Trek Alumnus Cast In Joss Whedon's 'Firefly'

By Caillan
February 27, 2002 - 8:22 PM

Fox Television yesterday announced Trek alumnus Ron Glass has been cast in Buffy The Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon's new sci-fi series Firefly.

Glass, who appeared as the Kraylor Doctor Loken in Voyager's 'Nightingale,' joins a cast that includes Two Guys and a Girl actor Nathan Fillion as Captain Malcolm Reynolds, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Billed as a "science fiction western," Firefly is set five hundred years from today in the Union of Planets, a government established after a bitter civil war. Under the leadership of Malcolm Reynolds, a renegade who fought against the new government, the crew of the Firefly-class transport ship Serenity must struggle to survive any way they can.

Slated for a fall premiere, the series has received a 13-episode commitment from the Fox network, with a budget of $1.3 million per episode. Whedon, who will write and direct the pilot episode in addition to serving as executive producer, has described Firefly as an "anti-Star Trek" with no major alien races - only humans.

Whedon said the inspiration for the series came from the American Civil War. "I wanted to make something that's about a guy who fought for the South, lost and doesn't like anybody anymore. This show isn't about the people who made history; it's about the people history stepped on."

The series is "kind of a Western in the sense that they ride to the border towns - these planets that are barely inhabited - because they want to stay away from the big government, the big radar."

Whedon is the Emmy-nominated creator of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and its spin-offs Angel, Ripper and Buffy: The Animated Series. A third generation writer, he penned the films 'Alien: Resurrection, 'Titan A.E.' and the cartoon hit 'Toy Story,' which earned him an Academy Award nomination.

Full details of all actors currently cast in the series can be found below. Unless otherwise indicated, the character descriptions come from last month's report at FilmJerk and until confirmed by Fox should be treated as you would any rumour.

'Nathan Fillion' photo - courtesy Nathan Fillion will play the lead role of Captain Malcolm 'Mal' Reynolds, described by Whedon as a "very dark-driven guy." Fillion starred as Johnny Donnelly in the comedy series Two Guys and a Girl and featured in the films 'Saving Private Ryan,' 'Blast From The Past' and 'Dracula 2000.' In 1996, he was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for his performance as Joe Buchanan in One Life To Live.

'Gina Torres' photo - courtesy Creation Entertainment Gina Torres is best known for her role as Helen in the sci-fi series Cleopatra 2525, for which she won an ALMA award. She also appeared in episodes of Alias, Nikita and NYPD Blue and played the recurring role of Nebula on Hercules: The Legendary Series. Torres will most likely portray Zoe, who fought with Reynolds in the war, or the sophisticated courtesan Inara.

'Adam Baldwin' photo - courtesy altoCelebs.comNo relation to the Baldwin brothers, Adam Baldwin appeared in the films 'Ordinary People,' 'Full Metal Jacket' and 'Independence Day.' He also played the title character in 1999's television version of 'Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.' Baldwin will will star as Jayne, the mercenary, described in Variety as a "hulky independent adventurer who doesn't back away from a good fight and has a face that doesn't lie." The character will reportedly appear in only seven of the thirteen episodes currently ordered.

'Jewel Staite' photo - courtesy Jewel-Staite.comJewel Staite played Gabriella DaVinci in the acclaimed Canadian series DaVinci's Inquest and Tiara in Honey, I Shrunk The Kids: The TV Show. She appears with veteran actress Mary Tyler Moore in the upcoming film 'Cheaters.' In Firefly, Staite will play Kaylee, the ship's mechanic. According to the character breakdown, she's "young, chubby, sexy as hell, and relentlessly cheery."

'Alan Tudyk' photo - courtesy IMDB.comStar of the films 'A Knight's Tale,' '28 Days' and 'Hearts in Atlantis,' Alan Tudyk has been cast as Wash, the pilot. Married to Zoe, Wash is reportedly "unassuming, self-deprecating, and not the fiery hero type at all."

'Sean Maher' photo - courtesy E!OnlineSean Maher, who featured in Party of Five, The $treet and starred in the TV movie 'Brian's Song,' has also joined the series. It is likely he will play Simon, a doctor who supported the Union of the Planets.

Summer Glau has been cast as River, billed as "extremely smart, severely disturbed and borderline psychic." Glau's only previous television appearance was as a prima ballerina in the Angel episode 'Waiting in the Wings.'

'Ron Glass' photo - courtesy, copyright Paramount Pictures Ron Glass, who appeared in Star Trek: Voyager's 'Nightingale,' is best known for his role as Detective Ron Harris in the 70s comedy series Barney Miller. The veteran actor has featured on series such as The Twilight Zone, The Practice and The Education of Max Bickford. It is likely Glass will portray Book, an older, religious man, out to see the universe and spread the word of God. Book will reportedly appear in only ten out of the first thirteen episodes.

According to Firefly: The Premiere Fansite, filming on the two-hour pilot episode will begin on Tuesday, March 5. Whedon's Mutant Enemy Productions is producing the series in conjunction with Fox Television.

The original casting announcement can be found in this Hollywood Reporter article, while further comments from Whedon and Nathan Fillion are available here.

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