june

Hans-Quinn 2022 TV Draft: Round Two-Pick Six-Firefly (2002-2003)

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Firefly Cast Screen Rant Image One
Photo Credit: Screen Rant
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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

Neato Shop Image Two
Image Credit: Neato Shop

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.

Firefly Deviant Art Image Three
Image Credit: Aerettberg
Deviant Art
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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.

Serenity TMDb Image Four
Image Credit: The Movie Database

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.

Trivia Bits:
♦ 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.

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Movie Monday: A Butterfly’s Metamorphosis 1904

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Butterfly Metamorphosis Image One
Image Credit: schlitzie.tumblr.com

One hundred, fifteen years ago, in June, the short, French film La métamorphose du papillon or, A Butterfly’s Metamorphosis was released. The two-minute silent was directed by Gaston Velle, produced by Pathé Frères and, one of the distribution companies for the US was Edison Manufacturing Company.

From Wikipedia:

Gaston Velle was a French silent film director, and pioneer of special effects, who was prominent in early French and Italian cinema during the first two decades of the 20th century. Gaston began his career as a travelling magician before putting his illusionist skills to work in cinema and, ultimately, creating more than fifty films between 1903 and 1911. He worked under Auguste and Louis Lumière before serving as the head of production for the Italian film studio Cines. […] he is best remembered for his work at Pathé where he was hired to produce trick films that might rival those of his contemporary, Georges Méliès […]. Velle also created some of the first Féerie films […]. [He] mysteriously retired from film production in 1913 and little is known about the last several decades of his life.

[Disclaimer: Very little is known about this film and the above Wikipedia information is presented without any citations.]