There’s a doctor shortage about. Simon, River and Book discover that they aren’t Safe.

Name Safe

Broadcast Date November 8, 2002

Synopsis Simon and River get kidnapped, Book gets shot and Mal is forced to choose between them.

Firsts & Lasts First episode to focus on a character other than Mal and to use the second version of Mal’s opening narration. First explicit use of River’s telepathy. Last appearance of Sir Warwick’s cattle. Last mention of Badger.

The Ship It takes three weeks for Serenity to fly from Persephone to Jiang-yin.

The Crew

Mal His official seal is out of…

It’s party time on Persephone…


Broadcast Date
4th October 2002

Mal, Inara and Kaylee attend a party on Persephone. When Inara’s client insults her, Mal retaliates and finds himself in a duel…with swords.

Firsts & Lasts
Last episode to use the first version of Mal’s opening narration. Last episode to feature Badger unless you watched on original broadcast in which case this was the first episode to feature Badger. First appearance of the crew playing a card game.

The Ship
Serenity has at least two engines. Access to sleeping quarters is via a hatch with rungs attached to…

Firefly’s journey really gets under way as Serenity’s crew find themselves stuck between the Alliance and the Reavers in the third episode…


Broadcast Date
September 27, 2002

Serenity renders aid to the lone survivor of a spaceship following a Reaver attack. When their interest is investigated by an Alliance vessel, Simon and River must hide to prevent capture.

Firsts & Lasts
First episode neither written nor directed by Joss Whedon. Although of course if you were watching this on initial broadcast this would be the first mention of Reavers.

The Ship
Serenity has none of the mandatory registration…

The other pilot episode.

The Train Job

Broadcast Date
22nd September 2002

Mal, Zoe and Jayne pick a fight in a bar

Firsts & Lasts
First appearance of Niska, first mention of the Independents, the Browncoats and the ‘Hands of Blue’, first use of Book’s opening narration. First episode co-written by Tim Minear. Also on initial broadcast, this was the first episode shown so it was also the original audience introductions to Mal, Zoe, Jayne, Wash, Kaylee, Inara, Simon, River, Book and Serenity.

The Ship
Serenity is a mid-bulk transport (class code 03-K64) with a standard radian-accelerator core and…

They say write about what you love. Well, I love TV and I love science fiction. Neither of which are categories that I see a lot of on Medium, so this may well go under the radar.

So, this is something of an experiment: I plan to write about an episode of Joss Whedon’s science fiction/western series Firefly every week for the next approximately fourteen weeks and if wildly successful, possibly beyond.

Firefly concerned the spaceship Serenity, its crew and passengers and the adventures that blurred line between the two. The TV show premiered in 2002, was sorely mistreated by…

In the first instalment of Big Damn Heroics, we take a look at the pilot episode of Joss Whedon’s Firefly…


Not be confused with Serenity, the major motion picture sequel.

Broadcast Date
20th December 2002

The story follows the crew’s attempts to sell illegal salvage, firstly to Badger, who declines, and later to Patience, who accepts but double-crosses Mal. Along the way Serenity takes on three passengers: Shepherd Book, Simon Tam and Lawrence Dobson. Dobson attempts to arrest Simon, Mal discovers River among Simon luggage. All the while trying to avoid both the Reavers and the Alliance.

Judge Dredd: ‘ The New You
(according to The Dredd Files in Megazine 214, this strip was also known as ‘ Voice Tapes’)

2000 A.D. Programme 3

12 Mar 77

This issue also featured a Flesh cover by Ramon Sola (left), a free Red Alert Survival Wallet, Invasion!, Dan Dare, Flesh, Harlem Heroes and M.A.C.H. 1 strips as well as Futuregraph: Mega-City 1.


Judge Dredd Annual 1986, The Complete Judge Dredd 1 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01.

To avoid ‘Scarface’ Levine has his face altered, but doesn’t account for…

So here it is, the first ever Judge Dredd comic strip…

2000 AD, Programme 2

05 Mar 77

For just 8 pence Earth money, Squaxx dek Thargo could get their hands on the second ever Prog of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic. Lurking behind a Dan Dare cover by Massimo Belardinelli (left) and a free set of Biotronic Man Stickers were strips featuring Invasion, Dan Dare, Flesh, Harlem Heroes, M.A.C.H. 1, a Harlem Heroes Futuregraph and, of course, the first ever appearance of Judge Dredd.


There’s a lot of Star Trek out there and it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Here’s my recommended order to view them all.

A couple of years ago, Sarah and I watched the entirety of Star Trek from beginning to end (or the end as it was then). I posted about her reactions to it, but what I didn’t do was post the order that we watched them all in. More recently, we watched Babylon 5 and I had to search the internet for a viewing order to integrate the TV movies and Crusade. I was reminded…

So you’ve written a science fiction short story masterpiece, but what next?

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

I’ve researched publications that accept science fiction short stories and pay authors for the privilege. Having found this information, I couldn’t keep it to myself. Click on the publication or website name to be taken to their submission guidelines. As always read the submission guidelines thoroughly and if you can the publications themselves as well.

Stories up to 2,000 words. Pays $0.20 per word.

Stories up to 3,000 words. Pays $0.125 per word.

Stories up to 10,000 words.

Stories up to 10,000 words.

David Black

Actor, writer and intergalactic bounty hunter (it’s possible that one of these is not true)

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