You Can’t Stop The Signal

My roommates drove to Boston last night to see a preview screening of Serenity, the movie based on Joss Whedon’s TV series Firefly.

Here at The Undercurrent HQ, we guard our Firefly DVDs with an unholy zeal. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a plotty, heroic, and fairly dramatic space-western that ran 12 episodes before it was cancelled. Word of mouth gave the DVDs huge sales, so huge that Joss was greenlit for a movie based on the series.

Though movie won’t be released until the end of September, there were 10 preview screenings last night across the States. I wasn’t at the movie, so this is a second-hand account. But my roommate is possibly the only person more hyper-critical of films than I am. He had this to say: “The bad news is that there is sound in space. The good news is everything else.” Long story short, he thinks it’s perfect: epic; a tight, action-driven, dramatic plot; an extremely cogent theme; material to satisfy both Firefly virgins and fans.

Of philosophical interest is the influence of Objectivism on the series. This isn’t a joke or even really speculation on my part. Tim Minear, the other major writer for Firefly besides Joss, has repeatedly cited Ayn Rand as his favorite author. This is most apparent in the thematically ambitious (and in my opinion largely botched) episode “The Message.” But it crops up elsewhere in the series, too, in less botched ways–and, though I’m reserving judgment until I can see it and verify it, I’m told the theme of Serenity is almost indubitably influenced by Objectivism, directly or indirectly.

Objectivist influence aside, the show is fantastic. The movie promises to be even better. You can watch the Serenity trailer if you want, but it’s not very good. So just do what we do, and watch the Firefly DVDs. Again.

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