Simon Tam

From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search

Needs Less Canon: This article includes too much canon detail for the amount of fannish content given. Please add fannish context or remove unneeded trivia. Although a brief overview of canon is welcome, the focus of every page should be about the fandom; canon details are important if they can be associated with a particular fannish activity, fanwork, or fannish event. See What Fanlore is not for more information.

Character
Name: Simon Tam
Occupation: Trauma surgeon
Title/Rank: Medical Doctor
Location: Aboard the Firefly-class spaceship Serenity
Status: alive
Relationships: sister River Tam,
parents Gabriel and Regan Tam,
love-interest Kaylee Frye
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Other: played by actor Sean Maher
One of the nine principal characters in Firefly and Serenity and related comics and games.
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Simon Tam is a character from Firefly.

Canon Overview

Raised and educated in an upper-class family on the Core planet of Osiris, Simon Tam was directed from an early age into medical studies. He received a medical degree from Osiris "Medacad" and did his surgical residency at St Lucy's Hospital, also on Osiris. After his sister River, several years his junior, was sent away to an elite academy catering to extraordinarily bright students, her letters to her brother began to contain what Simon thought were coded messages. Simon deciphered them eventually, and concluded that she was being held against her will and harmed. Their wealthy parents dismissed these suspicions, and, as Simon began efforts to find and retrieve his sister, disavowed his actions.

Simon left the practice of medicine and employed all of his personal fortune to recover his sister, who was the victim of experiments in brain surgery to enhance psychic and physical abilities for purposes that remained murky in Firefly/Serenity canon. He smuggled her in stasis from the facility where she was being held, and brought her to the planet Persephone, where his hope was to get her on a transport to a planet where she would be safe from pursuit. Both he and she became fugitives from the Alliance government as a result of his rescue.

An Alliance agent, Lawrence Dobson, followed Simon and the stasis capsule in which he had River hidden, onboard the disreputable Firefly class ship Serenity, captained by Malcolm Reynolds. Dobson's suspicions led to his accidentally shooting Kaylee Frye, the ship's mechanic, and Simon performs the surgery that saves her life, cementing his place on Serenity as the ship's medic. Kaylee makes no secret of her romantic interest in him. His discomfort with her overtures, and his bolder relationship with Mal, led slash-oriented fans to see Simon and Mal in a homoerotic light.

As an upper class, highly educated professional, Simon's character arc is that of the "outsider" in the rough-edged and largely illegal world of Malcolm Reynolds and his crew, evincing good table manners, never swearing, unskilled in fighting or defending himself; but, as Mal tells him, "You ain't weak," and by the time the series has ended and the movie Serenity takes over the story, Simon has become an accepted part of the crew.

During the action of Serenity, Simon is shot by Reavers and given a gut-wound almost identical to the one he repaired in Kaylee in the pilot episode of Firefly. He survives this wound and, in the movie's coda, is seen shirtless in Kaylee's arms.

Fan Response

Pairings

Simon/Kaylee In canon, Simon is linked with Kaylee Frye, the ship's mechanic. Their relationship developed throughout the series, and was (presumably) consummated near the end of the feature film (Serenity). This is a fairly popular pairing among fans, although perhaps not as common as other prominent Simon pairings.

Simon/Mal The most popular slash pairing involving Simon is between him and Malcolm Reynolds, the ship's captain.

Crazy Space Incest Simon is commonly linked with his younger sister, River Tam in fanworks.

Example Simon-centric Fanworks

Fanfiction

Fanart

Meta

References