Ready to give it up for the weekend? Good, because this weekend, there’s some solid TV advice Lyndi Alexander is giving us.
I’ll preface this with a caveat: I am a Browncoat—a long time fan of this show. But that doesn’t make the recommendation any less true.
If you’ve got a weekend to relax, then I propose you get a pot of your favorite beverage, a blanket, and settle in to watch Firefly.
This former FOX show has only 14 episodes, a constant source of despair to its fans, but it does make it perfect for binging on a weekend. The network did everything it could to make the series fail back in 2002, including putting the show on Friday nights, airing the episodes out of sequence and cancelling it even before all the taped episodes had aired.
Here’s the premise of the show, used as an intro to each episode (in reruns):
After the Earth was used up, we found a new solar system and hundreds of new Earths were terraformed and colonized. The central planets formed the Alliance, and decided all the planets had to join under their rule. There was some disagreement on that point. After the war, many of the Independents who had fought and lost drifted to the edges of the system, far from Alliance control. Out here, people struggle to get by with the most basic technologies. A ship would bring you work. A gun would help you keep it. A captain’s goal was simple: Find a crew. Find a job, Keep flying.
The ship is a Firefly class, the crew ragtag, many-skilled, and with heart, and the captain is Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) in his best role. The rest of the crew have familiar faces to television and movie watchers as well, which makes the perennial hope of fans that the show will rise again a difficulty, as many of its stars are dug in elsewhere now.
For me, the writing is what stands out. The dialogue is snappy, in Joss Whedon’s Buffy-ish style. As the show is set in a multi-social future, Terran cultures have blended in the diaspora, Chinese and English are both spoken and symbols of each culture remain. (You will learn to curse in Chinese.)
The plots of each episode of this half space-opera, half Western are clever and character-revealing. The told-out-of-sequence “Out of Gas” is my favorite, and a lesson I’ve used in writing classes to show how to tuck in all the items your heroes need at the end of a story throughout the narrative.
I’m not the only one to think so, either!
So settle in, grab the remote, and treat yourself to a wonderful show that
When you’ve finished that, maybe you’d like to try my space operas, the Horizon Crossover series.
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All right, then let’s see what this story is about, shall we?
Horizon Shift (Horizon Crossover) (Volume 1) Lyndi Alexander released a few years back in the Space Opera genre.
When Captain Temms Rogers of the Confederation spaceship Doubtful disobeys orders to attack innocent civilians, he and his crew become hunted rebels. In the midst of a desperate space battle, they risk using an experimental alien device that opens a wormhole which hurls them into a new universe.
In Book II of the Horizon Crossover series, Captain Temms Rogers and the crew of the spaceship Doubtful are caught between a powerful interplanetary group called the Agency and mystical beings known as the Ancients in a struggle to discover the secrets of a mysterious derelict space station.
In Book III of the Horizon Crossover Series, The Agency has had enough of Captain Temms Rogers’ urging for democracy in their region of space. Rogers soon realizes the Agency intends to use him and the crew of the Doubtful for their purposes or else. Can he gather the other captains of the sector in rebellion against the Agency and bring down their repressive regime? Or will Rogers lead them into a fight they cannot win?
Acrid smoke choked the six-seater bridge. Rogers wiped blood from his arm, his face, coughing as he tried to open his eyes.
An alarm blared a critical warning, but the constant thrum of the engines was absent. The midsize vessel Doubtful hung, dying, in the black emptiness of the void. He didn’t know where. Not yet.
With muttered expletives, Rogers used the captain’s chair to pull his stocky frame upright, ignoring the scored black cover. Two of the front panels were clearly blown, littering dust and broken chips on the bridge’s gray utilitarian carpet.
Five officers were down, including his exec. Bruised muscles screaming, he groaned through teeth clenched in pain, climbing over debris to check each one. He rolled Ramona over. One lifeless eye stared at the wreck of the bridge. Her torn, burnt flesh told him she was gone.
He turned her over again, the sight too painful to contemplate, and crawled to the others.
The exec was dead. So was the navigator. Windthorp groaned as the captain touched him, and Rogers helped him up, ordered him off to medical.
Rogers knew he couldn’t leave the bridge just yet. As the power shut down, they’d lose gravitational control and life support. Steps had to be taken to keep that from happening.
Without Ramona. A wave of sorrow and loss hit his gut like a fist, stealing his very breath away. He deflected it the best he could and tried to concentrate.
Overhead, the lights faded. Power sputtered out in spits of sparks on control boards. Clamping his emotions down tight, the captain clicked into emergency protocol mode trained into him through twenty years of Confederation service: first,secure the ship; second, secure the crew.
He pulled himself up with a grunt to slap the intercom.
“All decks report!” No answer.
There had been fifty-two souls on deck when they’d left base at Gilada.
Could he have lost them all?
Lyndi Alexander always dreamed of faraway worlds and interesting alien contacts. She lives as a post-modern hippie in Asheville, North Carolina, a single mother of her last child of seven, a daughter on the autism spectrum, finding that every day feels a lot like first contact with a new species.