America has long been obsessed with the idea of the Wild Wild West. In the TV show Firefly, the genres of western and science fiction are blended together. For those who are unfamiliar with the story line, here is a quote from the opening of the show (I could not attached the clip):
“Here’s how it is, Earth got used up so we terraformed a whole new galaxy of Earths. Some rich and flush with the new technologies. Some not so much. Central planets they must form the Alliance, which swore to bring everyone under their rule. A few idiots tried to fight it, among them myself. I’m Malcolm Reynolds, captain of Serenity. I’ve got a good crew…You got a job, we can do it. Don’t much care what it is,”
The Ballad of Serenity This show incorporates the common theme present in science fiction of have to leave Earth and rebuilding civilization elsewhere, due to Earth’s unideal conditions. In Firefly, they take off into space and rebuild on numerous planets. As the opening sequence suggests, Malcolm Reynolds, is a sort of an outlaw, who runs a ship to smuggle and commit illegal activities in order to make his money. I think the concept of the show is very interesting, especially when related to the initial idea of genre we discussed in class. It takes one of the more classic genres, western and turns changes it into a science fiction based TV show. The show contains features of both genre as it is set in outer space, with the idea of new technology, however it still contains the core ideas of a western. Ideas such as the outlaw and exploring the new world. It is not the first show to blend the two genres, over the years there have been many space cowboy movies. One of the more well known ones being Space Cowboys, as well as the more recent Cowboys and Aliens. Overall, there have been many movies exploring the blending of these two genres, after all who doesn’t like cowboys and space? I just really enjoy this clip… This Land…
One thought on “Pioneering Through Space”
I think the idea of the cowboy is one that is great for SF because in this genre there can always be a new frontier to explore. The whole of space and every dusty planet can be the new wild and free west or like Neuromancer we can have cyberspace be the new frontier. Although it is also true that if anything continues to be popular long enough it will end in space. This can be said for many movies and genres if we like them enough and they get popular enough we will shoot them into space. I guess it is the idea that anything great (like cowboys) can only be made better by putting them in space.