang Theory
Last up, I was going to post the original theme music, but this cover by Brandon Bowers from the band Smoking Spore, it’s different but you can see the fan in him, especially the medley that extends the song – how many of you know where that’s from? Ten points if you do!
One last! This ones a lovely song by the exceedingly talented Marian Call who is a big favourite of mine. This song is off her first album and like she says here, you don’t have to know who Jayne is to enjoy the song. Her first album had a lot of love and references to Firefly and (I like to think) is in large part a tribute to the show. But maybe that’s just me. Anyhow, enjoy the song!
Before I part ways with you all here today, here’s another wallpaper for you, just click and you know the rest: