Although Serenity and its crew originate on Earth, most of the episodes occur in other parts of the galaxy. The ships in Firefly are unable to fly at light speed, so all of the planets and even more numerous moons are within one star system (“Firefly (TV Series)”). Most of the planets and moons have been terreformed to resemble Earth, but the terreforming system is imperfect. In response, many of the outer settlements are dry and desert like, which enhances the Western feel (“Firefly (TV Series)”). As characteristic of a space opera rather than a hard science fiction story, no explanation of how terreforming works is provided. When the crew is not on a settlement, they are in space, which is dark, vast, and silent. In the words of DVD critic Kelly Parks, Firefly is the only science fiction television show “to get the simplest and most obvious detail of space travel right: there is no sound in space!” (Parks)

Most of the television show is filmed on board the ship “Serenity”, where the dilapidated “Firefly”-model transport ship is divided into six major sections. A high-ceiling cargo area dominates the bulk of the ship. The large opening hatch closes on this rectangular, steel open area surrounded by a second story metal mesh walkway. At the back of the cargo area, a door leads to the living quarters of the crew. Each member has his or her own sunken room, except for Zoë and Wash, who share. These rooms have a ladder leading down into the square, bare openings and each room is personally decorated by its owner. For example, Keeley has bright cloth and lights stretched across her bed while Jayne has a gun rack hanging above his sleeping area. There is also a medical area, where a raised operating table is used for sick patients and operations. The dining area is warm, comfortable, and has a large wooden table which seems more in place with a Western than a space opera. Finally, there is also an engine room and a bridge for flight and communication (“ ‘Firefly Transport’”).






General Plot Summary



Thematic Content

Structure and Significance

Critics and Links




Last Modified 24 April 2006

Created by Julie Rooney
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