How 'Firefly' Changed Science Fiction Fandom Forever

When Joss Whedon's sci-fi/western mashup Firefly premiered on Fox in 2002, it almost immediately sank to the bottom of the Nielsen ratings. Only 11 of the 14 produced episodes were aired before Fox pulled the plug on the series. But somehow, someway, Firefly has become one of the most beloved television series of the 21st century, spawning comic books, action figures, fan conventions, and a major motion picture adaptation.

Rumors of a revival or reunion never seem to go away because fans are just as passionate, if not more so, about the show today as they were back in the early 2000s. We may not get that revival anytime soon, but there are still plenty of other shows like Firefly that you can check out instead. For comparison, Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda, which aired around the same time as Firefly, lasted five seasons and 110 episodes. Fringe lasted five seasons and 100 episodes. SyFy's Warehouse 13 survived for five seasons and 64 episodes. Firefly is a certified cult classic, while its longer-running counterparts are lost to pop culture history.

Firefly's legacy is undeniable, and its fingerprints are all over modern science fiction and genre fandom.