The Unmade Episodes

UPDATED: Sunday, June 12, 2022 14:39
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Sunday, June 12, 2022 2:39 PM


I've heard of some of these, but had not seen this article before.

Dead Or Alive. I had heard of.

This article is almost 2 years old:

Firefly: Every Unmade Episode (& What They Would've Been About)
Firefly was canceled before its fourteen completed episodes had even aired. What would've happened had the series not been axed so quickly?


Serenity's Crew in Firefly
There are several unmade Firefly episodes that have been revealed in the years since the show’s untimely end. Joss Whedon’s sci-fi/western mashup premiered on Fox in 2002, but Firefly was unceremoniously canceled mere months later, after airing only 11 of its 14 completed episodes. The series centered on the misadventures of a motley crew of smugglers aboard the spaceship Serenity. Those who actually tuned in were smitten by the show’s unique premise, its snappy dialogue, and a pitch-perfect cast of unforgettable characters. Unfortunately, not enough people were watching.

Though its time on TV was brief, Firefly gained new life thanks to high DVD sales and a passionate fanbase, leading to its revival as the 2005 feature film, Serenity. By this point, the series has achieved cult status, with Browncoats everywhere still hoping for more content almost twenty years after its cancellation. Interestingly, Fox actually seems open to a Firefly revival, though the possibility seems less likely with each passing year. The show has also continued on in novels, as well as comic books.


Firefly: What Happened To Mal After Serenity (In Canon)

As with any beloved series axed in its prime, Firefly fans will always wonder what could’ve been. The cast and crew have let certain plot points slip over the years, like the fact that Inara was suffering from a terminal illness, something barely hinted at in the footage that aired. Whedon has previously stated he wouldn't have killed off Shepherd Book or Wash if the show had continued, as he chose to do in Serenity. Sean Maher (Simon) and Alan Tudyk (Wash) both thought their characters’ partners (Kaylee and Zoë, respectively) were destined to have children, and that Jayne would’ve gotten stuck on babysitting duties. Ideas for several unproduced episodes have also been divulged in the time since the series ended.

Dead Or Alive
Firefly Mal Jayne and Zoe
Originally intended to be episode 15, “Dead or Alive” is the only scrapped Firefly installment with a title and available script. While the episode was never made, fans will recognize certain elements that were instead incorporated into episode 12, “The Message.” An Alliance factory on Verbena was bombed while Serenity’s crew were attending a fair in the area. Mal wanted to leave, but Simon, of course, chose to help the wounded, of which there were many. The suspected bomber turned out to be Declan Everton, a private Mal and Zoë had once served with. Head of Verbena security, Lieutenant Quillan, and some bounty hunters boarded Serenity to search for the presumed guilty party, but his former comrades hoped to find him first.

Despite their attempts to lead her astray, Quillan followed Mal and Zoë straight to Everton, who was then taken captive. When Everton later attempted escape, Mal was forced to confront a man whose ideology he helped to shape, though he now stood diametrically opposed to those viewpoints. Meanwhile, Simon struggled to save the life of Alliance Commander Tanaka, even as the man grew ever suspicious of his true identity. When Tanaka died, there were serious doubts in Simon’s mind that he did everything he could to save the commander. In the end, Mal defeated Everton and turned him in. Although the Serenity crew collected the bounty as a result, the incident didn’t sit right with the Captain, who couldn't help but feel he'd betrayed a vital part of himself.

Dog Fighting Ring
Alan Tudyk as Wash Nathan Fillion as Mal and Gina Torres as Zoe in Firefly
According to Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk pitched more ideas for Firefly than any other cast member. In the reunion special, Firefly 10th Anniversary: Browncoats Unite, Tudyk revealed a pitch for an episode in which Team Serenity had to capture and transport large, feral dogs in order to sell them to a dogfighting ring on a dark moon. Fillion also mentioned Tudyk's idea when speaking to EW, saying “We had this dog pheromone of some kind, and Jayne was messing around, and splat, the thing bursts and we're all covered in this pheromone,” which caused the dogs to chase them. Both versions of the story ended the same, with River taming the dogs by communing with them, thereby making the canines no longer fit to sell and safe from a bleak future in dogfighting. Who wouldn't want to see this episode made?

Why Joss Whedon Hasn't Made Firefly Season 2 Or A Serenity Sequel

Captain Jayne
Firefly Jayne wearing His Signature Hat
The reunion special saw several other pitches for Firefly episodes mentioned by cast members, with Adam Baldwin discussing what Jayne’s future could’ve held. It's unclear whether this was an idea for a multi-episode arc or a single installment, but Baldwin had apparently brought up the idea that Jayne would leave Serenity and become captain of his own ship, in direct competition with Serenity's Captain, Mal. Of course, he would fail rather spectacularly in this effort and eventually return to his former captain, somewhat humbled by the experience. Obviously, Mal would allow him to come home, though it's unlikely he'd do so without giving Jayne a hard time. This would've been an interesting way to further explore the complex dynamic between these two men.

Mal’s Difficult Decision

Fillion also recounted an idea for a Firefly episode that came from Whedon in which Serenity would arrive on a wintry planet full of kind people, who eventually attempted to steal the ship. It turned out their planet was dying and they needed a way off-world. Sadly, the planet was too far out and unless Serenity ran into another ship on the journey, the crew and their guests would either starve or run out of air. Mal suggested they sleep on it and decide in the morning. However, the Captain then locked himself in the bridge and took off while everyone slept.

The crew was understandably hurt and angry, frustrated they weren’t given the opportunity to vote on the decision. Mal may have taken the choice out of their hands, but Serenity didn’t see any other ships on the way back. Had they decided to save the planet’s inhabitants, everyone on board would’ve died. Mal made the choice himself so the deaths of those left behind would be on his conscience alone. Now that sounds like it would’ve been a great episode!

Inara’s Tragic Story
Firefly Morena Baccarin as Inara
Of all the Firefly episode ideas mentioned in the reunion special, this is the one most viewers would be glad was never made. Revealed by executive producer Tim Minear, this was apparently the first story Whedon pitched in order to convince him to write for Firefly — the two had previously worked together on Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off, Angel. Viewers will remember Inara’s mystery syringe was shown briefly in the show’s pilot, but was never truly explained. It’s actually something of an insurance policy for companions. Inara would inject herself with this drug and in the event she was sexually assaulted, the perpetrator would die a horrific death.

The basic premise of the episode is that Inara would get kidnapped by Reavers and when Mal comes to her rescue, every single one on the ship would be dead. This would imply an unimaginably awful assault had taken place, which sadly, isn’t the only upsetting part of this pitch. The experience of seeing Inara brutalized in this way makes Mal have some type of epiphany and “he gets down on his knee, and he takes her hand. And he treats her like a lady.” Whedon has been accused of using rape as a plot device in his work on more than one occasion, but this episode would've been unforgivable in the eyes of many Firefly fans.






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