Fan Friday Interview

Over the last few months, we’ve formed ourselves quite the little community of Browncoats.

Everything we do at Unstoppable Signals is for the fans so we thought we’d get to know some of you just a little bit better.  Today is a special Fan Friday,  Freech, a long time fan of HNBF/US agreed to sit down for a little Q & A with us.

Unstoppable Signals: First off, thank you for taking the time to sit down with us for a few minutes to talk about yourself and HNBF/US. The sci-fi category of TV and film has fans from all walks of life. If you don’t mind would you like to share a little bit about yourself?

Freech: Not at all. I graduated twice from Michigan State, once in 2007 and once in 2008 in two animal science related fields and am about to start up a new job in a new state. It’s a very exciting time for me. As long as I can remember, I have been a fan of science fiction. I loved Star Trek: TNG when I was a kid, a series that I grew to love in most of its other forms. I was even a pretty big fan of SeaQuest DSV when it came out back in ’93. I found views of the future in shows like that to be fascinating.

Unstoppable Signals: A science fiction fan from the very beginning. Obviously you’re a big Firefly fan.  What do you think it is about Firefly that keeps the passion going for it nearly a decade after it’s cancellation.

Freech: I think that it has something to do with the writing. No one on the ship was perfect, and it made the whole thing somewhat believable. You found yourself able to relate to these characters. It never really tried too hard and seemed to flow very well.

I suppose the thing that got me hooked on it initially was the fact that it wasn’t as shiny and polished as the other sci-fi shows out there. And it was a bit more blunt and gritty than pretty much all of them. It was one of the things that I really liked about Enterprise when it came out. You could see some of the elements of what would come later, but it wasn’t there yet. I saw the same elements in Firefly during that first aired episode.

Unstoppable Signals: If you had to choose one our Big Damn Heroes as your favorite, which one and why?

Freech: I pondered this question during a road trip, but came up with a different answer altogether. I was dressed in my favorite long brown coat (Mal), but was driving through traffic with agility and relative ease (Wash). I am a man of faith (Book), and was originally on a path to become a doctor (Simon). I’d like to think of myself as a pretty good mechanic (Kaylee) if the situation called for it. I have made a few stupid decisions in my life (Jayne), have been called crazy (River), but have tried to maintain a bit of class (Inara). I have been called extremely loyal (Zoe) by any number of people. I’d also relate to other minor characters, such as Badger and Niska, but I think we’ll leave it there for now…The fact is that it is hard to pick just one.

But if I had to pick just one, I’d say Mal. The bits of humor that Nathan Fillion was able to inject into the character made it work. If you look closely, you can see it in Castle as well.

Unstoppable Signals: A lot of people will say that Firefly is great because of the master story teller behind it, Joss Whedon. Are his other works something you enjoy as well?

Freech: To be honest, I haven’t seen any of his other works. Friends of mine have suggested that I take a look at Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, and I understand that he is doing the upcoming Avengers movie. So there are a couple of things to look forward to, I guess.

Unstoppable Signals: Nearly all of Whedon’s work has obtained a cult following. He had great success in previous shows (Buffy & Angel), but the series gradually got shorter and shorter. His most recent television show, Dollhouse was barely given a second season. What do you think it is that causes shows with great cult following and critical acclaim to be canceled? Is it that people are loosing interest in the genre or simply the system for measuring viewership is no longer accurate?

Freech: I think that the genre itself is falling out of favor. The networks still seem to be on that reality show kick and keep airing new ones to replace the old ones. People sure do seem to like watching personal dramas played out on camera and alliances forged and then broken. (I think I also heard somewhere that they are cheaper to make than full-on TV series.) The problem that I am seeing now with recent sci-fi on the big networks is that they are trying too hard to make sure that they win in all of their demographics. “The Cape” might just have been one of those shows. “He fights crime, but also has a personal side. We will show you less of the former and more of the latter and hope that you can make the leap with us.” The show never really had a chance, but the initial premise was cool. What we really need is a sci-fi show to come around and bring back that old style. Is it really too much to ask for a second season of Firefly? What about other ideas involving the future and space travel? I’m sure that someone out there has a good idea.

Unstoppable Signals: You have been around on the Facebook page for quite some time and comment/post rather regularly. How did you find out about us, and what was your first reaction to the original idea?

Freech: First of all, I found out about the Science Channel re-airing the episodes a day before my birthday, and it really rekindled that interest in the show. A few days later I read about Nathan Fillion’s comment in a CNN article and later followed the link to the Facebook page when they followed up on his comment. The rest, as they say, is history. I thought that the original idea of raising money to buy the rights was great. Why couldn’t I have thought of it? If we could just get enough people behind the idea I figured that we might have a chance at bringing this great show back.

Unstoppable Signals: One thing that has been fairly prominent with all the various Browncoat groups is that we all try to find a way to support a charity or cause in need. CSTS supports Equality Now, Browncoats: Redemption supports all our BDH’s charities, and we specifically have chosen to support Kids Need to Read. What do you think that says about the Browncoats as whole?

Freech: I think that it shows that we are more than willing to help those who are struggling. Like we are trying to be a part of the solution. It almost mirrors the crew of Serenity, in a way: a small group trying to become mighty and make a difference when it counts.

Unstoppable Signals: A while back we posted our “State of Affairs” and asked the fans to decide in what direction we should go. What are your feelings about the ideas we put forward? For instance the idea of a fan-owned production company.

Freech: I think that the fan-owned production idea is solid, but care needs to be taken to make sure that it is done correctly. I think that it would be a great way to get more good sci-fi made simply because of the people who have been a part of this movement. During the weeks that followed that initial response to HNBF, there were postings about ideas that members had about spin offs and other sci-fi projects. It was cool to see what other people were thinking.

I am also in favor of a community for Browncoats to flock to. Currently there are several different places online where fans can meet up, but it seems to me like these are all separate entities. I could be wrong, but it might help to unify everyone under one roof. We could then accurately show how many people actually would be behind a reboot of the series if needed, instead of having to go from site to site, forum to forum to rally the troops.

I also really like the direction that the movement has taken. We could have thrown in the towel completely when we found out that there was little support for what we were doing. Instead, we picked a number of charities and threw our support behind them. A lot of money has been raised for Browncoats: Redemption and Kids Need to Read, and over a million grains of rice have been donated because of the Unstoppable Signals group on FreeRice.com. And these are only three of the groups that Browncoats have backed since the “end” of HNBF back in March. It is a cool thing to be a part of.

Unstoppable Signals: Very well said, do you have anything else you’d like to say to the other fans reading this?

Freech: I guess all I’d have to say is to keep the enthusiasm up. Keep showing Firefly to your friends. Keep supporting the groups and charities involved. It is support like this that got Serenity made in 2005, and it is continued support that could get us something bigger in the future. And most of all, keep flying!

About Thor Kuhn

Thor Kuhn is your average Sci-Fi Fan, trying to enjoy TV's current sci-fi line up before it's all canceled. He can be reached at: Thor.Kuhn(@)UnstoppableSignals.com