They just couldn't stop the signal tonight as the Serenity premiere landed in London with style, panache and more brown coats and bobble hats than we've ever seen in one place before. With Joss Whedon, criminal mastermind and creator of the film, as well as leads Summer Glau and Nathan Fillion and bad guy (but lovely bloke) Chiwetel Ejiofor in attendance, the crowds were spoiled for choice, and frankly more than a little geeked out.
And as you'd expect from this particular starship crew, the the chat was in full flow. First up was Mr Ejiofor, one of Blighty's finest and the only major addition to the existing 'Firefly' cast for the movie, as the sinister Operative. "I had a great time on the film, they were a great bunch of people to work with. It was definitely fun to play, and it was great because Joss has such a clear idea of where to take the Operative and what he wanted out of it, so it was easy to just hang on his coattails really."
After that was the very lovely Ms Summer Glau, the actress behind Serenity's slightly barmy, definitely psychic and totally kick-ass River Tam. "I never thought it would be like this. Gorgeous feature; I'm still in it, I haven't been replaced, I'm on the poster, it doesn't get much better than this."
So who would win in a fight – River or Buffy?
"Well, am I gonna tell you Buffy? I gotta have some confidence, right? But I don't think I want to find out. I'm sure she's a really nice lady."
Last of the cast, but by no means least (he'd want us to emphasise that) was Mr Nathan Fillion, aka Captain Mal Reynolds, square-jawed hero and all-round icon of badassness, in a fetching brown coat (of course). "If you told me when Firefly was cancelled that I'd be in London at the premiere, I'd say you were drunk and lying. Like Joss. I was three weeks into filming before I finally realised that no one was going to take it away." (Note from our lawyers: He was joking. There's no evidence that Joss Whedon is a liar with a drinking problem.)
The question we wanted to know, of course, was whether he thought his Mal would ever get together with love interest (sort of) Inara. "I think if Moonlighting taught us anything, it's that once you put the two of them together, it’s over, man! That's a jumping the shark moment." Hmm, so peg that one for the moment when they're nearing retirement, then.
But there was one more person to come, one who bestrode Leicester Square like a very small Colossus, as fanboys fell and worshipped at his feet. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it could only be Joss Whedon, and he was on fine form.
"The moment Firefly was cancelled I imagined I would be in this position tonight, because that's the only way to get in this position here tonight is to be stubborn to the point of insanity. So I just absolutely said, "This will not die; this will be a movie; and then people will love it, and will come out in droves to the premiere in London." That's pretty much how it went."
His crystal ball is clearly working on overdrive, so we asked him about his thoughts on Serenity 2 and 3. "Serenity 2 and 3 – that's where I really got self-indulgent and clearly it wasn't about the art anymore. It was just about me having a good time and quite frankly I left the audience behind. The second one made a lot of money, but by the third one they were tired of me, and it really dipped in the box office."
And Serenity 4?
"Oh, it goes straight to DVD and stars Scott Baio instead of Nathan."
Ladies and gentlemen, you heard it here first.