Serenity (2) - S1-E12

Question: Something I've always wondered: I haven't quite read all of the comics, so this may be addressed in them given they are considered canonical, but is Patience ever mentioned again? I kind of always assumed she was likely killed by the Reavers since they were still near the planet surface at the end of the episode, but obviously that was never confirmed.


Chosen answer: One of the premises of the show is that the two major Earth societies that survived, and ultimately merged, were the Chinese and Americans. As a result the common language includes much Chinese. Clothing, signage, and building designs also have a heavy Chinese influence.

Safe - S1-E7

Question: When Shepherd Book gets shot and they take him to an Alliance base at first they do not want to treat him but he tells them to look at his Ident card and suddenly they are rushing to help him. What is so special about his ident card or him?


Chosen answer: Very little of Book's past was revealed in either the series or the follow-up movie. He's been shown to know a surprisingly large amount about the criminal underworld, government covert operations, firearms and so forth, which, combined with his apparent priority status with the Alliance, suggests that he, at some point, held a high rank of some nature within that organisation - one theory is that he knows about the covert Operatives (as seen in Serenity) because he used to be one. Ron Glass, with Joss Whedon's blessing, revealed a few details in 2007, including that Derrial Book is not his real name, but was taken from "somebody he killed", that he has at least one artificial body-part, that he is known for "his greatest failure" and that he apparently found God in a bowl of soup. Further details of any of these remain unrevealed. A comic-book series entitled The Shepherd's Tale, which will deal with his back-story, was announced for release in late 2008 but has, as yet, failed to appear.


Answer: To answer the questions further, here's some details from the book "The Shepherd's Tale," which is the official, canonical comic-book. Shepherd Book was born "Henry Evans." As a youth, he ran away from home to escape his abusive father, and he eventually turned to a life of crime before being recruited by the Independence movement. He eventually agreed to become a spy for the Independents, and had one of his eyeballs removed and replaced with a camera that fed directly back to them. He kills a man named "Derrial Book" and assumed his identity, and over time becomes a mole within the Alliance. Years later, Book is dishonorably discharged after an operation he spearheads results in thousands dying, and he becomes a homeless drunk. He eventually "finds god" while eating a bowl of chicken soup in a shelter. He becomes a Shepherd and several years later, finds his way to Serenity.


Show generally

Question: On the back of the complete series DVD I just purchased, it says there are 14 episodes plus 3 unaired ones. The episode guide only lists 15 episodes (counting both parts of Serenity). Is this a typo or is there something I'm missing?


Chosen answer: I think you're misreading it. The fourteen count is the overall total inclusive (e.g. the 11 aired episodes + the 3 unaired ones).

Cubs Fan

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Question: Regarding this question and answer: "In some scenes, why do the Serenity crew members speak Chinese? [One of the premises of the show is that the two major Earth societies that survived, and ultimately merged, were the Chinese and Americans. As a result the common language includes much Chinese. Clothing, signage, and building designs also have a heavy Chinese influence.] Answered by MovieGuy." Survived what?


Chosen answer: It's never made entirely clear. What we know is that at some point, the Earth became unable to sustain those who lived there, resulting in a mass exodus to a new star system. At that point in the Firefly timeline, the two existing superpowers were the Americans and the Chinese. Whether other present-day nations might still have existed is never mentioned.


Answer: To tease him. Kaylee is the only one who likes Simon at this point, so the others don't mind playing a rather mean-spirited joke on him.

Grumpy Scot

Chosen answer: Yes, this was done to allow them to swear without causing a problem with the censors. They also swear quite a bit in Chinese.

Answer: State.

Grumpy Scot

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Question: I've never seen the show myself, but I was wondering what kind of a name "Inara Serra" is. I'm assuming Inara is of Portuguese origin, but mostly because the actress was born in Brazil. Can someone please help me with this?

Answer: Inara is actually Arabic in origin; it means "ray of light" or alternatively "heaven sent". Serra, on the other hand, is Portuguese and means "mountain range" - derived from the same word in Latin, where it means 'saw' (as in the cutting implement, which a mountain range might resemble, rather than the act of seeing).


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Question: Why does River walk around barefoot so much? There are even a couple times, such as in the episode "Bushwacked", where she goes off the ship barefoot.

Answer: Story-wise, I believe it's sort of a tactile thing for her. She has a very childlike mind and is often seen wandering around touching and examining things. Being barefoot would be an addition to that, as she could be feeling the ground beneath her constantly. Behind-the-scenes wise, the actress apparently just prefers being barefoot, so she had no problems doing this. (Also, and this is more rumor than anything, but a lot of people believe series creator Joss Whedon has a foot fetish and often finds ways to have cast members be barefoot, similar to Quentin Tarantino. And this doesn't seem surprising since in only 14 episodes, "Firefly" has a LOT of scenes displaying barefoot women.)


More mistakes in Firefly

Our Mrs. Reynolds - S1-E3

Mal: Now, you can luxuriate in a nice jail cell... But if your hand touches metal, I swear by my pretty floral bonnet I will end you.

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The Message - S1-E15

Trivia: The scene where Kaylee is in the engine room listening to Tracy's message again, on the work bench next to her hammock you can see a small figure of Han Solo frozen in carbonite from "Star Wars".

More trivia for Firefly

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