Prev: RE: Firefly (was: Re: this is a first...) Next: New Battlestar

RE: Firefly (was: Re: this is a first...)

From: "Robert Bantly" <bantly_robert@h...>
Date: Sun, 14 Dec 2003 09:33:45 -0800
Subject: RE: Firefly (was: Re: this is a first...)

I'll have to rent a disc and see then, will look for one.
Generally the poor lines in B5 were the humans, the Centauri were always

great ("I'm being nibbled to death by cats") is  a house favorite. I
off season 5, too, with the exception of 2 or 3 episodes.  And when I
the pilot, I almost didn't watch the series. The funniest thing in the
besides the original alien makeup is Delenn giving EVERYONE files.

>From: Ground Zero Games <>
>Subject: RE: Firefly (was: Re: this is a first...)
>Date: Sun, 14 Dec 2003 17:07:10 +0000
>>Giveth us a comparison of Friefly to B5, John! I didn't watch it here
>>the states for the sam reason below.	R/Robert
>OK. You asked for it.
>This is all, of course, IMHO. YMMV.  ;-)
>First, I'm a big B5 fan, but I've never been over-impressed with JMS' 
>dialogue. Sure, he's created a marvellous overall story arc (we'll be 
>charitable and let him off about season 5, that wasn't really his
>but I don't think even the biggest fan would dispute that some of the 
>actual writing was cheesy in the extreme....
>Whedon, on the other hand, is a genius at this sort of thing - the 
>interplay between characters just feels so RIGHT.
>Perhaps the biggest difference is that B5 was about big events - the
>of whole races and a fair chunk of our galaxy. Firefly is about the
>guy. It's nine people on one tatty umpteenth-hand cargo ship that's
>together by duct tape, baling wire and Kaylee's love of engineering
>did I mention she's CUUUUUUTE....(Kaylee, not the ship)?). No-one else
>settled space gives a stuff whether any of them live or die - OK,
>for a few recurring bad guys who'd prefer them dead.
>Basic backstory is that there was a war between the Alliance and the
>(in other words, The Union and the Confederacy....). The Alliance won. 
>the people who were on the losing side have to deal with that. Guess
>side Mal Reynolds was on? So, he buys a cheap ship, installs his old
>buddy Zoe as First Mate, hires a pilot (Wash) and an engineer (Kaylee),
>then along the way picks up a few other odds and ends of humanity -
Book, a 
>Shepherd (preacher); Jayne (male, despite the name, a true mercenary - 
>he'll fight well if there's profit in it, but sell out his own
>to save his skin); Inara (a Companion - think
>hooker....) who plies her "trade" from one of Serenity's two shuttles. 
>Finally there's Simon (the doctor) and River, his apparently-mad sister
>these two are on the run from the Alliance, just to add to the fun. Oh,
>Wash and Zoe are married (to each other).
>The beauty of Firefly is that mostly, nothing really happens which
>anyone outside the major characters themselves. This is THEIR story,
>the rest of the universe just goes on its way quite obliviously. Whedon
>said something to the effect that all he does is throw one event in at
>beginning, and then spend the rest of the episode showing how everyone 
>involved reacts to it - it's not quite that simple, but it's not far
>You know that at the end of the episode, they're not going to have
>the Galaxy or defeated a vile alien menace - if they are lucky, they
>just have survived with their own skins and possibly made enough bucks
>buy some food and fill the tanks at the next stopover. Morality is
>- Mal is basically a good guy, but he WILL kill someone if he needs to
>and he won't lose sleep over it either. Jayne is the brave fighter one 
>minute, the quivering coward the next...... I could ramble on for ages
>you tell I LIKE this series?) but what I'm trying to get at is that
each of 
>the characters is wonderfully three-dimensional, and Whedon manages to 
>bring all this out so very, very well. I'm not saying that B5's
>were exactly shallow, but they were often predictable - Firefly keeps 
>throwing throwing skewballs at the viewer all the time. You just think 
>you've really got a handle on how a character works, then suddenly
>thinking "he did WHAT??" - but then you realise just how that fits in
>who that character is.....
>The emotional interplay is very strong, with all the unstated
>of any mixed-sex group living in a tight community. Mal and Inara have
>love-hate relationship, Wash and Zoe are happily married but there is a

>deeply buried resentment of Mal and Zoe's "bond of comradeship" from
>war, Kaylee fancies Simon but he's too scared to reciprocate, Book is
>more than he seems, Jayne loves his guns first and anything with XX 
>chromosomes and a pulse second....
>Some of the Western elements are maybe a bit overdone - but then Whedon

>wanted to make a Western, and the studios wouldn't let him, so he did 
>Firefly! Personally, I can live with that. The humour is subtle and 
>quickfire - comic lines are thrown in in such a deadpan manner that
>can easily be missed if you're not concentrating - but they sound like 
>people talking to each other, not "hey everyone, I'm making a joke
>This is a series to watch with the TV turned up, the door firmly shut
and a 
>big "do not disturb" sigh on it.....
>Oh, and they swear in Mandarin. According to last month's SFX, choice 
>epithets include "Frog-humping bastard" and "Son of a drooling
>and a monkey". All delivered in Chinese, with no translation. Now, if
>Picard had done that occasionally....	:-)
>Personal favourite episodes? Probably "Our Mrs. Reynolds" and "Heart of

>OK, I admit it. I'm a fan.   ;-)
>Jon (GZG)
>>>From: Ground Zero Games <>
>>>Subject: Firefly (was: Re: this is a first...)
>>>Date: Sun, 14 Dec 2003 12:23:15 +0000
>>>>--- Ground Zero Games <> wrote:
>>>>>  Having just got the Firefly DVD set and watched some of the
>>>>>  Zoe (Gina Torres) springs obviously to mind in this context.... 
>>>>I never heard of Firefly when it was on, only seen ads for the DVD.
>>>>Is it any good?
>>>>I am suspicious of any sci-fi from the man who brought us "Buffy the
>>>>Vampire Slayer" :)
>>>Well, personally I think Firefly is excellent. It depends how you
>>>your SF to be; this is a character-driven series where the
>>>and the dialogue are FAR more important than the whizz-bang effects. 
>>>There are no rubber-forehead prosthetics - in fact there are NO
>>>(sentient or otherwise) at all. There are also virtually no space
>>>(Serenity gets shot AT a couple of times, but she doesn't even have
>>>weapons to shoot back with....).
>>>The background is lots of sparsely-settled human frontier colonies,
>>>grubby and mostly low-tech. The crew are a mix of realistically
>>>characters, each with their own agenda which may or may not match any
>>>the others. The "Western in Space" (actually, more 
>>>"post-ACW-reconstructionism in space") elements are perhaps a little 
>>>heavy at times, but I think they work. I'd certainly rate it as the 
>>>best-written TV SF I've yet seen.
>>>If Star Trek is your vision of how TV SF should be, Firefly will be a

>>>culture shock... but I'd recommend giving it a try!
>>>Jon (GZG)
>>Get holiday tips for festive fun. 

Tired of slow downloads and busy signals?  Get a high-speed Internet 
connection! Comparison-shop your local high-speed providers here.

Prev: RE: Firefly (was: Re: this is a first...) Next: New Battlestar