Sep. 20, 2002
60 min.
FOX TV Network

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In the distant future, Captain Malcolm 'Mal' Reynolds is a renegade former brown-coat Sargent now turned smuggler/rogue who is the commander of a small spacecraft with a loyal hand-picked crew.

Characters: #5 of 9 (Full List)
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River Tam Firefly
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River Tam

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  Played by:
Summer GlauSummer Glau
Summer Glau (born July 24, 1981) in San Antonio, Texas, where she grew up with her two younger sisters ...

Character Bio

River Tam photo
River Tam was smuggled onto the ship by her brother. River was a child prodigy of unparalleled genius, but she was experimented upon at the hands of Alliance doctors, leaving her delusional, erratic, and at times violent. Her personal journey of self-discovery is a running theme throughout the series and the movie.

River is constantly at war with her own demons. She sees and hears things that others do not, and experiences waking dreams of her memories of the Alliance "academy" experiments. Opinions of her vary among the crew: some value her, Jayne fears her, and the rest just want her to stay out of trouble.

The experiments seemed to have made her a psychic, providing her with a seemingly innate ability in hand-to-hand combat, and she is capable of killing or incapacitating several stronger opponents with ease. She gets frequent fits of anxiety and experiences post-traumatic flashbacks of her time in the Alliance facility. Her mental instability and uncanny abilities, paired with several erratic and violent acts, is a recurring source of fear and doubt among the crew, especially with Jayne, whom she once slashed with a knife and who very frequently requests that they be taken off the ship.

Episode Screenshots

01x10 - Objects in Space
Season 1, Episode 10
01x06 - Shindig
Season 1, Episode 06
01x03 - Our Mrs. Reynolds
Season 1, Episode 03
01x13 - Trash
Season 1, Episode 13
[More Episodes]

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