Friday, September 30, 2005

The Browncoats are here

Play it: Serenity (this fan's own interpretive soundtrack)

That annoying sound you've been hearing.... sort of like a bee in your ear... that BUZZ? Well, it's the groundswell of years and years of rabid fans' work to get their favorite forgotten stepchild of a tv series, Firefly, resuscitated and back to life. Serenity, the movie based on the series, opens in theaters today, and is a great story of redemption.

Joss Whedon (Buffy, Angel) created Firefly (pitched as Stagecoach in space,) with the idea that Han Solo was a more interesting character to build a movie around then young (boring/one-dimensional) Skywalker... but it's much more then that. The series was an interesting one that FOX repeatedly f*cked with (not even airing the pilot first) and it never got the chance to get it's audience.... FOX wanted it to fill The X-Files shoes right away, and it could never do that as quickly as FOX wanted and thus was prematurely killed off. Or was it?

The viewers who tuned in and got it right away were hooked, and became the sort of viewers that only a handful of shows can ever garner. They started letter-writing campaigns, viewing parties, and when the series was officially cancelled, they did something even more impressive: they refused to give up.

"Can't Stop the Signal" became the rallying cry and websites cropped up with a network of fans displaying fan-fiction, artwork, and ideas to get it back up and running. The series was broadcast in South Africa, Mexico, South America, the UK, Australia and then Switzerland and became a hit everywhere. When the DVD of the series was announced, it became #1 on Amazon as a pre-ordered DVD, and the little fires here and there started to collect into a metal-melting blaze.

The fact that it's been made into a movie now owes a lot to these same fans, so Whedon has written it as a love-letter to them, but don't go thinking if you haven't seen Firefly that you'll be on the outs. Like the Serenity spaceship itself, it welcomes all travelers, and you'll find yourself checking out the series - whether on the Sci-Fi channel or on DVD through rental, Netflix, or my favorite, the public library (it's free.) All us fans hope it's a great success, if only to embarrass the FOX airheads who cancelled it prematurely.

Notes: Whedon has said he's open to reviving the series, but in order for that to happen, the network that runs it has to buy back the rights from FOX as Whedon refuses to work with those &^%&%s again.

Serenity Now!: Whedon Flips Off Fox in Clever Space-Western (Village Voice)
Scruffy Space Cowboys Fighting Their Failings (NYTimes)
Joss Whedon's intimate sci-fi epic "Serenity" rockets straight out of the universe of second chances (Chicago Tribune)

A celebration for Browncoats

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1 comment:

drake leLane said...


* "Serenity" - John Coltrane
* "Firefly" - Tortoise
* "Mal" - Johnny Hallyday
* "River" - Joni Mitchell
* "Song for Zoe" - Mara
* "Wash" - Pearl Jam
* "Jayne" - Ornette Coleman
* "Simon" - Joan Armatrading
* "Good Shepherd" - Jefferson Airplane