Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Vehicle of the Week 4 - Serenity


class transport
Weaponry: None
Affiliation: Independants
Captain: Malcolm Reynolds
Two shuttles located on the wings

Since the series Firefly was cancelled, and the franchise has yet to gain the worldwide domination that it deserves, this ship and it's wonderful crew may have passed you by. It's a magnificent ship, what's great about it is the love the crew have for this cranky, slightly weird looking ship, and as you get to know them you start to fall in love with it too. Created by Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as part of a new TV series that would take a new look at the possibilities for the future. Whedon admits that the ship is inspired by the Millenium Falcon and you can certainly see the Star Wars influence there, Star Wars broke away from the smooth gleaming creations of SF and created ships that looked weird, had angles instead of curves and needed a good kick to get them started, well that is very much Serenity!! But Serenity differs in some ways too, firstly it's large enough to be home to the crew, whereas the Falcon was always a transport no mater how much they loved it. Secondly this ship has no weapons, it's a cargo hauler - the crew have to find their own ways of fighting through situations, which is more often than not!

The 03 Firefly class was produced may years after humanity left Earth that was and spread out into the stars, colonising and terraforming the worlds they came across. The 03 was the latest and last model to come out and featured a great many improvements. The engines were placed further away from the main body, allowing for greater rotation giving better manouverability, it also allowed a shuttle to be placed on each "wing." Fireflies had a number of nooks and hidden storage spaces that made them a prize to smugglers. Many looked upon the Firefly as junk, being a worthless ship made of second rate parts, but those more in the know would recognise a Firefly for it's durability, as long as you looked after it a Firefly would just keep on going, no matter what parts it was made of. Despite the durability, the class fell out of use and there were only 40,000 or so by the time Mal Reynolds bought Serenity

Mal bought Serenity in 2512, shortly after the war with the Alliance, which he lost. Displaced and now an ordinary man he sought a crew to make a living and stay out of the Alliance's reach as long as possible. He persuaded fellow soldier Zoe to join him, they aquired a gifted pilot and mechanic, Wash and Kaylee respectively, persuaded gunman Jayne to join them after a hold-up, earned a degree of respectability by letting "companion" Inarra to hire out one of the shuttle. Mal kept to the fringes, avoiding the civilized planets, doing dangerous, difficult and on the odd occasion legal, work for various contacts, building up a reputation as a good businessman who could get the job done...eventually at least.
Things changed when they took on passengers for extra profit. "Sheperd" Book proved to be a help in the kitchen and a susprisingly good with a gun for a preacher. It was fugitives Simon and River that created the most difficulty as this meant they had to be extra careful in avoiding the Alliance, and their inexperience with the ways of the fringe made them vulnerable, though they did prove themselves valuable members of the crew - Simon's skills as a doctor proving useful after the more risky missions! Things eventually boiled down into a confrontation with the Alliance as River's tormented mind lead them to a deadly secret. The crew created a large space battle between the Alliance and the Reavers, twisted feral men that were in fact a result of Alliance tampering. Serenity flew through and exposed the truth they'd just learnt, shaking the belief of the Alliance's leaders. After that the damage to their ship was replaced, though nothing could replace the loss of Book and Wash, and the Allaince was no longer chasing them, they were free to continue living.

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