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August 10 2006

Firefly: The Official Companion Vol 1 already out in the States. Titan Books dropped a line to say that "We're told that copies have already begun to appear on shelves in the US". The book is a fantastic read: packed with juicy cast and crew interviews, beside the scenes pics , costume sketches and of course the scripts of the first six episodes. Based on what posters are saying, try your local comic book shop for a copy.

I got an advance copy and I'll be happy to take any questions you want to know about the book. It is a very similar layout to the "Serenity: The Official Visual Companion".

I really, really liked the Visual Companion, so I'll definately be getting this. How's the paper quality on the inside? Is it more like the Watcher's Guide or does it feature quality paper like the Visual Companion?

I'm definately getting this.
Quality paper like the Serenity Companion. The Joss interview is in two parts (the second half will be in the second volume).
Where's my copy? Tell me, tell me! Oh right, wrong people.

Does it have much from Timothy in it?
Do I remember hearing that there would be information about unmade scripts or script ideas in these volumes, or is that a figment of my imagination?
There's no major interview like there is for Joss but that are episode specific interviews (especially for Bushwhacked) with Tim scattered through out the book. Adam says some really nice stuff about Tim.

In regards to the unmade scripts, Joss talks briefly about bringing Dobson back. Also the Blue-Gloved men came about as the network execs were very interested in the over-reaching arc despite Joss wanting the episodes to be standalone (because Buffy and Angel had got caught up in their mythos and he couldn't tell what was going on). Originally there were going to be a bunch of Blue-Gloved guys.
Picked mine up yesterday and I love it! Haven't done a cover-to-cover read yet, but from what browsing I've done I'd say my two favorite bits are the sections on Mal's gun and browncoat and the one on Zoe's "mare's leg" gun.
For anybody who's found a copy, where did you find it?
I preordered on Amazon... but I suspect it won't be shipping for another month at least. :-(

So is the intent that *all* the episode scripts are included across both companions? (And will that include the scrapped Dead or Alive?)

Also are the script versions the original scripts or the shooting scripts? (Ie include scenes removed from some of the episodes, like the brilliant Inara scene from War Stories that for whatever reason wasn't in the episode)
Hm, according to Amazon.de it should have been released here since Juli 1st, but still no sign of it :(
despite Joss wanting the episodes to be standalone

OK, so a show creator wanted to do more standalones and the network preferred an arc ? What is this, bizarro world ?

Plus, No fair get first, Bad America, Bad !

Hoping it might start to appear over here soon too (Amazon are quite often a bit behind the curve regarding release dates, Forbidden Planet for instance has it down as already out).
AnotherFireflyfan: the last 8 uncut shooting scripts will be in the second volume. And apparently a tribute to the fans as well.
Wow, thanks for the info Simon. Umm... wouldn't all those scripts make the companion rather thick? Not that I mind, but the Serenity companion only had one (movie) script, so I expect these would be at least twice as thick?
Before I got it I would have thought the same thing but it's only 176 pages long.

Oh and Blue Sun were going to be a big part of the Miranda thing but as Joss says the movie didn't have room for that.
Simon, thanks for the info. This is now a must buy!
The book includes the "full, uncut, shooting scripts" for the first six eps, with annotations from various cast and crew on each one. It's a high-quality trade paperback, so it's fairly large (about same size as the Visual Companion), coming in at 175 pages.

Serenity script includes annotation/sidebars by/about: Joss Whedon, Serenity Valley, The Browncoats, Wash's Dinosaurs, Kaylee's Costumes, Badger's Apple Peeler, Nathan Fillion, Food, Morena Baccarin, Jewel Staite, River's Blue Box, Summer Glau, The Universal Encyclopedia, Nathan Fillion (another one), and The Reaver Chase. [39 pages]

The Train Job: Joss Whedon, Michael Fairman (aka Niska), Paradiso, The Alliance, Tim Minear, Adam Baldwin, Morena Baccarin, Randy Eriksen (prop master). [22 pages]

Bushwacked: Tim Minear, Morena Baccarin, Jewel Staite, Designing The 'Verse, Joss Whedon, Alliance Ships, and Serenity Crew Spacesuits. [19 pages]

Shindig: Jane Espenson, Joss Whedon, Mark A. Sheppard (aka Badger), Kaylee's Dress, Music, Metal Cards, Jewel Staite, Badger's Costume, and Summer Glau. [19 pages]

Safe: Joss Whedon, Simon's Costumes, River's Costumes, The Outer Planets, Chinese Coins & Banknotes, Music, Doralee, Summer Glau, and two pages of scenes that were altered or added before airing. [23 pages]

Our Mrs. Reynolds: Joss Whedon, Music, Saffron, Ron Glass, Adam Baldwin's Didgeridoo, Christina Hendricks, and Nathan Fillion. [19 pages]

Each script is loaded with lots of nice pics and illustrations, and there are plenty of nice features separate from the episode scripts, such as studies of each character, examinations of the props and costumes, and of course the first part of the Joss interview.

US cover price is $19.95 (and I got mine from my local comic shop).

[ edited by Haunt on 2006-08-10 21:25 ]
just got mine in Manhattan! The cover is shiny (no I mean really shiny)

Thx Simon!
I saw this at my comics shop yesterday, and I had no clue that it was supposed to have come out, so I quickly snatched up a copy (the very last one).

Haven't read it yet, but it looks super shiny!
Adam Baldwin's Didgeridoo


Am I missing something here? Didn't Jayne receive a Rainstick in Our Mrs. Reynolds, not a didgeridoo?

I guess I'll just have to pick up a copy to see if it's a mistake or not. Gee darn!

[ edited by fey_girl on 2006-08-10 22:16 ]
Am I missing something here? Didn't Jayne receive a Rainstick in Our Mrs. Reynolds, not a didgeridoo?

According to the annotation by prop master Randy Eriksen:

"Adam Baldwin had a didgeridoo he brought down to the set that he wanted to use in the show, but Joss didn't like it. He was always playing it like 'Mmmoooo'. It was very cool."
"He was always playing it like 'Mmmooo'."

Don't you just love how people describe sounds when they tell stories? Hee.
Simon, I haven't ordered this yet and didn't see a link thru this site. If I just go to the shopping section on Whedonesque and click on anything from Amazon and then pre-order it, will you guys get credited for the sale?
I've got my copy. Your local comic shop can probably get it.
Checked the website for my local comic store and they got it in yesterday, so it's available in stores in Canada too. I'm running down after work to get a copy (Yes, I'm surfing at work. You would too if you were stuck on Quickbooks and spreadsheets.)
Amazon says they won't be available until September 30th, and they will ship it out by October 4th. I think I need to find a comic book store!
If I just go to the shopping section on Whedonesque and click on anything from Amazon and then pre-order it, will you guys get credited for the sale?


That I am not completely sure about. Caroline would be the best person to ask. But I reckon if you want it quickly, your local comic book shop sounds the best bet. Has anyone seen it in the likes of Borders or Barnes and Nobles?
It's not at my Barnes and Nobles yet. I checked today. However, it is on their website for $17.95.
Both the Borders (WeHo) and Barnes & Noble (The Grove) that I use in L.A. are reporting that they won't have it until September, so I'll be checking out the comic book stores, too. (I'd rather buy from an independent, anyway.)

Thanks, simon, for the heads up -- I really dug the Serenity visual companion, so I'm looking forward to more Joss-Me-mo & other detailed-goodness in this.

"My visions of the future are always pretty much standard issue. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer and there are flying cars." -- Joss, TV Guide, 27 December – 2 January, 2004
You really live up to your name, QuoterGal. That's....refreshing.
Thanks for the heads up on comic book stores. I called around and finally found one that had it. :) I checked later, and whaddya know, it was actually in this week's Diamond Shipping List and I totally missed it.
what if there isn't a local comic book shop??? I feel so alone; the widths of the internet so close and still so underprivileged.
I'll be picking both this and the 'Serenity' companion up as soon as possible!
gossi - Timothy who? What? I have a cold! You know, I never knew Timothy Dalton was in Firefly!

I'm joking about Timothy Dalton - Connery was much better! (but I really do have a bad, bad cold!)
Timothy Mine-ear. Mine-ear. MINE-EAR!
He wrote several episodes of Buffy or at least lazy hacks think that.
what if there isn't a local comic book shop???

Check out the Comic Book Shop locator to see if there are some nearby that you might just not know about. Just plug in your ZIP or postal code and find out if there are any stores nearby.

Otherwise, you are going to have to unfortunately wait for it to be released in book stores.
Any UK sightings of this yet? Amazon.co.uk thinks it's out on Aug 25th.
Simon said:
"the Blue-Gloved men came about as the network execs were very interested in the over-reaching arc despite Joss wanting the episodes to be standalone (because Buffy and Angel had got caught up in their mythos and he couldn't tell what was going on)."

Does that mean Joss felt he couldn't keep track of the Buffy/Angel mythos in general over time, or that it was just too hectic that one specific year while he was helming all three shows to add yet another involved arc-driven show to his plate?
Right there with you, Saje. The idea of a network wanting more arcs is a rare enough concept, nevermind the fact that Joss wanted to cut down on it. But I suspect it wasn't a case of him becoming totally overwhelmed with the arcs and mythos of Buffy and Angel, but just wanting to have slightly more freedom.

And I think that Buffy particularly used to have a very definite direction every year, usually with another Big Bad to face, and Angel had a similar sort of structure (although seasons one and five were less so). I think it kind of suits Firefly to be a little more open ended because it is meant to be set in a more realistic universe, and it sort of emphasises the unpredictable, nomadic lifestyle of the crew.

And I think they were pretty successful with that. We all know that Fox really messed up by screening Firefly is such a bizarre order, but can you imagine how bad it would have been if that had happened with Angel season four, for example? It would have been totally incomprehensible. Although it caused a couple of problems with Firefly, it wasn't catastrophic. I think had they shown Serenity first then they probably could have shown the rest of the episodes in any rough order and it wouldn't have been too hard to follow.

But I definitely think Joss still had a firm grip on Buffy and Angel. I think he probably means that when you do a huge arc like season four of Angel, it's very hard to do anything that isn't related to that arc because it can ruin the momentum. With Firefly, the sky was the limit and each episopde could do off in a completely different direction.

I am very excited about these books, though. I'll be pre-ordering off Amazon, definitely.
Re: the over-reaching arc vs. stand-alone eps. This sounds like such an unusual request that I'm wondering if the original source of this tidbit wasn't in fact being sarcastic. It just doesn't sound like a plausible statement any other way. I mean we are talking about the network that cares so little about continuity that they insisted on the Train Job instead of showing the pilot and didn't bother to show the episodes in order.
narnia, I think you have a point, that it might be sarcastic about arc or stand-alone. Because if they really wanted there to be an arc -- they would have run the eps in the correct order, starting with the pilot, ffs! ;-)

Otherwise, maybe it was a Fox Network genius who once saw an ep of Buffy and thought, "Oh, I get it! They have an arc!" ;-)
Sorry, double post. Move along--nothing to see here.

[ edited by narnia on 2006-08-12 03:35 ]
Must go. Comic shop. Smell book. That kind of ink/paper combination/ratio smells SO GOOD.

*digs for change under the sofa to come up with $20*
As far as I remember (and I could be wrong), Firefly was originally pitched as a ship with 5 crew members, and fairly stand alone episodes (at first). I'm not sure, but I think River/Simon wasn't part of the original concept, nor was Blue Sun (etc). That was Fox exec requests, and in many ways they were being smart. It gave the longer plot arc, something to drive at for season finales etc. Not that I'm saying they credited the characters or the plot - Joss did the bit which required intelligence.

That said, it would have been smarter if they had actually kept it on the air to see the arc actually happen.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-08-12 20:34 ]
That was Fox exec requests, and in many ways they were being smart. It gave the longer plot arc, something to drive at for season finales etc. Not that I'm saying they credited the characters or the plot - Joss did the bit which required intelligence.


Well, that's not that I don't appreciate that you make compliments to Fox execs (althought it is odd...), Gossi, but I figure that even if these execs didn't "force" Joss to create the Blue Sun and gloves, he would nevertheless have find a way to make season finales...

I am pretty sure Joss knows that TV shows seasons must have finales, that they just can't run forever without any yearly breaks.

Well, I hope he knows.
I remember Joss and Tim commenting at the end of The Train Job commentary, that the execs wanted some larger than life threat looming. So Joss and Tim gave that to FOX... and Mal kicked it through the engine. But then they did it for real, with the Hands of Blue (HoB) guys.

It seems more like the network looking for a story-based hook that they could milk over the course of the season, rather than a character-based arc. Frankly, though, when I was watching the episodes air on FOX, I wasn't interested at all in the HoBs, but rather the fascinating characters. But without the sympathetic introduction of River (as seen in the pilot), I remember being just kind of annoyed with 'the crazy chick', and not really caring who was after her, or why.

So (as if it needed to be said again) FOX blew it on all counts.

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