‘There’s no place I can’t be
Since I found Serenity.
You can’t take the sky from me.’
So let’s take it as read that Firefly is 588 minutes of the best television ever made. (Sceptical? Go watch it. I’ll wait.) Also, it’s just had its tenth birthday.
Serenity represents a number of things. First up, is Freedom; it allows the characters to live a life in constant transit; all journey, no destination. A useful image for someone who’s trying to live in the moment and be less hung up on ‘getting there.’
Second, it represents Resistance. Named after the last, ill-fated battle of those who opposed the Alliance, it represents the ability to stand up and speak out against the devilish nature of authority.
Third and final, it represents family. In the story a disparate group of people come together to form a surprisingly functional family. In interviews I am often asked to say which director I would most like to emulate. The truth I would most like to be Joss Whedon; watch the Making Of: you can see the sense of playfulness and the sense of belonging Joss enabled his cast to experience. The feeling of playfulness enables the actors to go further, take risks, experiment. The safety is creatively useful for artists engaged in the incredibly difficult and pressurised process of collaborating on a piece of art. And that playfulness and camaraderie, the sense of being on a journey together, infuses the work on screen. So that once you’ve sailed on Serenity you feel like part of that family forever.