In Episode 6 of Season 5 of Castle ('Final Frontier'), there is a murder, wherein the body is placed inside a fake spaceship designed for the 'Nebula 9 Fan Experience'. I Googled Nebula 9 and all results are abc.com or Memes released by it.

I'm pretty convinced that it's made-up, but just wanted to confirm it is. And if it is made-up, was it inspired by some long-forgotten failed Sci-Fi show? If yes, which one?!

  • I don't have 150 rep so I can't create tags but there doesn't seem to be one for Castle. Could someone please create castle
    – Siddhartha
    Jan 13, 2013 at 10:00
  • 1
    There are actually 14 episodes of Firefly, not 12. However, that is the only show I recognized a reference to... other than the obvious mentions of Star Trek.
    – user4486
    Mar 31, 2013 at 10:42
  • One other nod in Castle to firefly is Commander Walsh.
    – user4806
    May 8, 2013 at 11:45
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    Completely aware this question is getting old, but the Nebula 9 setup reminded me somehow to Blake's 7.
    – HingeSight
    Jan 22, 2016 at 10:52
  • The costumes and the episode title clearly point to Star Trek.
    – Florian F
    Dec 5, 2016 at 11:06

1 Answer 1


I'd say Nebula 9 was a nod to Firefly, but there were a lot of references to other Sci-Fi shows as well.

From Le Geek:

Firefly references:

  • Nebula 9's Captain is called Max Reynard, in Firefly the name was Mal Reynolds

  • Lt. Chloe in Nebula 9, Zoe in Firefly

  • Creavers in Nebula 9, Reavers in Firefly

  • Nebula 9 was cancelled "over a decade ago, and only had 12 episodes at that"

  • Castle says "Shiny" a common phrase in Firefly for 'good' or 'cool'

  • Castle also says: "I'm a fan of good sci-fi. StarTrek, Battlestar, that Joss Whedon show,..."

Star Trek references:

  • Jonathan Frakes (William T. Riker) not only directed the episodes, he also has a cameo.

    Frakes [Source]

  • Armin Shimerman (Quark) also made an appearance

    Shimerman [Source]

  • Castle is doing a Captain Kirk impersonation

  • Castle is doing a Captain Picard impersonation

(Click the 'Le Geek' link for more references to other Sci-Fi shows, movies and fan culture)

  • 2
    and also nathan fillion who plays Castle also played Mal Reynolds in firefly
    – user4551
    Apr 8, 2013 at 14:00
  • @Keegan And that's the ultimate reference and the reason why it had to be Firefly (in fact I immediately thought about Firefly when reading "reference to SciFi show" and "Castle" in one question, without having seen the mentioned Castle episode). Oliver_C should add your point into the answer.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Apr 8, 2013 at 17:46
  • Technically, I wouldn't count Nathan Fillion's mere appearance in this particular episode as a Firefly reference because he appears in every episode of Castle. Had he shown up in his 'space cowboy' costume again, it would have certainly made the list though ;)
    – Oliver_C
    Apr 12, 2013 at 22:38
  • @Oliver_C "Technically, I wouldn't count Nathan Fillion's mere appearance in this particular episode as a Firefly reference because he appears in every episode of Castle" - Of course not, but it is when the said episode is otherwise filled with various references to scifi-shows, which not every Castle episode is. At least it's worth a mention in the answer even if not advertised directly as "intentional reference".
    – Napoleon Wilson
    May 8, 2013 at 13:29
  • And the name Nebula 9 itself is a play on Babylon 5. Jan 9, 2014 at 1:45

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