Done the Impossible: The Fans’ Tale of Firefly & Serenity–A Documentary (2006)

fireflyEvery time I stumble upon one of those Comic-Com shows online, where everyone goes all nutso because Captain Kirk and Captain Picard and Captain Crunch will all be on the same stage, I roll my eyes, and say a silent prayer to the gods of geekdom for not passing that lunacy on to me. Those shows and their costume-clad fans are all whackjobs…

Except if they are there to celebrate “Firefly” & “Serenity.” In that case, these people are the coolest people ever to breathe.

Obviously, I’m kidding. I bear neither the Star Trek captains nor Captain Crunch any ill will, and I’m not really poking fun at their fans. It’s cool when a show moves you that much that you’d spend your time and money to go see your idols, and perhaps pay extra to get into an autograph session.

I consider “Done the Impossible” different for two reasons. First, it’s about Firefly and Serenity, which are awesome, and which create an amazing world–a western in space…a GOOD western in space, at that. Fox-TV never gave “Firefly” a fair chance. Instead of airing the two-hour pilot first, they ran what I believe was Episode 4. People who watched it liked it, but they were kind of lost, as you’d expect. Then, Fox started screwing around with the times and schedules, and just ended up cancelling “Firefly” after thirteen episodes.

Normally, that’s that: network takes cool show; network cancels cool show, angering fans, who end up going away quietly.

Not with “Firefly,” which brings up the second reason “Done the Impossible” tells a different story from most Comic-Con docs: when “Firefly” was cancelled, a bunch of fans absolutely revolted. They communicated on message boards, set up websites, deluged Fox with letters and postcards, fired gunshots through Fox executives’ windows.

Okay, that last one’s hyperbole, but you get the picture. These fans–brown coats, they called themselves (and if you don’t understand it, you need to spend all day tomorrow watching “Firefly” & “Serenity,” until you get the reference)–were not about to let Firefly go gentle into that good night. They screamed and yelled, but Fox would not bring back Firefly.

Pass a couple years, and “Firefly” creator, Joss Whedon, was able to show numbers on the incredible DVD sales “Firefly” generated, not to mention the whole write-in campaign. He managed to land a movie deal with Universal to bring “Firefly” to the big screen.

This was the first time that the fans of a cancelled TV show fought until it was turned into a major motion picture, “Serenity.”

“Done the Impossible” talks with many of these fans, who describe their roles in the battle. Some of the fans met their future spouses at a “Firefly” fan event. Others are dressed in perfect costumes. One lady had an intricate tattoo of “Serenity” on her back.

Some of the people there were just normal fans. Some of the people actually began crying when they thought of the show being cancelled, or of one character’s less-than-happy situation during “Serenity.”

It’s rare that a high-quality TV show moves that many people so deeply. Hell, it’s rare that there’s a high-quality TV show, much less one as awesome as “Firefly.” This documentary–Done the Impossible–is neither about the show nor the film, really. It’s about how the fans pulled together and, literally, did the seemingly impossible.

Just to be clear, I’m perfectly impartial: I have no opinion pro or con about the show or the film…but River Tam could kick your ass. 😉

Grade: B

(Done the Impossible, no MPAA rating I can find–probably PG for a couple minor swear words (no f-bombs); Done the Impossible, Firefly: The Complete Series, and Serenity are all available on Netflix streaming)


About tom

B.A. in Literature, Minor in Film Theory and Criticism, thus meaning all I’m trained is to write blog posts here. Neptune is my favorite planet–it vents methane into the solar system like my brother does. I think Chicken McNuggets look like Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Indiana. There are times when I’m medicated, which is why I wrote about McNuggets. Buy some today and tell me I’m wrong! Anyway, Beyond that: mammal, Floridian, biped.Good Night, and Good Luck. Besos, tom
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