Firefly - The Complete Series

Starring: Nathan Fillion, et al

Encoding: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Format: Color, Closed-captioned, Widescreen

Rated: NR
Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Number of discs: 4

DVD Features: 14 episodes, including 3 that never aired, Commentary on Serenity Part 1 & 2, The Train Job, Shindig, Out of Gas, War Stories, Objects in Space, and The Message, Deleted scenes from Serenity, Our Mrs. Reynolds, Objects in Space, Featurettes: "Here's How How It Was: The Making of Firefly," "Serenity: The 10th Character," "Joss Tours the Set", Alan Tudyk's audition, Gag reel, Joss sings the Firefly theme, Easter egg: Adam Baldwin sings "Hero of Canton"



It ain't Babylon 5, but then again, what is?

Firefly is still pretty darn good SF television though. Better than what passed as Star Trek for the past decade or so come to think of it - and don't give me that Voyager improved with Seven of Nine line either. Take your hormonal issues elsewhere, buddy. If I want to look at oversized mammaries, I buy a copy of Penthouse - I don't suffer through a seemingly endless recycling of ancient Trek clichés filled with characters that veer from the dull to the plain annoying. Besides, who needs a starship captain that reminds one of a schoolmarm?

Anyway, enough Voyager bashing for one day. Whether you agree or not, the point remains that Firefly, Joss Weldon's Western in space, is great television and beats a lot of big screen sci-fi offerings too. Clever and funny with interesting and likeable characters, Firefly boasts some decent special effects and production designs. (Whedon is of course the creator of the now defunct Buffy TV series - no, I haven't seen any episodes from it to be honest: I just don't have the time to watch any television besides The Simpsons to be honest.)

In fact, thanks to CGI the effects are quite well-done and a far cry from Babylon 5's days. Sci-Fi TV no longer has to feel like a stepchild compared to its big screen sibling when comes to this department. When I say Western in space I don't mean that Firefly merely recycles Western plot points (as anything from Star Wars and Outland to Ghosts of Mars has done). No, it also uses some Western visual motifs and designs in the same way Treasure Planet appropriated pirate ships, etc. However, unlike that movie, it doesn't feel jarring or out of place.

To a degree Firefly reminded me of the animated Cowboy Bebop series. Like that series this one is also highly recommended. Cynics out there may ask that if Firefly was so darn good then why was the show cancelled after barely one season on Fox? (Yup, that is unfortunately the case.) Well, bad management comes to mind for one. Why did the excellent Futurama only run three-and-half seasons? Why is Survivor still going strong? Why did Gorbachev have a map of Poland on his forehead? Why anything?

All I know that it is a darn shame that only one season was made. Sure, a big screen movie (titled Serenity) is being planned for a 2005 release, however, after viewing the last episode in this DVD collection, I wanted another entire season damn it!

THE DISCS: Four discs containing all 14 episodes made - including three that never even aired. Skimpy on extras. View the episodes as indicated on the box. However, don't make up your mind just after the episode pilot. This is a series that improves with each episode and while some are better (don't miss the brilliantly funny "Our Mrs. Reynolds") than others (the creaky "The Message") you'll have a good time overall - and will be just as disappointed that another season was never made.





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