Firefly and Western Literature
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Archive for September 2008

Appalosa – a lesson learned.

September 28, 2008

Just seen ‘Appalosa’ the new Ed Harris Western which shows many of the problems with the continuation of a genre. It’s a good film, but struggles to do anything new with the genre. It resorts to the slowing-down process of so many recent westerns – translating ‘realism’ through pace into a presumed intensity. If it’s […]

Hope to See You In Boulder

September 26, 2008

At the upcoming 2008 Western Literature Association Conference in Boulder, we will be participating in a discussion-oriented panel on the western/sci-fi television show Firefly (created by Joss Whedon). Part of the fun of Firefly is the way it explicitly explores the western roots that many sci-fi films and television series share: through the use of western character types, […]

Heart of Gold Battle

September 21, 2008

As we are getting closer to the Western Literature Association conference date, we might start thinking about a clip or clips to use to spark discussion. One possibility would be the climactic battle scene in “Heart of Gold,” which despite sci-fi touches such as a laser pistol is pretty much all-western in terms of genre, […]

Zoe and Lord Bowler

September 13, 2008

Inspired by Neil’s note that Zoe’s gun in Firefly is a descendant of one used in The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., I’ve been looking around to see if I can discover which gun has made its way from Briscoe‘s late-nineteenth-century West to Firefly‘s space frontier. Zoe’s gun is definitely not Brisco’s pearl-handled pistol, but […]

‘Heart of Gold’ – the last hurrah

September 9, 2008

As I understand it, HoG was never aired on TV – appearing only on the DVD. It strikes me it has, as we have commented, many explicit Western traits, more so than any other episode.  I’d like to believe it was closer to the Western Whedon wanted to put out: Wild Bunch in Space. The […]

The Woman Who Shot Liberty Valance

September 7, 2008

In the Firefly episode “Heart of Gold,” bad guy Ranse Burgess attacks Nandi’s brothel in order to capture and claim as his son the child that brothel worker Petaline has just given birth to. As Neil noted in an earlier post, the name “Ranse” is a direct reference to John Ford’s The Man Who Shot […]

The Confederacy and Firefly

September 4, 2008

In making my way back through the Firefly DVD set this time, one of the things that has struck me is the way the series negotiates the real history of America and the American West that provides the template for the fictional history of Firefly‘s universe. One of the unresolved tensions in the series is […]

Firefly and Hybridity

September 1, 2008

From Neil Campbell: ‘This is not a Western Western.  It’s a different Western’: Firefly and Hybridity   It is clear that as a postwestern Whedon wanted to create a vision of cultural mixing – especially out in the ‘Border Planets’ where the Alliance (with its cold, sterile, efficient bureaucracy has not always FULLY realised its […]