After landing on Persephone Simon looks for a ship to take him and a cryogenically stabilized River off-planet. He choosesSerenity. The ships mechanic,Kaylee Frye, is immediately infatuated with Simon. Later, theSerenitycrew learn of the siblings backstory. Because of the need of Simon and River to stay on the move, Mal Reynolds offers Simon a post asmediconSerenity, and Simon accepts. Simon soon settles into life on the ship, spending time with River, in attempts to figure out what happened to her at the Academy.
In the movieSerenity, Simon Tam confesses his feelings for her, which she reciprocates. The ending depicts the two finally consummating their relationship.
According to the bookSerenity: The Official Visual Companion,Fireflyseries creatorJoss Whedonwrites that Zoes last name was Alleyne (at least at the time of the Unification War), and she took the name Washburne after her marriage to Hoban Washburne. This is confirmed in a deleted scene fromSerenity, in which a display lists her military name as Corporal Zoe Alleyne. In the documentaryRe-Lighting the Firefly, her name is given as Zoe Warren, apparently a version of her name which was considered at one time, but changed by the time the filmSerenitywas released.
ByObjects in Space, the final episode, Simon has begun to loosen up much more, especially around Kaylee. This process is also underlined by a change in his costume: After the events inArielhe dresses more casually, wearing pullovers instead of shirts and waistcoats.
Raised on an unnamed polluted planet, Wash became a pilot in part to see the sky beyond his home.Some of his backstory is given in theSerenitynovelization. After Washs friend Mr. Universe hacked the records and became top of the class before Wash, Mr. Universe silenced him by offering his services whenever they were needed. During the commentary on War Stories, Tudyk states his belief that Wash served in the Unification War as a pilot, although he did not specify which side. Tudyk also jokes that Washs ship was shot down after a single flight and he was put in a POW camp, where he spent the remainder of the war entertaining the other prisoners with shadow puppets. Later traveling widely, Washs pilot skills and reputation grew so that he was actively courted by multiple captains when he met Malcolm Reynolds. Wash accepted Mals offer and eventually fell in love with and married Reynolds second-in-command, Zoe.
River Tamplayed bySummer Glau, first appears inFireflyand also appears in theR. Tam sessions, the comicSerenity: Those Left Behind, and the feature filmSerenity. River is the teenage sister of Dr.Simon Tam, both of whom take refuge aboardSerenity. She was considered aprodigyfrom a very young age, intelligent beyond her years and athletically gifted. Simon stated that compared to her, he is an idiot child, despite having graduated from medical school near the top of his class and finished his internship a full four months earlier than his classmates. Summer Glau won theSaturn Awardfor Best Supporting Actress for her role as River inSerenityin May 2006.Glau was also runner up forBest Actress/Moviein theSyFy Genre Awardsfor 2006.
Jayne keeps a large arsenal of weapons in his cabin onSerenity, the largest and most powerful being a firearm (specifically, a Callahan full-bore auto-lock with a customized trigger, double cartridge and thorough gauge) nicknamedVera, which he attempts to trade with Mal for his wifeSaffroninOur Mrs. Reynolds. Jayne frequently carries a handgun based on aLeMat Percussion RevolvernicknamedBoo, and in the movieSerenity, carries a machine gun namedLux. Jayne is regarded as something of aRobin Hood-like folk hero by the people of Canton on Higgins Moon (Jaynestown), who have erected a statue of him in the center of the town and sing a song dedicated to the hero of Canton, the man they call Jayne (The Ballad of Jayne Cobb) in which they tell how he robbed from the rich and he gave to the poor. The true story is that Jayne double-crossed his partnerStitch Hessianand was forced to jettison the money in order to escape. Jayne eventually accepts the towns hospitality but seems to feel guilty that the people view his self-interested actions as heroic.
Zoe Washburne(birth nameAlleyne) was played byGina Torres. Born February 15, 2484, Vesselside (given her statements to Wash during an argument in the episodeHeart of Gold, this is clearly an expression meaning aboard aspaceship), Zoe served in the Unification War under SergeantMalcolm Reynoldsand continues under his command on his spaceship,Serenity. She shares his belief in the corruption of the Alliance and wants freedom for the Border Planets. A loyal first mate and a tough, deadly fighter, Zoe is the only member of Mals crew to regularly call him sir, a vestige of their past as soldiers. She trusts Mal unconditionally, but has been known to disobey orders in serious situations when she disagrees with him.
Though generally acting brutish and simple, occasionally he hints at a more complex and sensitive character. In the first episode, Serenity, Jayne joins Shepherd Book in a silent grace. InThe Message, Jayne is revealed sending money earned by his mercenary activities home to his mother. His mother was using the money to care for a sick child named Mattie. In the same episode, he proudly sports an orange and yellow knit cap with earflaps and an orange pom-pom (atuque), simply because his mother made it for him, to keep him warm as he traveled through space. Jayne thinks the hat is quite cunning, though his fellow shipmates gently mock him about it. Adam Baldwinauctionedthe original hat from the show for the charity Marine CorpsLaw Enforcement Foundation for $4,707.57 USDand Fox asserts intellectual property rights in the burgeoning replica market.
Malcolm Reynolds, played byNathan Fillion, is owner and captain of the Firefly-class spaceshipSerenity, and was a volunteer in the war between the Alliance and the Independents (aka Browncoats). He got the name for his spaceship from a famous battle he fought and commanded in, the Battle of Serenity Valley. When asked why he named his ship after a lost battle, Zoe comments Once youre in Serenity, you never leave. You just learn how to live there. He is fiercely loyal to those he calls his crew.
As of the end of the originalFireflyseries,most of what is known about Companions is derived from Inara herself and incidental discussions with and about other Companions and Companion-trained individuals. These sources suggest that the extensive Companion training begins either in childhood or young adulthood and includes social and physical grace, self-defense, at least some performing arts, and psychology. The structure and rituals of Companions resemble that of religious orders, though it is unconfirmed if this is the case. Comments made by Inara suggests that she is displeased with alterations to the traditional training she underwent, which is resulting in less-experienced novices being introduced to certain aspects of the profession prematurely instead of when she feels they would be ready.
Kaywinnet Lee Kaylee Fryewas portrayed byJewel Staite. Kaylee has exceptional mechanical aptitude, despite her lack of formal training, and serves as ships mechanic onSerenity.Kaylee is exceptionally sweet and chipper, the type who maintains a bright and positive attitude even when others are feeling low.Jewel Staite explains Kaylees character as being wholesome, sweet, and completely genuine in that sweetness, adding She loves being on that ship. She loves all of those people. And shes the only one who loves all of them incredibly genuinely.Staite toldInterviewmagazine, Shes kind of a floozy who wears her heart on her sleeve.Kaylee has shown an affinity forstrawberries.Alongside her mechanical aptitude which allows Kaylee to fix just about anything,she has a desire for feminine things and is annoyed when Mal does not see that she is a woman as well as a mechanic.Although most notable in the episodeShindigwhen he criticized her desire to purchase an elaborate dress on the grounds that she would have no opportunity to wear it in her jobthis recurs throughout the series.
Inara, aBuddhist, was a rising member of Companion House Madrassa when she suddenly and inexplicably left to travel the outer rim. She has suggested that she wanted to see the universe, although it is strongly hinted that she had other reasons. The events of theNo Power in the Versefollow-upcomicelaborate on this; while working in House Madrassa, Inara took on a high-ranking Independent commander as a client who revealed details of an imminent attack on Alliance interests. Disturbed by this, Inara broke the Companion Guilds strict confidentiality rules and reported what she had heard including the location of Fiddlers Green, a secret Independent military base. She was exiled from House Madrassa, with only her reputation keeping her from outright dismissal. Believing her actions to have been justified because she was saving innocent lives, Inara was horrified when the Alliance raided Fiddlers Green. The base was home to a large refugee population, but the Alliance did not discriminate during the raid, summarily executing everyone in one of the worst atrocities of the war.
Inara is especially fond of Kaylee, with Inara taking a somewhat doting and sisterly role towards the optimistic mechanic, and Inara also watches out for River when Simon needs support.
The main cast. Clockwise from upper left: Adam Baldwin as Jayne Cobb, Jewel Staite as Kaylee Frye, Alan Tudyk as Hoban Wash Washburne, Gina Torres as Zoe Washburne, Ron Glass as Derrial Book, Summer Glau as River Tam, Sean Maher as Simon Tam, Nathan Fillion as Malcolm Reynolds, and Morena Baccarin as Inara Serra.
After the war, Mal acquired his own ship, a derelict 03-K64 Firefly-class transport whose previous owner was a man named Captain Harbatkin (Mal never got around to changing the registration papers). Mal named the shipSerenityafter the Battle of Serenity Valley, the decisive battle of the Unification War.
At the time of theBattle of Serenity Valley, Zoe had attained the rank of Corporal. She and Sergeant Malcolm Reynolds were the only survivors of their platoon in that battle.
Whedon has said at least twice since the films release that, had the series continued, Wash would not have been killed. When he reiterated this during the Firefly 10th anniversary reunion at the 2012San Diego Comic Con International, Tudyk was apparently ecstatic.
Derrial Book, played byRon Glass, is ashepherd, orpreacher, who provides frequent spiritual advice and perspectives for the crew ofSerenity. He has a mysterious pas
DoctorSimon Tam, played bySean Maher(and in a flashback byZac Efron), appears in all episodes ofFirefly, the feature filmSerenity, and theSerenitycomics.
Inara Serra(played byMorena Baccarin). Born in the late 25th century onSihnon, Inara is a Companion, a high-societycourtesanlicensed by theUnion of Allied Planets(the Alliance). In Alliance society, Companions are part of the social elite, often accompanying the wealthy and powerful. There is considerable ritual and ceremony surrounding their services, which appear to extend beyond sex to nurturing psychological, spiritual, physical, and emotional well being. Companions do not view themselves as prostitutes and are insulted by the suggestion. ActressRebecca Gayheartwas initially hired to play the part of Inara, but was released after only one day of filming. Joss Whedon said that there was a lack of chemistry between her and the rest of the cast. Morena Baccarin filmed her first scene the very day she was accepted for the role.
Wash dies near the end of the 2005 filmSerenitywhen a harpoon launched by aReavership impales him, killing him instantly. His last words are I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I… (the final word soar is cut off by his being impaled). His shipmates erect a memorial to him (it is unclear if this is atombas well) on Mr. Universes moon.Mal Reynoldsthen takes up his duties as pilot ofSerenitywithRiver Tamas his new co-pilot. As a tribute to Wash, his collection of toy dinosaurs remains on the pilots station of the bridge.
Jayne Cobb(played byAdam Baldwin) is a tall (64), physically imposingmercenarywho did not fight in the Unification War. Despite his comparatively brutish manner, Jayne regularly displays cunning and common sense. Adam Baldwin, when asked to describe the character, said Sex. Muscle. Humor. Thuggery. Jayne. He also calls Jayne a practical guy, explaining his characters use ofgallows humorby explaining that when in peril, the choice is to panic and cry and crap your pants, or you make a joke and you try to survive.Baldwin won theSyFy Genre Awardsin 2006 forBest Supporting Actor/Television.
Less than a year before the events ofthe pilot episode, Inara leased one of Serenitys shuttles for transportation, living space, and work space, providing her with some mobility. In exchange, her presence on the ship cuts through bureaucratic red tape and lends their operation an air of credibility. For this reason, Inara is nicknamed the Ambassador by the others on the ship. Though earning Mals disfavor initially by stating that she supported unification of the Alliance and the Independents (in a flashback inOut of Gas), she and Mal have developed an unacknowledged attraction to each other which they resist, ostensibly for both business and personal reasons, which is expressed in the form of jesting and sometimes-hurtful bickering. Mal constantly insults her career, but takes offense when others do so, going so far as to punch a client who did so. Mal tells Inara, I may not respect your job, but he didnt respectyou.
At Dallas Sci Fi Expo, Jewel Staite said if the show had continued she would have liked to have seen Kaylee and Simon have a baby.
The background of the character is revealed in the episodeOut of Gas, showing her joining the crew ofSerenity. The ships captain,Malcolm Reynolds, interrupted her andBester, the ships mechanic at the time, having sex inSerenitys engine room.However, when Bester incorrectly informed Mal that the ship could not be fixed, Kaylee quickly proved him wrong by diagnosing the problem and repairing the groundedSerenityvirtually on the spot. Impressed with her mechanical ability, Mal immediately offered her Besters job. Kaylee happily accepted, and left her family (and Bester) behind to join the crew.
The Tams remain below Alliance radar, despite some close calls.There is also some tension withJayne Cobb. After River attacks him with a knife during one of her psychotic outbursts, Jayne attempts to turn them in and collect the reward, although the plan backfires when he is double crossed by his Alliance contact.After an incident inSafeinvolving the absence of River, Simon is clearly more a part of the crew. InJaynestown, Simon and Kaylee have their first moment where its realized that Simon may have more feelings for Kaylee than originally thought.
Zoe marriedSerenitys pilotWashsometime after he joined the crew, though initially she claimed that something about him bothered her. In the DVD commentary for the episodeShindig, costume designerShawna Trpcicmentions that the leather necklace Zoe always wears is a symbol of her marriage bond. However, she is seen wearing the necklace in the flashback sequences of Out of Gas, well before she has married Wash. In the bookFirefly: The Official CompanionVol. 1, Torres speculates that the necklace is actually a shoelace from the boots that Zoe wore during the Unification War.
The prop used as her weapon of choice, aMares Leglever action pistol, was originally used in the seriesThe Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.
In the filmSerenity, Simon has finally become well-adjusted to the crewto the point where he even stands up to Mal and punches him when Mal puts River in danger during a heist. Near the end of the film, Simon admits to Kaylee that he would have liked to have had a romantic relationship with her just as they prepare for an apparently hopeless battle with Reavers and the two consummate their relationship in the end.
Mal volunteered for the Independents army during the Unification War against the Alliance, gaining the rank of sergeant during that time. His loyal second-in-command Zoe was by his side for most of the war, surviving many dangerous conflicts with him. The show mentions three such battles, including the Battle of Du-Khang in 2510 (featured in The Message) and a long winter campaign in New Kashmir (as told by Zoe in War Stories) where he commanded a platoon. Mal was also involved in the ground campaign during the Battle of Sturges (as seen in the comic bookSerenity: Those Left Behind), which according to Badger was the bloodiest and shortest battle in all the war, although Mal considers it a distant second. Mal fought in many more battles, but the turning point for him and the Independents came with their physical and emotional defeat at the Battle of Serenity Valley on the planet Hera. On-screen information from the film Serenity suggests that Mal was given abrevetpromotion to Captain during the Battle of Serenity Valley to take command of the ever-increasing number of Independent troops who were losing their officers at the hands of the Alliance. This might explain why, in one of the deleted scenes from theFireflypilot, Mal is described as having commanded at least 2000 men. On-screen information in Serenity shows him to have been attached to the 57th Overlanders Brigade; in the series pilot, Badger calls it the Balls and Bayonets Brigade, though it is unclear whether that was a disparaging nickname coined by Badger himself or the actual unit sobriquet.
Simon was born in late November, c. 2490 to Gabriel and Regan Tam, and was born and raised on Osiris, a Core World planet with majorAllianceties. In the original script for the episodeBushwhackedit is revealed that Simon supported Unification, the issue that sparked the eponymous War of Unification.
Inara appears to be at least somewhat adept at swordplay (Shindig). In the movieSerenity, it is shown that she also may have been trained somewhat in themartial arts, and is skilled with abow and arrow, apparently preferring them overfirearms. In a proposed extended version of a scene fromSerenity, in Inaras Companion montage, she was to be seen teaching the girls how to use the bow, but this idea was dropped because she appeared too much likeWonder Woman.
River grew up with her brother Simon, with whom she was very close, as part of the wealthy Tam family on the core (Alliance-dominated) planet of Osiris. Having a high intellect and a ready grasp of complex subjects, she was sent to a government learning facility known only as The Academy at the age of fourteen. While her parents and Simon believed the Academy was a private school meant to nurture the gifts of the most academically talented children in the Alliance, it was in fact a cover for a government experiment in creating the perfectassassin. While in the hands of the Alliance doctors and scientists, River was secretly and extensively experimented on, includingsurgerythat removed most of heramygdala, preventing River from being able to control her emotions.She has abrupt periods of mental instability and nurtures psychic and intuitive abilities, but although theR. Tam sessionsimply that she may have already had some form of latent psychic abilities prior to being recruited, how and when this translated into her apparently full-fledged mind-reading abilities is unknown.
Around this time, Simons little sisterRiver, whom he adores, attended an elite Alliance-sponsored school calledThe Academy. Eventually, Simon realized that River was writing to the family in code and began a quest to find and rescue her from the Academy. After learning about Rivers abuse at the Academy, he is unable to help her for two more years. However, Simon is eventually contacted by a group of men from an underground movement, and they help him with the rescue. Simon willingly gives up his career and is disinherited after becoming a fugitive in order to save his sister. While Simon and River head for Persephone, the Alliance freezes all of Simons monetary accounts and labels Simon and River as fugitives.
Inara has been described as apostfeministcharacter.
Screens fromSerenitysuggest that Mal was born on September 20, 2468which would make him 49 at the time of the seriesFireflythough, as the average human lifespan is 120, this would make him the equivalent of a man in his early 30s today. Mal was raised by his mother and about 40 hands on a ranch on the planet Shadow. Though Mal usually seems more practical than intellectual, he occasionally surprises his friends by displaying familiarity with disparate literature varying from the works ofXiang Yuto poems bySamuel Taylor Coleridge, though he has no idea whoMona Lisais.
A subplot for Inara was hinted at throughout the series.Joss Whedon explained in the DVD audio commentary for the pilot episode that the syringe Inara takes out during theReaverencounter is not for suicide. Second, when the ship is disabled in the episodeOut of Gas, Simon said, I dont want to die [on this ship], to which Inara replied, I dont want to die at all. InHeart of Gold, Nandi remarks that she did not age at all. The secret was apparently revealed in a panel at 2008sDragonCon; Morena Baccarin confirmed that Inara was dying of a terminal illness.This was later also confirmed inFirefly: Browncoats Unite, a Firefly 10th Anniversary Special aired onScience Channelin November 2012.In the same Special, show writerTim Minearexplained Inaras mysterious syringe, saying that it contained a drug that would cause the death of her rapists in case she were to be raped. Minear also said that if the show hadnt been cancelled, a future episode might have involved Inara being abducted and raped by numerous Reavers, all of whom are eventually found dead (due to the effects of the drug) by Mal.
The Alliance isolates River from her family, though she managed to send a call for help by putting a coded message in a letter to her brother. Simon decoded the message and sets out to rescue his sister, despite his parents insistence that he was simply beingparanoid. He succeeds two years later.When the Alliance learns of Rivers rescue, they promptly freeze all of Simons monetary accounts, leaving him with nothing but his medkit, and put out a warrant for the arrest of both Simon and River, labeling them as fugitives.
In Ariel, he shows shame for having sold out Simon and River and is noticeably disgusted upon hearing what the Alliance has done to River. In The Message he is noticeably upset while seeing a family receive their dead son and in Jaynestown when a young man saves his life by jumping in front of a shotgun blast meant for him. Jayne has shown a fear of anything to do withReavers, a subpopulation of feral, cannibalistic humans. Jayne has demonstrated fear of dying in what he considers an unmanly fashion, notably beingspaced. In Out of Gas Jayne is seen on-screen curiously poking at Simons birthday cake. In the commentaries for episodes Out of Gas and War Stories, it is mentioned that Adam Baldwin added a tactile compulsion to the character. Jayne tends to touch, smell and taste things habitually, being constantly in touch with his surroundings.
As evidenced inSerenity, River is extraordinarily skilled at hand-to-hand combat, and in one episode ofFirefly, she fires three fatally accurate shots from a pistol after only a single quick glance into the battlefield (in bothFireflyandSerenity, it is heavily implied that the Alliance was attempting to create a super-soldier). On two separate occasions she ventures into large melees (2030 opponents against her at the same time), and on both occasions she emerges not only victorious but (apparently) with only relatively minor injuries. The fighting style used by River inSerenitywas akung fukickboxinghybrid, modified to be moreballetic.
Although Zoe and Wash worked a very dangerous sort of lifestyle, they managed to retain a rather happy marriage with one another. Wash at times grows jealous of Zoes close relationship with Mal.Zoe and Wash considered having children, but were unable to do so due to Washs death inSerenity. Zoe and the rest of the crew built a memorial for her husband on Mr. Universes moon. As revealed in the comicSerenity: Float Out, Zoe was pregnant with Washs daughter.
Hoban Wash Washburneis played byAlan Tudyk. Wash serves as the pilot ofSerenity, and is married to the ships first mate,Zoe. He is only ever referred to as Wash, the first syllable of his surname. When Mal confronts him in theSerenityfilm novelization, Washs reasoning is Why would anyone call themselves Hoban? He grew up on a planet whose atmosphere is so polluted that no stars are visible. He claims to have spent time on a moon whose principal form of entertainment is juggling geese, both of which he mentions in the episodeOur Mrs. Reynolds. A laid-back guy with a dry and occasionally laconic sense of humor, Wash tends to represent the pragmatic, cut-and-run opinion in any shipboard debate, and often serves as the calming influence in heated arguments. His actions sometimes appear cowardly, but Wash has proven his resolve and willingness to put himself in harms way and do violence on behalf of his friends on many occasions.
This page lists characters from thetelevision series
Malcolms main mission is to keep his crew alive and to keep his ship flying. As Firefly writerTim Minearstated in an interview: Its just about getting by. Thats always been the mission statement of what the show isgetting by. In Serenity, Mal says of himself: [If the] Wind blows northerly, I go North.
When Kaylee first seesSimon Tamin thepilot episode, she is immediately enamoured with the well-dressed doctor. When she is later shot in the stomach by another passenger, Simon refuses to treat her injury unless he is allowed to remain onSerenitywith his sister,River. Despite this, Kaylee finds herself further attracted to the doctor after he saves her.Jayne Cobbwould embarrass her in this and later episodes by making fun of her attraction to Simon, usually right in front of Simon.The romantic attraction toSimon Tamremains unconsummated during the run of the series, even though it is clear that Simon bears strong feelings for her as well.(In the novelization ofSerenity, River reveals that the attraction between Simon and Kaylee is not a simple crush or infatuation, but that the two are in fact, in love.) In the closing scene of the episodeJaynestown, he states it is his proper attitude that makes it difficult for him to express his feelings for her. The problem is compounded by the fact that he sometimes makes comments that hurt Kaylees feelings, insulting the lifestyle of the crew,Serenity, and even herself, though he never intentionally means to insult her; a prominent example of his ineptitude at making conversation is inThe Messagewhen he described her as the only girl in the world, on the grounds that all the other women he knew were either married (Zoe), professional (Inara) or related to him (River). Simon himself almost never gets mad at Kaylee, the exception beingObjects in Spacewhen Kaylee revealed Rivers disturbing aptitude with a firearm, which placed a dark cloud over River in the eyes of the others.
Since he was young, Simons wealthy family had hopes for him to have a future in medicine. Simon was accepted to the best Medical Academy, or MedAcad, on Osiris. Simon graduated in the top 3% of his class, and promptly moved onto a medical internship, which he completed in a mere eight months (as opposed to a year), and is licensed to practice medicine. From there, he became aon one of the major hospitals in Capital City, Osiris.
Originally a member of a gang that ambushes Malcolm and Zoe, Jayne switches allegiances and joins them after Mal offers him a larger share of the take from heists and his own cabin. Though he engages in a few one-night stands, Jayne has no long-term love interest, beyond a lingering crush on Kaylee that Joss Whedon pointed out in theSerenitycommentary. His feelings for her can be seen in his concern during the pilot episode, when he watched her surgery, as well as in his hostility towards Simon (Kaylees obvious love-interest). Jayne is contemptuous of Simon and River, and sees them as a danger to his safety as they may bring theAlliancedown on them.
Simons privileged background from the center planets of the Alliance puts him at odds with his rougher shipmates. He often comes across as stuffy or pretentious and is far more formal than the majority of the crew. Simon believes in having manners when no one is watching and his dedication to his sister is his main defining characteristic, often leading him to gladly make personal sacrifices for her benefit.
Companions choose their own customers, and to be chosen by one is considered a great honor and status symbol, as those chosen must be both wealthy enough to afford a Companions often steep price and desirable enough to attract one. Companions may choose to become the permanent Companions of someone should they desire and can have ungracious customers blacklisted and banned from any Companionship at their discretion. Inara has a number of frequent clients throughout the Allied worlds, and takes both male and female clients, although most of her clients are male.