This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Mrs. Anya lame-ass-made-up-maiden-name Harris."
11973 members | you are not logged in | 09 July 2020


July 08 2010

Firefly title sequence goes 80's. io9 decided to re-do the opening credits in a synth-happy super-80's style. Just because.

That's funny! I like it too, not necessarily instead. Clever article, too.
I love fan efforts like this. The 80s credits were spot-on.
I really like the Kaylee sequence with its perfect freeze frame.

Poor Simon Tam though.
Has there been, over the many years of analysis, much support for the claim that it was the title sequence that lost folks? I've heard a lot of elements of Firefly poked fun at, but the intro's a new one on me.
I do recall some dislike of the theme song at the time. Too folksy or something like that? Also America was going through an anti-cow phase at the time.
Nice video. But, really should have been tweaked to include Sean.
Anti-cow phase? I thought that only happened in the UK in the late 1980s! On another note - I LOVE this!
I like it. I like it better than what Firefly actually had. I don't think an 80s synth heavy song would really work today, but the pacing felt right. A song with that pace and beat, but done by a contemporary indie rock back (I'm thinking of you Buffy intro) would set the mood for action and adventure.

On the flip side, I don't like it. It doesn't prepare you for the western elements of the show, which can't simply be ignored, otherwise folk would go, why is everyone talking country? This show's in space and in the future.

So in conclusion, I think a faster paced song, but one that incorporated country elements (I'm look at you Wilco and Spoon) would be best for Firefly.
That is pure awesomeness.
Cute but how could they leave out Sean? Lame.
This is verra cool in many ways - but for me, fatally flawed by lack of Simon/Sean. It just ain't right, folks - everyone else could've been snipped by a few seconds to include him. "Just because" doesn't cut it for me.

That said - cool effort, stylistically right on for what they wanted to do - and a hoot.

I'm a big fan of the original credits - they were actually one of the reasons I kept watching at the beginning.

But Sean-less? Nope. Not on.
Agreed. No Sean, no dice.
Those were rough years - being pro-cow myself

Back on topic... That was fun!

I have to agree, how could they leave out Sean?
Would've added another 7-15 secs to the 1:38 total the running time. Great effort though.
This was very well done and definitely hit that 1980s feel. Agree about the lack of a Simon credit being a major flaw though.

Of all the reasons to cite in reference to what worked against Firefly's success, gotta say that I think the opening sequence is waaaaay low on the list. Personally, I LOVED the opening credits and especially the song. The song embodied the post-Serenity Valley feelings of Mal so well. The song has that romanticized Western feel, yet is also melancholy, and ends with Mal's declaration of freedom in the last place that wasn't taken from him. The visuals were also warm and Westerny, yet pictured cool futuristic Sci-Fi imagery. It was this cool combination that was the art part of Firefly.

As enjoyable as this re-imagining of the credits is, I still absolutely love the original Firefly opening. On a side note, really well made vids like this do a lot to help keep fresh things happening for Firefly and opportunities to draw in new fans. Yay!
I like how much it focuses on Serenity. Really, she's the reason I got hooked in the first place.

And yeah, what's with leaving Simon out? Coulda used a few clips of him from Objects in Space. You all know which one I mean... ;) (Shallow moment. I apologize.)
Definitely captured the 80's feel. Of course, that is also why it would not have been a good opening- generic, with no emotional connection to the actual series. The mock Fox nielsen study was funny though.

Does anyone remember the original original "Firefly" opening (which is not present on the dvd's)? It was actually 2 opening sequences which was really weird. One was what we now refer to as the original opening, but before that was a voiceover about using up old earth and moving outwards; it was very similar to the opening of "Serenity".

I think it only lasted 2 or 3 episodes but it may have been less than that.

I wish they had included it as a dvd extra. I don't like it when original content is deleted.

edit: See "Unaired Firelfly intro" on Youtube. Pretty sure the televised version was polished up a bit, but I clearly recall this being part of the opening sequence for 1 or 2 episodes.

[ edited by lottalettuce on 2010-07-09 02:53 ]
I think there were 3 versions of the opening "backstory" sequence. It set the tone and explained about Earth being used up and people moving out to terraformed planets, some rich, some not so much, and the war between the Indpendents and the Alliance, the crew, River and Simon, etc. This short backstory was to bring new viewers up to speed, and also help out with info because FOX didn't air the gorram pilot first.

The first version was narrated by Ron Glass, the next two were narrated by Nathan Fillion, and these were basically the same, with minor story tweaks.

Yes, it would be cool to have these intros as bonus material, plus the great behind-the-scenes vids that were posted on the FOX FIrefly website while it was still on the air.
Hmmm, while this 80s intro was fun, I have to say I really love the Firefly intro as the show's creators made it. I actually never thought of it as cheesy or too slow, but exactly right for what the show was about. When I watch the series all the way through, I never skip over the intro - obviously, a sign of a good intro to me. I will admit that it might not be the best way to garner the attention of the ADD American television-watching public, but in pure form and in allegiance to the show, the original intro is far and away superior.

Also, the fact that the entire song only spans about a 4th in the vocal range makes it a great warm-up for me in the shower...
ewwww ^

[ edited by lottalettuce on 2010-07-09 04:46 ]
I like the real opening sequence a lot and am not a big fan of synthesizer music, so I wasn't expecting to be more than amused by this version, but I like it too. The emotional effect is very different, which I suppose is the point. Excitement versus melancholy. The selection and editing of visual clips is excellent, but I imagine not all of those clips would have been available to the original editors, if some are from episodes that hadn't been made yet.

I doubt that this redoing would wear as well as the original. The Miami Vice opening credits are equally fast paced and hold up well with repetition, but they have interesting orchestration.
All the synth rock in the world cannot turn Firefly into cheese. This came close, but the guitar solo was, IMO, a tad restrained.
I love the original, but I liked this too. Very well done. My favorite part is how the music builds up to the end, and then the big finish. VERY 80's. It just gave me a huge grin. :D

[ edited by guidedby on 2010-07-09 07:12 ]
I did find it confusing that someone who created something by cutting and splicing clips together expects to use the "it ran long" excuse for the lack of Simon.

I mean, really? Still, that's a pretty fun reimagining. Then again, 80's opening credits are full of win.

Actually to the theme song question. Love Firefly, but I still have no use for the theme song. So I can see where it could lose people. Still, you'd have to be the REALLY impulsive type to simply watch opening credits and say, "this show is not for me."

[ edited by azzers on 2010-07-09 08:12 ]
I did find it confusing that someone who created something by cutting and splicing clips together expects to use the "it ran long" excuse for the lack of Simon.

Very true Azzers Other than lacking Simon Tam, it's well put together and is entertaining in a cheesy 80's way, but not a patch on the real credits.
ewwww ^

lottalettuce | July 09, 04:44 CET

I'll second your ewwww and raise you a bleeech. :)
I would never have gotten past those credits to watch the show.(Well that's actually not true, 'cause .... Joss).
Wait, I don't think you can raise "bleeech" over ewww, there are rules you know. I've a rule book here....somewhere.

I love i09 and all his bitches, most of them pretty accurate. Letting this one slide.
I couldn't finish watching it. That was horrible.
LOVE this. The only thing that holds me back is no Simon. It just doesn't seem right to leave one of the characters out. :( But I loved the pacing and the beat use with the freeze frames.
I think I enjoyed this more than the real title sequence.
Probably showing my age and programming inclinations, but I was ALL over this like Jayne at a cathouse! Cuz this was the height of perfectly crafted 80s action show intro cheese!


Admittedly, it's a big shame that Sean/Simon didn't get a credit nod...but after thinking some on it, one way it could be fanwanked if one wanted to is that Firefly has a larger - and ensemble - cast than any of the major 80s action series this revised intro is spoofing. Airwolf? Largest cast it had was probably S4 and that was like 5 people; Knight Rider, Street Hawk or The A-Team? Slightly less at something like 4. So technically? Our BDS's cast is abnormally large at 10 (including our version of The Lady) ;)

Still..some minor tweaking of the flow could have fit Sean in. Maybe chopping out the shot of Badger convering with Mal? Or since the Tams started off as a package deal, have a shot of Summer & Sean together and have a joint credit? Wouldn't pooch the flow at all... ;D
Actually my "ewwww' was for the last sentence of the comment directly above mine. Hence the ^.
I think my dislike of 80s action/sf shows is showing.
It's precisely because this song reminds me of the 80's (think Miami Vice), that it stinks. The song and the show don't mix!!
They're talking about this trailer and Firefly in general at Metafilter too. Always interesting to get the non-superfan view.
Actually my "ewwww' was for the last sentence of the comment directly above mine. Hence the ^.

Well I'm going to ignore your intent and stand by my witty comment ;_)

Wait, I don't think you can raise "bleeech" over ewww, there are rules you know.
Madhatter | July 09, 13:01 CET

Not big on rules, Maddy. (or apparently, even accurate quotage).
Anyone old enough to have cringe-worthy big curly hair pics hidden away in a drawer, should understand the 80's aversion. Plus the music mostly sucked. :)
Good God, that was bad. In a somewhat slightly amusingly cheesy way, but so, so bad. And all the character names written out like that really didn't work for me, either.

I will say it has made me mildly curious to see a Firefly credits edit paired with an actually good 80's theme, the one from Magnum P.I. (Okay, technically strings rather than the poorer side of synths - and actually, maybe from the late 70s originally - but it does give that faster-paced, exciting element.) And I did like that chart mapping genre, general viewer, and country-western overlap.

Yeah, those narration intros - the lack of those on the DVD set, as with the lack of "Previously on Buffy the.../Angel" on those (region 1) DVDs, is a main reason why I still keep my from-broadcast video tapes of the shows. It does seem like Joss said something at some point about the voiceovers being a network request rather than part of his original vision for the show (unlike, apparently, the "...She is the Slayer!" bit from early BtVS?), so that might explain why they aren't included with the episodes. It is too bad they aren't even available as a special feature, though.
Here we go:

lol. I would watch this.
I look forward to seeing this (blocked at work) and comparing it to the awesome synthy 80s version of the Fringe opening credits last season.

This thread has been closed for new comments.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.

joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home