Heart of Gold
Episode 12 of 15 within Season One. Item 12 of 17 overall.
Production number 1AGE10.
Brett Matthews - Writer
Tom Wright - Director
369 votes

Saffron (from "Our Mrs. Reynolds") returns - after Mal breaks up her current gig, she convinces him and the crew to help out with a ""perfect crime"" that isn't. The crime: go to Bellerophon and steal a criminal's prototype laser gun from his collection.

The plan: Saffron and Mal sneak in and dump the gun down the trash, bypassing security, and the Serenity crew grab it from the disposal system. Of course, this is Saffron, and it turns out she's married to the crook, Durran, and plans to double-cross Mal.

Things don't work out so well and Saffron strands Mal naked in the desert. Fortunately Mal and Inara anticipated a betrayal and set it up so Inara grabs the gun, leaves Saffron behind, and rescues Mal. Meanwhile, Simon figures out Jayne betrayed them (in "Ariel") and the two have words.

original airdate--August 19,2003      


music-- Theme song "The Ballad of Serenity" by: Joss Whedon Performed by: Sonny Rhodes

  1. "Heart of Gold Montage"
  2. "Book's Hair/Ready for Battle" 
  3. "Burgess Kills/Captain & Ship"


Goofs: When Nandi is killed, she falls to the floor on her back, her left arm by her side and her right on the floor by her head. We see her in this position a number of times, but when Mal and Inara look at one another at the end of this scene, Nandi's left arm is now lying across her chest.

  • When Mal and Nandi are talking on the couch, Mal has his arm around her, but when the camera moves to show Nandi talking, his hand is next to her, and then his arm is around her again when the camera zooms back out.
  • When Wash is shooting at Rance's men on board the Serenity, he is shown using a large caliber revolver. The chamber never revolves when he fires. And while he fires much faster than should be possible for a revolver of that caliber, they can be loaded with less powerful rounds, a .38 loaded in a .357 for example.
  • The "newborn" baby is shown holding its head up. This doesn't happen until around the third month.

Trivia--In the theater scene, depicted on the screen in the background as shadow art, are ships leaving the planet Earth and arriving at various planets.

  • The episode highlights the difference between a Companion and common prostitute, suggesting that however much she might make financially, Nandi has fallen a long way in being reduced to this. A parallel may perhaps be drawn with the status Malcolm Reynolds enjoyed in the army, compared to his current fugitive condition.


  • The gun Wash uses to shoot at the bad guys in the cargo bay is a revolver, but the sound effects are for a semi-automatic gun.  Also, he never pulls the trigger, since the chamber never spins. 
  • When Chari lets Rance in the back door, there is a HUGE TRUCK or TRAILER thing behind him (you have to slow down the playback to see a good look at it). 
  • When Rance Burgess comes for his baby, in one shot he is actually holding a plastic baby doll instead of a real baby. 
  • During the shoot out at the whore house, when Rance pulls his hovercraft around to the back door, the large gun on top of the hovercraft is missing, yet in the scene when Mal is chasing him on the horse and catches up to the craft, it's back!


"Captain Mal Reynolds and his band of renegades travel about the galaxy in Serenity, a Firefly-class spaceship, doing jobs when they can find the work, and pulling jobs when they can't".

related items

Previous episode :
011 War Stories
Next episode :
013 Objects in Space

regional titles

Hart van goud
Heart of Gold
Hart van goud
Hart van goud
Hart van goud
Cuore d'oro
Hart van goud