Firefly Review – “Our Mrs. Reynolds”

We’ve had our third solid character piece using recycled plots. Still, the potential for this show is clear, don’t you think?

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

Written by Joss
Whedon
.
Directed by Vondie
Curtis-Hall
.

The complete IMDB listings can be found here.
The official website can be found here.

Original Airdate


Our Mrs. Reynolds
originally aired on Friday,
October 5.

Premise

After the captain and crew celebrate with a group of an unknown
culture, the captain discovers he has been wed.

High Point

The “special level of Hell” speech.

Low Point

They were doing so well with the science. Even recognizing that Vera
needed air was great. However, I’m not sure how much air Vera would
have had after the first round.

Also, they shouldn’t see electrical sparks in a vacuum. That glow
occurs when electrons excite the air in the gas, which then emits
light. They might see a faint glow where electron paths cross, but
that’s it. Since they never said that was normal electricity, I might
be able to let that slide, but if it’s not, then those three had some
seriously advanced technology.

The Review

This was slightly more original than the past two episodes.
Instead of copying one common idea, they’ve taken two common ideas and
put them together. I give it 3 out of 6.

The effects were excellent this week, as usual. The final
sequence was the only tricky bit, though. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story was well-written, but there was only one moment of
moderate surprise. (I didn’t see the end of act two coming, but I
suppose many others did.) I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting is where this show really comes through. These
three episodes have been focussed on character interaction more than
anything else, and that means the actors have to have their parts
nailed down from the beginning. Fortunately, they do. I give it 6
out of 6.

The emotional response this generated was moderate. There
was very little suspense, as I doubt Fox would let them kill any major
characters this early, but I did laugh a lot. I give it 4 out of 6.

The production was excellent. It was nicely shot, well
edited, and the set design was fantastic as usual. The use of the
steadicam really helps to give the show a cramped feel on the ship,
and an amateur video feel on the planet. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this was another solid character piece. They’ll be
able to move to story-based episodes soon, and we’ll actually care
about what’s going on. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Our Mrs. Reynolds receives 31 out of 42.

20 replies on “Firefly Review – “Our Mrs. Reynolds””

  1. strider37000 says:

    Surprisingly well received
    I ended up catching the show with my parents last night. They actually really enjoyed the show, laughing at the jokes and not complaining about much. They tend to not like Sci-fi so I was really surprised. There only comment was “Why was everything so cowboy like in the future”. I explained that a new frontier is a new frontier no matter the time and they accepted that fact. Maybe the show should cover this sometime soon?

    I have to say I’m starting to really like the captain, he’s not some high and mighty pillar of morality. He’s a hell of a lot more like me then any other sci fi personality I’ve ever seen.

    God I hope this show gets moved to a timeslot that won’t end up killing it off.

    • Jethro says:

      Re: Surprisingly well received

      There only comment was “Why was everything so cowboy like in the future”. I explained that a new frontier is a new frontier no matter the time and they accepted that fact.

      That’s cool. I said the same thing to my wife and she said “Oh please.”

  2. Daemonik says:

    Coming along nicely
    More and more I find that the Western aspects just blend right in and become hardly questionable anymore. Even when you do consider something odd (like covered wagons) it can be explained with a little thought (covered wagons make sense if you consider the most dependable, cheapest and renewable source of travel for a developing world without an industrial base would be horses).

    If you payed attention to Wash describing his world as ‘so poluted that you couldn’t even see the stars’ then you can get a glimps of human nature in this period, ie: Why solve polution problems if you can just pack up and move to another planet? Which makes them much closer to the humans of today than Star Trek’s lofty idealistic humanity.

    For those that were stressing over River becoming a distraction with her psychic ramblings, she was hardly even seen in this episode, showing the writers know how to keep a character interesting without wearing them out.

    I thought some of the funniest lines last night were deliverd by Jayne, especially when offering to trade Vera for Mal’s wife: “Trade? More like theft, this is the best gun made by man!”

  3. rickyjames says:

    A Special Level Of Hell…
    …is reserved for any suits at Fox that would dare to cancel this show. I’m totally hooked, Firefly is great. Give them the time to get their act together and this could be as big a classic as Buffy.

    I didn’t see the switch from sweet Saffron to sour coming at all, and in fact I thought we had a typical “A story – B story” setup when we saw the camera shooting pix of Serenity as she sailed by. This actually to me was a plot weak point; how did Saffron go from accepted member of a pioneer group at the shindig to undercover agent on a mission in a setup where neither she nor anyone else could have known the next port of call or direction of travel? Also, the trackdown, revenge and shuttle recovery scene was a little abrupt but quite acceptable, I understand they gotta wrap the story up in under an hour. Hey, I’m deep into willing suspention of disbelief for something this good.

    Vera is COOL and I hope we see her again – great job of aiming with the scope covered. I really appreciate the desire to be correct and give her air, but I wonder if that’s even true. Aren’t bullet casings sealed and therefore have all required necessary air between the gunpowder grains to support the resulting combustion process upon firing? If not, wher does a cartridge get air from during the firing process every time a gun is fired? There are no vents or anything in a gun, and the expansion of gas fro within the casing is what propels the bullet down the barrel…

    But overall Firefly has science nailed and it’s much more about the people than the tech. That’s what makes it so good. I’ve got high hopes for this series. Any universe where the only Academy is a school of love is OK in my book – wonder if it’s still in San Francisco?

  4. TechnoGirl says:

    QUESTION: Why Doesn’t Somalia Have A Thriving International Air Hub?

    Well why not? I mean it’s a half way point between South Africa and either the Mid-East , India or Eastern Europe…why aren’t there any huge International air hubs in that country?

    ANSWER: Lack of infrastructure.

    Why am I telling you this? Who give’s a tit-mouse’s tush about airports in Somalia!?

    Well you see, it’s part of the problem of the "Cowboys in Space" concept that I’m beginning to have with Firefly. I’ll get back to this in a moment…

    For any science fiction story to really work you have to have your audience be able to get your audience to suspend their disbelief to get involved in the story. I mean none of us really truly believe that there are Klingons somewhere out there with bumpy foreheads or that a loon lon time ago in a galaxy far far away there was an evil Empire managed by a heavy breathing guy in a black suit. We all know it just a story but as an audience we make a "contract" with the author that for the lifetime of his story, we’re going to forgo all of that and just sit back and enjoy the show. The author in turn makes a "contract" with us that he’ll do his very best to make things believable and consistent in the universe she has created for us to enjoy.

    OK….good deal all around….except when the author breaks his part of the contract and suddenly in scene 3 Ghengis Kahn rises from the dead to give strategic advice to the 26th century rebel commander good-guys and that’s how that war was won. Huh?? WTF! ….And the magic get’s broken and the viewer or reader gets suddenly jerked out of the mutually agreed upon fantasy and slapped back into reality with a sour feeling in his stomach about the whole ordeal.

    A writer has to suspend the viewer’s disbelief and maintain the fantasy if you want the viewer to keep on being involved in your story.

    Back to Somalia now…. the reason a lot of jets don’t land there is because airplanes, just like anything else, often break down…plus they need to be refueled. And somalia doesn’t have the refueling capacities, repair facilities, fast food stands…whatever of, say South Africa. And since no pilot wants to land somewhere he might not be able to take off from again (no fuel, no parts, no burgers) the vast majority of planes just say "Somalia? Screw that!" and go right on through to South Africa.

    ….which brings me back to Firefly…..I look at what amounts to essentially the 19th century culture (1870’s or so) of those planets and ask myself if they could possibly afford the technological infrastructure needed to do whatever it takes to refuel and repair a StarShip? And I just can’t get myself to believe that it can. Just as I’d be hard pressed to believe that tomorrow, British Airways is going to open a new International Air Hub in the middle of the Congo…or Somalia.

    OK, I get that they’re settlers on a frontier and all but since when dies being a settler mean that you have to give up the benefits of the last three centuries of technology?? What’s up with that? What’s with the 19th century clothing?? Why does the Captain of the firefly carry down a Six-Shooter to these freaking planets instead of some 23rd century "micro-Uzi" or something??? If *I* were in a gun fight I know which one I’d have!

    So I’m having trouble getting into this so far…I’m having trouble believing that a 19th century planet-wide culture can maintain whatever it takes to make it worthwhile for a StarShip to land there. I’m having trouble believing that a captain of a Starship wouldn’t carry around something a bit more powerful then a 3 century old weapon just as I’d find it hard to imagine modern-day pirates armed with crossbows. I’m having trouble believing that all the women down there would wear corse cotton instead of the latest 23rd century synthi-silk or whatever. I’m having trouble believing that they’re all heating their houses with wood stoves instead of whatever passes for a central heating in the 23rd century.

    OK…just shut-up and enhoy the ride you say (you did say that didn’t you)…and I’d like to but I’m having trouble suspending my disbelief over the anachronisms involved. I think the writer has broken his part of agreement….to keep it believable…and I’m having trouble believing that *everyone* in the 23rd century frontier has given up cable!

    • rickyjames says:

      Suspension of Disbelief

      I think the key thing about the Firefly universe is that it IS realistic in ways that Star Wars and Star Trek haven’t been, and we are so unused to realism on THIS topic that it seems strange when we finally see it. In both SW and especially ST, the technology is universal. Everybody belongs to the Federation or Empire or whatever and even tho there are regional differences, there’s still a roughly equivalent level of technology everywhere you go. Case in point, the similarity of Romulan and Earth space mines. In reality on Earth today, there’s the so called First World and the so-called Third World (and the so-called communist Second World has effectively self destructed). The FW is the USA, Europe, Canada and Japan & Australia and the TW is effectively Asia, Africa and Central / South America. The technological and social advancement levels are VERY stratified on Earth today – you are either in the very rich 20% of population or in the 80% of the very poor population (including Somalia).

      On Firefly, their equivalent of the FW is the Alliance – and altho they havent had time to go into it, it seems effectively as tho Hitler has won WWII and the FW/Alliance is Nazi. So the good guys have faded into the 80% population of the Firefly time’s Third World planets, and those guys have very primative tech. (Admittedly this would imply the Alliance goons had laser/phasers while evrybody else was stuck with gunpowder, which we didn’t see last week…oh well). Now on a TV budget, they can’t show stone age and medevial and colonial and western and 20th Century levels of tech, different every week – so I think they have settled on the METAPHOR of the 1880s to represent the primitive tech of that time’s “TW”. It’s recognizable and even romantic and mythic to an American audience, plus the props are available and cheap. This really isn’t any different from Buffy, where the series settled on the 1700s Gothic image of vampires as the show’s depicted metaphoric level of “technology”.

      Besides the gunpowder vs Uzi vs phaser curiosity, Firefly also doesn’t focus with wonder on the whole “warp/hyperspace” angle that’s a staple of both SW and ST. Serenity just goes from planet to planet, no special effects or big deal. That’s willing suspension of disbelief instead of technobabble about a mythical technology that we 21st century geeks would give our left arm to be the discoverer of. All three shows basically ignore the possibilities / potential / reality of late 20th century nuclear weapons that all three should have and use (even if it’s only as a threat, as the US has used them since Hiroshima and Nagasaki). That’s willing suspension of disbelief, too.

      Perhaps the best way of thinking about Firefly is that it is the OTHER branch of what could happen if there is a cataclysmic Dark Age like Mad Max or the Star Trek Eugenics Wars between now and getting to the stars. ST always assumed we would overcome the dark age and achieve universal equality. Firefly says we split into a super-high-tech Alliance FW with cathedral-like starships and a super low-tech scum TW stuck with things like gunpowder and Firefly-class ships and 1800s style planetary societies. If we’ve accepted and even lionized the former for 35 years, we can sure give an attempted stylized depiction the latter some respect after only three eps.

    • strider37000 says:

      Re: QUESTION: Why Doesn’t Somalia Have A Thriving International Air Hub?
      We still haven’t had any explanation on how the ships engines work, or where the fuel comes from. My assumption has always been that they don’t need to fuel up like they’re driving an SUV so it’s not an issue when they land in the middle of nowhere.

      Seeing how they are pretty limited resourcewise the 6 shooter makes sence over an uzi. Modern uzi’s tend to be high maintenance items, and they are not simple to work on. I have the tools in my garage to make a pretty crappy 6 shooter. It doesn’t matter if you fire 600 or 6 shots a minute. The holes are exactly the same and you only need one.

      In the second episode we saw the Alliance ship fire what appeared to be a laser weapon that had a pulse travel down it. So advanced tech does exist. Just the crew of serenity are your everyday nobodies and they don’t get the cool stuff same as how I don’t have a m16 with built in nightvision scope.

      • Daemonik says:

        Re: QUESTION: Why Doesn’t Somalia Have A Thriving International Air Hub?

        In the second episode we saw the Alliance ship fire what appeared to be a laser weapon that had a pulse travel down it.

        If I’m not mistaken, the Alliance ship fired a missle. All things being equal, a missle can be a more devestating weapon in a space battle than an energy beam.

        Consider that you’re 2 light minutes away from an enemy ship. Any sensor information you get about that ship is at least 4 minutes old (the time it takes your sensor beam to hit it and return). You fire an energy beam at where your computer thinks it’s current position might be. What are the odds you actually hit it? Not good.

        Missles, however, could be fired off, achieve rates of acceleration that would turn a human into jelly and then correct their course the closer they get to target. If they pump their speed high enough they don’t even have to have an explosive warhead, the kinetic energy released from impact would do quite a bit of damage.

        Energy weapons would be better used as close-in counter missle batteries.

    • xah says:

      Re: QUESTION: Why Doesn’t Somalia Have A Thriving International Air Hub?
      Right on, I agree.

      I understand that a frontier town might be really poor. But is it so poor that they can’t afford a helicopter or a dune buggy or an ATV? What good is a covered wagon? If they’re so poor, how can they afford to pay the expenses of the Serenity plus crew salary plus profit? If they’re so poor, how come some federation muckity-muck is taking the trouble to rob them? But they can’t afford a simple ATV or anything.

      Could the Serenity‘s crew have pulled a stupider stunt at the beginning of the episode? If your goal was to kill or capture the crooks in the Old West, you don’t run a sting operation. You go on the offensive and ambush them. Why didn’t the Serenity just load up on boulders and drop them on the stupid horse-riding robbers?

      How come the frontier folk wear old fashioned clothes, but don’t have old fashioned attitudes? Why are they so tolerant of different people, like Jews and Muslims? In the Old West, people were not tolerant.

      How come the frontier folk are old fashioned in many ways, and obviously have not lived on their planet long enough to build even a good road system, but have lived there long enough to develop totally new cultural forms, like wedding rituals, etc? Meanwhile, they are still tolerating Jews and Muslims, and apparently Christians?

    • Daemonik says:

      Re: QUESTION: Why Doesn’t Somalia Have A Thriving International Air Hub?

      Right on, I agree.

      I understand that a frontier town might be really poor. But is it so poor that they can’t afford a helicopter or a dune buggy or an ATV? What good is a covered wagon? If they’re so poor, how can they afford to pay the expenses of the Serenity plus crew salary plus profit? If they’re so poor, how come some federation muckity-muck is taking the trouble to rob them? But they can’t afford a simple ATV or anything.

      There are still places on the earth that can’t be easily reached by mechanized transport, why would people on a recently terraformed planet want to depend solely on it either? Perhaps introducing livestock (horses come under that heading) is one of the components to their terraforming process, so if they’re already there why not take advantage of them?

      You’ll also note that the settlers paid Serenity in food and other goods. Besides, the crew does do things simply because they’re the right thing to do, not just to make a few bucks.

      We currently have little idea of what goods are considered high value in the Firefly Universe, other than certain medical supplies. I’ve been considering that for the heavily populated and poluted inner Alliance planets, something like the real wooden furniture in the Serenity’s mess hall would be considered luxury goods. Even today, solid wood furniture is getting priced out of range of the average consumer, who are forced to buy Ikea-esque presswood furniture.

      Consider things from the big picture view:
      You have a number of high technology planets with dense populations reliant on outer colonies to supply you with basic resources, these colonies are fiercly independant and start to demand more in the way of reimbursement from the tech-centered planets. A government comes about on the tech-planets that believes the colony planets are too independant and bingo, war. Now the Alliance has taken over all these former colony worlds and has to control them.

      How do you control them? Limit their access to industrial goods, keep them on a level that is dependant on you for any number of finished goods, such as medicine.

      ….which brings me back to Firefly…..I look at what amounts to essentially the 19th century culture (1870’s or so) of those planets and ask myself if they could possibly afford the technological infrastructure needed to do whatever it takes to refuel and repair a StarShip? And I just can’t get myself to believe that it can. Just as I’d be hard pressed to believe that tomorrow, British Airways is going to open a new International Air Hub in the middle of the Congo…or Somalia.

      If mineral or agricultural resources are beind shipped from the colony worlds back to the inner Alliance worlds, then there should be either a suitable spaceport or a space station that would serve the same purpose. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Just because 747’s don’t land in Somalia doesn’t mean smaller cargo planes don’t. If Somalia was a source of some other countries raw materials, believe that a usable port facility would be established. As we don’t yet know what kind of fuel Serenity uses, it’s hard to complain about lack of refueling facilities. We also don’t know exactly what amount of ground facilities Serenity uses or how often she needs maintenance.

      OK, I get that they’re settlers on a frontier and all but since when dies being a settler mean that you have to give up the benefits of the last three centuries of technology?? What’s up with that? What’s with the 19th century clothing?? Why does the Captain of the firefly carry down a Six-Shooter to these freaking planets instead of some 23rd century “micro-Uzi” or something??? If *I* were in a gun fight I know which one I’d have!

      As for clothing style? Who knows? I’m still trying to figure out why kids wear pants 20 sizes too big with no belt. The weapon thing is a little easier. As I already mentioned, the Alliance probably restricts access to higher tech items, especially weapons. “micro-Uzi” stuff sounds nice, but in practice isn’t so hot. Many agencies that were using 9mm handguns due to their smaller size and weight which let them carry more ammo are moving back to .45s and 10mm weapons because the 9mm’s just plain lack stopping power. Shooting a man 3 times with a smaller caliber bullet to take him down is just plain sloppy, uneconomical and dangerous.

      Why does he use a six-shooter? Dunno, maybe he likes it, the design is considered a classic for a reason, it works and it’s reliable. Automatics are available as are other types of weapons, as we saw with Vera, a very sexy weapon.

      I’m having trouble believing that all the women down there would wear corse cotton instead of the latest 23rd century synthi-silk or whatever. I’m having trouble believing that they’re all heating their houses with wood stoves instead of whatever passes for a central heating in the 23rd century.

      Who says they want to wear synthi-silk or that they aren’t? For one, most sythetic fabrics are intentionally designed to look and feel like natural fibers, for another natural fibers might just be considered luxury goods on worlds that are so overpopulated they have no farmland available to grow them. So take your pick, they’re wearing synthetics but you can’t tell, or they’re wearing natural fibers because it’s available and ultimately more valuable than the synthetics. Depends on inter-stellar economics.

      Same goes with the wood heating, maybe they have some high-tech source of heating and burn wood because they can and they like it, much like putting a wood burning fireplace in a modern home today. It’s romantic or rustic or a delicious sin on a world where there are no polution controls to keep you from doing it.

      How come the frontier folk are old fashioned in many ways, and obviously have not lived on their planet long enough to build even a good road system, but have lived there long enough to develop totally new cultural forms, like wedding rituals, etc? Meanwhile, they are still tolerating Jews and Muslims, and apparently Christians?

      New cultural forms happen every day, 20-30 years ago reading your own wedding vows or having a wedding dress any color other than white was unheard of, on an isolated planet with various communities, farms and extended families settled by who knows what religious/social groups I imagine new cultural views pop up a lot.

      The range of racial/religious tolerance is unusual for the setting but if you consider the Earth that resulted in the flight to colonize other worlds would have been highly overpopulated then people would have gotten used to dealing with other cultures publicly, even if they have different views privately. Perhaps the cost of colony ships had to be split amongst various groups who then learned to treat each other with a bit of respect during the hard task of terraforming a new world. Or maybe people just grew up a little bit. Who knows, but it doesn’t bother me, in fact it’s a nice thing to look forward to.

      • xah says:

        Re: QUESTION: Why Doesn’t Somalia Have A Thriving International Air Hub?
        Look, you like the show at a gut level. The fact that it makes no damn sense at all doesn’t bother you. That’s not bad, it’s just your aesthetic judgement and not mine.

        • Daemonik says:

          Re: QUESTION: Why Doesn’t Somalia Have A Thriving International Air Hub?

          Look, you like the show at a gut level. The fact that it makes no damn sense at all doesn’t bother you. That’s not bad, it’s just your aesthetic judgement and not mine.

          Yeah, I do like the show.

          • rickyjames says:

            Now I Get It…

            Yeah, I do like the show.

            So THIS is what “the long and short of it” means…

      • TechnoGirl says:

        Re: QUESTION: Starships and Six Shooters
        <em>
        Same goes with the wood heating, maybe they have some high-tech source of heating and burn wood because they can and they like it, much like putting a wood burning fireplace in a modern home today. It’s romantic or rustic or a delicious sin on a world where there are no polution controls to keep you from doing it.
        </em>

        You bring up some interesting points to be sure but the more I think about it the more I can’t get over what I feel are the scientific and cultural inconsistancies. Why would 23rd century settler/outcasts be content to adopt the tech oan culture of the American Old West? I just can’t get past that it seems.

        Another thing that I keep thinking about it this. You know how much energy it takes to travel between star systems in a reasonable amount of time?

        A Whole Lot. It’s something on the order of several years of energy output from our entire planet right now.

        Doesn’t matter if you go sublight, make wormholes, warp space…whatever….no matter how you get from point A to point B among the stars it takes a whopping amount of energy.

        But energy alone isn’t enough…you have to package that energy into a small enough space …like a Starship. Our civilization produces the energy right now to travel to a StarSystem…thing is that we produce it over a planetary scale…can’t move the whole friggin Earth…you have to have a technology that produces the required amount of energy in a small space that can reasonably be moved…like a starship.

        It’s the energy density that a civilazation is able to produce that determines how advanced it’s technology is – not the quantity of energy it necessarily produces.

        Example…which civilization is more advanced:
        A. One that can produce 100 Megawatts of energy with a nuclear reactor the size of few city blocks? or…

        B. One that cam produce 100 Kilowats of energy…in something the size of a hearing aid battery?

        That’s right, B has the more advanced technology. So….my point (finally!) is that any civilization that has advanced to the point of star travel will of necessity have a technology where even the old worn out tech will be a quantum leap over what we have right now….let alone a 19th century western frontier culture.

        SO I just can’t believe even the outcasts and renegades of that a star traveling civilization won’t have things like portable megawatt generators, central heating and supercomputers the size of a watch that last practically forever. Or whatever gizmos the third world of two centuries from now has…but a 19th century technology???

        No Friggin’ Way.

        • rickyjames says:

          Re: QUESTION: Starships and Six Shooters

          No Friggin’ Way.

          TG, you just gotta keep saying the words allegory and metaphor over and over til they start to sound funny…

          BTW, I agree totally about your comments about energy density and technology level and in fact ran across an interesting comment on just that subject recently. It’s often been said that the human brain is the most complex thing known in the universe. The author of this article pointed out that microprocessors now have greater physical switching complexity per volume and higher energy-per-volume utilization than the human brain, and so now Intel Inside is rightfully the most complex thing known in the universe. Terminators can’t be far behind…

        • Alexius says:

          Re: QUESTION: Starships and Six Shooters

          No Friggin’ Way.

          So Quit Watching.

          If you ask Me, It Makes Perfect Sense. The PEople Look Like Settlers. They Are! They Were Dropped Off On The Newly Terraformed Planet, And Left To Live For Themselves. They have To Build Their Own Stuff, Forge their Tools, Etc. Consequently They Look Like A Society That Forges Their Own Tools…

        • Daemonik says:

          Re: QUESTION: Starships and Six Shooters

          SO I just can’t believe even the outcasts and renegades of that a star traveling civilization won’t have things like portable megawatt generators, central heating and supercomputers the size of a watch that last practically forever. Or whatever gizmos the third world of two centuries from now has…but a 19th century technology???

          No Friggin’ Way.

          I can keep coming up with reasons to defend the show all day but it boils down to if you like it or not. I like the show, it’s inconsistencies don’t bother me much right now because even if they don’t work with what I perceive to be what ought to be, it works within it’s framework, which is more than some shows can say.

          There are limits to what a show can present to us and still be entertaining. For all we know in 500 years humans will have their consciences embedded into CPU’s, stuffed into robots and then blast off into the stars on fusion rockets, never having cracked FTL travel. It’s interesting to ponder on but doesn’t really make for exciting television.

          Firefly has no canon yet that chains it down, no established histories other than the dispursion through the stars, the Alliance war and no aliens, so there’s still a lot of room to explain why things are the way they are without painting themselves into any corners, unlike Star Trek which breaks canon about every other episode.

          I’m still willing to suspend some disbelief and enjoy this ride while it lasts.

          • TechnoGirl says:

            Re: QUESTION: Starships and Six Shooters

            I can keep coming up with reasons to defend the show all day but it boils down to if you like it or not. I like the show, it’s inconsistencies don’t bother me much right now because even if they don’t work with what I perceive to be what ought to be, it works within it’s framework, which is more than some shows can say.

            I hear you…but for me really, really sloppy science is an dealbreaker when I read or watch scifi. I have a hard time suspending disbelief when I have to do a mental WTF! every so often during a show (see my Andromeda opener comments) regardless of whether I like the characters of not.

            I think you can get away with sloppy science or even no science when you present a really interesting spectacle – such as Lucas did in Star Wars. The overall mileau of the piece was enough to dray you in and go "Wow!" and not worry too much about anything else. But the Wild West just doesn’t make me go "Wow!". I like a good western now and again but if I wanted to watch one I wouldn’t be looking for a scifi piece.

            Not that the cross cultural thing can’t be done…if it’s done correctly. There was this great scifi novel of the classic era where some space invaders land near some Vikings. The vikings beat the crap out of them and, while exploring the ship accidently set it off into space! Over a period of generations the Vikings learn the workings the ship and eventually build a space faring civilization based on Viking ethics. Cool read!

            But metaphor or allegory be damned….to me it’s a bleeding Western with space ships and I find myself (so far) going WTF?! too many times to suspend my disbelief and just get into it. I may be wrong but I have great doubts whether "Cowboys in Space" is going to cut it.

            • dimes says:

              Re: QUESTION: Starships and Six Shooters
              Its simple, and its easy….so pay attention….Renewable and Maintainable Resources. Thats it…that covers it, that explains it. Sure, teh ruling body creates space stations to import and export resources from the planets….even ships people there so they have workers….but dont think they are getting paid a lot….people are running arrouond with revolvers and corase cotton clothing because they are very very renewable and workable resources. On some back water planet how are you gonna get a part for your broken Super-Blasto Laser Gun 3000? Or even afford it….since you get paid in 3rd world monitary sums? But if you had a revolver…you would a) have a decent effective weapon that, b) you could repair or replace with relatively simple machine tools that are bound to be available since you are on a planet that does “mining/farming/etc”. Need bullets….lead, or lead like materials are likely to be abundant…and easily workable…need gun powder? carbon, sulfer, and potasium are more believably available than a “super crystal X substance” for your Super-Blasto Laser Gun 3000. Ever just try to make something like Nylon, that we take for granted? You can’t easily…not to mention process it to something that you can make cloth out of….but organic materials again are likely to be very abundant. So, in so far as the whole thing is a work of fiction…..what they show as everyday tech seems quite on par.

    • istarigul says:

      Re: QUESTION: Why Doesn’t Somalia Have A Thriving International Air Hub?

      .and I’d like to but I’m having trouble suspending my disbelief over the anachronisms involved. I think the writer has broken his part of agreement….to keep it believable…and I’m having trouble believing that *everyone* in the 23rd century frontier has given up cable!

      No the writer has not broken his agreement, he has merely
      chosen a setting that *you* have such inherent issues with
      that you can’t suspend your disbelief. The whole concept
      is a space western, the author has been consistant with
      that concept. You seem to have a problem with the concept
      the author has chosen and thats ok. We all have premises
      that we can’t get past our own filters. Personally I
      have huge problems with the whole Star Trek – we have
      elminated poverty, competition for money and have
      universal tolerance BS but hey I am a cynic. I think the
      show is true to its premise, for me I turn on the sci-fi
      and western filters and as long as I what I see matches one
      of those concepts I am a happy camper. While I don’t
      make an actual effort to look for reasons for the western
      elements I find that if someone challenges one of them I
      (like others posting here) can come up with some semblance
      of a rational explanation.

      As always Your Milage May Vary…….

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