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December 22 2003

Wanted: "Dead Or Alive" Transcript for the Firefly episode that never was. Story by Cheryl Cain.

This is new to me, but it's been around for awhile. I couldn't find a previous thread about this in Whedonesque and would like to hear others' input on it. Real or urban legend? Is it a good thing or a bad thing this never got made? Are there other scripts like this out there? Some reports indicate there could be as many as six scripts that were shown to FOX just before cancellation, but they didn't all make it to the Internet like this one appears to have done.

Would like to hear others' takes on this script, which was allegedly going to be produced some time in the first season of Firefly, but didn't make it before the series got cancelled. Some say it was the very next one on the pipeline after "The Message" but it has the same number as "Jaynestown" listed on it, so maybe it was considered and then sent back for rewrites and might never have been used anyway. This is not a "lost episode" because it never made it to production. We can choose to imagine this script describes events that happened soon after the last episode of Firefly, for continuity's sake. There are some bits of strangeness in it. Like a hint at a possible restructure in the romantic triangles. Inara and Simon seem to gel a bit. Jayne shows an unrequited interest in Kaylee. Wash & Zoe appear a bit on the skids, and Captain Malcolm has multi-layered tension with a female Alliance officer. Oh, and there's a turtle with a broken neck and the purple elephants are flying. And things go boom. Worth a read. Remember to come back here and give your two cents.

I really liked it. I'm not sure if it's apocryphal or genuine, but it certainly seemed to capture the voice of the characters and the spirit of the show.

I'm not really clear that the Jayne & Kaylee business hinted at any romantic interest, but in any case it wasn't anything new. One of the most poignant moments in the series as it exists is the scene of Jayne crouching quietly outside the medlab after Kaylee was shot in "Serenity". There's definitely some connection there, just not sure it's necessarily romantic.

The tension with Wash & Zoe could either be taken as evidence of the scripts authenticity or it could hint that this is just fanfic. On the one hand that tension was well established on the series to date, particularly as it relates to Zoe's past with Mal. On the other hand that tension was more-or-less dealt with in "War Stories" and it seems odd that it would come up this overtly again.

My favorite bit in the whole thing was the development with Simon at the end, and the dynamic that it seems to create between him and Book. It would have been interesting to watch that play out.

Damn FOX! Bite my crank!
Weren't some aspects of this episode incorporated into other episodes?
Yes, Simon, it's called plot.
Actually Christopher I can see where Simon is coming from. Upon closer scrutiny of this script, I can see it as perhaps a precursor to "The Message." The fair scene near the beginning. The introduction of a character who is an ex-browncoat and who has a past with Mal & Zoe. The introduction of characters who claim to be federation police but as we get to know them better we question their motives and loyalties. It's possible that "Dead Or Alive" was submitted to Whedon and the gang about the same time as the script which became "Jaynestown" and that Jaynestown made it into the production rotation largely unchanged from it's original draft, but that Dead Or Alive was sent back to the author with notes from Joss, and eventually evolved into the last episode. So it's more probable that what we're seeing here is an early draft that became The Message, rather than the next episode that was going to get filmed but now we'll never see. Would be nice to find out what was next down the pipe, but we may forever be in the dark there.

Still. It was a good read. I especially enjoyed seeing Inara rise to the occasion of medic. And River's storytelling ability was intriguing. Be it the real mccoy or just wishful fanfic, I enjoyed it.
I saw this script before, and I think the actual story with it was that this was planned to be an early episode, but Joss and crew decided not to film it.

Still, it incorporated elements of ongoing plotlines and other fun stuff. That's why some things seem familiar--they were actually used later on.
Isn't it missing indicated Chinese outburst when they are surprised or upset?
(I know they are translated later but the indications are not there?)

I so miss River! LoL, reminds me of Delirium (Endless from Sandman)
RIVER: Purple elephants are flying.
MAL: Good. Thanks for the update.
I think the phrases that were meant to be in Chinese were the ones in between the little < > marks.

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