Five hundred years in the future, a renegade crew aboard a small spacecraft tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions as well as authority agents out to get them.
opening song: Take my love, take my land / Take me where I cannot stand / I don't care, I'm still free / You can't take the sky from me / Take me out to the black / Tell 'em I ain't comin' back / Burn the land and boil the sea / You can't take the sky from me / There's no place I can be / Since I found serenity / But you can't take the sky from me
[opening narration for episodes: Safe, Ariel, War Stories, Heart of Gold] Mal: Here's how it is: The Earth got used up, so we moved out and terraformed a whole new galaxy of Earths. Some rich and flush with the new technologies, some not so much. The Central Planets, thems formed the Alliance, waged war to bring everyone under their rule; a few idiots tried to fight it, among them myself. I'm Malcolm Reynolds, captain of Serenity. She's a transport ship; Firefly class. Got a good crew: fighters, pilot, mechanic. We even picked up a preacher for some reason, and a bona fide companion. There's a doctor, too, took his genius sister outta some Alliance camp, so they're keepin' a low profile. You understand. You got a job, we can do it, don't much care what it is.
Shepherd Book: [Regarding Mal's new "wife"] If you take sexual advantage of her, you're going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters. And people who talk at the theatre.
Agent McGuinness: I'm only doing my job. Mal: It's why you took the job.