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Joss Whedon

Serenity * Joss Whedon (2005)

When I writing my review of the Firefly series, I checked IMDb to see what other productions some actors might be in. I noticed the title “Serenity”, the title of the ship in the series. That is odd. When I clicked on the title the film proved to be a scifi and I soon noticed that other actors of the series are in the film as well. Somehow, a few years after the withdrawal of the series (14 episodes have been filmed, 11 broadcasted and the DVD box has a sudden end, so episode 14 might not have been the planned last one) a film was made. With a bigger budget too it seems. Perhaps because of the success of “Buffy” that Whedon made in the meantime?

All major characters/actors of the series are in the film. The ship Serenity got a make-over, the Western elements are skipped and the title song replaced, but for the rest the film is mostly an episode of the series. More even, when the viewer does not know the series, (s)he might be puzzled by some characters and situations in the movie. The film watches like an episode after the last one (or perhaps the pre-last one?) of the series. Perhaps the director got the means to wrap up the story that he actually wanted to tell with his series? This is not entirely true either, because the film has a very open end.

The story then. It starts with a flashback explaining the story about River. That thread, which is not that ‘red’ in the series, makes up the basis for the film. We also learn more about “The Alliance” and some new twists are added to the story. The film is largely like the series. The relationships between the different characters, the sense of humour, it even has references to things that happened in the series.

I find both the series and the film a bit overrated on IMDb, but both make amusing views. The film is of the same ‘level’ as the series and might just as well have been added to it as an extended episode.

Firefly (series) * Joss Whedon (2002/3)

A science fiction series with a country song as soundtrack. That sounds like something different, not? I found these series on IMDb’s highest rated series list. 9.1 and a 12th place of 50. Just one season, so I gave it a try. “Firefly” sure is not a 9.1, but it is an amusing watch nonetheless. There is a strange story to the series too by the way.

The series in this box just stop like it was not finished. It appears that this is indeed the case. 14 Episodes have been filmed, 11 of them have been broadcasted. I supposed more were planned. Oddly enough the order in the box is very different from the order that IMDb has the episodes listed; probably the order in which they were broadcasted. What is strange too is that the series seem not to have had the success that was intended, a few years later, a full length film was made of it.

The series then.
A few centuries ahead a galaxial war is fought which is won by “the alliance”. Resistence veterans Mal(colm) and Zoë get themselves a spaceship (a “Firefly”) to make their living outside regular chanels. They smuggle and steal, but Mal and his crew are portrayed as good crooks. The crew is a varried bunch. A few episodes shed some light on the background of characters and how they got to work for Mal. For the rest there is little character development in the series, even though it watches a bit like a soap.

All planets and moons that spaceship “Serenity” flies to, look a lot like our own earth. Besides the inside of the ship and some cheap-looking space shots, there is not all that much scifi about the series. Often the crew just finds itself in some American looking desert with horses and cows. Hence the country music soundtrack I suppose and the description “Sci-fi Western” that you may find here and there.

There is not really a red thread through the series. The episodes stand more or less on their own, but there are episodes that give the viewer some background information. The episodes themselves can be amusing or somewhat standard, but most have some witty dialogues that are amusing. There are also some pretty ladies and good findings.

“Firefly” makes alright series. Not a waste of time, but not really a must-see either.