Television is a vast and varied format, and it’s often the episodes that break the norm of their shows that often end up being the most acclaimed. By stripping the show down to its base elements, some of the most beloved episodes in television history are “bottle episodes”. These episodes take place in a single location and only feature the core characters, or even less. These episodes are devised to save budgets and reduce the need for vast locations or guest stars, although sometimes it’s due to a desire to try something different. These five episodes from television shows I love prove that sometimes less is more, and have been responsible for some of the finest outings for their respective shows.
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Sixteen years ago today, Joss Whedon’s science fiction television show Firefly aired for the first time. Despite it being really, really awesome, Fox never gave it the time of day it deserved. Episodes aired out of order, some weren’t shown and it was given a death slot on Friday evenings. This caused it to be cancelled after only 14 episodes were made. The fans persisted though, and Firefly went on to become a cult classic, with the Browncoats never truly giving up on the prospect of a revival. Serenity, the amazing feature length film, ended the story, but to this day many are waiting for the ship to fly again. I am very happy to have discovered this brilliant show.
The premise is simple. Hundreds of years into the Earth’s future, humanity has decided to travel the stars. A group of planets form together to create The Alliance, which aims to integrate all colonies together. Those that rebel against it are dealt with ruthlessly, and a war breaks out between the Alliance and the “Browncoats”, fought by those who oppose the Alliance. Malcolm Reynolds is present at the Battle of Serenity Valley when his side loses. Refusing to abandon his principals, he takes a Firefly class spaceship, names it Serenity, and travels the stars with his crew consisting of like minded individuals. They become mercenaries and guns for hire, doing jobs to keep themselves alive in the universe, all the while escaping the Alliance. The series is focused on Mal as three mysterious guests join the Serenity crew, two of which are a brother and sister on the run from the Alliance for reasons unknown.
Continue reading “My top five Firefly episodes”