Having ordered the DVD, I finally got to watch the pilot of “Firefly”:http://www.scifispace.com/html/firefly.php. Twice. And once more with the commentary. This is the two-part opener that Fox decided was too . . . _something_ to kick off the season, so it didn’t air until the tail end of of the show’s tragically aborted run, and I never got to see it back then. Now that I have, a couple thoughts: 1) Fox execs have peas for brains. 2) This is as close to perfect as you get to see on television.
I said recently”:http://www.polytropos.org/index.php?p=277 that being into certain shows was a labor of love, because the price for what they have — true storytelling like you rarely see on TV — is that you have to tolerate the weak spots — low production values, unpolished writing, bargain-basement guest actors, unimaginative directing. Firefly is such a show on occasion, but in the pilot (and in more than a few of the other episodes, if memory serves) you get all the meaty story goodness without any of those wince-worthy moments. Every single scene sings.
I’ll save more gushing and hopefully some more substantive thoughts, as well as an explanation of the show for those who never saw it, for a later post after I’ve re-watched everything. But a quick comment for fellow fans: the biggest reason that it irks me that Fox didn’t start at the beginning is that the pilot _actually explains what the deal is with all those planets_. Absent that first episode, it’s a little hard to sort out whether spaceships are travelling interstellar distances and, if not, how come there’s so many planets so close together. The pilot makes clear that humans have terraformed every planet, moon, and hunk of rock in the solar system that they can, and even (it’s implied) crammed more rock together to terraform that too. It’s also suggested that some planets all lay along the same “belt,” meaning (I presume) that they’re all following the same orbital path. Cool. Interesting. Dang it. I miss the show already.