The Official Visual Companion

Author: Joss Whedon
Titan Books
RRP 16.99, US $19.95
ISBN 1 84576 082 4
Available 23 September 2005

Five hundred years in the future, Captain Mal Reynolds and the crew of the transport-for-hire ship Serenity take on two new passengers and soon find themselves in a crossfire between an invincible military force and cannibalistic savages.

Emmy-nominated writer/director Joss Whedon - creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel - makes his long-awaited feature film directoral debut with Serenity, based on his cult television series Firefly. This essential companion to the movie includes a special introduction from the man himself, plus much, much more.

Serenity: The Official Visual Companion is a great book as film tie-ins go, but I personally feel you'd have to be a fan of either Joss, Firefly/Serenity or a total film buff for this book to interest you.

Sure, its great to look at, with some good little titbits for fans and the script in full, but this might not appeal to everyone. However, for anyone who fits in the above categories, I'd say: "go get it, now!"

For starters, the book begins with a 20+ page interview with the man himself Mr Whedon. This is a great read, detailing his thoughts on the film, writing it, the cast etc... pretty much everything! Scattered in the pages between this are snippets of Joss's opinions on certain aspects of film making. Camera angles and lighting for one, the importance of the musical score, and a funny rundown of Joss's history of the Serenity universe.

From there on in fans are treated to a full movie script. This on its own doesn't appeal to me so much, however fans will love the fact that they'll now know what they all said in Chinese throughout the film, as under the Chinese the translation is written in English - Hurray! Surprisingly, there were less swearwords than I expected.

So you don't get bored, the script is again littered with broken up sections dedicated to the characters and the actors that play them. Mini interviews abound, and all this is delivered with a large smattering of pictures on every page. Concept art and production shots also give you more of an insight/behind the scenes feel to this book, which overall is a great way to immerse yourself in the Whedon-created Serenity universe.

All in all, fans will want this book as an addition to their collection of all things Whedon. The detail and descriptions of making the film will appeal to all film fans, but the hard-core Serenity followers will really love this as a glimpse into the creation of a really amazing Sci-fi classic!

Keri Allan

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