‘Firefly’ farewell? One Browncoat says a revival would miss the magic

March 08, 2011 | 5:29 p.m.

GUEST ESSAY

Amy Ratcliffe loves “Firefly” just as much as you do but she’s not ready to rally for a revival. Here’s why.

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And one shall lead them all: Joss Whedon, creator of "Firefly," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and more.

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"Serenity" executive producer David Lester, left, cinematographer Jack Green, visual effects supervisor Loni Peristere. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

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Alan Tudyk as Wash, Gina Torres as Zoe, Jewel Staite as Kaylee, Nathan Fillion as Captain Malcolm Reynolds, Morena Baccarin as Inara and Sean Maher as Simon in "Serenity." (Sidney Baldwin / Universal)

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Morena Baccarin as Inara, Adam Baldwin as Jayne and Nathan Fillion as Capt. Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds in "Firefly." (Fox)

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Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin and Summer Glau in the movie "Serenity." (Sidney Baldwin / Universal Studios)

I am a Browncoat.  A Browncoat’s life consists of attending conventions, wearing out DVDs of our beloved show “Firefly” and pouncing on any shred of news about the series.  The recent news that “Firefly” would be back on television stirred the ‘verse into an absolute frenzy.  Though the headlines stated only that ” ‘Firefly’ Returns to Television,” yearning fans leaped to the assumption that the headlines meant new episodes.  Alas, it’s just the existing episodes — although many of them are airing for the first time and the series will be aired in the intended order as opposed to the bizarre mish-mash sequence that infamously undermined the series originally. The prospect of the show potentially reaching new audiences is exciting, but it’s not new.  Still, fans were riled up.  What if “Firefly” could come back?  What if we could make it happen?

As these questions were being tossed around, Entertainment Weekly talked to Nathan Fillion.  He said, “If I got $300 million from the California Lottery, the first thing I would do is buy the rights to ‘Firefly,’ make it on my own, and distribute it on the Internet.”

The Internet exploded.  Browncoats do what they do best — declare, support, rally and pine.  Bring back our beloved space western! A Facebook page was created at light speed.  As of last check, it had almost 80,000 supporters.  Author Patrick Rothfuss even stated in a recent blog post that he would give Fillion all the royalty money from his new book for the purpose of buying the “Firefly” rights.  Yes, Browncoats are an enthusiastic bunch.  We’re also dreamers.  The show encourages that trait.  The Browncoats fought for independence despite the fact that it was near impossible to defeat the mighty AllianceCapt. Malcolm Reynolds bought a piece-of-junk ship with the hope of getting to fly free of the Alliance out in the black.  Everyone who stepped on board Serenity had hope for something.  Money, escape, a refuge. Something.  It’s the nature of a Browncoat to be hopeful.

It takes more than Captain Tightpants to make the show though.  Writer Jose Molina said he’d be in via a Tweet, and Jane Espenson replied that she would be there if needed.  That’s a few people.  Joss Whedon, the master and creator, hasn’t made a comment.  Yet.  I think that the only way a reboot could work is if they gathered every member of the cast and crew back.  The show was truly an ensemble, and even the tiniest of cogs played a big part to make the show the fantastic story that it was.  Timing played a part, too — it always does.  Besides availability considerations — I mean, some people are directing a giant summer blockbuster called “The Avengers” — a lot of things have happened since the last time Serenity flew in 2005.  We aren’t in the same place, and I can’t imagine a ship without Wash and Book.

This Browncoat isn’t pushing for a return to the “Firefly” ‘verse.  Before you doubt my dedication, let me tell you how much I love “Firefly.”  Just as much as you.  I recently had a “Firefly” themed birthday party.  Guests came in costume, I transformed my living room into Inara’s shuttle and I served bao. This is no joke. We might have had a sing-along to the “Ballad of Jayne.”  My next tattoo is going to be “You can’t take the sky from me.” One of the many reasons I love the show is because it embraces the misfits, the outcasts and the crazy.  These were people that were exiled by the Alliance or by themselves to the black of space.  They found their way.  Part of me wants to see Mal and Zoe back on the screen being big damn heroes.  What I wouldn’t give to add to my list of skeevy and inappropriate Jayne quotes.  It had its time though, and it was perfect.  It was complete.  It is a show that I compare every other television show against.  I don’t believe that level of utter magic could be attained again.  Could it be close? Sure.  Would I watch it? Absolutely.  But I’m not rallying.

“Love. Can know all the math in the ‘verse but take a boat in the air that you don’t love? She’ll shake you off just as sure as a turn in the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughtta fall down…tell you she’s hurtin’ ‘fore she keens…makes her a home.”

That quote from the film couldn’t be more true.  Love from the fans and the cast and crew put “Serenity” back in the air once.  It could happen again.  I’m okay if it doesn’t.

– Amy Ratcliffe

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Comments


25 Responses to ‘Firefly’ farewell? One Browncoat says a revival would miss the magic

  1. Bob says:

    I dont care about magic, what I do care about is good writing, storytelling, and TV and firefly is all 3, I could live with new characters if they are written well.

  2. Scott says:

    The 'verse is so vast there are a ton more stories to be told. I love wash and book but as long as the Captain and River are attached i'd watch. Everyone else is gravy.

  3. Wiley says:

    I heard that someone was taking 'pledges' of #40 towards a 'resurrection'.If that's so, count ME in! I discovered the show too late……tried when it was first on but after FOX preempted it twice for sports I moved on. I feel like I showed up for a party two hours late and everyone had already left! I've seen Browncoats sites and they're remnants…….last entries 5 years ago…… But, here I am! Anyone know who's taking the pledges or is that a rumor?

  4. S_Wiebe says:

    Oddly enough, though I completely understand where Amy is coming from, I would have no problem with Firefly returning sans Wash and Book. They were written out by Whedon and any continuation of the show would have to acknowledge that in going forward. That said, it would be important that their loss have a lasting impact on the remaining characters [it would be especially fitting if, after Zoe, Wash's death had the most impact on Jayne... just saying].

    If I could afford to pour big bucks into bringing the show back – and the remaining original cast members and the original writers were able to get together – I'd be willing to go there because it would be interesting to see how Serenity's crew were doing after a period of years.

    If it was even half as good as the original run – and the big damn movie – it would still be better than 90% per cent of what's on TV right now.

  5. dan says:

    I don’t get it. People are screaming, pleading and begging. They don’t have to invest in a pilot, no focus groups, is a guaranteed success. We all blame Fox exclusively that it was their own fault the show didn’t get more raitings. Shows out of order, awful time slot, etc. I am not a tv executive but we are all telling them, YOU GOT GOLD AT YOUR FEET AND IN YOUR HANDS, WHY DO YOU STILL WANT TO CLIMB TO THE MOUNTAIN? All the hard work has been done, just pick up where you left off. Bring everyone back, it will be the easiest success story tv will ever make.

  6. sendmeawave says:

    It's funny to be reading this article.I had been thinking about a "what if firefly returned" all last week.
    I agree with the other post.If you have good scripts and well rounded characters you could make it work with other people.Maybe not the same ship but a different one with unique and exciting characters in the same Universe.There are always cameos.Who knows what could happen.Sure it would be fantastic to have all the original cast back.Life goes on in their universe as it does with ours.It's a big Verse after all so ya never know what could happen.

    Sendmeawave

  7. Skeptical1 says:

    Considering all the crap the SciFy Channel puts on under the banner of science fiction, professional wrestling for Gods sake, it seems like bringing back Firefly would be a no brainer for them. If they did there is aways the danger they would cancel it when it got good but still it the logical venue for bringing the show back. Perhaps it is worth a couple of hundred thousand emails?

  8. Bob Andelman says:

    When Summer Glau was on Mr. Media Radio a few weeks ago, I asked her whether she'd like to revisit "Firefly." Like Fillion, her answer was an unequivocal "Yes": http://www.mrmedia.com/2011/02/capes-summer-glau-giggles...

  9. Kerranna says:

    I found Serenity last year – nearly wore out – at my sister's place and then (because I get really cheap DVDs weekly) ordered up the Firefly series out of curiosity. Man are we hooked. Even went so far as to get the American DVD version on Amazon just to have it even if it wouldn't play in Oz – amazingly they did.

    I want to watch more of this crazy family – the show provided what a lot of the old shows did, eg. Lone Ranger, and that ilk. – hope, acceptance that there are some things that cannot change, commitment against overwhelming odds, good over evil, etc. etc. etc. Whenever I got up I felt good – find me a show now that will do that.

    And there are some gaping holes that need filling – Who was Shepherd ? …. there are some hints that he was someone very big in the Alliance but the specifics are never nailed down. Rick Castle is reliving the Inara/Malcolm misunderstanding with Kate but I still want to watch them to find each. I have to say that loosing Wash was an absolute disaster – and I am gut wrenched every time I watch it.

    If we can't get the series up again – someone PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE write us the stories so I can get my fix that way.

  10. Stefan S. says:

    No power in the Verse can stop us! Not even Fox!

  11. RCG says:

    That's probably the most unconvincing argument I've read for why the show shouldn't come back.

  12. Jane0904 says:

    I'd support a new series, either in the original 'verse or with new characters, so long as our BDMs at least had cameo roles. I too came to Firefly way too late to do anything – in fact I saw the trailer for Serenity, realised it had been a TV series and bought the DVDs to watch before I saw the film … and was hooked. And just in case you hadn't realised, there are still fanfic writers out there continuing the 'verse, with at least two sites having excellent collections, continuously added to. Try them out – it might not be Whedon-penned, but I can pretty much guarantee you'll find something to enjoy!

  13. Mal says:

    This is really beneath you. A contarian looking for attention. No valid information or even an opinion based on a valid argument, just "me me my conventions my DVDs, I'm a . This sort of insipidness doesn't belong in a professional publication.

    • Tim Baker says:

      Lighten up you rude tosser. The author made several valid points and even tho I don't agree with the conclusion (I'd love to see new Firefly episodes) I'm not so closed minded that I can't appreciate a different point of view. Try for some manners next time.

  14. Browncoats4life says:

    This isn't an argument against the return of Firefly, it's a cry for attention from a sad fangirl. There is zero substance to this piece.

  15. Joseph says:

    I would like an invite to your next birthday party, please.

  16. Laura says:

    I just recently found Firefly on Netflix and devoured the series over 2 days. I couldn't stay away! I was disappointed to learn that there were no more episodes. I would love to hear the rest of the adventure. It was romance, western and sci-fi adventure all rolled up into one. Give the fans back the Goran series!

    • Runner2009 says:

      I found Firefly on Netflix too and watched it over two days. I was and am hooked too – even put the title songs on my IPhone for my workout. I agree that the show had so much going for it and the music was excellent along with the crazy mixture of Chinese and Western culture. The one scene at the surprise birthday party for Summer's brother where everyone was eating talking and laughing together really pointed out to the chemistry of a the cast and series.

  17. Tliana says:

    I think the original cast should do another movie. Something that takes place a few years after the movie. I do not think that they're should be a new TV show with new characters.

  18. Chris says:

    Two by two. Hands of blue.

  19. Roy says:

    I would say that… don't let the perfect be the enemy of good.

  20. Sharron says:

    My husband and I watch the DVD's constantly. Our group of friends quote the show all the time. It had better writing than anything we've seen in a very long time, sci-fi or otherwise. We have a community ready to support this show again, and re-airing the show on the science channel is a great start. What must we do to get this going??? There are several sites taking a collection to help fund this show again. What must we do??

  21. Aaron Browne says:

    Yo, I love Firefly, dawg. Bing it AAAAWWWLLLLLL back!!!! 'Bring it.

    The way the economy is collapsing who wouldn't empathize w/the Brown Coats???

    'Franchise the 'verse outta that mo'fo TV show!!!!

    (The irony, …yeesh)

  22. Curt Prasky says:

    I have to agree with the gist of the article. A new Firefly simply would not be the same. I was an avid fan of Asimov's Foundation Trilogy. Of course, when he came out with more Foundation novels later, I read those as well. They were okay. But they did not cast the spell over me that the original trilogy did. Even worse was when Roger Zelazny decided to continue his Chronicles of Amber a decade or so after the last of the five original novels. I could not even finish the first one with Merlin, Corwin's son as the major protagonist.

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