The First Rule of Flying…


“Here’s how it is:

The Earth got used up, so we moved out and terraformed a whole new galaxy of Earths, some rich and flush with the new technologies, some not so much. The Central Planets, them was formed the Alliance, waged war to bring everyone under their rule; a few idiots tried to fight it, among them myself.

I’m Malcolm Reynolds, captain of Serenity. Shes a transport ship, Firefly class. Got a good crew: fighters, pilot, mechanic. We even picked up a preacher for some reason, and a bona fide companion.

There’s a doctor too, took his genius sister out of some Alliance camp, so they’re keeping a low profile, you understand.

You got a job, we can do it, don’t much care what it is.”

firefly-shipNothing can compare with the wonderous post Sue made about her personal experiences over the past 10 years and how Firelfy has touched and shaped her life, and those around her.

But now, on this day, when they learned, ten years ago, that those brain trusts at Fox had cancelled this inspired show, while not even giving it a fair shake to begin with, I thought I would reminisce on my own experiences in the ‘Verse.

I was there on the evening of September 20, 2002. I even suffered through the hideous pilot for the show John Doe before it, because I was sure I didn’t want to miss any of the lead up to Joss Whedon’s new show.

I had been with Joss since Buffy Season 2, April 28, 1998 when I caught an episode called I Only Have Eyes For You. This was not the Buffy the Vampire Slayer that I had known previously, though I did think Kristy Swanson in the original film was insanely hot.

Joss had made me laugh and cry countless times before I was introduced to that wonderful little Firefly-class vessel called Serenity, and I was looking forward to exploring all new stories and characters with him. So as it grew darker outside of my apartment in Kingston, Ontario I settled in for something amazing.

I was not disappointed.

train“The Train Job,” the re-imagined pilot for the series took me right in. These characters were awesome, and I immediately wanted to know more! How was I supposed to wait a week for another episode?!

I was hooked from the get-go, despite hearing early rumblings that Fox had already decided not to broadcast the show in order so that any through arc of the first season would be completely jumbled.

Despite that, I tuned in every week, I was online chatting with other burgeoning fans, we hadn’t even taken the name Browncoats yet, though it wasn’t long until we all tugged on that mantle happily… This was our show, this was my show. As always Joss seemed to be telling his stories for me, his characters and situations knew exactly what to do to wring laughter or tears from me.

I watched, and loved it, and then heard the preposterous news, that Fox, in their infinite wisdom cancelled the series, informing the cast and crew on December 13, 2002. Merry Christmas everybody.

That didn’t stop my love for the show, in fact it may have increased it. Fox was making a huge mistake, and I was determined to show them, I wrote on boards, I chatted online and in person, I told anyone who would listen (and some who wouldn’t) that they needed to be watching this show.

washBut the end inevitably came, however, Fox was already planning on releasing the series to DVD, and I had my pre-order in as soon as it would accept it. I made sure that we had copies in our store for rent, and rent they did. I ordered the soundtrack as soon as it was made available… I’d learn that silly old company… by sending them my money.

The Browncoats online were a happy and welcoming bunch, especially once the DVDs were initially released, and the love for the show spread, seeming to bring in new fans every week, despite having been cancelled and off the air. There were podcasts, the first podcast I ever listened to religiously, was all about Firefly, and contained the first kernels of the rumours that grew into the feature film, Serenity. I was tossing the idea around of a radio drama set in the ‘Verse, I had the details, and the characters under development. I honestly couldn’t figure out how to make it happen. I imagine it would be easier now 🙂

By the time Serenity hit the big screens, I was in a fevered pitch for that movie, I had items and DVDs shipped from all over the world, documentaries, convention panels, anything and everything I could get my hands on, the comics, I loved the ‘Verse.

serenityI took everyone and anyone to see the movie, and think I saw it close to 6 or 7 times on the big screen (not counting the annual Can’t Stop The Serenity screenings that have been happening since…).

Then, when I relocated to Toronto, and knew all of one person, I found a local group of Browncoats who gathered monthly for shindigs, meeting at restauraunts and just hanging out for an evening. I decided to take a chance, and hope that I would meet some people who would welcome a newcomer.

They did. I had made some new acquaintances in this metropolis, and it was kind of comforting.

Finally it was through our shared love of science fiction, in this case the new Galactica, that I met Sue (I’d only seen her at a couple of the shindigs before hand) and we’ve been friends ever since!

So I have Firefly to thank for that as well, so thank you Joss Whedon, Tim Minnear, Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Jewel Staite, Gina Torres, Morena Baccarin, Sean Maher, Adam Baldwin, Summer Glau, Ron Glass, Ben Edlund, Jose Molina, Greg Edmonson and every single one of you who worked behind the scenes and in front of the camera to bring this show to life.

Thank you…

“But it ain’t all buttons and charts, little albatross. You know what the first rule of flying is? Well, I suppose you do, since you already know what I’m about to say.”

“I do. But I like to hear you say it.”

“Love. You can learn all the math in the ‘Verse, but you take a boat in the air that you don’t love, she’ll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells you she’s hurtin’ ‘fore she keens. Makes her a home.”

“Storm’s getting worse.”

“We’ll pass through it soon enough.”

We’ve passed through, but I would love to go back…


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sean says:

    Great show. My 2nd fav sf series of all time after b5. Too bad the network mucked things up.

    1. TD Rideout says:

      After B5?! AFTER!!?? Sigh. 😀

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