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Serenity the Visual Companion
Publisher: Titan Books Review by Lando da Pimp

"Have you seen Joss Whedon's Serenity?" This is the question I have been asking people ever since I saw the film. If they say yes I then quickly ask, "Did you know that the film is based on a cancelled television show called Firefly?" Hopefully if you are reading this you have. If not, what are you waiting for?

In 2002, Fox debuted Joss Whedon's post-Buffy effort by not airing the show in order, postponing it for baseball, and of course giving it the kiss of death—Friday at 8:00—time slot. After all of that, they cancelled the show for low ratings. Thankfully Universal saw the greatness that was Firefly and allowed Joss to produce a film based on a failed television show. How often does that happen?

Fast-forward to the summer of 2005, and we get an update on what happened to the Firefly crew with the film Serenity. With most "cult movies," a number of different merchandise items about the film are available. One of my favorites is Serenity, The Visual Companion..

The centerpiece to the visual companion is the shooting script for the film including the scenes that were cut from the film! Throughout the script, a collection of production photos with quotes from the actors about their characters. Also included are the renderings of production art of vehicles, make up, costumes, and the ship Serenity.

The best part of the companion is the very long and in-depth interview with Joss Whedon, the creator and director of the film / series. A good part of the interview focuses on the show Firefly and the creation of the characters along with casting the actors who embodied them. Joss also discusses the mythology of Firefly along with the back-story to the government, music, and the life of the characters.

I was unaware of Joss Whedon's work (I have no excuse) until I saw Serenity this past summer. After watching the film I instantly started watching the series on Sci-Fi Channel. I also picked up the entire Buffy DVD collection and have now become obsessed with watching and reading everything Joss. His style of writing is unique making the visual companion a must for any Buffy, Firefly, Serenity fan.

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Review ©2006

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