Talk:Firefly (TV series)

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Featured article Firefly (TV series) is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.

Re-evaluating FA status[edit]

The article, Firefly (TV series), has been a Featured Article since 2006. Now I'm more worried about the article quality of the article, especially when sources are aging. I shall notify related projects and currently active editors who made the promotion possible. --George Ho (talk) 03:59, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

I have no opinion on this but take this opportunity to ask: in the episode table, should eps. 11-13 say 2002 instead of 2003? – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 04:18, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
No. From the article itself: "Although Whedon had designed the show to run for seven years, low ratings resulted in cancellation by Fox in December 2002 after only 11 of the 14 completed episodes had aired in the United States. The three episodes unaired by Fox eventually debuted in 2003 on the Sci Fi Channel in the United Kingdom." Alex|The|Whovian? 04:24, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
  • The 2003 date is listed on case for the DVD collection. This was cited in the article before to prevent erroneous 'corrections'. -Fnlayson (talk) 16:23, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

I checked the contributions of those who edited the article at the time of the promotion, i.e. 2006. Many of them are less active at the moment; some died. Now that I see some discussion, shall notifying the TV project be necessary? --George Ho (talk) 04:31, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

The status of contributors from 2006 is not that relevant. The quality of the article is question. -Fnlayson (talk) 16:23, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
I think, if readers want to read Episodes section, the list uses the TV Guide-style to advertise episodes or something like that. The synopses are not adequate or complete enough. Instead the readers have to click any episode title to read the poor-quality pages about individual episodes. Re-reading Wikipedia:Featured article criteria, the lead might need some improvement. Also, "Media franchise" section may need some expansion. By the way, the WP:WikiProject Firefly is tagged inactive at the moment. --George Ho (talk) 21:29, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
  • The episodes info was in "List of Firefly episodes" article [1]. This was merged into this article around 2012, well after the article made it to FA status. With that said, the episode summaries do need to be rewritten/expanded to be complete. -Fnlayson (talk) 23:06, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
I can take a crack at expanding the summaries, as someone intimately familiar with the show, so long as there's someone else to copyedit. I have difficulty with brevity, and the tablet I'm on makes typing long things difficult and rife with spelling errors. I'll also be glad to help provide any clarifications that may come out of the article being unclear, if that's necessary when going over it. ~Cheers, TenTonParasol 04:37, 17 January 2017 (UTC)

@Finnusertop, TenTonParasol, Fnlayson, and AlexTheWhovian: I thought about taking this to FA Review. Your responses? George Ho (talk) 20:53, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

I think it'd be a good idea. ~Cheers, TenTonParasol 21:20, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
The article could use some love. There's a good bit more critical commentary that's taken place in the last decade, as well as standards having changed underneath the article. A focused, collaborative effort should be able to identify and correct deficiencies. Jclemens (talk) 22:33, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

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Category:Post-apocalyptic television series[edit]

There are some edits going on around the Category:Post-apocalyptic television series on this article. Some editors are adding it and some are removing it. So lets talk about it. I don't believe this belongs in this category, there is not apocalypse in the TV show (or movie or connected books.) The in universe explanations of what is being interpreted as an apocalypse of "Earth that was" (something people refer to only because it's back out of memory) was that the population got too large and the resources ran out. To quote from the show about the history of Earth "Earth got used up, so we terraformed a whole new galaxy of Earths...", "The Earth got used up, so we moved out and terraformed a whole new galaxy of Earths...", "After the Earth was used up, we found a new solar system and hundreds of new Earths were terraformed and colonized." Nothing about an apocalypse, no wars or plagues or breakdown of society. And not directly relevant but from Serenity "Earth that was could no longer sustain our numbers, we were so many. We found a new solar system, dozens of planets and hundreds of moons."

So no evidence of the show being post-apocalyptic. However even if it was the category needs to be A) verifiable and possibly more importantly B)defining (per WP:CATDEF) as something that sources commonly and consistently use to describe the article subject. Post-apocalyptic is most definitely not an defining attribute of the Firefly TV series. Canterbury Tail talk 14:57, 2 August 2017 (UTC)

The term Apocalypse refers to the end of the world, and the end came for Earth - whatever the cause, however long before. Post-apocalyptic = after the end of the world (Earth). The setting falls into that category easily. Additionally, you will find Greg Edmonson, the composer of the music for the series, defining it as post-apocalyptic in this interview here. He had direct access to the the creative minds of the series, was one of them, and his opinion carries significant weight. This is included in the book Buffy, Ballads, and Bad Guys Who Sing: Music in the Worlds of Joss Whedon. Firefly is also discussed at length in Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Post-Apocalyptic TV and Film. It was included in the top ten list of postapocalypticmedia.com in 2014. There are enough sources which state it as post-apocalyptic to include the category. Nobody has suggested including it as a major component in the article text, although that argument could be made. ScrpIronIV 16:40, 2 August 2017 (UTC)
@Dashiellx, ScrapIronIV, and Canterbury Tail: Here are some sources describing the post-apocalyptic elements of the series: one book, opinion from another book, another book describing The Reavers as post-apocalyptic. More from Google Books, but I can see just snippets and omitted pages. Personally, I watched the whole series a long time ago, and there is nothing post-apocalyptic about the fictional universe, even when one or two planets were... abandoned, destroyed, or filled with The Reavers. --George Ho (talk) 22:49, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
The individual planets are not post-apocalyptic; it is the entire universe which is. It is deep background, but it is there. And it's good enough - with the cited sources - to include the category. But it doesn't need to be a big deal - nobody is saying it needs to be a major element of the article. ScrpIronIV 01:10, 5 August 2017 (UTC)
I don't see it. The Foundation series would count, as post-apocalyptic, then. Post-apocalyptic involves not only the world being (substantially) destroyed, but that the main venue of action is that destroyed world. Firefly wasn't the latter; the abandonment of Earth is just a way to establish the setting. Jclemens (talk) 06:38, 5 August 2017 (UTC)
Nothing in the show indicates any of this, and to extrapolate it's post-apocalyptic from the show is original research. Yes it seems there are some references that do describe it that way, from the Firefly history I can't see it but I agree there are a few references. However even with a few references this completely fails WP:CATDEF. There is no indeication of anything as such in the article, and it is certainly not defining of the article subject. Reliable sources have to commonly and consistenly define it as something for it to be in a category. Only a few sources,none of the main discussions on the subject. Obviously I'm willing to go with whatever consensus comes up with, but I don't see it either in the show or in the specific published history for the show. In fact what is mentioned in the show (and movie secondarily as all mentioned above) actually contradicts this categorization or at least renders it questionable. Canterbury Tail talk 10:55, 5 August 2017 (UTC)
Agreed Nothing in the show indicates it is post-apocalyptic and unless there is a source that includes the creator-Joss Whedon--describing it as such, I think any mention of it being post-apocalyptic is original research. --dashiellx (talk) 11:14, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

Reinserting names of one-episode actors[edit]

The names of guest actors, including ones who appeared in only one episode, were removed from the episode list, citing the recently changed WP:TVPLOT saying: "Avoid [...] any information that belongs in other sections, such as actors' names." The names of one-episode actors can be reinserted into the episode list, while the names of those who appeared in more than one episode can be left out for now and be dealt with case-by-case in the future. Shall the names of actors who appeared in only one episode of the whole series be reinserted? --George Ho (talk) 01:40, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

I note that you did not link the original discussion at all here. Please keep discussions to one location. For editors who wish to give their opinion, you will find an already existing discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Television § Guest actors' names. Cheers. -- AlexTW 06:35, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
My apologies. I was in a rush and was ordered to do one of household chores enough to make me forget that discussion. Nevertheless, this is just a local test discussion before trying the central RfC discussion over there. --George Ho (talk) 06:53, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
My response to your inquiry is complicated by the setup of these articles. Here's my TL;DR: yes, many guest performers should be credited in the article about the work in which they appeared, whether parenthetically in the summary of the story or in a separate, duly-sized "guest performers" section. As to these articles specifically, no, I don't currently think guest performers should be listed in the list of episodes at Firefly (TV series)#Episodes. Here's my short, short version: (1) the list of episodes needs its summaries greatly shortened, (2) most guest performers need to be credited in the individual episode articles. I have a number of rules-of-thumb, rationales, and more that don't need to obfuscate this discussion, but I'm happy to clarify and elaborate if desired. — fourthords | =Λ= | 16:52, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
About the individual episode articles of Firefly, fourthords... "Jaynestown" seems to be covered by secondary sources. More from Google Books. We should be cautious about notabilities of individual articles before excluding names of one-time guest actors. --George Ho (talk) 17:37, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
I think there's been a miscommunication here. I don't doubt that the individual episodes of Firefly are sufficiently notable for their own articles. I'm saying two different things here with regards to Firefly articles.
  1. The plot summaries in the list of episodes (LOE) need to be shortened. They're too comprehensive and detailed, a task that should be better left to the episode article itself. For example, in the LOE, "Serenity" should summarized in a similar fashion to this: "Against the backdrop of a job gone bad, the crew of Serenity must contend with soliciting passengers; a trigger-happy, undercover g-man; unusual luggage; and more, all while looking for a buyer for their plunder." That's all an LOE needs: enough to differentiate one episode from another because titles alone are probably not enough for a reader. There's no need to credit a guest-actor because we shouldn't get into that level of minutiae in the list.
  2. Guest performers should absolutely be credited — in the episode's article, and not in the list. Let's look at "Serenity" again. There's already a section titled "Guest cast", however it's wholly unverified. If we had sources discussing the casting, selection, special properties, or particularly unique performance of (let's say) Mark Sheppard as Badger, then we'd write all about it, cite it, and plunk it into a section like that one. If this were the case, then I might or might not include an unlinked parenthetical in the "Plot" section. If, however, we have the "Serenity" article in its current state (i.e. w/o any verified citations about Mr. Sheppard), then I would include a linked parenthetical to the actor's article after the first mention of the character in the prose.
Does this make sense? I hope so. Credit the actors? Yes, certainly. In the episode article's "Plot" prose? If not appropriate elsewhere in the episode's article. In the LOE? Almost definitely not, since the LOE shouldn't get into that level of detail. Again, I'm more than happy to reply again if I didn't explain anything well, or if you have any other sort of input or questions. Best wishes, — fourthords | =Λ= | 18:38, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
I think you've explained enough. Thanks again (I've pressed the "thanks" button). --George Ho (talk) 20:36, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
Also, my apologies for giving impression of miscommunication. I do grasp what you were saying about such names excluded from the episode list and leaving them to individual articles. I was trying to say that excluding the names from the list and then putting them into episode articles seems to be... something I don't want to do. However, I ended up discussing episodes instead. Since this thread is about one-time actors, we'll discuss articles of individual Firefly episodes in another thread some other time. --George Ho (talk) 21:07, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
Almost forgot: BTW, I started the FA review because the list of episodes was too brief. Now the summaries are (nearly) complete and concise. You can comment there if you wish. George Ho (talk) 00:58, 11 August 2017 (UTC)

Is this the kind of show where they make a big deal who is guest starring in the episode? I think it needs that kind of notability, like the official TV listing writeup would emphasize such a guest star, if you're going to put names in the episode summaries. Otherwise it can stay in the individual episodes which have guest cast sections anyway. AngusWOOF (barksniff) 16:54, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

Umm... WP:notability applies to article subjects, like the series itself, AngusWOOF. I don't know which "notability" you were referring to; maybe WP:UNDUE or WP:DETAIL or WP:Spoiler? However, omitting some actors' names would force readers to go to episode articles (or, if episode articles are nonexistent, deprive readers from learning whose important/prominent portrayers were). Wouldn't it? Also, very small percentage of Firefly readers would surf to the episode articles. To answer your question, Wikipedia is neither a TV listing nor means of promotion nor a directory. Would omitting the names violate WP:NOT? George Ho (talk) 04:23, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
I didn't mean Wikipedia notability, although that helps too if they list some guest star that isn't even Wikipedia-notable then that's kind of silly. I meant more like the promotional thing, like with SNL and how they title the show after the headlining guest star and musical act. If the television series had advertised that they had a special guest star for the week's episode, it could fit with the flow of the summary. I just don't see that happening with shows like Firefly, but it certainly has happened on The Simpsons and for shows I've filled in summaries for like The 7D and My Name Is Earl. AngusWOOF (barksniff) 16:34, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

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