“You Can’t Take the Sky from Me!”
Lately I have had the opportunity to revisit FIREFLY, the legendary, swashbuckling television series from 2002. Written and produced by Joss Whedon, it fell short of one complete season before the Suits at Fox cancelled it. But not before it garnered an enthusiastic fan base that has since grown over the years to cult proportions.
And the enthusiasm is justified.
Thank goodness, there’s nary a superpower or cape or mask among the nine members of the crew of Captain Mal Reynolds’s “Firefly” class transport ship. They are very human, flawed and heroic by turns. They ply the spaceways as they smuggle, steal, and scavenge their way in a futuristic world, caught in the crossfire of a galactic civil war.
Cast members are Nathan Fillion as the good Captain; Gina Torres as Zoe, his tough second-in-command; Alan Tuduk as “Wash,” ship’s pilot (and husband of Zoe); Adam Baldwin as soldier-of-fortune Jayne; Jewel Staite as engineer/ mechanic Kaylee; Morena Baccarin as the professional “companion” (read that: courtesan) Inara; Ron Glass as the priest Shepherd Book; and Sean Maher and Summer Glau as a brother and sister on the run from the Federal authorities.
FIREFLY, bless it, is concerned more with personalities and crew relationships than it is on special effects (although there are some beauts) and chases (although yes, there are a few). It has a great heart. And the joy and comradeship shared by the ensemble cast is compelling and real.
It is also one of the more heart-breaking might-have-beens, in that producer Whedon was blocked from finishing it and revealing its many secrets.
But at least the glorious fragment that has been left us is available for all to either revisit of discover for the first time. They can’t take THAT away from us!