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  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 20, 2002
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Firefly Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 297 Ratings

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  • Starring: Nathan Fillion, Sean Maher, Adam Baldwin
  • Summary: "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 (a result of the experiments) are taken at first as babble by the crew but they slowly come to realize that there's more going on than what shows on the surface.
    Book or "The Shepherd," is a wise minister who knows far more about military matters and battle tactics than a man of the cloth should, and his past is shrouded in mystery.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Suspense, Science Fiction
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 30
  2. Negative: 5 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Feb 23, 2013
    A very funny, very hip, very terrific sci-fi show.
  2. Reviewed by: Staff [Not Credited]
    Feb 23, 2013
    In a new season largely bereft of innovative ideas or daring concepts, Firefly stands out like a supermodel at a bus stop... The end result is a new and different form for storytelling and characters with engaging stories to tell. [19 Sept 2002]
  3. Reviewed by: Mark Dawidziak
    Feb 23, 2013
    While often great fun, the series' premiere occasionally shows the strain of trying to blend all of those genres into one sleek package. On the plus side of the Firefly universe, the show is expertly paced and is full of those wickedly humorous asides that fans of "Buffy" and its ever-improving spinoff, "Angel," expect from the mischievous Whedon. [20 Sept 2002, p.E1]
  4. Reviewed by: Phil Rosenthal
    Feb 23, 2013
    The characters, initially at least, aren't nearly so original and fully imagined, and that's a problem in any show. Fortunately, in space, no one can hear you yawn.[20 Sept 2002, p.46]
  5. Reviewed by: David Bianculli
    Feb 23, 2013
    I'm not sure it's the best first impression a show could make, but it's different and daring enough to warrant a return for a second, and a third. [20 Sept 2002, p.35]
  6. Reviewed by: Howard Rosenberg
    Feb 23, 2013
    Early Firefly lacks majesty, and also that its laborious pace is hardly Star Warsian. [20 Sept 2002, p.C1]
  7. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    Feb 23, 2013
    The only thing deep in tonight's Firefly premiere, though, is the well of cliches into which Whedon dips for what passes for plot and exposition. [20 Sept 2002, p.B02]

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 41
  2. Negative: 1 out of 41
  1. Jan 18, 2012
    Favourite show, would love to see it return. Whedon's finest hour. The characters are multi-dimensional, the writing superb and the chemistry between the actors and actresses are palpable. The spaceship was just an added bonus. It is a shame it has not been picked up again. Expand
  2. May 3, 2011
    perfect. smart, funny, action packed. Such an amazingly enjoyable show. I cherish the few episodes that were made because in my opinion they are some of the very best television produced. Expand
  3. May 2, 2013
    An excellent show by far the best live action TV show I have ever seen. It provided a complex, deep, and perfectly put together form of entertainment that network TV shows almost never have. The acting is excellent, the stories are interesting and intriguing, and the script is great. Its cancellation doesn't surprise me I know that the typical folks watching FOX on weekdays have no interest in such a show I think this sort of show is more suited for cable and premium like AMC, SyFy, HBO, Showtime etc. Overall, I would reccommend this to anyone a great show. Expand
  4. Apr 10, 2012
    If there was one show that should have never been cut off, it was Firefly. There's not another TV series that captured the imagination like Joss Whedon's Firefly. And though it received a movie (Serenity) to bring some form of closure, there has never been a greater travesty than the cancellation of this absolutely wonderful TV series. One can only hope that a day is coming where a TV executive has the brains to get the band back together for an encore season or two. Expand
  5. Feb 12, 2012
    Best cancelled show ever. I curse FOX forever for cancelling this sci-fi masterpiece. I know quite a few failed tv shows that I like but Firefly is the only show that I wished they continued. Each episode is absolute gold and its storylines leave such a huge impact even with only 14 episodes available. The main reason to watch Firefly and what made it so great is its cast of characters, the Serenity crew. In just 14 episodes, you grow attached to these characters because of their unforgettable and likable personalities. If you come across the dvd of this great show, don't even hesitate. Buy it. Expand
  6. Mar 9, 2012
    As cautious as cats held close to fire by metallic creatures, their hands guarded by angular men with rounded features, this world, this space opera is where I want to live. A real estate agency should be established, an asteroid with enough atmosphere to somehow make rural California arise long enough for filming. But here is the ramblemancy a pocket deep or rather more wide and deep to hold a gun and a coat and a future detective author. There is, there must be, an episode sixteen. To create a spaceship and fly it to other planets, to dodge and flee from either those with great power or those with intents to theft and to create "skin made lamps", to bring along a brother of many famous men and lovely woman who eventually will love her Marine Husband despite his terrorist leanings and some other types whose careers vary from a slow cave dice to simply mowing lawns in East Hollywood, to do all of this, these words, a ramblemancy of text, surely meant they created more episodes. Maybe they are waiting, as some might wait, for the curse and collection of future networks, some broadband something. Expand
  7. Sep 23, 2014
    I must be missing the boat on this one. Granted I have only seen the pilot. The pilot is an hour and half and it feels like its about two and half hours. Its poorly paced, has rather annoying characters, and the whole sci fi western feels clunky. It does kind of come around towards the end but I thought it was too litle too late. I am going to go ahead with the series, but I can see why series failed. Expand

See all 41 User Reviews

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