Thursday, October 26, 2006

What is a Browncoat?


A question came up in the comments to my last post… What is a Browncoat? That’s not an easy question to answer. I could answer, that a Browncoat is just like a Trekker, but instead of being all hung up on Star Trek, the Browncoat is all hung up on Firefly. But, that answer doesn’t satisfy… because a Browncoat is much more than just a sci-fi fan.
A Browncoat is a dreamer. Specifically, a Browncoat is a dreamer of the impossible. You see, back in 2002, when Firefly was first aired (on the network that shall remain unnamed and accursed for time and all eternity) we knew that we had something special. We saw something that the network did not. Orson Scott Card said that in a lot of ways, Firefly was the first really good sci-fi television show (see donetheimpossible.com).
Originally there were 13 episodes filmed, 11 of those were aired, (out of order… I might add) in the Friday night “dead zone” of network television, before the show was killed. This was at the end of 2002. Joss Whedon (the creator), and the Browncoats (the fans) went to work and in September of 2005, the impossible happened… Serenity, the motion picture was released. We have taken to calling it the BDM (Big Damn Movie) in reference to a line in Safe, an episode of Firefly. It was the impossible because movie companies don’t make movies out of cancelled television shows that don’t really have any big name stars.
The movie did ok. It wasn’t the blockbuster that we were hoping for, but Universal broke even. So not bad, not good either, because it looks like there won’t be a second movie… ever.
So much for the background… back to the original question. What is a Browncoat?
A Browncoat is a fan, like any other fan. We go to Cons. We dress up for those geek-land events… but we go a step further. We live the fandom in our daily lives. I own a brown coat. It’s long and beat up and beautiful. I wear it whenever I can.
We use words and phrases from the show. Good things are “shiny,” and one of our favorite curses is “gorram,” as in: Reavers ate my gorram ship. A few of us can even swear in chinese.
It’s not uncommon to see us walking around in our favorite BlueSun tee shirt, or our home knitted “Jayne-hat.”
I guess that to be a Browncoat, you have to accept a certain amount of obsession in your life. When you’re a Browncoat, your cell phone rings with the Firefly theme or the Fruity-Oaty Bar jingle.
I guess that’s what a Browncoat is to me. By the way… the name “Browncoat” comes from the first (really the second… long story) episode of Firefly called The Train Job.
Check it out, it's on DVD.

See ya ‘round the ‘verse!
Keep Flyin”

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