- "What were you in the war? That big war you failed to win? You were a Sergeant, yeah? Sergeant Malcolm Reynolds... 'Balls and Bayonets' brigade. Big, tough veteran. Now you got yourself a ship and you're a Captain. Only I think you're still a Sergeant, see? Still a soldier. A man of honor in a den of thieves. Well this is my gorramn den, and I don't like the way you look down on me. I'm above you! Better than! Businessman, see? Roots in the community. You're just a scavenger."
- ―Badger to Malcolm Reynolds
Badger was born in a colony on Dyton, a moon of the planet Greenleaf. According to River Tam, he left home early to embark on a career as a small time crook. He would go on to spend time in prison, but in later life claim it was longer than the sentence he actually served. Eventually, he settled down to run a criminal operation in the Eavesdown Docks on Persephone.
Today, nobody operates in Eavesdown without his approval, though he does tolerate the activities of people such as Harlow, so long as they do not overstep their bounds. He has no time for people he deems as wannabe crime bosses, such as Hunter Covington, who he referred to as a "...bottom-feeding grifter".
Badger, who referred to himself as a "businessman," commissioned the crew of the Serenity to illegally salvage a cargo of Genuine "A" grade foodstuffs from a derelict personnel carrier, not bothering to tell them that the cargo was molecularly stamped as Alliance property. When the ship was spotted by Alliance forces, word got back to him before they could return to Eavesdown. Fearing any further association with the marked cargo could be traced back to him, Badger reneged on the deal, and threatened to expose the crew to the Alliance if they did not take the cargo elsewhere.
Some time later Badger coerced Mal into accepting an opportunity to smuggle some cargo on behalf of Sir Warwick Harrow, a local lord. Warwick refused to deal directly with Badger, referring to him as a "psychotic lowlife", but Badger was able to obtain two invitations to a fancy social event the man would be attending, and gave them to Reynolds. When Mal accidentally became embroiled in a duel of honor to the death, Badger took some of his men and took the rest of Mal's crew hostage to prevent them from aiding Reynolds, stating "I gotta do business with the people here. I don't want it known I brought someone in caused this kinda ruckus..." He was intrigued by River Tam, who appeared to be able to read him adequately to mimic his accent and dialect.
After Mal managed to win his duel, Badger, took his goons and left, telling the crew in parting, "Ta very much for a lovely night..."
Badger called upon the crew of Serenity once more when needing to transport boxes containing HTX-20 to a rhodium mining operation on Aberdeen; as a way of making recompense for the job on Jiangyin. On-board Serenity, Badger again encountered River, who warned him against getting his fingerprints on the boxes, stating that, "If we're investigated, it's you what'll show up, not us". Badger, tickled by her apparent concern, responded, "...my side of this exchange is above board and legitimate".
Badger paid Mal his due half-payment before returning to town for the Alliance Day celebrations (to sell "recreational substances" to revellers). He taunted Mal about, what he saw as a celebration of, "...the end to a completely unnecessary and yet ultimately obscenely profitable war" and reminding him that, "War's over, Captain... Officially, anyway".
Later that day, when Mal was kidnapped during a fight at Taggart's Bar, Zoë followed "Harlow" to Badger's base of operations. Upon learning that Mal was missing and Zoë's plan to renage on their original deal to stay on Persephone to search for him, Badger advised her to take the HTX-20 off-world as soon as possible. He revealed that the cargo had a "limited shelf life" and that a bulletin was recently posted on the Cortex about Serenity, confident that the feds would be on their tail soon. 
Behind the scenes
Badger, portrayed by Mark Sheppard, first appeared in the pilot episode of the series, "Serenity." Joss Whedon originally wrote the character with the intention of playing the role himself. His most recent appearance was in the novel, Firefly - Big Damn Hero.
- Firefly – "Serenity" (First appearance)
- Firefly – "Shindig"
- Serenity: Those Left Behind
- Firefly - Big Damn Hero