In Serenity, Shepherd Book's community got attacked in an attempt to flush out Mal and his crew. Shortly after, Mal committed to venturing through Reaver space, which included defiling the Serenity and strapping the charred skeletons of the fallen from the prior attack.

But who ended up strapped to the hull of the Serenity? Nameless Alliance or members of the peaceful community?

  • 1
    Does it matter? The crew, and frankly the premise of the show, is all about pragmatism when faced with overwhelming odds.
    – cde
    Jan 8, 2017 at 23:51
  • It makes a bit of a difference if Booker was strapped to the bumper...
    – Ben
    Jan 8, 2017 at 23:52
  • I remember an outtake where Mal (Nathan Fillion) says to put Shepherd Book on the front of the ship, but don't think that made it to the final cut. Pretty sure it was one of the reavers that had attacked the village.
    – Tim
    Jan 9, 2017 at 0:30
  • @Tim The Alliance attacked the village—not the Reavers. Jul 21, 2017 at 4:11

1 Answer 1


It was their friends from Book's community.

From the movie script (available on the Internet Movie Script Database and also here):

Mal comes striding out, where the crew have been gathering bodies, laying blankets over them.

MAL: Get these bodies together.

ZOE: We got time for gravedigging?

MAL: Zoe, you and Simon are gonna rope 'em together. Five or six of 'em. I want them laid out on the nose of our ship.

SIMON: Are you insane?

KAYLEE: What do you mean, the bodies...

MAL: Kaylee, I need you to muck the reactor core, just enough to leave a trail and make it read like we're flying without containment, not enough to fry us.

KAYLEE: These people are our friends --

If it was the Alliance soldiers, they wouldn't have been laying out the bodies neatly and covering them with blankets - they would have given those killers a mass grave at the very best. Furthermore, Kaylee says "These people are our friends", referring (it seems, judging from her previous words before Mal interrupted her) to the bodies.

In an earlier take of the same scene, Mal explicitly said that Book himself should take a prominent position on the nose of Serenity:

MAL: Put Book front and centre. He's our friend, we should honour him.

You can see this take at about 5:00 in the following blooper video, in between a lot of clips of Nathan Fillion being hilarious and Summer Glau being blamed:

  • Related but not about this question... my favourite gag from the series is from The Body, as the camera is panning from person to person, Mal ends up in every shot - including on the corpse itself (which is trying not to laugh). Sadly, they didn't include that one on the DVD sets....
    – Tim
    Jan 9, 2017 at 1:04
  • @Tim *The Message :-) Yep, I remember that one. Nathan Fillion is a very funny guy. Jan 9, 2017 at 1:05

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