"Take my love, take my land, take me where I cannot stand. I don't care I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me. Take me out to the black, tell them I ain't coming back. Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me......There's no place I can be since I found Serenity, you can't take the sky from me."
Firefly is set five hundred years from today in a new planetary system after humanity abandons "Earth That Was". Under the leadership of Malcolm Reynolds, a renegade who fought against the new unified central government (the "Alliance"), the crew of the Firefly-class vessel Serenity struggles to survive any way they can. They fly between the border planets to keep away from the Alliance and below its radar. This series was described as a "science fiction western" but is different from other space-based shows as it features no aliens.
(For stations and individuals seeking the intended air order of the series as specified by creator Joss Whedon, as opposed to the order Fox originally aired them or that they are informing stations is the order they should be shown in, see here)
Each of the crew members has a special role:
Malcolm Reynolds holds the duty of Captain - he is a defeated soldier who opposed the unification of the planets by the Alliance to no avail. He strives to keep all his crew members on task and Serenity flying safely, while trying to make a living and do the right thing...in his rather flexible moral framework.
Zoe (aka The Soldier) is extremely loyal to Reynolds as she served with him during the war and owes her life to him. Zoe has the strength and experience to take command of the ship, if necessary.
Wash is Serenity's pilot (and Zoe's husband) - unassuming, self-deprecating, and calm with a sense of humor. Kaylee is the ship's mechanic - an experienced engineer who keeps Serenity flying.
Inara is a 'Registered Companion,' most easily described as a high-priced courtesan or geisha. She is also the person with the highest social standing on the ship and acts as the crew's Ambassador.
Jayne is the muscle of the crew. A tough, uncultured Mercenary, unpleasant and offensively direct, but loyal to those on his crew...usually.
The newcomers are:
Simon Tam is the Doctor on Serenity and comes from a wealthy family and has a privileged upbringing. He has spent his life savings and future to save his sister, River.
River (aka The Fugitive) was experimented on by the government. Her psychic visions...