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Sci-fi Conventions

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How does Joss Whedon make 'Firefly' into more than just a sci-fi show? Joss Whedon, in directing and producing 'Firefly', has managed to create an action-packed sci-fi television show with a much deeper meaning hidden inside. In a traditional Sci-fi adventure, you would expect the show to be plot-driven, with an epic storyline and all the focus on what happens on the journey, such as in 'Star Trek', where most of the characters are there simply to move the story along; the focus of the show is what adventures the crew have. But 'Firefly' is very character-based, telling the stories of all the crew of Serenity and their personal struggles. In a sci-fi story set in the far future, you would expect technology and high tech weapons. However, Joss Whedon does not use these traditional conceptions in 'Firefly', he tries to incorporate as much of the present in as possible. There are western bars, horses with saddles, street markets and alcohol. These are not expected in the future, and this makes the audience pay attention to detail where they would usually not be. ...read more.


At the ball again, where you would expect some form of futuristic dance music, there are simple ballroom classics with the guests dancing in 19th Century styles. Again, this contrast of old verses new emphasises the fact that the future may not be as we perceive it. In our society, professions such as courtesans and prostitutes are looked down upon, and they are seen as of the lowest class. But in 'Firefly' the character 'Inara Serrais', played by Morena Baccarin, is seen as high class and is socially accepted anywhere. Her profession is as a prostitute, and this is a big difference from our culture. Whedon has forcefully changed out stereotypes to show us how different the future may be. Again mentioning stereotypes, the engineer on the ship Serenity is a woman. We would think sub-consciously that any job such as pilot, engineer or captain would be played by a man. This may be seen as sexist but that is how we naturally think. ...read more.


Mal's life before Serenity was miserable and bleak. He turned to crime, in the hope of some refuge. His name, in Latin and French, means 'bad', and he is bad in this way, but good now he has found a crew and a ship. The name Serenity is also deliberately chosen because it also means peace, peace in the quiet and darkness of space. The class of ship, Firefly, is significant to Mal. As a real firefly is a tiny light in the night, maybe it is called so because the ship is the only light in the darkness of his life. All of these methods of bringing across points in 'Firefly' make it a great show on many levels. By his manipulation of our conscious thought and by using deeper meanings than those that come immediately to our eyes are signs that he is an extremely clever director and producer, and by studying the techniques he has used we are able to see this very clearly indeed. ?? ?? ?? ?? Alex Salter 10B Miss Mangan is a lesbian 13/11/2008 1 ...read more.

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