In the 13 years since its cancellation, “Firefly” hasn’t just stayed alive — it’s thrived.
New York Comic-Con was proof. Three thousand adults and one infant “Browncoat” — a fond nickname for “Firefly” fanatics — packed a ballroom at New York’s Javits Center on Saturday to remember a show that many say died far too early.
Alum Nathan Fillion (Captain Mal Reynolds), Alan Tudyk (Hoban Washburne), Gina Torres (Zoë Washburne) and Jewel Staite (Kaylee Frye) discussed the cult classic and gave hungry Browncoats the opportunity to ask their heroes questions.
Set 500 years into the future during a global civil war, “Firefly” charted the whereabouts of spaceship Serenity and its nine crew members in the year 2517. It blossomed into a cult phenomenon after its 2002 premiere.
Fox cancelled the show after 11 episodes largely because of low ratings, though the way in which “Firefly” aired — on an irregular schedule and with episodes often released out of chronology — has also been blamed.
But when asked what they took away from the short-lived skein, Staite said, “I learned that if the network tells you that no one is watching the show, sometimes they are wrong.”
The former cast members agreed that they would be game to star in a second season if it was offered.
“Full-time, please,” Fillion said.
“Otherwise they would cast new people,” Staite said.
“And nobody wants that,” Torres added to thunderous applause
As for their favorite memories from the show, Fillion quipped, “It’s been a long time since ‘Firefly.’ My memory is fading. We have been going to conventions since 2003.”
Tudyk spoke about the cast’s ability to speak both English and Chinese for the series.
“We had these things called cassette tapes,” thesp said. “Remember them? They helped us with the Chinese.”
“I have a confession to make,” Staite interrupted. “I never listened to the tapes. I just winged it. All of my Chinese was ADR’d later on. They couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t getting it.”
Despite the show’s quick demise, Staite said the show helped her career.
“I’ve gotten offered really cool jobs because of ‘Firefly,’” thesp said. “Specifically, ‘Stargate: Atlantis.’ And that’s because the producers liked ‘Firefly.’”
Torres admitted that the show didn’t exactly “propel my career forward, but it’s close to my heart.” Thesp went on to explain that the former role has influence her current role on “Suits.”
“Jessica (Pearson) is just Zoe in really high heels,” Torres said. “Jessica is also a badass. She has to keep these stupid boys in line.”
Fillion cracked, “I don’t think people look at your resume and say, ‘Look! He was on a failed television show, but it’s cultish.’”
When a fan asked whether the cast took any mementos from the “destroyed” set of the 2005 film “Serenity,” Staite called Fillion out.
“The set was not destroyed, it was dismantled,” thesp laughed. “I saw a man taking things of the wall and that was Nathan. He had no shame just ripping things off the wall. I should have done it too, but I’ve been in the business since I was 5 and the first thing I learned was you don’t do that.”
Before saying goodbye, a very pregnant Staite gave a very excited fan a T-shirt, a photo and a hug.