Thursday, December 15, 2005
In the month of November, I managed to watch the thirteen episodes of the TV series - "Firefly". The series is about a group of renegades led by Capt. Malcom "Mal" Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) flying a space ship named "Serenity" through the outer bounds of space. Josh Whedon, the creator of the series, imagines a futuristic world ruled by the Sino-Anglo alliance. However, there are certain planetory systems that resist the alliance. The series starts with scenes of the decisive battle between the opponents of the alliance - the Browncoats and the alliance soldiers in the valley named Serenity. As expected, the opponents of the alliance lose and Mal, a mere soldier, loses his faith in fighting for lost causes.

After surviving the battle in Serenity, Mal embarks on a career of what in todays world can be called as a transporter. He buys a second hand ship and refurbishes it. The ship is a "Firefly" without any combat weapons and loads of hidden compartments to hide and carry stuff. Fireflies are known for their speed and ease of maintenance. He hires a crew - Zoe (Gina Torres), his first mate, Wash (Alan Tudyk), the pilot, Kaylee (Jewel Staite), the engineer, Jayne (Adam Baldwin), the muscle man. Zoe had fought along with Mal during their "Browncoat" days. In order to survive and pay his crew, Mal resorts to undertaking all sorts of odd jobs like smuggling, stealing etc.

The interesting aspect of the series starts when a doctor, Simon Tam (Sean Maher) is picked up by Serenity as a passenger. He is carrying with him a secret that will eventually force Mal to start believing in something again and cross swords with the alliance. Inara (Morena Baccarin), a professional companion, also uses the services of Serenity to move around in search of clients. Inara and Mal share a relationship that can be best described as "love-hate".

The most entertaining aspect of the whole series are the dialogues. Mal is a swashbuckling character with a delectable sense of humor. After a brief google search on the web I discovered a huge following for the series. Many people have been really touched by it. One lady in some site described how she loved the series as it reminded her of the spirit of the first generation of Europeans who landed in the uncharted territories of North America.

It is quite incredulous to me that Fox decided to not continue the series after the first 10 or 11 episodes. Mr. Whedon could not find any other channel willing to give the series a fresh breath of life. But he did not lose faith. Eventually, with the support of the fans, he managed to make a movie that provided a conclusion to the mysteries carried by River Tam (Summer Glau), sister of Simon Tam, in her mind. I did not like the movie as much as I enjoyed the thirteen episodes of the series over a period of a month. It had lost a bit of the spirit as movies often tend to because of the constraints of the medium and the time.

Anyways, I loved the concept of the series - "Firefly" and the movie - "Serenity. Its vision of future that is technologically more advanced but people facing the same problems as today's world is quite stimulating. It makes you wonder that even with all that technology at the disposal of human beings, human beings can not get rid of the problems that have plagued humanity since time immemorial. The big question is whether we will ever come up with the right policies that will eventually solve the problems of poverty, corruption, unemployment, illiteracy, violence, and discrimination. I have finally realized that technology is not a solution to some of the problems mentioned in the previous line. It can only be a tool to help us get rid of these problems.
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"Saptarishi" in Sanskrit means the Seven Sages or rishis who are extolled at many places in the Vedas and other Hindu literature. They are regarded in the Vedas as the patriarchs of the Vedic religion. The constellation of Ursa Major is also named as Saptarshi. (Source:

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