In the tradition of shows such as M*A*S*H, Firefly had an ensemble cast rather than a star with supporting players. This type of cast makes a more cohesive program since every episode doesn’t have to revolve around one character. The result is a program with richer, more in depth plots as other characters take the lead in some of the episodes. Most episodes deal with what is happening with more than one character. One character, often the one that comes closest to being called the star, ties the subplots together.
In Firefly, Mal Reynolds, owner and captain of the Serenity, was played by Nathan Fillion. He was the pivotal character that tied the rest of the cast together. His first mate, Zoe Washburne, was portrayed by Gina Torres. She served with Mal during the Unification War as a Browncoat. She was married to “Wash” Washburne, played by Alan Tudyk. He was the only one who commanded more loyalty from Zoe than Mal.
Other members of the cast included Adam Baldwin playing Jayne Cobb, Morena Baccarin playing Inara Serra, Jewel Staite playing Kaylee Frye, Ron Glass playing Derrial Book, Summer Glau and Sean Maher played River and Dr. Simon Tam. The interaction of all the characters is what made Firefly the show it was.