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Firefly: The Complete Series [Blu-ray] by Joss Whedon (Creator/Executive Producer) 
and Tim Minnear (Executive Producer)
Review by Charles Mohapel
20th Century Fox Blu-ray  ISBN/ITEM#: B001EN71CW
Date: 11 November 2008 List Price $89.98 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

I think everyone I know who was a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel), created by Joss Whedon, was also a fan of Firefly, his third show. Unlike the first two series which skillfully blended elements of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and humor, Firefly was a complete change of direction for Whedon. Set 500 years in the future, this Science Fiction-Western hybrid had intelligent plotlines and healthy doses of humor and action. Not preachy in tone, this show made people really think instead of just sitting back and letting the TV set entertain them. Firefly is another example of a show where the network pulled the trigger too soon, leaving three episodes unscreened ("Trash", "The Message", and "Heart of Gold") until the summer of 2003 when it was being used to promote the original DVD set which was released for Christmas 2003. Now if I could only speak Mandarin so I could really express my feelings about the decision to kill this show off way too early.

Note: All Episode Titles Are In Italics

Disc 1:

    Serenity (Parts 1 & 2) with Commentary by Executive Producer Joss Whedon and Nathan Fillion)
    The Train Job (with Commentary by Executive Producers Joss Whedon and Tim Minnear)
    Bushwhacked
    Shindig (with Commentary by Writer Jane Espenson, Morena Baccarin, and Costume Designer Shawna Trpcic)
Special Features:
  • Here's How It Was: The Making of Firefly
  • Trailers:
    • Dollhouse
    • Buffy & Angel Promo

Disc 2:

    Safe
    Our Mrs. Reynolds (with Commentary by Executive Producer Joss Whedon and Actors Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, and Ron Glass)
    Jaynestown
    Out of Gas (with Commentary by Executive Producer Tim Minnear and Director David Solomon)
    Ariel
Special Features:
Firefly Reunion: Lunch with Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, and Ron Glass

Disc 3:

    War Stories (with Commentary by Nathan Fillion & Alan Tudyk)
    Trash
    The Message (with Commentary by Alan Tudyk & Jewel Staite)
    Heart of Gold
    Objects in Space (with Commentary by Executive Producer Joss Whedon)
Special Features:
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Serenity - Scene 1
    • Serenity - Scene 74 & 75
    • Our Mrs. Reynolds - Scene 18
    • Objects in Space - Scene 6
  • Featurettes
    • Serenity: The 10th Character
    • Alan Tudyk's Audition
    • Joss Sings the "Firefly" Theme
    • Joss Tours the Set
  • Gag Reel

My Comments:
Even though I haven't watched my DVD set of Firefly since just before Serenity hit the silver screen in 2005, it felt like putting on a pair of comfortable slippers. The characters were familiar, the plotlines came back to mind quickly, and there was a significant improvement in the video and the audio. While the 2008 model Blu-ray player upconverted the original DVDs, the Blu-ray discs produced a markedly superior sensory experience.

The Special Features:
Disc 1:
Here's How It Was: The Making of Firefly -- This was one of one of the more entertaining and interesting bonus features.

Trailers:
Dollhouse -- This a promo for an Science Fiction television program created by Joss Whedon and set to premiere February 13, 2009 on Fox. Starring Eliza Dushku (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel) and Amy Acker (Angel), two talented actresses Whedon has worked with before, as well as Reed Diamond, this show has a very intriguing premise, one I plan on watching progress.
Buffy & Angel Promo -- Simply a promo spot for the DVD sets for each season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.

Both of these trailers are new and did not appear on the original 2003 DVD set.

Disc 2:
Firefly Reunion: Lunch with Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, and Ron Glass -- A fun feature and probably one of the quieter, less chaotic lunches I imagine occurred on set.

Both this special feature and the commentary on the episode Our Mrs. Reynolds are new and did not appear on the original 2003 DVD set.

Disc 3:
Deleted Scenes:
Serenity - Scene 1
Serenity - Scene 74 & 75
Our Mrs. Reynolds - Scene 18
Objects in Space - Scene 6

While these deleted scenes were entertaining to watch, I agree with the decisions made to cut them.

Featurettes:
Serenity: The 10th Character -- This had to be one of my favorite special feature in the set.
Alan Tudyk's Audition -- Obviously shot with an amateur camcorder instead of a professional video camera, you get to see Alan really getting into the character of Wash.
Joss Sings the "Firefly" Theme -- Joss, we love your work but don't give up your day job in order to become a singer.
Joss Tours the Set -- An entertaining walk-through personally guided by the show's creator and executive producer.

Gag Reel -- Funny, but I wish it had been much longer.

If you don't already own a copy of the original 2003 DVD set, or you now own a nice big HDTV and Blu-ray player and want to really enjoy Firefly: The Complete Series on Blu-ray, check it out. My one regret is that Fox didn't add a lot more special features for diehard fans of the show to enjoy.

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