Firefly – PDR’s Final Thoughts

Okay, I watched the show and it was a good show. I can admit that. But the fact I remembered as much of it as I did meant that this was less of an interesting rewatch than the others I’ve done. Next time I’ll have to think of something I don’t remember as well. I could see delving into Lexx, but if my memory serves that one ran for several years. Maybe there’s some sci-fi cartoon that would fit the bill. Anyway, that’s for later.

The biggest appeal of Firefly is probably the setting. They’ve managed to create possibly the ideal Space Western setup. Obviously I, PDR, would prefer there be aliens, but I fully admit that aliens would have been an unnecessary complication here. I also just really love that the show gave us actual episodic plots. Sure, it had an ongoing story that advanced as it went one, but every episode gave us something complete. I’m glad to report that I think television is getting back onto that idea, but after a long time where that wasn’t a given, this show really did it well.

I still don’t like Mal. But I don’t think I’d still compare him to Venkman the way I did at the start. I never considered Venkman controlling. For all Mal talks about the importance of freedom and not having to answer to anyone, if anyone questions his orders he responds only with insults, threats, and violence. The guy doesn’t hate those in power, he just wants to be the one in power and the fact that he seems okay with limiting his power to a smaller space is the only thing keeping him from being a monster. Sure he has good qualities too, even if his bad qualities tend to surface more quickly. But he’s not a Venkman. You know how some shows that over-rely on drama will occasionally introduce some new character just to complicate things? That’s who Mal is. He’s his own one of those, inside his own body. He just has to whine any time things don’t go his way, just so we get to watch the hurt feelings of those around him.

But how do I answer the question I posed at the beginning. Would the show have been driven into the ground if it had kept going? I can’t know. I don’t have access to the alternate timeline where that happened. I still can’t help but think things would’ve gone sour, but it’s entirely a hunch. I have no proof. Still, in the unlikely event they ever make a sequel movie, I’d check it out.


I’m gonna do it again! I’m gonna watch a science fiction show I dimly remember from my youth again! Only actually, this time it isn’t as dimly remembered and I was slightly less of a youth.

I was over twenty when I watched Firefly, still a child by the standards I hold now, but technically an adult. And by the time I was twenty, I was more discerning about the television I watched, which is why I absolutely never watched Firefly while it was on television. But I heard good things and I got around to it when it was on DVD. I remember liking it! But I also remember thinking it’s one of those things where if it hadn’t been cancelled early, the Internet maybe wouldn’t have been as in love with it as it was. I can’t know if that’s true, but it was the opinion I held. Now, decades later, I don’t even know if the show is held in the esteem it once was. I think people still like it fine, but I’m out of touch, so what do I know? But here’s the thing: I wanted to do another PDR Sci-Fi Watching but also I don’t want to commit to a big project while I’m falling behind on other projects, so a show that got cancelled after a dozen episodes or whatever sounds like it’ll go down smooth.

So what do I remember about the show? Well, unlike Earth-2 or Space: Above and Beyond, which had fled my teenage mind after their cancellations, I can even now remember whole characters, names and all. If I tried, I could probably come up with a general description of five or six episodes even. I even know that the show doesn’t have any aliens for poor little alien-starved me. So this one will not be a font of surprises, but it should be easy, and that’s probably more important.

Space: Above And Beyond – PDR’s Final Thoughts

I liked Earth 2 more, I’ll say that. It makes sense to me that as I watched through Earth 2, I could tell I had stuck with it all the way to the end as a teenager. With this show, I don’t think Teen PDR stuck with it. That may be because I lost interest, or it may have just aired when something else I watched was on, I have no way of knowing, but nothing in the latter half of the show rang a bell as anything I had seen when I was young. Who knows, maybe I watched it all and it just washed out of my brain.

I’m not saying I think Space: Above And Beyond was a bad show. It’s more militaristic than I prefer, sure, but within that framework I was impressed with the wide variety of different military stories they managed to tell. I may not have ever really cared about West or Vansen, but I liked Wang and Damphousse, and the whole thing with the In-Vitros was quite interesting to me. This show was perfectly adequate sci-fi television, especially for the era in which it existed.

I know they had hoped to make more of the show, so I can’t harp on them for not finishing up everything in a nice package. I’d’ve been interested to see if Damphousse’s supposed psychic powers (or the fact that such things exist in the setting at all). But what I mentioned as I went, and what I really want to know, is how religious the show would have gotten. We never got any answer to what the deal was with the comet that did the Christmas miracle in that one episode. Was it really meant to be the same comet that led the Wise Men to the manger? Was it connected to the comet that hit Earth and spread organic compounds to the Chig homeworld? With all the life forms on the show originating from Earth, is that planet some sort of God-created centre of the universe, or are they going for more of a Red Dwarf thing. I’ll never know, but somewhere out there exists a universe where this show was brought back after the September 11th attacks to serve a world hungry for militaristic might and religious right and I want to be able to watch that show. I bet that version of the show would have lasted as long as the War on Terror!


I’m gonna do it again! I’m gonna watch a science fiction show I dimly remember from my youth again!

Last time, I did Earth 2, a show I remembered fondly. This time, I’m doing a show I definitely watched, but I don’t remember as well. Space: Above and Beyond. It aired around the same era as Earth 2, and the basic premise was that aliens were coming and space fighter pilots had to fight them off. I feel like it was a more militaristic sci-fi than is usually my scene, but it was still science fiction on television while I was a teenager, so I had to watch it.

Oddly, the one solid thing I remember is that the aliens were somewhat insectoid, so when the humans came up with the derogatory term for them, they went with “Chiggers”. Yes, that’s right, much like how Earth 2 had humans use “Diggers” to refer to some of that show’s aliens, this one also chooses to dance around the N-Word to make a point. Anyway, I’m hoping that the aliens on Space: Above and Beyond at least look cool. Anyway, let’s fine out.

Earth 2 – PDR’s Final Thoughts

Well, I’ve reached the end of my watch-through of Earth 2 and I’ve got to say the show holds up pretty well.

It’s a shame the show ends on a cliffhanger, though obviously that is the risk of watching any short-lived sci-fi show. As I said in the post about the last episode, I don’t fear for Devon and her mystery illness. I have to assume the next season would have opened with Devon coming out of suspended animation and having to be caught up on whatever changes had occurred. No, the real unfinished business for the show is that the Eden Project group never made it to New Pacifica. Even if we’d never seen the other colonists arrive, getting the cast there would have felt like a victory for them.

What would I have expected to see in season 2? Well, for one thing I bet they would have been able to build another puppet, so we’d have had at least one more type of lifeform on G889. Then they would have continued the arcs for the characters: Yale would learn more about his life. Julia and Alonso would probably have had relationship turmoil. The kids would have each had at least two episodes focusing on them. Morgan and Bess, I figure, would have become even more useful to the group which would set up a situation where more colonists arrive, let’s say in season three, and Morgan is tempted back into the political high society lifestyle. It’s a shame the last episode was kind of a dud, because toward the end the show was really finding its legs. Sci-fi shows seem to either get better as they go, or drop hard, and I feel like this show would have only gotten better (unless the pseudo-mystical stuff got too out there for its own good).

I admit, in this age of shows returning after decades, it would be amusing to imagine that Earth 2 could come back. There would never be an audience for such a show, and so much time has passed for the characters that the show would have to be entirely different. For the story to pick up decades later, we’d have to lose the wagon train aspect and delve into the plot with bureaucratic human regime oppressing the Terrians that was first glimpsed in the time-travel episode. Some of the cast could return (though, obviously not the ones whose actors have died since the show), but with the planet now colonized, you could easily introduce many new humans to drive the plot. I have to admit, I’d check it out.

Anyway, to end this all I can only think of one way: Stray thoughts: 1) I never found a good place to talk about it, but I liked the little headsets that they used for communications and VR and some other purposes. They were just colloquially called “gear” which I liked as a worldbuilding conceit, in the way we call out multi-purpose devices “phones” even though that is a minor part of their function. 2) I was going to keep track of how often True screamed in the series, but I don’t think it happened once more after I last mentioned it back when she reached six times. If only I had been prepared when I began, I could have counted the Eagle Screeches and that would have resulted in an amusingly large number. I do wonder if they got mockery from the audience about True screaming so much early on, so they stopped. It also didn’t help that True never got as big a role as she had in that Gaal arc. 3) I hope that someone got to take home a Grendler face puppet.