Twitter has been ablaze for the last couple of days with references to an off-hand comment made by former Firefly star Nathan Fillion that if he had the cash he would buy the rights to the show, then make more of it on the Internet. Being the rabid group that they are, many Browncoats have been swarming to HelpNathanBuyFirefly.com in a new wave of activity to bring back the cancelled show.
I would go with them if I thought the idea was a viable one. However, I do not. Allow me to tell you why.
First of all, I will say right now that I love Firefly. The space western setting is one that really appeals to me, as will become increasingly obvious in my Ink Proof Cannon story Bounty Bunny when it comes back from its househunting-enforced hiatus next month. I often view the colonisation of space as mimicking the frontier nature of the American Old West so for me, Firefly was simply bang on target.
Nevertheless, whether we like it or not, the story in Firefly ended. Serenity was a lovely send-off for the show and while many of the cast members walked away from that film, not all did. This hits right at the crux of the problem with bringing the show back. Do you carry on from where the film ended and therefore cause half the former cast to be left out of the revival? That doesn’t seem fair to me. Not only that but it was the interplay with the characters that made a lot of the series as good as it was. Cutting the crew down by half would cut the interactions by half. Not a good move, I feel.
That leaves only one option if Firefly is to come back: setting the new series between the original and the film. Again, this raises problems. First and foremost, all the tension is gone. We cannot possibly get into a crisis situation with a cliffhanger ending now because we know the cast will survive any encounter they come across. Why do we know this? Because they all have to be alive for the film. There goes a lot of the drama and also much of the sense of adventure. If there is no danger, all we have is “how will Mal and friends get out of this, dear viewers? Tune in next week for another thrilling instalment!” No thanks.
They could, of course, go the Star Trek route and ignore everything that doesn’t fit the new vision, casting Serenity aside in favour of an effective reboot but that in itself causes problems. I can’t be the only person who heard all that wailing and gnashing of teeth when Abrams et al swept aside the whole Star Trek franchise in order to start with a clean slate and I’d hate to hear all that again. Nevertheless, if a web version of Firefly is going to take off, that is probably the only viable option.
If it happens, that is. Right now the target is $300,000, 000 to get this thing going. That’s a lot of spare change to find down the back of the sofa.