TV Highlights

Firefly

Syfy - 9pm

Who's in it?

If Avengers Assemble got you interested in all things Joss Whedon, then here's a real treat: his classic sci-fi series Firefly, starring Nathan Fillion as space cowboy Mal Reynolds. Prepare to saddle up for an adventure like no other.

In a nutshell

Between his landmark, genre-warping hit Buffy the Vampire Slayer and his current incarnation as movie land kingpin, Joss Whedon gave us perhaps the oddest sci-fi show of modern times. Behold Firefly, which at first glance looks like just another spaceship saga, but is actually anything but. It takes most of its cues from Spaghetti Westerns rather than Star Trek, following a weary soldier from the losing side of a war as he transports his cargo of smuggled goods and roguish passengers across the cosmos.

It gives us a distinctive vision of the future, where the United States and China have created a kind of interstellar superpower – the dialogue is peppered with space-slang and random bits of Chinese, and its vision of future politics and civilisation is bracingly cynical. It's certainly worlds apart from the perfect, hand-holding, we're-all-in-it-together vision of Star Trek. Plus, it's got lots of people on horses. Told you it wasn't your typical space show.

What's the verdict?

Gritty, rough, no-nonsense and with hearty dollops of Whedon wit, Firefly is a show that definitely deserves a renaissance. So put aside the Buffy boxset and get stuck in.

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07-07-2011