Firefly may be the most infamous example of a TV show that was cancelled too soon. Even people today who have never seen a single episode know the story of its premature ending, and Fox must have spent the last decade or so regretting the decision to put an early end to the series back in 2002. Unfortunately for the cast of Firefly, the cancellation order came while the series was still filming its first and only season. Nathan Fillion had this to say about shooting Firefly even after its cancellation:
We had three more days of shooting after we were canceled and I remember thinking, 'This is going to be the worst. Every day is going to be a painful reminder of what we're losing and it's going to be one of the saddest, most horrifying three days of the shooting.' And it turned out to be amazing. Everyone was determined to squeeze any last remaining drops of joy we could get from this wonderful experience. I was really impressed with how people pulled together.
Working a job despite knowing that it would be ending in only a few days had to be difficult, and it's really rather admirable that Nathan Fillion and the rest of the cast were able to go out on a high note. They could have easily phoned in their performances because there was no real need to put effort into a cancelled show, but the quality and popularity of the entire series proves that the cast was firing on all cylinders until the very end. Fillion revealed the cast's attitude through the final days of Firefly during an appearance at the recent Long Beach Comic Con (via THR). Kudos to the lineup of actors for choosing to focus on what was amazing about their Firefly experiences rather than mope over the fact that their Firefly experiences were swiftly coming to an end.
Considering that Firefly only ran for fourteen episodes, it's somewhat surprising that the actors forged as much of a bond as they did during their time on set. They just didn't have much time to play their characters. Still, the years since Firefly's cancellation have proved that the cast formed friendships strong enough to outlast the end of their show. The Serenity follow-up movie and various cast reunions never would have happened if they weren't all eager to work together and recreate the Firefly magic once more.
Sadly, we haven't gotten much Firefly in the years since Serenity in 2005. A line of Serenity comics have been released and are considered canon by Joss Whedon, so the story has continued even if the cast was not involved. Jewel Staite and Summer Glau both turned up on Nathan Fillion's show Castle, and Alan Tudyk's web series Con Man promises to bring more and more Firefly alums to streaming as it continues. The actors have been busy with different projects over the past fourteen years.
Only time will tell if we'll be lucky enough to get more Firefly and give the cast a chance for an even happier small screen ending. Check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see what shows you can check out in the near future.