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Old September 18 2013, 01:34 AM   #736
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Re: Joss Whedon's S.H.I.E.L.D to ABC!

My point has been missed. It's not in dispute that Firefly/Serenity's backstory entails Earth being rendered uninhabitable and abandoned. This is made quite clear in the beginning of Serenity. My point is that I don't think this qualifies as an apocalypse because only the planet was lost, not the human species.

Here are the opening lines of Whedon's pre-production memo "A Brief History of the Universe circa 2507 A. D.," reproduced in Serenity: The Official Visual Companion:

Earth-That-Was couldn't handle the growing population and resource needs of humankind. Amazingly enough, instead of wiping itself out, the human race rose to the challenge of finding a new home for the species. A nearby star was located, home to dozens of planets and hundreds of moons, almost all of which had enough mass and solidity to be templates for new earths. Through giant atmosphere processing plants, terraforming technologies, gravity regulation and the introduction of every known form of Earthlife, each planet became its own little (or in some cases, huge) Earth. Every person willing and able to leave the Earth migrated to the new system.
I would call that the exact opposite of an apocalyptic narrative. It's about humanity averting its own destruction through ingenuity and hard work. Not only is the human race not devastated, but it expands and thrives and spreads not only itself, but every other form of Earthly life across hundreds of worlds, essentially guaranteeing the species' immortality. (A disaster could wipe out one world, but hundreds?) It's not a tale of a few straggling refugees escaping a disaster and starting over; it's a tale of the whole of humanity (or most of it, anyway) getting ahead of disaster, avoiding a Malthusian collapse by spreading out and finding new territories and resources. That right there is an anti-apocalypse.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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