#35 - Browncoats


Raze the land and boil the sea; you can’t take this week’s podcast from… us? What is it about this Joss Whedon franchise that has survived cancellation and a lack of conclusion? Why is it that so many are such adamant fans of this short-lived series? This week, we’re talking about fans of Firefly, the aptly-named Browncoats!

Next week, we’ll be tackling our final topic of the season: Disney fans (and its a doozy)!

Episode outline

Last Episode’s Famous Last Words

Tom: Why do people care about this show? I guess Nathan Fillion is cool… Why do you care so much about it? Get over it!

Z: What is the place of duelling in the world of firefly? How common is it?

G: Is it really that good?

T: Where’s the second season? Why hasn’t it been kickstarted?

Fandom Facts


“Firefly” is a space Western set 500 years in the future, in the aftermath of a civil war between rebels known as Independents (or Browncoats) and a tyrannical conglomerate called the Alliance. The Independents lose the war, and under Alliance control, corporations rule openly;
SFGate - When Fox canceled ‘Firefly,’ it ignited an Internet fan base whose burning desire for more led to ‘Serenity’

Firefly was a Sci-fi Western show broadcast in 2002. Created by Joss Whedon, only 11 of the 14 recorded episodes were aired in its original US run on the FOX network before the show was cancelled. Due to DVD sales, the show was deemed successful enough to have a movie produced, Serenity.

It stars several fan favourite actors such as Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, and the late Ron Glass.

Browncoats, “dubbed … in honor of the doomed-but-noble Independents” in the show.

Most Active:
Firefly fandom was most active around October of 2005, which is just after the release of the movie, Serenity. Otherwise, interest in the show has been on a very slow decline with about half as much interest now as five years ago.

Size of Fandom:
We would estimate the size of the fandom as more than 200 000 people; After the show’s cancellation, FOX released a DVD set of the show which sold more than 200 000 copies — enough to get the movie greenlit.

Fan activity:
Mostly shipping characters, as in other fandoms. During the early 2000’s, “Shindigs” (informal gatherings) were popular.

Archive of our own has over 5600, and Fanfiction.net has over 7200.

Are you in, or out?

T is in.

Z is out.

G is out.

This week’s spotlight

Can’t Stop the Serenity
Can’t Stop the Serenity is a group that organizes screenings of Serenity for charity, usually Equality Now, an organization working for equality for women and girls. Since 2006, they have raised over $1 mil USD, and it is entirely run by volunteers!

We share the ideal that people should “aim to misbehave,” if it absolutely means doing the right thing. We hold true that anyone can make a difference, and no effort is insignificant. Further we believe that a government shouldn’t destroy the rights of its citizens, regardless of sex. Basically, we watch our shows, support our causes and allow our voices to be heard because we live in countries which allow us to do so. But we realise that there are other people out there who can not do what we can do.
Can’t Stop the Serenity

The Race Against Time
Now in its third year of running, the Race Against Time is the Nickscast’s annual charity livestream where we work our way though Chrono Trigger, obtaining all its endings, and also raising money for the Alzheimer Society of Canada. Last year we raised over $1200 CAD, and have plans to surpass that!

This year, the event will be held August 12 through to August 13, starting at 10am ET. You can also subscribe on Twitch.tv/theraceagainsttime in anticipation of the event!

Famous Last Words

This week’s famous last words around next week’s fandom, (Fandom name)!

The people who are a part of or are waiting to be a part of the secret Disneyland club underneath main street … the people who are part of that club are not real Disney fans.

Alternatively: Real Disney fan aren’t interested in alcohol

Does Disney have a formal code of conduct with fans? (e.g. no dressing as characters in parks) Do they keep a distance with certain fans?

Is it possible to not be a fan of Disney, considering its reach?

Alternatively: What is the biggest difference between fandoms within Disney? Are there Disney fans who hate each other?

Where can you find us online?

We are everywhere! Most notably though, we like to hang out in a few places on social media:

  • If you want to help us to create more amazing fannish content, become a patron on Patreon; even as little as a dollar a month pledge really helps us out!
  • For all the latest updates, check us out on Facebook or Twitter
  • To see the latest hijinx from our conventions or even our daily lives and adventures, check us out on Instagram
  • For our latest convention updates, Let’s Plays, and other in-real-life video, check out our YouTube channel
  • We’re also on iTunes, and Google Play, and would love it if you could leave a review and rating!
  • if you want to reach us, and for some reason none of those work for you, try nick@thenickscast.com
  • You can check out our website; that will mostly bring you back to this stuff.
  • Everything is thenickscast, so if you can’t find us, go on your social network and search for that!
  • … You’re still looking for ways to reach out? You can also use the hashtag #fanthro on Twitter!

What is “Fanthropological”?

How did you read this far without asking this question?!

Fanthropological is an anthropological (ish) podcast where we bring the fan’s-eye view to you! Each week, we take a look at a different fandom, dig up interesting background, trivia, and history, and try to get to why it is that people are a fan. We also try to highlight good causes related to that fandom, and find interesting things that fans have created to share those to the world. Each episode is about an hour. Ish.

Who is “The Nickscast”?

We are the Nickscast! Three products of late-80s / early-90s pop culture who love exploring fandom and everything geek … who also happen to have been best buddies since high school, and all happen to be named Nick. Yes, we are super creative. Dare we say, the most creative.


We are Nick Green, Nick Terwoord, and Nick Zacharewicz: We started the Nickscast as a labour of love, and as a place to entertain and to discuss our love of fans and fandom, and all that is shiny and interesting in that realm. It’s what lead us to start our first podcast, our satellite podcasts, Fanthropological, and so much more.

We want to help others learn more about different fandoms, and to create empathy with other fans: We dream of a world where other fans aren’t “those Weird-o’s”, but just folks with different tastes. A world where fandom is full of discourse and analysis, and there are plenty of tools and resources to help. Fans building communities to do good in the world. Because everyone’s a fan.



Music / Sound

  • All music and sound for this week’s episode were provided by Nick Green!


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