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FEATURE:

SERENITY: 10 YEARS ON


Aim to misbehave


By Kate Smith, 29th September 2015
SWITCH logoFeature. 

SERENITY: 10 YEARS ON

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AIM TO MISBEHAVE

RETROSPECTIVE
Kate Smith
By Kate Smith, 29th September 2015
Ten years ago, unless you were a fan of ‘Buffy’, you probably wouldn’t have heard of Joss Whedon - so even when ‘Serenity’ was released in 2005, not a lot of people would have realised what it was all about. Just in case you don’t, dear reader, in 2003 Joss Whedon developed a show that was basically a Western in space, and it was brilliant. It featured some of the best writing, themes, direction and acting ever to grace the small screen. This was ‘Firefly’. The show was pretty much screwed by network executives who didn’t understand it, and was cancelled after 14 episodes. In 2005, Whedon convinced Universal Studios to release ‘Serenity’ and every single member of the cast returned to help wrap up the story.

It didn’t end there, though: ‘Serenity’ and ‘Firefly’ spawned comic books and graphic novels, most written by Joss’s brother Jed Whedon; merchandise, fan-made products such as the Jayne Hat (which is a whole story in itself) and ongoing campaigns to resurrect the series.

Sci-fi fans like myself often see tributes to ‘Firefly’ and ‘Serenity’ pop up all over the place, even now. ‘Stargate’, ‘Battlestar Galactica’, ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and ‘Castle’ are just a few shows paying tribute to one of the best TV series ever canned. If you follow Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk, you will be aware that they’ve just crowdfunded a new show, inspired by their time on the convention circuits due to ‘Firefly’. They chose to crowdfund because they have “trust issues” with networks, and who can blame them? I recommend you head over to Vimeo and check out the promos for ‘Con-man’.

‘Firefly’ is still a cult hit ten years later, and even the stars of the show still lament its passing, despite it being the launching pad of their careers. Every one of them has said at one time or another that they would drop what they’re doing and return to ‘Firefly’ if Whedon ever got the green light for a revival. However, despite the unwavering loyalty of a massive fanbase, the chances are slim.

‘Firefly’ is still a cult hit ten years later, and even the stars of the show still lament its passing.

Even my sci-fi allergic mum loved ‘Firefly’, and when ‘Serenity’ came out my sister and I took her to see it. To this day, it’s the only science fiction she will tolerate. It’s that good. Even my classical music-loving aunty was intrigued by ‘Firefly’ (I may have given her little choice).

As I mentioned, ‘Firefly’ and ‘Serenity’ were the launching pads for the careers of many now well-known names. Nathan Fillion has stared in ‘Castle’ for 9 years now, while Adam Baldwin, Alan Tudyk, and Gina Torres have healthy film and TV careers. Morena Baccarin went on to appear in ‘Homeland’ and recently ‘Spy’ with Melissa McCarthy. Jewel Staite and Summer Glau embraced their fanbase and have appeared in several sci-fi projects since 2005.

‘Serenity’ also starred Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor as The Operative. Since appearing in ‘Serenity’ Ejiofor’s career has skyrocketed in no small part due to his performance as a ruthless government agent hunting psychic River Tam. Appearing recently in ‘The Martian’ , Ejiofor is an actor to watch.

One of Whedon’s pervasive themes cropping up in most of his material is the idea of a family you choose. ‘Serenity’ is no exception. Like ‘Buffy’ and ‘The Avengers’, Whedon likes to remind us that family can be more than those with blood ties. To me, this is a pretty important message, and just one of the many good reasons to get thee to a Whedon marathon.

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