325 of 334 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly good
Why on earth did they cancel this? It's terrific!
The basic story is familiar to all those who enjoy sci-fi. A group of people on a ship trying to avoid/escape a totalitarian authority and not always getting along with each other - we've seen it in, amongst others, Star Wars, Blake's 7 and, perhaps most gloriously, on Farscape. This is not a bad thing. The reason it...
Published on 3 May 2004
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 5 for the show, 1 for the transfer
This is an excellent show with great acting, a wonderful score, amazing characters that evolve so much as the series progresses. By the end of the series you'll love all the characters and the bucket of bolts firefly they fly around in. It's a good ol' all round space western.
The only problem is that the blu ray is literally the worst transfer of anything I've...
Published 21 months ago by Denton
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325 of 334 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly good,
By A Customer
The basic story is familiar to all those who enjoy sci-fi. A group of people on a ship trying to avoid/escape a totalitarian authority and not always getting along with each other - we've seen it in, amongst others, Star Wars, Blake's 7 and, perhaps most gloriously, on Farscape. This is not a bad thing. The reason it is a sci-fi staple is because it works.
As with Farscape, the 9 main characters on the ship are completely 3 dimensional. They have complicated and evolving relationships with each other and changing loyalties. The cast are excellent, moving from light comedy to drama seamlessly. Anyone used to Joss Whedon and co's approach to storytelling on Buffy and Angel will be pleased to find the same clever dialogue and humour here, as well as the focus on human drama albeit in an unfamiliar world.
And what a world!
It sounds as though it should be awful and/or cheesy, but the cowboys in space thing really works. We're 500 years into the future and the last two superpowers, US and China, formed a totalitarian govt called the Alliance and we have a world where there is a strange blending of East and West. We don't see any bumpy headed aliens just humans on different planets trying to make a living. Our crew move from place to place taking jobs ranging from smuggling to petty theft to survive and come across some funny/strange/nasty types in the process, however, it is when they pick up a doctor and his mysterious, barking mad sister that they really fall foul of the authorities and their lives get more complicated than they'd like. The Firefly 'verse is fascinating and you will be left with a profound sadness that the series finished without exploring it fully (a film will not be enought to do it justice).
The DVD set contains all 14 episodes, in the right order (I understand that the TV networks messed that up). There are 7 commentaries from actors/writers/directors which are, for the most part, both amusing and informative. There are 3 documentaries (including a making of), a blooper reel and some deleted scenes.
Although this is clearly written by the same team that gave us Buffy it is aimed at a slightly older audience - perhaps going for the Angel demographic. It is a brilliant idea, well executed. I hope you give it a try - if nothing else it'll show you how to swear outrageously in Mandarin!
63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shiny!,
There is so much to enjoy about this show: it is like the wild west in space with lots of cowboy-like stuff such as six shooters, there are interesting planets visited, (but you wont see an alien anywhere if your worried about it), there are spectacular visual effects of spaceships etc, and very good shoot-outs and brawls. There are several groups of baddies who are all interesting, oh, and you can learn chinese swear words, should you feel the need.
By far and away the most interesting thing about this show though is the characters, nine well rounded and interesting people, as you would expect from Joss Whedon. We have the captain of Serenity, Mal Reynolds, and his second officer Zoe, who survived a war together; her husband Wash pilots the ship, and is the resident joker. Kaylee is the brilliant engineer who says that machines talk to her, and that's how she can fix stuff. The final member of the crew is Jayne, a very large and intimidating mercenary with a habit of naming all his weapons. There are three passengers who come aboard in the pilot episode and gradually become part of the crew; Book, a preacher, and Dr Simon Tam and his sister River, who are now both fugitives after he rescued her from a government project. The last character is Inara, a Companion (high class prostitute) with good connections in high places. A very odd mixture of people, but it works brilliantly!
I strongly recommend this excellent series to everyone, and am itching to see Serenity, the movie follow on which is out in early 2005.
108 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here's how it was... One of the greatest series of all time,
Early cancellation turns out to have been a symptom of ruthless and blind money making on the part of fox, the more I found out how fox screwed this series over the more I'm amazed.
So; self-indulgence over, review beginning. This is a blend of two seemingly incompatible genres - sci-fi and western. It does this stunningly well, basically the whole thing's set in a future where everyone flies round in spaceships but all the most remote planets on the edge of civilization are basically the old American west, they don't have enough food or medicine or much else for that matter. Just like the old west there are all kinds of lawless activities out here and the show follows the crew of one ship who's main way to survive is to smuggle, steal, kill and do whatever else they need to in order to just keep flying. They aren't bad guys, but they're not quite good guys either. By the end of the series you really feel like you know all the characters in the crew, and what's so brilliant is they feel like characters not stereotypes, and the complex relationships between them are completely believable.
The whole series really sucks you into its world, it's a world that makes sense (everyone's English/Mandarin bilingual) and's a million miles from the squeaky-clean world of shows like star trek. The music is equally instrumental in this, blending Chinese, American, eastern European, and many other completely different styles into a believable blend that feels very improvised and very much like the music these people would be playing, nothing orchestral or operatic, just some guys with an old guitar or two sitting round playing the blues.
From a visual standpoint the series is equally impressive. The CGI is stunning, on par with the best Hollywood can throw at us, and utilizing unusual CGI techniques like zooms and rapid unfocused turns of the camera to give it a style similar to documentary, news or reality programming where the cameraman doesn't quite catch everything perfectly. The same technique of calculated roughness is applied to the live-action camera-work so that the characters aren't always perfectly in shot and walk in from odd angles. It feels like this is all happening, you just happen to be watching it.
The writing is absolutely brilliant. The plots are vary between really good, great, and jaw-dropingly awesome. The dialog is cool, quick, funny and reminds me of Elmore Leonard in it's easy but always-snappy flow.
Basically this is genius. It's a strangely believable story of ordinary people on the frontiers of civilization just trying to make a living and get by, and in the end that's the the most involving story of all - one that makes us feel.
Here's to serenity, hoping she'll fly again.
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Can't Take The Sky From Me!,
By A Customer
Although I'm a fan of Whedon's other works, I was at first very reluctant to watch this show. I'm not a fan of your typical sci-fi show, nor am I a fan of Westerns, and so a show that had been advertised to me as a 'western in space' didn't hold much appeal. It wasn't until after meeting with a large group of existing Firefly fans, all of whom raved about it like there was no tomorrow, that I caved in and ordered myself a set.
I can only wish that I'd done so sooner. All the time I had wasted worrying about the concept disappeared from my thoughts the moment the first episode began. Never before have I seen a show that's so captivating. The characters are all realistic and loveable in their own unique ways, the situations are strangely believable and extremely engaging, and after just a few episodes, you become so engrossed in the storyline that there is nothing you want to do more than watch 'just one more' to see what happens next.
I've yet to find somebody who hasn't fallen in love with this show. The set is well worth the money, as not only will you find yourself rewatching it many times, but you'll be getting friends and family to watch it as well. With the feature film Serenity, the next installment in this tale, coming out in September, there has never been a better time to watch this.
Do yourself a favour, and buy Firefly today. Trust me - you won't regret it.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Diamond in the Rough,
A Sci-fi Western sounds like a really odd combination of genres but this series not only manages to pull it off, but it pulls it off by leaps and bounds. One of the most original series in recent times brings a fresh take to Sci-Fi. No Prosthetics or puppet aliens in this series, no perfect society, merely an unlikely band of heroes, trying to stay out of trouble, while traveling through the harshness of space on a ship called Serenity.
It’s an understatement to say that this series improves ten-fold every episode. That it’s a masterpiece is an even bigger understatement. Every single person that I’ve introduced to this series has loved it. This is a 5-star television series that was cancelled before it even had a chance to shine. But since the region1 DVD was released, the fan base has grown by leaps and bounds... and hopefully resurrection will occur in one form or the other.
Don’t miss out on this DVD set! Don’t miss out on this series! Tell your friends, tell even your enemies... just don’t miss out on something totally unique, the diamond in the rough that only comes along once in a very long while.
And Keep flying…
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking,
However, the pain is worth it. All the Whedon characteristics are there. Breathtaking episodes, genius characterisation and an absorbing, brilliant plot.
The characters are reminiscent of the wonderful central characters of Buffy. Mal (Nathan Fillion) and Inara are excellent, Jayne is very funny and Zoe and Wash's relationship is absorbing. Additionally the women in it are, unusually for TV but not for Joss Whedon, refreshingly well drawn and complex. This is character based drama so the setting and plot are often incidental, this is not serious sci-fi. It is funny and accessable, the characters and the dilemas are real. There are no aliens (so fewer monsters than in Buffy) and the future is recognisable. Even so, the world of the characters is well realised and the ship, Serenity, is a perfect central set.
So had it had a chance to go further, this could have been a TV masterpiece. But, forgetting the cancellation, what is here is brilliant and important - well worth buying.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shiny, Cap'n!,
Genuinely terrifying, exciting moments, seriously funny plots and gags. It's also a very complete vision of a future 'verse with complex history, wars and battles, outlaws, degenerates and heroes, and where the people cuss in Chinese.
It is all just so likeable. Everything about this is fine, classy, touching, exciting. Ingenious. Genius.
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YES! It really is that good...,
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Following the exploits of a group of misfits thrown together by chance and trying to survive long enough to make their next buck in their decrepit space craft (the Firefly of the title). The jobs they undertake are mostly illegal which is often the primary thrust of the plot. The drama, driven by the crew's desperation born out of adversity, is entertaining and often amusing. Almost all characters are well rounded, though like me you will find your favourites.
The strengths of the show are; the sharp script, properly self contained episodes without detracting from the sense of a bigger story, thoroughly entertaining plots, well acted characters and great "shakey" special effects (you'll see). The only weakness; the show died too soon, axed by the network after 14 shows. But fear not Firefly fans, the film of the show "Serenity" is due out in spring 2005. SHINY!!!
71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning!,
Time to eat humble pie - Joss Wheldon is a genius. Just when you thought that Babylon 5 and Farscape had pushed the genre to it's creative limits, Firefly turns up and turns the whole thing on it's head. The show is unique, beautifully written with fantastic characters driven by different and contrasting emotions within a very believable future. Huge amounts of praise must also go to the cast who all give great performances. Within 20 minutes of the pilot, you'll fall in love with each and every character - the series has instant appeal which makes Fox's decision to axe it prematurely even more baffling.
With the crew dynamics that helped Blake's 7 and Farscape become overnight successes - Firefly easily matches both shows and each episode is a gem - full of delightful one-liners and sharp dialogue. The artistic look of the show is also very distinctive and ground breaking particularly with regards to how the CGI was put together.
Episodes such as 'Ariel' have that epic Babylon 5 feel to it with a neat twist that most won't see coming and the 'villains' are suitably creepy whilst another returning character will remind some viewers of Dustin Hoffman's German torturer in The Marathon Man.
Having sat through 7 episodes all in one session - I now find myself counting the days until the release of the Firefly movie in 2005.
If you appreciate gritty characters and intelligent stories - give that Voyager boxset a miss and snap up Firefly - you'll love it!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Sci-fi/fantasy I've ever seen,
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No wonder there is over 150 reviews.
I have just finished watching the fourteen episodes and I am completely mystified why Fox decided to Cancel it as this could have ran and ran for Years.
Although it was sad to reach the end its a box set I will watch again.
The characters are portrayed with humour blended in with a very sharp script and it has to be the best Sci-fi/fantasy I've ever seen.
Once you start to play it your best to take time off your work and make certain you have fed the pets beforehand and disconnect the phone.
Firefly is superb and really deserves a new Series
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Firefly - The Complete Series [Blu-ray]  by Nathan Fillion (Blu-ray - 2011)