Contradictions between Firefly series & Serenity

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Magisterfrodo, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jan 30, 2001
    Make that tripled. :)
  2. Nardpuncher

    Nardpuncher Rear Admiral

    Nov 17, 2003

    Yeah, but don't forget....the show was not based on Westerns at all. That's a myth. ;)
  3. bryce

    bryce Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Mar 22, 2004
    There were some (mostly explainable) inconsistancies as well in the interior sets of the Serenity between the series and film...

    I believe that the sets for the "Serenity" (the ship) had to be re-built/re-created from scratch for the movie - since the TV series sets were long since torn down and trashed and/or recycled piece by piece - and for the most part they did an excellent job in matching the movie set to the TV set in very exacting detail - down to even having the "big red recall button" Wash installed in the cockpit in the episode "Out of Gas" where Serenity was broke and stranded and everyone but Mal abandoned ship in the two shuttles - and it was saved from the original set by that same actor, IIRC, when the sets were about to be torn down, and he gave it to Joss when the show was canceled and told him "It you ever find a way to make a movie...just hit that button, and we'll come back..."

    I also believe I read that they had the original set blueprints for the series, so that would have made an accurate recreation by movie production crew much easier...

    (And ironically, I've also read that, unlike the relativily cheap TV spaceship interior sets, the *movie* Firefly interior sets were built to be semi-perminate...tough enough to be kept standing - or stored and re-assembled easily - to be re-used through the then-expected sequels and/or series revival that unfortunateley never happened...)

    But there where still *some* noticable (to fans like me) differences and inconsistances between the TV series ship interior sets and movie sets...

    The most noticable to me was that the forward-facing wall of the cargo bay - which was just a wall covered with steel grates in the TV series - was now a big wall molded with a round shape matching of the rotating tail engine that sat behind it (in universe)...

    (I'll try an hunt up some comparisan pics later - but if someone else wouldn't mind obliging me, it'd be mighty shiny of you and I'd much appreciate it!)

    I actually prefered the movie set, and I explain it to myself by imagining that the engine-molded wall was *always* there behind those grates, but in-between the series and film the grates were all removed for whatever reason, exposing the wall behind it.

    (Though, if so, then it raises the question of why they were ever needed in the first place if they could just be removed...I mean, if they were kinda unnessary anyway what's the logic behind installing them to cover that wall in the first place if they were not really necessary - why add extra essentially dead weight to the ship...??? But I'm sure someone could come up with some technobabble reason to rationalize maybe they *were* needed as some kind of radiation shield...but the crew needed to sale the metal for extra cash when things got rough so they wouldn't all starve and run out of fule - and the radiation wasn't *too* dangerous as long as you weren't *bunking* 24/7 in the cargo bay...? Or maybe durning less leaner times Mal and Kaylee could have even aforded an engine upgrade that involved the plates not being needed - or involved building a new wall there or somethin'...???*)

    Other set/set-piece changes were much easier to they had a different mule - a real shiny hover-mule that could hold everyone, as opposed to the little 2-person max ATV they had in the series...but that was mostly destroyed in the episode where it was set on fire to serve as a distraction in the sucessful attempt to rescue I assume when they had been able to afford it such an expensive-looking replacement...or maybe even more probable Kaylee and Wash maybe found it in a junkyard and did a refurbishing job on it like that Ambulance in "Ariel"...)

    And I think the "engine" - the interior rotating thingy in Kaylee's engine room - seemed to look a bit bigger and bulkier to me - again, an improvement, IMHO, over the simplistic and (I've always felt) less-believeable TV version...

    Also, Kaylee's hammock and the place it was mounted on were both very different...that I didn't prefer because they old hammok looked MUCh more comfy to me...but that style/color of hammok I reconize as one you could buy online called a "Mayan Hangout"...and they aren't made anymore in that color...

    ( - I've always wanted one but they are a bit pricey for my budget!)

    ETA (I got bumped offline): ...and so maybe the production crew couldn't find a replacement...I just assume that maybe the original got really really burned in one of Serenity's seemingly many engine fires...

    The bridge moniters in the movie were different as the movie they had this sort of horseshoe looking border to them now that they didn't have in the series...(kinda gave them a subtle "Western" touch, if you ask me...I wonder if it was intentional...?)

    And then all the little kitchen table settings and some of the interior furniture in the lounge area was all replaced which different stuff in the film...

    Oh, and Mal's brown coat had this added rubber thingy on one shoulder...I have NO idea WTH it was for...

    *(And speaking of radiation...I was a bit disappointed when it was pointed out to me that the area that Simon, River & Shepard Book bunked in - those little rooms with teh tatami or shiji (or whatever the proper name is) sliding doors and walls...were actually located in the round, rotating, *glowing* tail-engine section that gives a "Firefly" it's name - it just seems like a really *odd* place to put crew quarters! They much have some *damn* good radiation shielding in that section!!! But if *I* was redesigning the ship I would make it a bit longer to add an extra section between the cargo bay/kitchen area and the engine, to accomidate the extra passenger berths...)
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    The main set inconsistency aside from the cargo bay is the dining area. In the original, I believe its floor is raised a couple of steps relative to the corridors, but in the movie it's either level with or below the corridors.

    The other significant inconsistency is the presence of FTL communications. In the series, we never saw anyone having real-time conversations with anyone unless they were orbiting their planet or close to their ship. Any communication over greater distances was handled by mail or recorded messages. The implication was that they were limited to lightspeed communication. But in the movie, there was instantaneous communication from anywhere in the system to anywhere else in the system, even though at lightspeed there would've been time lags of minutes or hours.
  5. archeryguy1701

    archeryguy1701 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 1, 2007
    Cheyenne, WY
    It's been a while since I've sat through the series, but would that be an inconsistancy or have we just never seen it happen? I don't recall it ever being stated, "Hey, we can't do this with our communications system.".
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    ^True, it's not a blatant contradiction, but I think it demonstrates an alteration of creative intent, a change to the subtextual foundations of the 'Verse. One of the primary rules of writing is "Show, don't tell." Firefly didn't tell us that FTL didn't exist, because it did better -- instead of clunky exposition, it demonstrated it through story. All long-range communications were by mail or recorded messages, implicitly demonstrating that FTL didn't exist. Sure, you can justify a retcon by pointing out that they never said it didn't exist, but it's still a retcon, just as much as the change to the story of Simon's rescue of River was. And I find it a hard retcon to swallow because it's hard to believe that if they had such a useful technology as FTL communication, they wouldn't have used it routinely in the show.

    One possible rationalization for the change is that Serenity wasn't equipped with FTL comms until the movie. We know the ship got some upgrades between show and film -- a new hover-Mule, a revamped cargo bay, more video screens and fancy equipment in the cockpit. The novelization of the film says they bought the Mule with proceeds from the sale of the Lassiter pistol; I figure they revamped the ship using the same funds. Perhaps, if they were finally able to afford such upgrades, they were able to afford an FTL radio for the first time. (Although that doesn't explain why the primary buffer panel was still six months overdue for maintenance at the start of the film.) But I consider that an imperfect fix, since we never saw any indication that anyone else had instantaneous communication either.

    Plus, FTL communication is simply less believable than the alternative. I have less trouble with a character retcon, so long as it's reconcilable and the character's revised history or behavior is believable. The FTL retcon may be reconcilable, but it makes things less believable than they were.