Ten years ago, Joss Whedon’s Firefly made its debut on television. Like most of Whedon’s TV efforts, it generally went unappreciated — ratings were never strong, mostly because it kept shifting time slots and was initially shown out of order — but also was deeply adored by the cult of fans who hung on every adventure of Captain Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) and the crew of the Serenity. Though it was canceled after only 13 episodes, the show was one of the first great success stories for TV-on-DVD, and the demand was so intense that the Whedon got the cast back together for a one-off film called Serenity in 2005.
But the show’s lost potential remains a deep wound for the fans (who dubbed themselves Browncoats), as well as for the actors and producers who worked on the project. That theme keeps coming back around again on Firefly: Browncoats Unite, the 10th anniversary special which airs Sunday night at 10 p.m. on Science Channel.
The hour-long special brings together Whedon and Fillion, as well as cast members Sean Maher, Summer Glau, Adam Baldwin, Morena Baccarin, Alan Tudyk, Gina Torres and Jewel Staite, and producers Tim Minear and Jose Molina. Together, they recount the process of getting the show up and running, the adventures on set, the shock of cancellation, and the intense bond that the people associated with Firefly still have for one another.
That idea of family kept coming up at New York Comic Con, where I was fortunate enough to moderate a panel that included Fillion, Maher, and Staite. They continuously reiterated how special it was that they kept getting to see one another years after the show went off the air. And one of the great regrets the cast has? They didn’t get the chance to write their own episodes. READ FULL STORY