White hat: Capt. Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds, portrayed by Nathan Fillion (above center), leads the ragtag crew of his spaceship, Serenity, in this short-lived space western from "The Avengers" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" director Joss Whedon. Though Mal and his crew steal, smuggle and scavenge to keep their bucket of bolts flying, they follow a Robin Hood-style code of honor, and they protect their own, securing their status as white hats. Black hat: Though Mal and his crew face off with a slew of baddies across the 'verse, the real black hat in this series is the Alliance, a central federal government that runs the core planets and aims to assert its control on the less-civilized border planets. Agents of the Alliance are on Mal's tail throughout the series, and the corrupt bureaucracy proves itself a forbidding foe.
Michael Lavine / Fox
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