Malcom “Mal” Reynolds - The Captain (Nathan Fillion)
A former soldier that lost in the battle against unification of the planets by the Alliance, Mal now captain’s the Serenity with his main goal to keep the ship flying and its crew intact. His desire for a normal life is a constant conflict with his desire to stay in space. He’s witty and very bitter over losing the war, and sometimes flies on the shady side smuggling, stealing, and conducting illegal salvage operations...but he has his limits and won’t murder, kidnap or participate in the slave trade - though he certainly won’t hesitate to shoot if needed. There are very few people he trusts and is still very upset they lost the war.
Zoe - The Soldier (Gina Torres)
loyal comrade during the war, Zoe serves on board the Serenity along with her husband, Wash. Has the strength and experience to take command when needed. She is a serious bad-ass as likely to punch or shoot someone as she is to talk. One of the few Mal trusts and she would follow him to hell and back.
Wash - The Pilot (Alan Tudyk)
Zoe’s husband, Wash is very calm, laid back with a sense of humor but is otherwise pretty unassuming and far from the hero type. Zoe loves him and his calm demeanor...but just might have a thing for the Captain as well. He can be a bit jealous and doesn’t like the way Zoe tends to blindly (in his opinion) Mal’s orders.
Kaylee - The Mechanic (Jewel Staite)
The ship’s engineer, Kaylee prefers life on her ship to any planet. She is young, sexy, and relentlessly cheery. She loves life, the ship, and is fiercely protective of Serenity. She has an intuitive sense for ships and how to fix them and does not want to let the Captain down in keeping Serenity running smoothly.
Inara - The Ambassador (Morena Baccarin)
A “Companion” by trade, no one seems to know what such a high-priced working girl is doing on the very low class Serenity. She’s elegant, educated, and beautiful. She maintains her own space - a shuttle on the ship - and only has the high class and decent clientele. Prostitution is legal on almot all planets and she is nicknamed “The Ambassador” by the crew since most worlds won’t dock with a ship without a decent companion aboard. She doesn’t count the crew among the her clients.
Jayne - The Mercenary (Adam Baldwin)
Big, tough, gruff and often unpleasant, Jayne is a loyal soldier...till he gets a better offer. He’s good in a fight, but would sell out the crew in a heartbeat if there was something in it for him. He develops a begrudging respect for Mal and the rest of the crew - but if a better offer does come along, you never know where Jayne might go.
[B]Simon Tam - The Doctor (Sean Maher)
Often disagreeing with the Captain, Simon comes from a wealthy family with a privaledged upbringing quite different from his life aboard the Serenity. He was in favor of the Alliance which puts him at odds with Mal. River is his sister and is fiercely protective of her. Once he displays his skill at planning capers though, he fits in a little better with even Jayne giving him some respect.
River Tam - The Fugitive (Summer Glau)
River is a lot like other teens - except that she can read most minds and is being sought by the Alliance. Simon is her brother who will do anything to protect her. She is extremely smart, severely disturbed and a teenager. She tends to blurt out what she (and everyone around her) is thinking.
Book - The Shepard - (Ron Glass)
A priest and missionary, he’s the older and wiser member of the crew. He wants to see the universe and wants to spread hope everywhere he goes. While he’s found God, he’s not sure if he’s found himself. He’s well educated and spends a lot of leisure time with Inara...just to talk, of course.