Top positive review
368 of 380 people found this helpful
on 3 May 2004
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 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!