Firefly 1980

By Phil Plait | July 12, 2010 2:07 pm

I love stuff like this: what would the credits of "Firefly" have been like had the show been made in the 1980s? Pretty much like this:

This was done by Garrison Dean and my bud Charlie Jane Anders from io9.

I saw right away (like many others) that they left off Simon Tam from the credits! So what did they do? In a sense, they apologized but in a freaking brilliant and hilarious way:

Awe. Some. Makes me want to sit down with my DVD set of "Firefly", too. Into the black once more…

Tip o’ the Crazy Ivan to Wil.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Geekery, Humor, SciFi, TV/Movies

Comments (41)

  1. I see that over rated actor suggested this, but it is still cool. You know if Firefly was made in the ’80s
    Malcolm would have the tag line “I love it when a plan comes together”.

  2. Oh, the cheesy horror!

  3. Travis D

    Both of those were pure awesome.

    Time to break out the DVD set.

  4. Joe

    Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

  5. Chris

    Amazing how many of the actors went on to other series. (Stargate, Chuck, Terminator, Castle)

  6. Christine

    Cool. But I miss the actual show’s theme song.

  7. Seconded, I want to hear an 80’s-ized version of “You Can’t Take The Sky From Me.” Even without, these vids are pure concentrated win.

    Raises the question, though…I wonder if Fox would have humped them a bit less if the intro hadn’t been so sedate.

  8. Thespis

    Hey, B.A.- there are probably a few “Can’t Stop the Serenity” events left on the schedule for the summer- there might even be one nearby to you!

  9. rob

    last week i re-watched the series and the movie via netflix streaming. kept saying to myself: “just one more episode. only one more. okay, i’ll go to bed after one more last one.”

    then kept saying to myself: “crap! there ain’t no more!”

  10. Allen

    Really awesome.

  11. Ahhhh. I needed that!

    Loved it. All the cheap/childhood nostalgia of the A-Team coupled with my mature and entirely justified love affair with Firefly. Its a win!

    Although, it might have been cool/horrific to hear the 80’s-ized version of “You Can’t Take The Sky From Me.” Probably would have been horrific.

  12. No, this is what Firefly looked like in the 1980s:

  13. DB

    In 1980, it might have seemed a lot like Blakes 7

  14. JackJl

    I thought this was a reference to Galactica 1980.

    I do want firefly to come back but not that bad.

  15. John Paradox

    I remember seeing the first video on SyFy Wyre (or whatever), where the Browncoats noted vociferously the absence of Tam. Glad to see he got something out of it after all.


    NOTE: SyFy, in its never-ending attempt to completely anger actual fans of SciFi and Skepticism, has created another ‘reality show’, Fact or Fake: The Paranormal Files that premieres this Thursday. The hype for it on this article makes it sound like a quasi- Skeptologists, while it’s really more ‘ghost hunters’ garbage. It also follows Mary Knows Best, starring ‘psychic’ Mary Occhino and her family.

  16. Peter F

    People forget now how very bad TV was in the 70s and 80s. Any one episode of Firefly is better than anything and everything that aired on television for almost two decades (the Simpsons started in 89, right?)…

  17. Donovan

    What? TV was NOT crap in the 80’s. I mean, we had awesome shows like this gem:

    That’s right, sit back, put on your Hypercolor T-shirt, some hi-top Reeboks with neon laces, crack open a Jolt cola, and be prepared for nostalgia on a tubular level.

  18. Dennis

    @Peter F: true that some of my favorite shows in the 80’s (I turned 11 in 1980), I have watched again as an adult and thought – how could I have *loved* such unwatchable crap?!
    But after reading your comment one exception came immediately to mind – and I say so with only mild embarrassment – Magnum, P.I.
    I’ve watched the entire series again just a couple of years ago and enjoyed it just as much as I did as a pre-teen/teenager.
    I’m sure there must be some other ’80s shows that stand the test of time – but I can’t think of any at the moment.

  19. Mount

    I was feeling a bit depressed, that cheered me right up! I’m sure I’m not the only one here who has watched all that Firefly has to offer in one sitting, right?

  20. Teshi

    Holy crumpets, the second video has made me realise that I would TOTALLY watch a futuristic SciFi medical show a la Firefly but more static. I mean, sci fi shows often have a lot of this anyway.

    Let’s see, it would have to be in some kind of major hospital, perhaps with military people passing through in order to provide enough variety. The doctor and team in question would have to cater at least partially to the rich, famous and secretive, thus dealing with all kinds of intrigue and crazy space and alien-related illnesses that would likely require all kinds of crazy medicobabble to cure.

    It would have to be at least partially funny because it would be the “other side” of all those sci fi shows where the main characters are always being patched up from weird injuries and illnesses in the middle of the night in secret army bases, perhaps not actually privy to what is going on until, in the pilot episode…

    Doctor: Where has this soldier been?!
    Anonymous Army Dude: I’m afraid that information is need-to-know. Grump, grump.
    Doctor: Dammit, I need to know!
    *cue ridiculous secret alien invasion/war/exploration/first contact story, doctor forced to keep his or her real life secret from his or her family and co-workers at the regular hospital*

    Can’t you feel the potential?!

    *moves to LA*

  21. wtlloyd

    F-Troop, Gilligan’s Island, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Mr Ed, My Mother the Car, Lost in Space, Batman (Kids! Now TWO nights a week!), The Beverly Hillbillys, Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, McHale’s Navy…

    You kids got nothin’ on us Boomers when it comes to the crap on TV we devoured growing up…

  22. Favorite episode: Out of Gas.

  23. Messier Tidy Upper

    Great veideoclip – very Shiny. :-)

    But I still prefer the one with the “Fitrefly ” ballad on it. :-)

    Loved that show. 😀

    Such great characters and dialogue – and cool looking ships and great world creation. The movie blew me away too. Just such a shame the show never got a long enough run – curse those TV exceutives for cutting it off too soon.


    “Burn the land and boil the sea you can’t take the sky from me.”


    Personal favourite moment :

    Villagers : “We’re going to burn her! She’s a witch!”

    Mal Reynolds : “She may be a witch but she’s our witch – now cut her the hell down.”

  24. John Paradox

    21. Teshi Says:
    Holy crumpets, the second video has made me realise that I would TOTALLY watch a futuristic SciFi medical show a la Firefly but more static

    There was a very short lived SciFi/Medical Center show.. whose name I don’t remember (because I would love to see the James White Sector General stories made into a series/mini-series). I have no idea when it was on, which network (cable? don’t think so) or much else about it, except it wasn’t very good.


  25. Or for the actual transcript version of that fave moment from the episode “Safe” via the “Whoa Good Myth : Firefly resource site” – click on my name for a link there.


    PATRON [head of the Hill folk – nasty backwoods villagers – Ed.]
    This is a holy cleansing. You cannot think to thwart God’s will.

    Y’all see the man hanging out of the spaceship
    with the really big gun? Now I’m not saying
    you weren’t easy to find. It was kinda out
    of our way, and he didn’t want to come in
    the first place. Man’s lookin’ to kill
    some folk. So really it’s his will y’all
    should worry about thwarting.
    (to Simon)
    Gotta say, doctor, your talent for alienatin’
    folk is near miraculous.

    Yes, I’m very proud.

    Cut her down.

    That girl is a witch.

    Yeah, but she’s our witch.
    (cocks gun)
    So cut her the hell down.


    @5. Chris Says:
    [July 12th, 2010 at 2:33 pm]

    Amazing how many of the actors went on to other series. (Stargate, Chuck, Terminator, Castle)

    You forgot Morena Baccarin in the latest remake of “V” where she’s also very impressive. :-)

  26. Muzz

    The clip is extra amusing when you try to imagine just how blown minds would have been by Firefly’s effects in the 80s. (they should do a dodgy recut, somehow indicating there’s about 6 shots of the Serenity used over and over again)

  27. TSFrost

    The only show from the 70’s/80’s I can still bear to watch is M*A*S*H. I still think that was a great show.

  28. Ray Bellis

    BTW, the music for that main intro is “Sybex Factor” from Mark Shreeve’s album “Legion”. It’s one of my favourites :)

  29. Stan9FOS

    Hmm… tasty, but needs more Saffron.

  30. Michael Swanson

    “28. TSFrost Says:

    The only show from the 70’s/80’s I can still bear to watch is M*A*S*H. I still think that was a great show.”

    I can’t believe you would say that! What about ALF? Or RHODA? Are you saying that you don’t like SILVER SPOONS or THE A-TEAM? What about MANIMAL? Who doesn’t like MANIMAL???

  31. Chris Winter

    Ah, yes — ALF… Automan… Manimal… The gems. 😉

    There was “War of the Worlds” too. Remember the episode with the shape-changing robot (?) designed to kill the invader aliens? Of course they recognized it right away: “That’s no cat — it’s a Synth from planet Quatro!”

    But on the other hand…

    Dennis wrote: “I’m sure there must be some other ’80s shows that stand the test of time — but I can’t think of any at the moment.”

    How about: Alien Nation? China Beach? Crime Story? Greatest American Hero? Hill Street Blues? In the Heat of the Night? St. Elsewhere?

  32. Terry

    Don’t know if anything saw this before but… That’s one of the things that makes me go !Yippee!! Even if it sucks, it’ll be more of my Firefly Crack.

  33. ND

    Star Trek NG started in ’87. Technically an 80’s show, no?

    I wonder how Max Headroom would hold up today with the internet and other tech and all.

  34. Chris Winter

    They’re both on the 1980s list at “Crazy about TV.” I thought of including them both, but figured ST:TNG had been discussed often enough here that it didn’t need mentioning. As for Max Headroom, I don’t remember it well enough.

  35. keplerlover

    Firefly was mostly a mess, an occasionally entertaining mess but a mess nonetheless. Serenity however was well worth the wait.

  36. ZarathustraMike

    Unfortunately I was a latecomer to ‘Firefly’. Only after seeing ‘Serenity’ in the theater did I become a devotee, having now purchased several different versions of the movie for myself and to give as gifts to Sci-fi watching friends. Last year I went out and bought the entire ‘Firefly’ series in Blue-Ray, and I’ve got to say, it is one of my favorite DVD purchases…. and I have a collection of several hundred! I Love the entire series, and am in love with Summer Glau, though she doesn’t know it. For those interested, Jewel & Sean Maher appeared in last night’s episode of Warehouse 13.

  37. Murff

    I’m having neck surgery this coming Monday, and when I get back home, part of my recovery will b watching the box set of Firefly episodes. Looking forward to it :)

  38. John Paradox

    34. ND Says:

    I wonder how Max Headroom would hold up today with the internet and other tech and all.

    I have the full run (including the British movie version, where Max ends up with Blank Reg) and still see a lot of ‘future’ in it, especially if you look at the shows that the various networks were running.

    As for the 80’s, I recently found a short-lived (6 episodes, summer replacement?) series called Q.E.D. – set in 1912, so it’s almost a Victorian England series. An American genius (Played by Sam Waterston) comes to England, and uses his scientific knowledge to fight another genius who wants to take over the world. Had some interesting characters, and stories IMHO.
    It, and other ‘rare’ 80’s series (Black’s Magic with Hal Linden [Barney Miller] as a magician/illusionist, but I remember little about it) are on YouTube, on the imstillstuckinthe80s channel.


  39. lubeg

    “The Eagle would kick the Galactica’s @$$. Because there was no ‘Space: 1999, 1980’.”

    – Starship Smackdown, Comic Con, 2002

    You may not have known it, Dr. Plaitt, but your headline was beautiful. And so reminscent of Con and the fun things which take place. I will truly miss it this year.

  40. DB1918

    Space Above and Beyond?

  41. goy

    Okay, joke’s over. Really. Can we get Firefly back on the air now, plz??


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