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The best thing that ever happened was definitely during “The Message”. I think for some reason it wasn’t on the gag reel. It was possibly the best piece of acting I’ve ever seen, which is the three-sixty [360 degree camera rotation] that Tim [as director] did while everyone was listening to the farewell message from Tracey [played by Jonathon Woodward]. And Nathan is standing with Zoe, looking kind of stricken - this is his old friend - and the camera pans around to Kaylee - and Nathan’s sitting next to Kaylee, looking kind of stricken in another way. And he managed to duck under the camera and get to every single member of the cast and just look really sad [laughs]. And some of them just could not keep it together and some of them did. But I’ve got to tell you - it’s hard to describe. And then when it finally panned down to the body in the coffin, Nathan was lying in [Woodward’s] arms, looking stricken. It was unbelievable - not only hilarious, but technically proficient. He really put some thought into it. But that’s Nathan.
— Joss Whedon, Firefly - The Official Companion. Volume Two
This post makes me so happy.
In the audio commentaries for the series DVD collection, it is mentioned that there is a subplot for Inara which was not developed in the series or the film. The producers mention foreshadowing events that hinted at this plot. During a panel at 2008’s DragonCon, Morena Baccarin confirmed that Inara was indeed dying of a terminal illness.