Hans-Quinn 2022 TV Draft: Round Two-Pick Six-Firefly (2002-2003)
Hanspostcard/Quinn Maddux has a TV draft challenge. This is my Round Two pick.
“You can’t take the sky from me.”
Ok. I will say it. I am a hopeless Sci-Fi geek. I could easily do this TV Draft with nothing but Sci-Fi. I led with Doctor Who because it, by far, has the longest tapestry in my life. I would venture to say that Firefly was the shortest…and, yes, I am a Browncoat. I had an extensive list of Sci-Fi choices but, chose these two, only, because I also wanted to touch on other genres including law enforcement, drama, comedy and a couple of cartoons. ~Vic
When this came out, it struck me as being very close to the original description given to the first Star Trek series…a western in space. Fox had already scored big with the X-Files, running from September 1993 to May 2002. Firefly debuted September 2002 and, I was front and center. I didn’t find out until later that the first episode that aired was not the first episode of the series. You can thank Fox executives for that mess-up. It went downhill from there.
Created by Joss Whedon (Executive Producer, Writer, Theme Composter & Director of three episodes), it starred:
★ Nathon Fillion as Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds, the owner & Captain of Serenity, a Firefly-class, small transport spaceship. He is a former sergeant from the Battle of Serenity Valley, an Independent soldier in the war against the Alliance (a fusion of the last two superpowers, the US & China) in the year 2517.
★ Gina Torres as Zoë Alleyne Washburne, second-in-command aboard Serenity and Mal’s loyal corporal during the war. She is Wash’s wife.
★ Alan Tudyk as Hoban “Wash” Washburne, Serenity’s pilot and a bit jealous over his wife’s attachment to Mal. He is known for cracking jokes, even during horrible situations.
★ Morena Baccarin as Inara Serra, a Companion that is a blending of a courtesan, a geisha & a mistress. She has a very high social status and rents one of Serenity’s small shuttles. She & Mal are attracted to each other, dislike each other’s “jobs” and want to remain professional towards each other.
★ Adam Baldwin as Jayne Cobb, a 6’4″ mercenary that acts dumber than he really is. He sends much of his income back to his mother. He is excellent in a fight, has an intense fear of Reavers and has an extreme dislike of Simon and his sister, River, as she attacked him with a knife.
★ Jewel Staite as Kaywinnet Lee “Kaylee” Frye, the ship’s adorable mechanic. With no formal training, she intuitively knows mechanical equipment. She routinely talks to Serenity and has a crush on Simon Tam.
★ Sean Maher as Simon Tam, a trauma surgeon (top 3% of his class) that became a fugitive after he snatched his sister, River, out of a government research facility. He struggles with his desire for Kaylee as his life revolves around his sister.
★ Summer Glau as River Tam, an intuitive child prodigy that the Alliance experimented on, leading to psychic abilities and combat training. She suffers from PTSD and has flashbacks from the experiments. She can be delusional, paranoid and violent without warning.
★ Ron Glass as Derrial Book, commonly referred to as Shepherd Book (a 24th century version of a pastor). A devout Christian, his background is unknown but, he has much knowledge that the average pastor would not have. He has a fairly high status with the Alliance and, though he objects to violence, he is skilled in combat. Quote: “…while the Bible is quite specific about killing, it is somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.” Book is the voice of reason, spirituality and conscience for the crew.
Fourteen episodes, with a two-hour pilot, were produced but, only 11 of them aired before being unceremoniously cancelled. The Browncoat Brigade started a postcard writing campaign to Fox, and UPN but, it ultimately failed. They continued to push for the DVD release and, in 2005, the feature film Serenity was released on September 30.
♦ The real reason it was cancelled was that the FOX executives thought it was too dark (It was very dark).
♦ Whedon proposed a Firefly plotline in which Inara injected herself with a prophylactic solution, not a birth control but, a serum that would poison anyone who raped her. Whedon’s idea was that Inara would, then, be kidnapped and gang-raped but, that the rapes would take place offscreen and, the only sign of them would be a pile of her rapists later found dead. This plotline was nixed by the network and no version of it ever appeared on the show.
♦ Serenity’s engine room includes the center console from a Boeing 737.
♦ When Whedon created the show, he intended for it to run seven years.
♦ Between shots, the cast preferred to wait in the ship’s lounge, instead of their trailers/dressing rooms.
♦ The Alliance officer and soldier uniforms are leftovers from Starship Troopers (1997).
♦ The pistol-sized lever action gun Zoe wears on her hip is called a Mare’s Leg. It is a cut down Model 1892 Winchester, the same gun used by Steve McQueen in the TV series Wanted: Dead or Alive (1958).
♦ Astronaut Steven Swanson is a Browncoat and brought his Firefly & Serenity DVDs with him on the Space Shuttle Atlantis for the STS-117 mission in June 2007.
♦ The Shuttle crew of the Endeavour is awoken at 4:14pm ET to The Ballad of Serenity, played for astronaut Robert Behnken.
♦ The DVDs are in the media collection on the ISS.
♦ There are actual Browncoat Balls, held all over the US. The first one was in 2004.
Firefly Opening Sequence
Too Much Hair
Reboot? Yes, Disney Sucks (Sorry for the ads)
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Throwback Thursday: John Ball & The Peasants’ Revolt 1381
John Ball was an English priest who took a prominent part in the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. Ball […] actively [preached] “articles contrary to the faith of the church” […]. Ball trained as a priest in York and referred to himself […] as “Seynte Marie priest of York”. [During his time], England was exhausted by death on a massive scale and crippling taxes. The Black Death was followed by years of war, which had to be paid for. The population was nearly halved by disease, and overworked, and onerous flat-rate poll taxes were imposed.
Ball was imprisoned in Maidstone, Kent, at the time of the […] Revolt. He […] gained considerable fame as a roving preacher without a parish or any link to the established order […] and [was known] especially [for] his insistence on social equality. He delivered radical sermons in many places […]. His utterances brought him into conflict with Simon of Sudbury, Archbishop of Canterbury, and he was thrown in prison on several occasions. He also appears to have been excommunicated […] and, in 1366, it was forbidden for anyone to hear him preach. These measures, however, did not moderate his opinions, nor diminish his popularity, and he took to speaking to parishioners in churchyards after official services.
Shortly after the Peasants’ Revolt began, Ball was released by the Kentish rebels from his prison. He preached to them at Blackheath in an open-air sermon that included the following:
“When Adam delved and Eve span, Who was then the gentleman? From the beginning all men by nature were created alike, and our bondage or servitude came in by the unjust oppression of naughty men. For if God would have had any bondmen from the beginning, He would have appointed who should be bond, and who free. And therefore I exhort you to consider that now the time is come, appointed to us by God, in which ye may (if ye will) cast off the yoke of bondage, and recover liberty.”
When the rebels had dispersed, Ball was taken prisoner at Coventry, given a trial in which, unlike most, he was permitted to speak. (Six hundred, forty years ago) [he] was hanged, drawn and quartered at St Albans in the presence of King Richard II on July 15, 1381. His head was displayed stuck on a pike on London Bridge and the quarters of his body were displayed at four different towns. Ball, who was called […] “the mad priest of Kent” seems to have possessed the gift of rhyme. He voiced the feelings of a section of the discontented lower orders of society at that time, who chafed at villeinage and the lords’ rights of unpaid labour, or corvée.
Hmmm…it appears that we are still in bondage all these centuries later and censorship still reigns supreme from the overlords. There are a lot of parallels to today in the above. And, there are those that would like to see others cancelled (or, hanged, drawn & quartered) for refusing to be poisoned. ~Vic
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