There were, as expected, a few goofs in my Comic Con article yesterday. Fortunately, I’ll be able to rectify one of them today. You see, there was one other “Winner” at the Convention…
Universal – For some reason, I doubted the intensity of FIREFLY’s fan following even as the studio did the unlikely and greenlit a feature film based on a show cancelled after one season (as we all know, it took STAR TREK ten years to wrangle that honor). Stupidly, I remained unconvinced as Joss Whedon was introduced to the second biggest ovation of the Con. Stubbornly, I chalked up the wild cheering throughout the SERENITY trailer to the fans still being jazzed over sitting in the same room as the beloved creator of BUFFY.
Then, Whedon announced that he had nine more “things” to show the fans.
I was certain that I wouldn’t see a more Beatles-esque reception than that accorded David Wenham and Billy Boyd during the New Line presentation. I couldn’t have been more wrong had I walked the Convention floor dressed as Garth Ancier. As the crew of the Serenity strode out onto the stage, the faithful gathered in Ballroom Twenty knocked the decibel level up several deafening notches. This was *the* entrance of the Convention. Nearly the entire room leapt to its feet (I qualify that only because I remained seated to take notes). As the cheering continued unabated, I glanced back to see a female fan with tears streaming down her face. This kind of frenzied affection can’t be faked. And if such genuine enthusiasm can be communicated to a currently oblivious general public between now and April 22nd, 2005, this initial cinematic voyage of SERENITY might just spawn a sequel or two (one of the actors dropped a “trilogy” hint).
Judging from the exclusive Convention teaser cut together by Universal, I must confess to still not understanding what elevates this show above the visually similar likes of BABYLON 5 or FARSCAPE. I tried watching FIREFLY during its single-season run, and while I appreciated the idea of reviving the televised western genre in outer space, the show’s charms eluded me. (Note to those ready to tear me a new one in talk back: I’ve rededicated myself to finally watching the complete series on DVD.)
Personal misgivings aside, the thought of Joss Whedon being able to train most of his energies on a single film is encouraging. Though fans would love for him to have several shows running concurrently, quality control is key, and we’ve not yet seen what the guy can do unburdened by the rigors of keeping numerous shows up to his above-average standards. Judging from his pained reaction to every BUFFY or ANGEL question lobbed his way from the Whedon-centric crowd, it’s pretty obvious that the continuing adventures of the FIREFLY universe is what really turns him on.
It’s a shame that Hercules the Strong wasn’t present at the Con, as there would’ve been no one more equipped to explain in complete, excruciating detail why the footage shown to us blasted the roof off the ballroom (there are descriptions of the footage floating all over the net, and if you’re a FIREFLY devotee, I’m sure you’ve hunted one or two down by now). There were also all sorts of little keywords that bore a significance that largely eluded me (e.g., the mere mention that “Reavers” will be turning up in SERENITY, and potentially *seen*, particularly set the crowd off like April Wine taking a county fair stage.) You were missed, Herc.
Still, this neophyte is sold. I’ll be giving the complete run of FIREFLY another spin in anticipation of SERENITY based solely on this impressive presentation. Thanks to talk backer The Prankster for reminding me how brilliantly this went over.