Whedon’s Firefly Series on Fox

SOURCE: Coming Soon

Fox Broadcasting Co. has given a 13-episode commitment to “Firefly,” a sci-fi action-drama from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” creator/executive producer Joss Whedon, says The Hollywood Reporter. Whedon will executive produce “Firefly,” which is eyed for a fall 2002 debut and marks Fox’s first series commitment for next fall. There is some speculation that the drama might get “The X-Files” Sunday 9 p.m. slot.

The series will launch with a two-hour pilot episode, which Whedon is writing and will direct.

Set 400-500 years in the future in a newly established Union of Planets, “Firefly” centers on the crew of Serenity, a small transport spaceship of class firefly who will take any job — legal or not — to stay afloat and put bread on the table.

Whedon reportedly got the idea for “Firefly” while reading an account of the battle of Gettysburg. The time period in the series is a version of the Reconstruction era, Whedon said. The captain of Serenity is a war veteran of a big war to unite the planets.

“(‘Firefly’) 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,” he said.

As for the trademark latex masks of sci-fi stalwart “Star Trek,” “I’ve been determined to make a show with no latex before I die,” Whedon said. Unlike “Buffy” and “Angel,” ” ‘Firefly’ will have some extraordinarily scary people in it, but no monsters,” he said.