“Sound in space? Nooooo!!!”

That’s my wife’s reaction to the trailer for Serenity, the upcoming big-screen follow-up to the short-lived sci-fi series Firefly. She always liked the fact that space was silent on the TV show, as indeed it is in real life. But apparently it won’t be in the movie.

FWIW, she’s a bigger fan of the show than I am, but then, she’s got the Joss Whedon background, via Buffy, whereas I do not. I have refrained from saying anything about this series online until I get a chance to watch the entire thing — I have only seen about half of the episodes so far — but for now, suffice to say I prefer the military adventures of Star Trek and Babylon 5 (all that pulling of rank, all those lines to cross, all those orders to disobey), and I have never been a big fan of westerns, and Firefly is nothing if not a western set in space. And something about the relentlessly sexy women, so many of whom kick butt, gets on my nerves, too.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).

  • BethR

    “…something about the relentlessly sexy women, so many of whom kick butt, gets on my nerves, too.”

    “War Stories,” Peter. Your wife, clearly a woman of good taste, knows what I’m talking about, and you’re lucky to have her.

    And also, Firefly is a bit more than just “a western set in space,” but you’ll have to see all 13 episodes and let it sink in first. Don’t let the horses, cows, and pistols fool you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05212470992022062570 Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey

    Having seen the trailer, I am working on a Grand Jossverse Unification Theory that Firefly is the future of the same universe as Buffy/Angel, that River is a Slayer, and Reavers are really vampires. Details on my blog.

    What do you think?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14715376140228118442 Jeffrey Overstreet

    Hmmm. Star Trek, even the early episodes, is notorious for “relelntlessly sexy women,” so is it the “kicking butt” part that bothers you, Peter?

    Personally, I’d rather enjoy the dialogue, performances, and special effects on an episode of Firefly than ANY episode of ANY Star Trek series or spin-off. There are so many memorable moments and quotable lines, and for all of the Star Trek I’ve watched over the decades, I’d have trouble quoting ANYTHING, except perhaps from the second and fourth films.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07395937367596387523 Peter T Chattaway

    Star Trek, even the early episodes, is notorious for “relelntlessly sexy women,” so is it the “kicking butt” part that bothers you, Peter?

    It’s more the fusion of the two into a sort of “girl power” motif, whereby everyone — even the “plain” girl! — looks awfully cute and sexy and has such nicely-toned bodies, and oh, while we’re at it, they’re also very good at kicks and punches, etc. That sort of thing.

    Trust me, the sexy space babes who turn up in far too many Star Trek episodes bother me too. But the key difference here is that those women are only guest characters, and there are quite a few episodes without them; whereas Firefly has a few of them built into the show’s ongoing cast, and then it adds even more to the guest list.

    BTW, the episode that introduces the Captain’s “wife” was kinda interesting, as my own wife told me afterwards that she couldn’t see how the Captain had fallen for the innocent-girl routine, which she thought was laid on way too thick — whereas I bought it hook, line and sinker! That particular character was definitely playing on certain male fantasies — fantasies that my wife, not being a male, evidently wasn’t prone to. :)

  • Trent

    “This is going to get interesting.”
    “Define interesting.”
    “‘Oh God, oh God, we’re all going to die?’”

    I don’t know if I’d totally agree with J-O with the capital Y ANY episode of Star Trek, having not seen the complete run of Firefly myself (trying to rent it in Tumbler Ridge…right), but it is a very appealing show. Like most of Whelan’s shows, it is a bit of a beautiful people-fest, but when some of those people are these people…yowsa.

  • Thom

    Really…how many shows are not focused on beautiful people. Usually, the quirkier looking characters are supporting supporting on most shows-from sit coms to dramas. I don’t think Firefly is any more guilty of the same casting sins of 99% of televsiion, so it seems wierd to be singled out for it. But then, I’ve never been prone to thinking the casts of Buffy or Firefly was “full of pretty eople”…I was never attracted to a lot of the main female characters on either show, so I didn’t think of most of them as more beautiful than anyone I knew in real life.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07395937367596387523 Peter T Chattaway

    I don’t think Firefly is any more guilty of the same casting sins of 99% of televsiion, so it seems wierd to be singled out for it.

    Ah, well, I don’t watch TV at all to begin with, you see. :) Seriously, I used to watch Letterman and Conan with a little bit of SNL, and that was it, but since getting married I’ve decided to drop cable altogether. So if I watch any TV, it’s on DVD.

    In which vein, I have to say that I much prefer, say, Babylon 5‘s Claudia Christian to any of the pretty-girl ass-kickers on Firefly.

  • Thom

    Ahhh….a former model…doesn’t fit the pretty mold at all. ;)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05089439510877671134 Rae

    I used to feel the way you did about Firefly, Peter – I thought the women were just too sexy, and I never liked westerns much either. So I only watched one episode when it was on live, coincidentally it was the one where Mel gets a wife. Then one night I came out of a wine tasting a little tipsy and wandered into my local media store looking for Season 4 Angel DVDs. They didn’t have any, but they had just gotten the complete Firefly DVD set in. Having a Whedon-jones, I bought it. Next day, thought oh my what have I done. Started watching them, and pretty soon I could not get enough. My kids started watching them with me, and pretty soon it was all “how could this show have been canceled?” and “why didn’t I know this show was on?” Excellent ensemble cast, great production values, and humor that just keeps coming (Adam Baldwin anyone?). Social commentary, fun cultures, good music… yikes! I am a total Firefly fan now. I am not going to get myself too hyped up about Serenity because I just don’t think it will lead to a franchise even though I wish it would.

    Rae (relentlessly middle-aged woman who enjoyed kickboxing aerobics because it made me feel like Buffy.)


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