We forgot to remind you that Firefly and John Doe premiered last night (even though Daemonik tried to remind us to remind you.) Well, we’ve got the first Firefly review here. Share your thoughts on Joss Whedon’s new show. If we want to keep Fox from cancelling it, we need to get people watching, so we should get people talking. (I’ll try to dig up some ratings numbers as soon as I can.)

Cast

Nathan Fillion
as Malcolm Reynolds
Gina Torres as Zoe
Alan Tudyk as Wash
Morena
Baccarin
as Inara
Jewel Staite as Kaylee
Adam Baldwin as Jayne
Sean Maher as
Dr. Simon Tam
Summer Glau as
River Tam
Ron Glass as Shepherd

Crew

Created, co-written, and directed by Joss Whedon. Tim Minear was the
other co-writer.
Production Design by Carey Meyer, with
cinematography by David Boyd.
The complete IMDB listings can be found here.
The official website can be found here.

Original Airdate

The Train Job originally aired on Friday, September 20, on
the Fox network.

Premise

Joss Whedon set out to make a western in space, and that’s exactly
what he did. It’s got the atmosphere in the excellent sets, it’s got
the rag-tag bunch of outlaws in our heroes, and it’s got the unruly
and inconsistent law enforcement in the far reaches from the
government. There’s an interesting set-up here that was shown
flawlessly.

High Point

Jayne’s “chain of command” speech.

Low Point

Once again, every character has Joss Whedon’s sense of humour. It
would be nice to see that aspect of Joss’ characters vary a bit.

This Pilot

As some of you may have heard, this is not the original pilot
episode. The first two-hour pilot had less action than Fox expected,
so they asked Joss to make another one. Joss has said that the
original pilot will be somehow incorporated into the first season, and
will reveal how this crew got together.

Unfortunately, this is an expensive Fox show I like that isn’t
The X-Files. If past history holds true, it’ll be cancelled
by the end of November, and the original pilot will never air.

The Review

Truly original material is hard to produce. We’ve seen
characters like each individual before, and we’ve seen some of them in
combination. However, I don’t remember anyone mixing the western and
sci-fi genres together like this before. (Well, apart from the
abysmal Wild, Wild West.) I give it 4 out of 6.

The effects were well done, for the most part. The final
effects shot involving Crowe looked like an effects shot, as did some
of the shots of the ship, but the quality was pretty good considering
the volume, budget, and scheduling involved. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story was sparse and predictable. However, given the
amount of screen time and the number of characters introduced, I’d say
they did a pretty decent job. I think we’ll have to expect some
somewhat weak stories for the first few episodes while the writers and
audience get comfortable with the characters and their relationships.
I give it 3 out of 6.

The acting was better overall than a lot of pilot episodes.
Nobody did a particularly outstanding job, but they were all
comfortable and plausible in their roles. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response generated wasn’t extreme. I laughed
when they wanted me to laugh, and didn’t laugh when they didn’t want
me to, but as for the rest, I really only felt a mild curiosity. We
haven’t really had time to get to know the characters well enough to
really care for them yet. I give it 3 out of 6.

The production value was excellent. I loved the production
design and cinematography used. The atmosphere was completely
immersive, which has got to be really hard to do when you’re mixing
these two remarkably distinct genres. The directing was well paced,
and the music was excellent for setting mood within the atmosphere. I
give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, this is a great pilot for a promising series.
Highly recommended. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, The Train Job receives 29 out of 42.

The Coming Weeks

This page on the
official site has the breakdown of the next few episodes, including
the names of a number of writers and directors that fans of
Buffy and Angel will probably recognize. We’ve got
10 new episodes on the schedule between now and December 13. There
are no new episodes on the schedule for October 11 and November 29,
but I don’t know if those are reruns or pre-emptings yet.