“When your miracle gets here, you just pound this button once. It’ll call back both shuttles.”
– Wash, ‘Out of Gas’
It’s been an exciting week for Browncoats. Unless you’re living on a border planet, you’ll have undoubtedly seen this from Captain Tightpants himself Nathan Fillion in a recent interview on EW, discussing the return of the original 14 episodes of Firefly on US networks (on the Science channel).
“If I got $300 million from the California Lottery, the first thing I would do is buy the rights to Firefly, make it on my own, and distribute it on the Internet.”
– Nathan Fillion, 17th February 2011
In the wake of this (and naturally, there was plenty of wake) came a couple of tweets from Firefly writers Jose Molina (Ariel, Trash), and Jane Espenson (Shindig), pledging their (serious) interest and support in the project if it were ever to happen.
“For what it’s worth, I’ve told him I’d drop what I was doing and follow”
– Jose Molina, 19th February 2011
“@JoseMolinaTV I’m there, if needed.”
– Jane Espenson, 19th February 2011
As you can expect, there have been a zillion blog and news posts about all this. Why one more here? Because the signal has to get out there. We know all about it, but the rest of the ‘verse is gonna know it too. ‘Cause they need to.
But doesn’t this happen every year or so? A recent Whedonesque post highlighted a few more recent attempts (now all aborted) at getting Firefly renewed, following with some interesting discussion on whether it could happen or not: 20th Century Fox unlikely to sell rights to Firefly says EW’s James Hibberd.
Regardless of any cynicism or squeeing, pros or cons, we have motivation now that we didn’t have on previous attempts; Fillion’s quote, and the support of two of the writers. People directly involved with Firefly, essentially saying ‘you make it happen, and we’ll make it happen’.
Fansites and facebook pages naturally sprung up. HelpNathanBuyFirefly.com seems to be the official one, taking pledges and comments (not money, yet), to see if it’s possible to raise enough interest for Mr Fillion to make his comment reality. Help Nathan Buy Firefly – the facebook page – had about 10,000 ‘Likes’ within it’s first few hours, and that number is growing steadily.
Let’s assume it’s even possible for a moment. Then what happens? What of Joss Whedon, what would his actual take be on this? In 2010 he made it evident that Firefly is a show still exceptionally close to his heart; from our transcript of his Melbourne Writers’ Festival keynote speech;
“(I) don’t think…*big sigh* that would…that there will be anything as bad for me as that loss. Every day. Every day, I think about episodes I was going to make.”
– Joss Whedon, 27th August 2010
There’s no doubt of his being willing and able – but getting everyone together when they all have contracts and schedules? Is it really a case of, as I’m sure many of is have dreamed – Captain Mal pushing the recall button, and everyone comes back?
Would everyone be required? Where in the timeline could Firefly relaunch from? Pre- or post-Serenity? Pre- or post-Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale? With the majority of River’s psychosis resolved and the story of Shepherd Book revealed, and with the losses incurred and semi-resolution and pairings in Serenity, to quote Once More With Feeling, where do we go from here?
Can it be done? Is there enough fan dedication to make the Browncoat dream an actual reality? Has there long been opportunity for viewers to fund a second season?
“Let’s say that Joss Whedon, creator of Firefly, wanted to bring the series back to air. (Though “back to air” is a TV phrase now as anachronistically quaint as “switching the dial.”) Let’s say he found a million Firefly fans online–and, trust me, they’re not hiding–who were willing to pay, say, $39.99 each for a sixteen-episode season of Firefly. (Not an unreasonable price, given how many people pay about that amount for full seasons on DVD.) Suddenly, Joss Whedon’s got roughly $40 million to play with–and he doesn’t need a network. Or a time slot. Or advertisers. He can beam the damn shows right to your computer if he wants to.”
All of this counts on 20th Century Fox being willing to sell. Fox are staying quiet, perhaps assuming that this is just another internet petition to try renew one of their many cancelled shows. Some online reports say they’ll never sell, regardless of offers. And why would they? It costs them nothing to keep it. They still make plenty on the DVD sales, and being in the bad books with Whedonites world-over mean they have fairly constant attention online. Selling Firefly wouldn’t benefit them, short of the cool Fillion-guestimated $300mil fans now hope to raise (though the math indicates it wouldn’t actually need to be that much to be plausible). While Fox’s marketing team seems to be made of FAIL, their accountants must surely be able to do the math, too; sell for lump sum, or reap the benefits of continual Firefly DVD sales forever? Is there any price they’d be willing to agree to sell on?
As a Browncoat my answer is, truthfully, I don’t care how it happens, I just want it to happen. It is Firefly, it is Joss, it would be brilliant. Respectful to the other non-TV canon we’ve seen over the years, while being enough of the same Firefly we love, and still managing to be shiny and new. New characters and old. New story arcs and old.
I don’t care. Just get Firefly back in some way, shape or form.
If you want to see this even have a chance of becoming a reality, then spread the word, and keep your eyes on Help Nathan Buy Firefly. They’re currently researching ways to feasibly accept donations (kickstarter has been talked about) and other ways to legitimise the endeavour.
We will attempt to do the impossible, and that will make us mighty…