Firefly, why weren’t there more episodes?

I’m currently preparing a lecture on dialogue and I began to trawl the Firefly series for examples.

It made me realise I could use this series for examples of excellent world building.

And characterisation.

Dramatic tension.

Subtle subtext in dialogue and character interaction.

Lighting and shooting. Music (that scene where they bring the young man’s dead body home).

Planting of clues that contribute towards a larger story arc in self contained episodes.

In fact the whole series is just so darn good, I don’t know why it was cancelled. What’s your favourite scene from Firefly?


Filed under Characterisation, creativity, Genre, Movies & TV Shows, Story Arc, Writing craft

8 Responses to Firefly, why weren’t there more episodes?

  1. Jonathan D. Beer

    Jeez, the whole damn thing. In my limited experience, Firefly was the second-best TV show ever made (note – I was born in the late 80s :p).

    If I had to pick a single moment… possibly Inara crying the “Heart of Gold” episode. A stunning little moment of acting from Morena Baccarin, and cutting to the heart of her feelings for Mal in a ruthlessly clear way. Its about seven seconds long, but lays bare something which has only been hinted at throughout. That’s a great episode in general really.

    But then, they were all great. Cancelling Firefly rates amongst mankind’s greatest crimes (this may be a bit melodramatic, but on a personal, individual level, for me its true).

  2. Jonathan, my favourite episode would have to be ‘Out of Gas’. But all the episodes were so good. It is hard to pick one.

    I love the scene where Mal fights a duel over Innara, gets the other man down and says something like, ‘A Good man would walk away’. He pokes the man with the sword, ‘Well maybe I’m not such a good man’.

    Think I’ll rewatch that episode on the week end.

  3. Natalie Hatch

    I love Janes Town, that is a classic. Of course Jane was my favourite character. I think whoever canceled the series was totally off the planet. Would love a new series.
    My favourite series of all time though is the BBC’s “Life on Mars” and its follow up “Ashes to Ashes”. I’ve had to go back and re-watch all 5 series because of the final ending to the show. Now I get all the little nuances that before I’d dismissed. Such slick writing, they layered the plots so well.

    • Natalie I love the Jane Town Episode. ‘A man called Jane ….’

      And then there are the ‘Mrs Reynolds’ episodes. There’s one that opens with Mal naked on a rock saying ‘Well, that went well.’ LOL

  4. Rowena, I absolutely love Firefly and then the movie Serenity. Fantastic world building in that. There was plenty they could have done with the show but unfortunately, execs see lack of figures and cut show sooner rather than later, instead of letting them go the first season and then seeing figures. I was told once they aired the episodes all over the place and people got confused. I have no idea what system is used with ratings, & things get cancelled before they even reach our shores. But it’s one of those shows that would have gotten better and better.

  5. Yes, Dollhouse got better as it went on. I’m looking forward to the second season of Being Human and True Blood season three.

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