I was super-geeked this week to learn that ‘Firefly’ is going to air on the Science Channel starting March 6 at 8 p.m., with new episodes of the 15-part series airing every Sunday at 10 p.m.
But get this: they’re going to include the science behind ‘Firefly,’ with expert info from astrophysicist Dr. Michio Kaku, who’ll be commenting on everything from terraforming to anti-matter. Turns out that the science fiction in ‘Firefly’ isn’t all that far from science fact.
Ok, seriously, is this the coolest news you’ve heard in quite some time or what?!
I didn’t even discover ‘Firefly’ until I reviewed it for my Jane After Dark column on TV Squad a few years ago. All of a sudden, I had scores of new fans on my Twitter account, people emailing me with glee, and all sorts of delightful frenzy over this new-to-me show.
Joss Whedon fans and Browncoats know the reason. When ‘Firefly’ first aired in 2002, the sci-fi western quickly became a cult favorite. Set 500 years in the future, in the aftermath of a universal civil war, the story centers on the renegade crew of a small transport spaceship led by Capt. Mal Reynold — Nathan Fillion, now on ‘Castle’ — who directs the ragtag team through adventures into unknown parts of the galaxy. Of course, it’s not a bed of roses. They’re constantly trying to evade warring factions while taking any job – legal or not – to stay afloat and keep the crew fed.
Even if you’ve never seen ‘Firefly’ (perfect time to jump in), you’ll recognize some of the crew: Gina Torres plays Mal’s fiercely loyal second-in-command Zoe, who served beside him in the war and owes him her life; Alan Tudyk plays Wash, the ship’s easygoing pilot and Zoe’s husband; Jewel Staite is Kaylee, the ship’s young and effervescent engineer; and Adam Baldwin is Jayne, a tough mercenary whose loyalties lie with Mal — for now.
With prostitution now legal among the planets, the beautiful and sophisticated Inara (Morena Baccarin, now on ‘V’) has her own shuttle docked on the ship and shares friendly, yet non-sexual relationships with the crew while serving as a paid companion to the Serenity’s guests. The wealthy and secretive Simon (Sean Maher) joined the crew as the ship’s doctor in the hopes of protecting his emotionally fragile but gifted younger sister, River (Summer Glau).
Rounding out the ship’s permanent denizens is Book, “The Shepherd” (Ron Glass), a preacher who’s on board to spread the Word of God to the far reaches of the galaxy.
The Science Channel is really stepping up their game lately. I’ve had ‘An Idiot Abroad’ in my to-watch pile for a few weeks. Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant send their simple curmudgeon of a friend, Karl Pilkington, on a journey around the world to see the Seven Wonders.
Also looking forward to ‘Prophets of Science Fiction,’ set to premiere later this year. Viewers get to take a tour of what was – and what will be – through the eyes of the ingenious authors, illustrators, filmmakers, and scientists who shape the way we see and create things. Dan Feinberg over at HitFix wrote up a nice little preview here.
Excited for a resurgence of ‘Firefly’? A friend just told me that Nathan Fillion has said if he ever won the lottery, he’d buy the rights and re-launch it with new episodes. Keep buying those tickets, N.!