Do you remember 10 years ago when there was a little show on FOX called Firefly that only lasted for 13 episodes, correction, only aired 8 episodes and then disappeared before it even had a chance to start?
Well, there may not have been that many fans when the show originally aired (at least according to the dreaded Nielsen ratings), but since that time the legend of fans for Firefly and its follow-up big screen sequel Serenity have grown tenfold. And that fact was never more obvious than at the 10th Anniversary Comic Con panel saluting the fantastic TV series created by pop culture geek god Joss Whedon.
Jeff Jensen from Entertainment Weekly acted as the moderator for the beyond capacity panel room, introducing the following cast members and crew to the stage: Jose Molina (writer), Tim Minear (executive producer), Alan Tudyk (Wash), Nathan Fillion (Mal), Summer Glau (River), Sean Maher (Simon) and Adam Baldwin (Jayne) and, of course, series creator Joss Whedon.
After endless applause for each panelist and even a few tears (from some of the panelists and audience members alike), the panel got down to the nitty gritty of reminiscing about a special moment in time for all of them: being part of television history.
Nathan shared that up until Firefly was being put together, he was a struggling actor who just couldn’t get a break. “I was told ‘he’s good, but we (just) don’t think he can lead a show,” he said. Until Joss cast him as the Captain in Firefly, a role that changed Nathan’s life.
Tim then joked that he doesn’t “think anything that Joss creates is gonna work on TV” (Joss: “That’s fair.”), but Joss is “the coolest guy in geekland”, making it all the better to work for him as showrunner for Firefly during its brief run. In fact, Joss shared that if it hadn’t been for Marti Noxon (one of the executive producers on Buffy and Angel) convincing him to pull Tim off Angel and onto Firefly, then the show might not have been what it was despite its short time on the air.
One important aspect of the show – at least in terms of fan obsession – is the odd-multi-colored hat for which Jayne (Adam Baldwin) wore in one of the latter episodes of the series (an episode that never actually aired and could only be seen on the DVD I might add). Adam shared that it was his wish to wear that hat during the entirety of the episode, and despite some hesitation from Tim, Adam had his wish granted. Adam did joke that he had to “twist Tim’s arm” to wear the hat, though.
Probably the best audience question featured during the panel was the last one: “How would you (Joss) have changed the finale from what was featured in Serenity if you had known that the last episode of Firefly was going to be the series finale?” Joss thought for a moment and then stated that he wouldn’t have killed anyone (which received huge applause and a “thank you” from Alan); he would have delved more into the Blue Sun aspect and back stories for both Book (Ron Glass) and Inara (Morena Baccarin) would have been featured.
With that thought in mind, it should be noted that the Dark Horse graphic novel entitled “Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale” is the best-selling book by the well-known company and Joss would certainly consider doing a backstory book about Inara. [NOTE: These books are written by Joss and his equally-creative brother Zack.]
Before the panel came to an end, Joss was asked what the fans mean to him. After a few false starts and some difficulty finding the right words (and a standing ovation by the entire audience), he summed it up best that “the story is alive” because of the fans who have stuck by the show/movie for 10 years.
Fans of Firefly/Serenity should make sure to check out the Science Channel for a 10th Anniversary Special Event on November 11 and visit sciencecomicconsweeps.com to enter for a chance to win a custom iPad.
And make sure to check your local listings for airings of the 13 episodes of Firefly that are regularly programmed on the Science Channel. Long live the Browncoats!