Talk:Firefly (TV series)

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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Firefly (TV series) page.


This article is somewhat messy, in that several different formats for quotes are in use. I would like to standardize the format for a more professional look. My usual inclination is to use the format that I started with Mystery Science Theater 3000 (similar to what is currently in use for "Serenity (pilot)" and "Out of Gas"). It has its advantages and disadvantages, but it currently appears to be the most commonly used format for dialog-based Wikiquote pages. On the other hand, I find the "first line bullet, subsequent lines indented" format currently used for most Firefly eps to be quite useful in visually separating the dialog segments, and possibly a better alternative to the MST3K style of using half-width horizontal lines. The main problem with segment separation is that line spacing is different for different skins, or page styles (i.e., Monobook [default], Classic, Cologne Blue, Nostalgia), so one cannot use simple blank lines to do the job, or one winds up with massive amounts of wasted space (see Blackadder).

Ultimately, though, it's the readers and editors of the page that need to decide what they want, unless and until Wikiquote comes up with a single formal style for TV and film pages. (There has been some discussion on this topic at Talk:Television shows/Dialog formatting, Talk:List of films#Format style, and Wikiquote talk:Templates#Films & TV Shows, but don't hold your breath.) What does everyone here think about the various formats? — Jeff Q (talk) 13:14, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

Why not the hr trick? Having recently converted the Veronica Mars page to this format, I think it looks pretty good, myself. It is a bit more annoying for the editors, but it looks pretty well, good seperation and a good workaround for the different skins (but you know that, having invented it :). MosheZadka 15:23, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
Based on the above, now that I've satifisied myself watching the whole Firefly series three times just for entertainment (it's that great!), I will probably start reformatting and tweaking quotes shortly. If anyone has reservations about adopting the MST3K style of formatting for the whole article, now's the time to speak up! — Jeff Q (talk) 03:37, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It is great, isn't it? :) I look forward to all three whedon-shows having consistent before September, when we start adding quotes from Serenity (movie) ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 04:45, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Alert: Sci Fi Channel will be airing Firefly starting 22 July 2005, so I will be reviewing and converting the entire article, episode by episode, in the next 3 days so that when people start coming here with more quotes, they have a uniform look and feel to work with. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 14:20, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

I've completed the basic reformatting of the article, expanded the intro, and added cast information (after replacing the former Wikipedia links to the actors with links to WP character pages). During the next two days, I'll be going through each episode and updating the quotes themselves, as well as making any format corrections I missed. I've also created a proposed format page (see Format subpage below) to deal with the problem that currently exists in other TV-show articles: how to provide detailed formatting information that may be updated by anyone, anytime (like an article) someplace other than the Talk page (which should be reserved for chronological, signed commentary). ~ Jeff Q (talk) 09:48, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

removed a formatting instruction[edit]

Please read Firefly (TV series)/Format for notes on how to use and edit this article.

I removed this formatting instruction from the article to this page, as it is no longer quite as relevant as when the page was first being started. ~ Kalki·· 23:46, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Collapsing witticisms[edit]

As I belatedly got around to watching Firefly (a serious competitor with Buffy as Joss Whedon's best, IMHO), I found myself wondering about something. One of many recurring entertainments of these Whedon shows is the occasional witty line that suddenly dies in the middle, as if the wit suddenly ran out. Here are Buffy and Firefly examples:

Buffy: Giles, it's one thing to be a Watcher and a librarian. They go together, like chicken and… guh, another chicken… or… two… chickens, or… something — you know what I'm saying!
from Buffy, "What's My Line?", Part I

Mal: Well, looks can be deceiving.
Jayne: Not as deceivin' as a low-down… dirty… deceiver.
from Firefly, "Out of Gas"

Jayne: Captain says you're to stay put. Doesn't want you to run afoul of his blushin' psychotic bride. She figures out who you are, she'll turn you in before you can say… "Don't turn me in, lady."
from Firefly, "Trash"; somehow Firefly's always come from Jayne

I haven't seen Angel enough to provide an example, but I'd be shocked if it didn't have plenty to offer. What I'm wondering is whether Whedon-show fans have come up with a term for these collapsing witticisms, like MST3K's "Crow Syndrome" (extending suggestive quips to an extreme, only to be shouted down). The structure certainly isn't unique to Whedon's shows — Blackadder has a good measure of these — but I was hoping that there was a shorthand term among the Buffy/Angel/Firefly crowd. — Jeff Q (talk) 22:17, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Cordelia: Okay, am I wrong in thinking that a "Please" and "Thank you" is generally considered good form when requesting a dismemberment?
Doyle: He appreciates us, in his own... unappreciative way.

Decent, if not perfect, example :) ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 15:13, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Format subpage[edit]

I have created an experimental page, User:Jeffq/Experiments/Firefly format, which is designed to address a serious problem with TV-show page formatting. Because it's somewhat complicated, several such articles (starting with Buffy and MST3K) have detailed instructions on how to format articles on their talk pages. But talk pages are supposed to be reserved for chronological, signed commentary that is occasionally archived when it gets too long. Formatting and other usage information, on the other hand, is more like a wiki article in that it should be updateable by anyone, anytime, and should not include attributions for the pieces that editors contribute. It should be presented as a single current practice page, just as an article should be presented as the current state of that topic.

It occurred to me that one reasonable solution is to create a subpage for TV-show articles that use this complex formatting, at least until Wikiquote adopts the practices universally, if ever. I propose moving this experimental format page to Firefly (TV series)/Format, Firefly/Usage, or similar name. (The current format page has more than just formatting information, so I'm open to suggestions for other titles.) I invite interested editors to review the page and provide feedback on its talk page. (That's an important additional benefit of having a subpage instead of a talk page for format descriptions — the format itself may be discussed separately without cluttering up the instructions themselves.) Pending approval of other interested readers, I plan to move the experimental page into place as soon as practical, which will preserve the edit history of both the instructions and any discussion on those instructions. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 10:02, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

Table of contents[edit]

I've added a custom table of contents for three reasons. First, the standard one is ugly and so long that you have to page down just to see the whole thing. Second, the heading style doesn't differentiate visually between episode titles, "Unknown episode", and auxiliary sections like "Cast", "See also", and "External links". Finally, a custom TOC enables some color-coding (to enhance the visual cueing of episodes vs. movie vs. other info), and the colors I've chosen come from an image of Serenity in w:Firefly, providing the dusty Western feel that pervades Firefly. I hope folks find this suitable. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 22:29, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

Two Objects In Space[edit]

How come there's two Objects in Space? Is that right? I mean, is it there for a reason, or should I or somebody delete it..? ZachsMind 02:01, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

We're back down to one now. I don't know how it happened, but I accidentally added the duplicate when I revised OiS. (When you do a section-edit, the header is included in the edit window. I usually copy the section, work on it offline, verify no one else has edited in the meantime, and paste it back in. I must have doubled the header while working on it.) The potential for messing up headers is one disadvantage of custom tables of contents. The automatic ones will always show the actual set of section headers, but custom TOCs will only show what you tell them to. They're very useful for articles that have a completely defined set of sections, but my faux-pas demonstrates that they have their own maintenance needs. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 05:59, 23 July 2005 (UTC)


I've changed the typical "External links" section to "References" because it allows the inclusion of a better information source than websites — the actual work from which this article derives its quotes. This doesn't match the official template in the similar circumstances of literary-work quote articles, but I think that's a shortcoming of the latter that is being addressed on an ad-hoc basis in book and author articles. The issue is how one comes up with quotes, and the obvious best answer is by examining the original work. "External links" are easy to access by readers of this website, but they are often wildly inaccurate, and inaccuracies spread across the Internet orders of magnitude more rapidly than in print. If and when I get the energy to do so, I'm going to start stumping for using explicit publication information (including ISBNs, where available) for artistic works to provide editors with means to verify quotes, but for now, I'm starting my guerrilla campaign with Firefly and a few literary/author articles. I invite comments, questions, and suggestions. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 06:15, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

Serenity comic book[edit]

There was a three-part comic series published by Dark Horse, written by Joss, about the events between the show and the film. Does anyone have an objection if I add quotes from it here? ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 03:06, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

I've added a comic section, as well as a "Quotes about" section, and reformatted the TOC to provide links to both. It's not quite as pretty as it was, so it might get killed (to paraphrase Malcolm Reynolds), but let's see if this suits. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 22:14, 30 September 2005 (UTC)
Well, I hope I didn't make it a powerful ugly creature -- I added in to the "Comic" section an "Issue 3" subsection. Unfortunately, I gave my Issue 1 away, so that's gonna be it from me for the current time. Thanks for the help ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 04:28, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Emphasis in comic books[edit]

Most dialog in comics is hand-lettered. This is true in Serenity as well as in most other comics I read on a regular basis. Italics are pretty hard to draw by hand, and harder to make distinct, so most letterers go for bolding emphasized speech. In most comic book pages I've worked on, I tended to use bolding. I saw Jeff change the bold to italics: certainly a valid decision from the PoV of "capturing meaning" (wikiquote is a computerized medium, where italics are commonly used for emphasis). I tried to go for "capture original text." I'm not sure what's better, myself. ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 00:41, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

I changed it to italics because standardard basic emphasis is italics, per both Wikipedia and Wikiquote policy. (If I recall correctly, we describe 3 forms of formatting emphasis: strong, stronger, and strongest.) I encourage not using bold except in rare cases because it interferes with visual separation from dialog character formatting. (Of course, italics interfere with context formatting, but the latter is only used occasionally and usually on a separate line, whereas character formatting is used on every line of dialog. This is one of those many unwritten reasons for how we got to what we currently have.) As far as following the original, we can make style decisions that don't take anything away from the meaning, as do all publishers. We also ignore standard comic use of ALL UPPERCASE LETTERS FOR ORDINARY DIALOG, for obvious reasons. Neither change causes a loss of meaning or intent. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 01:49, 17 October 2005 (UTC)
P.S. Just to be pedantic, one of those "rare cases" I allude to is when there is significance to increasing emphasis in a dialog line, like the phrase "every living thing" in MST3K's' "Devil Fish". (I scare myself with how readily I was able to think of an example of an obscure formatting issue.) And another form of emphasis is character SHOUTING, which is another reason why we reserve all-caps for special cases. (I'm beginning to realize why professional style guides are so long and detailed.) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 01:49, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

Missing from "Serenity"[edit]

My favorite quote, which was ad-libbed by Adam Baldwin, was missing so I included it. I'm not exactly, precisely sure about the wording, but the "nuthin' over nuthin'.. carry the nuthin'" is definitely there. 19:54, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Missing from "Shindig"[edit]

How could anyone miss this one from Badger???

". . . diamonds the size of testicles. Fortunately, I managed to get my hands on a pair (pause for funny looks from Mal and Jayne) of TICKETS!"

I don't recall the first part, but its something along the lines of "The only way to get tickets to the ball is with..."

I thought about adding that, but I deferred, I think because of a combination of how much had to be included to get the whole joke, plus the visual cue of Mal & Jayne's look. I might take another look. Of course, anyone can add it if they wish. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 17:55, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Our Mrs. Reynolds[edit]

That's not a wagon, it's a RAFT, floating on 55 gallon steel drums. That's why they're in the water.

No need to SHOUT; point taken. :-) (I admit, I was curious about why they were riding up the river, but I didn't look too carefully.) I've corrected the context line. Thanks for pointing this out! ~ Jeff Q (talk) 18:07, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Full vs. Fall[edit]

"...till she bring him to his fall/full..."

I've edited this quote to read fall instead of full. This is the wording in the shooting script (not a definitive source, I know), and in the DVD subtitles. Fall makes more sense in this context since she's referring to his refractory period. --Muchness 18:15, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Heart of Gold[edit]

Concerning the "Well, that was kind of horrific." quote, it sounds to me like he (Mal) could be saying either "one's" or "was". Since "one's" makes more sense and is (I believe) funnier, I think it ought to be changed to "one's". However, there was a comment regarding that, so I'd like some input before I go and change it. ~ Fredward 16:19, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm the person who added the comment:
NOTE: "that one's kinda horrific" makes even better sense, but *isn't* what Mal says."
Believe me, I really wanted Mal to be saying "one's" instead of "was". I obviously agree it makes more sense, and I also think it's funnier. But after carefully listening to the words and watching his lips, I felt there was no way one could interpret what he actually said as having an "n" in it. I admit I'm rather more obsessive than many about accuracy, but Wikiquote does strive for accuracy whenever possible. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 01:56, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
A little note on the "watching his lips" idea: Go look in a mirror while you say "was and one's." Pronounce the n as strongly as you like. Since the n in "one's" is pronounced completely with the tongue, it's not something you are going to see. -- 18:27, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
I've just reverted another attempt to "correct" this quote, this time by, who also changed the comment to read:
Some say he says "That was kind of horrific," but that is incorrect. He clearly says "one's," and the subtitles agree.
I stand by the evidence provided in the episode, as described above, which is disappointing but umambiguous. Ordinarily, the close-captioning would be compelling evidence, but the CC work done for Firefly has some gross errors in it, clearly made by people occasionally misinterpreting the dialog. (If need be, I can cite some of them, as soon as I get my DVDs back from a friend.) The only argument that might stick here is if someone has a (verifiable) shooting script that indicates Nathan Fillion was supposed to say "one's" instead of "was". We could then plausibly consider it an actor reading error, which might recommend the original text. (This is debatable, however. Wikiquote strives for accuracy in the text of the original material, and the only recognized orginals in this genre are the telecast and commercial DVD episodes, not the shooting scripts. But we don't have a formal policy on this currently.) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 10:07, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
I've just been watching the close-captioning of Serenity and its bonus materials, and I have two words for the case against close captions as a reliable source: "Millennium Vulcan" (from DVD extra "Future History: The Story of Earth That Was"). Joss Whedon pronounces the "falcon" of Millennium Falcon as "fall-cahn", and the captioner obviously misheard it.) Five minutes watching the film itself, and for that matter any episode of Firefly, are more than enough evidence that the captions are only approximations of the dialog. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 03:18, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I have listened, watched, and read the script (Firefly wiki's shooting script-- It says "one's," as well. Mal enunciates the n lightly, much like some might do with a southern accent. -- 05:34, 5 February 2006 (UTC) and wikis in general are not what the Wikimedia Foundation considers a reliable source. FFW seems especially bad for two major reasons:
  • It doesn't seem to provide a means to review the cited page. In fact, it seems to be missing everything a wiki article should have except the content itself, at least for this page.
  • It doesn't appear to have any information about itself, including its policy on accuracy and sourcing. Even with such a policy, WM projects like Wikipedia and Wikiquote are considered tertiary sources and don't consider themselves reliable sources for their own content, so they would hardly find FFW acceptable.
However, because I really want to be wrong about Mal's quote, I'm going to leave's change in place while we try to find a reliable source. If we can verify the shooting script, 205's argument gives a plausible reason to keep the most logical version of this line. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 10:28, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

English slang[edit]

I've removed the new section on "English slang" because it's more encyclopedic (or dictionary-oriented) than quote-oriented. I'm sure the anonymous user who added it felt it was a logical extension of the Translations section that contains the English translations of the Chinese expressions used in the Firefly dialog. But I only created the Translations section because (A) exact quoting requires the Chinese be used, not the English translation; (B) en:Wikiquote readers can be expected not to know Chinese and therefore frequently can't deduce the meanings from context; and (C) inserting often lengthy translations into the quoted text distracts from the quoted text itself. (Now that I think about it, one missing element is creating links to the translations, which we should probably implement.) The English expressions can pretty much be deduced from context, so I think there's no compelling need to have such a table. I recommend that if we feel we should have such a dictionary, it should go into the Wikipedia Firefly article. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 20:21, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

Translation transliterations[edit]

I just rolled back an edit of many phrases in the "Translations" section because they broke many of the links that justified having a Translations section. A brief review of the current source material at "Firefly-Serenity Chinese Pinyinary" suggests that at least some of these changes had merit; i.e., the source transliterations have been updated since I fetched them from there. (I imagine this comes from the changing preferences for transliterating Chinese characters and sounds into the English alphabet.) I would ask that if anyone wishes to make these updates, they make corresponding changes both to the links that use the phrases and to the order these phrases are listed in. Thank you for your assistance. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 04:16, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Furthermore, some of the translations are "Too Direct". As someone who is learning Mandarin, I can personally tell you some of those translations are either a) contextually inaccurate/non-sensical or b) just plain wrong... eg "Are we Clear here?" ("Dong le ma?" - Dong means 'Understand', 'Ma' is a word indicating that the context is that of a question being asked, and 'Le' is just slang :) ) 11:51, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

War Stories[edit]

Just to be nit-picky, I believe that Simon said he was thinking of growing a goatee, not a mustache, in reference to being a "traditional" criminal mastermind. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 20:52, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Please, do be nitpicky. We want accurate quotes here. But if you're not sure, you should try to verify a suspect quote with a reliable source. (For TV shows, the most convenient reliable source is usually a DVD or a telecast of the show.) Please also sign your talk-page posts by ending them with four tildes (~~~~), which the editor automatically converts to your username or IP and a timestamp. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 22:24, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
It's moustache 19:18, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Separate article for Serenity (film)?[edit]

Would seem to make sense - they are two different (if related) media. BD2412 T 07:56, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

I'd say yes. Not only is it a distinct media, but it would help lighten this page up some; it's pretty heavy as it is... EVula // talk // 03:05, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
While I am concerned about the potential for editors to use such a move as an opportunity to avoid increasing attention on copyvio problems, especially for TV shows, I'd have to agree that it makes sense from a categorical view, however we "flans" may want to treat the film as just another "episode". That's what "See also" is for, after all. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 04:23, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
Nevertheless, a film is a different category of thing. I see no reason why copyright policy can not be enforced even while the two are separate entries. This would seem to be in keeping with other similar instances of movies spun off TV shows (see the many Star Trek series/films). BD2412 T 03:15, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
I simply must learn to be more concise. Here's a try: I agree that we can and should enforce it for both TV & film articles, and I support splitting off Serenity (film). ~ Jeff Q (talk) 06:24, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Popular quotes missing?[edit]

Isn't there a line Mal says like "Reaptin' the thing don't make it sound better" which is a pretty catchy quote from the show? -- 13:37, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

I don't recall ever hearing that specific line. A quick Google search for "the thing don't make it sound better" didn't turn up anything. EVula // talk // // 16:41, 19 December 2012 (UTC)