Gestalt of Firefly

The Ballad of Serenity

Take my love.
Take my land.
Take me where I cannot stand.
I don’t care,
I’m still free.
You can’t take the sky from me.

Take me out to the black.
Tell em I ain’t comin’ back.
Burn the land
And boil the sea.
You can’t take the sky from me.

There’s no place I can’t be
Since I found Serenity.
But you can’t take the sky from me.

The above song is the theme song for the one-season Science Fiction cult series Firefly. This show is the space western that Star Trek TOS was sold as to the network but really wasn’t.

I rewatched the series through (all 14 episodes) recently, thanks to Amazon Prime. Seeing it in a sort of marathon viewing helps give you a gestalt of an impression about the series.

The movie is set against a background of the little independents battling the big behemoth and losing. This show has multiple scenes where the idea of big, central government is given a very negative view. The main character, Mal, makes many comments about the uselessness of government.

This is a dystopian future, set 500 years from now in a new solar system we moved to after Earth was used up, a solar system with a multitude of earth-terra formable planets and moons.And yet, even though we see the defeat of the independents, we see that there is always an area of freedom somewhere, that the ability of totalitarianism to completely lock things down is never complete.

So I would call this a human wave show. What does that mean? It means a story where humans are important, where humans aren’t all bad, where humans can make mistakes, but can also make a difference.

So if you have a little freedom in your heart, a little rebellion against the powers that know what is best for you, if you love a good western well done (which was never an all shoot-em up — that too is well done on this show — a lot of withholding of shooting), then you might want to give this show a try.

And then you will understand why it is such a cult classic. And why studios and networks couldn’t get it or understand it to give it a better run than it had.

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