Saturday, December 18, 2004

Dumpster Bust Film Squad: Chomping at the Bit for Serenity

Where have thee gone, Joss Whedon? We Brown Coats be getting our jones on…

For a variety of sad reasons, Joss Whedon, the masterfully inventive creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly, was knocked clean out of television last year by the cancellation of Angel after its fifth season. So discouraged is Mr. Whedon by the current climate of reality television and its effect on budgets for new fictional shows that he is said to be content to work on films for the time being.

Thankfully, one of the best shows to never get a real shot at television greatness, Firefly, is getting a second chance on the silver screen under the name of Serenity.

Ahhhh… Serenity now!

Well, unfortunately, not quite now. Serenity’s release recently got pushed back to Fall ’05, so here’s some Hot Stove talk to pass over the time:

Serenity is getting rave reviews in early screenings, as this Ain’t It Cool News dispatch explains. The concept of the show was almost as perfect as its wonderful and eclectic cast of characters. It takes place 500 years in the future, when human kind has taken to populating the galaxy through the miracle of terraforming, turning rocky worlds into habitable and breathable planets. However, the great kicker is that these settlers are now struggling through the early stages of colonization and exist in settings that are Wild West-like (except with the occasional space ship).

Enter Serenity, a Firefly-class ship that holds our crusty yet loveable cast of buccaneers and malcontents. Outcasts from a civil war they wound up on the losing side of, Captain Mal Reynolds (Nathon Fillion) leads his crew on outside-the-law missions in order to stay afloat and away from the corporate, banal Inner Worlds.

So really, everything’s set up for Millenium Falcon missions with a fun and feisty cast that includes the hilarious tandem of Adam Baldwin (Jayne Cobb) and Alan Tudyk (‘Wash’ Warren). We also get lovely ladies Jewel Staite (Kaylee Frye) and Gina Torres (Zoe Warren) as Captain Mal’s tough and capable right-hand woman. Torres has recently had spicy and recurring roles on Angel and Alias. Adam Baldwin showed up for some memorably in the final apocalyptic episodes of Angel. And believe it or not, Nathon Fillion was one of the main baddies (remember the really super creepy preacher dude?) in the final season of Buffy. So Joss likes to keep his crews tight – and that’s a good thing.

Serenity picks off about six months after Firefly was (brutally) cut short, and will likely reveal more of the mystery surrounding Dr. Simon Tam (Sean Maher) and his troubled, brilliant sister River (Summer Glau) as well as the sinister folks from the Alliance that want to get their hands on her.

But most of all, I’m looking forward to seeing what, if anything, transpires in the romance department between Mal and Inara Serra (Morena Baccarin). Firefly was canceled before any real sparks were let loose, but there were the stirrings of a complex and compelling storyline there a la Buffy-Angel in Season Two of Buffy. A recent movie poster that I saw did not include Baccarin, and it would be a real shame if she were not part of the film franchise. However, IMDb still includes her in the cast list ( , so all we can do is wait and hope.

So, Serenity: space opera, western adventure, great cast, Joss Whedon. You can’t go wrong.

Except for the waiting… the waiting hurts.


The Sore Loser said...

In your brief description of the basic plot I couldn't help but conjure up images of the A-team: a lovable cast of buccaneers and malcontents working outside the law to stay afloat.

Eric Berlin said...

In my book, if you're being compared to the A Team, you must be doing something right...

From my general description of the case, I think you're right... except they all bring very unique characteristics and performances to bear.

Just watch the film when it comes out -- you won't be able to resist.