Searching for Serenity

Serenity

Three years ago, a new science fiction show called Firefly was broadcast on US TV. After only 9 episodes had aired the show was cancelled due to poor viewing figures. So far, so unremarkable – this is standard practice in America, and many SF shows have fallen by the wayside (how many of you remember Odyssey 5, Crusade, or Space: Above and Beyond?) But a surprising thing happened in January 2004 when the series was released on DVD – hundreds of thousands of copies were sold, and film studio Universal approached creator Joss Whedon to turn it into a movie. That film, Serenity, is out on Friday here in the UK (it’s already at No. 2 in the American box office charts) and we are going to see it!

There are many good reasons to see the film, even if you are not the rabid Joss Whedon fan that I am. Reviews have been mainly complimentary – especially when it is compared to recent big budget SF movies such as Revenge of the Sith which have great effects but offer little in the way of characterisation, dialogue or plot. Most interesting (well, to an egghead like me anyway) is the film’s social perspective – this is not a glossy future in which gadgets solve all our problems. Whedon clearly believes that the problems we have today will continue, and the worlds of ‘Serenity’ are beset by inequality and injustice, with the rich enjoying the benefits of advanced technology whilst the poor are reduced to living in conditions similar to those on the 19th century American frontier.

Neil and I are therefore organising a trip to see ‘Serenity’ on Friday 7 October so that as many people as possible can come to appreciate this profound social commentary (ahem) – which, of course, we will have to discuss over a drink or two after the film is finished. If sufficient numbers attend, we will be able to obtain discounts on tickets and cinema snacks, so feel free to invite friends. We will be attending the 13.45 showing. Meet at Trefforest station at 13.00, or at the Cineworld Cinema (Mary Ann Street) at 13.30. I will need to know exact numbers by Thursday 12.00, so please let me know as soon as possible if you want to come along. Any questions, or for further details, please drop me a line: nturnbul@glam.ac.uk.



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