Disney + is now adding the Firefly series to its catalog, created by Joss Whedon in 2002. 20 years later, its cancellation after one season by FOX is still infuriating.
The history of television is littered with cancellations of series that have not survived beyond one season. The programming of Firefly on Disney + is an opportunity to recall the exceptional quality of this science fiction series and to regret once again its cancellation.
First of all because the genre of the space-western is too little represented and that here, Joss Whedon – the creator of Firefly – quite simply magnified it. Set 500 years in the future, in the aftermath of a Universal Civil War, Firefly follows Captain Malcolm Reynolds and his renegade crew of the transport ship Serenity.
The team is fiercely loyal to him, always ready to tackle any job, legal or not. But a mishap drives them to flee, desperately seeking to escape the Alliance authorities, flesh-eating Reavers, and other hostile dangers in the darkest corners of space.
In the cast, we find familiar faces from the small screen: Nathan Fillion plays Malcolm Reynolds, a man who is sometimes hard but fair. At his side, Gina Torres plays Zoe Washburne, faithful friend of Mal and second in command of the Serenity. Zoe is married to Wash, the pilot of the Serenity played by Alan Tudyk. Morena Baccarin is Inara, a Companion whose role lies between those of geishas and courtesans.
Jayne (Adam Baldwin) is a mercenary who joined Mal. As for Kaylee (Jewel Staite), she is the mechanic of Serenity. All this little world takes on a pastor (Ron Glass), a brother and his sister. Simon (Sean Maher) is an accomplished surgeon who watches over River (Summer Glau), his little sister with exceptional intellectual faculties.
A misunderstood masterpiece
It is a universe where the Alliance is the result of a merger of two superpowers: China and the United States. It is also a universe of conquest, where new terraformed planets welcome the global overpopulation that has caused the depletion of Earth’s resources.
These colonies often found themselves left to their own devices, without the necessary means to terraform properly, that is to say to make their habitable environment sufficiently comfortable. Hence the genre of space-western which stands out as obvious, highlighting the striking contrast between the archaism of societies in the face of advanced technologies.
A pure object of science fiction, Firefly prophesies a dystopian future, based on the current world. And 20 years later, Whedon’s visionary speech still rings true. The political content is perhaps what has prejudiced this series which could have known another fate on a cable channel and not on a conservative network.
From the start, Fox executives were hostile to the proposals of Joss Whedon and Tim Minear, its co-producer. Firefly is 14 exciting episodes. Only 11 were broadcast by Fox, which is more out of order. And the initial pilot, made up of two parts, is broadcast last… A real mess to be made up as quickly as possible on Disney +!