Futurama: S01E01: Space Pilot 3000

“Space it seems to go on forever”
And so it begins… and wow does the animation suck. It looks like the crappy square animation found on the old arcade games. There’s got to be a good reason for it, after all the Simpson’s animation isn’t that bad.

“And then you get to the monkey at the end and he starts to throw barrels at you”

Okay so it was some old arcade game being played, it makes sense now. Time to introduce Fry, a twenty something pizza delivery boy with nothing to live for. He’s just been dumped by his live-in-girlfriend and is stuck delivering pizza’s on New Years Eve 1999. And I thought New Years 99 sucked for me…

His boss sent him to go deliver a pizza to some office across town. Along the way Fry sees hundreds of happy people around him. But for him its nothing but misery. His bike is stolen after he locks it up and to add insult to injury, his delivery was a crank call, so he’ll get charged for the pizza. Fry decides to make the most out of the situation, and cracks open a beer and eats some pizza. He reclines in a chair and waits for the New Year to come. At midnight he puts up a faux celebration by blowing his noise maker. But the kazoo has just enough force behind it to tip him over into the cryogenic freezing machine. If you noticed a shadow near his falling chair, give yourself 100 points, it’ll be important later.  The machine locks up with Fry stuck inside and its timer is set for 1000 years.

Fry is frozen in the pod for the next thousand years. We see aliens attacks and demolish New York City twice, before its rebuilt finally in the Futurama style. Interestingly enough, Fry’s building was never destroyed, nor did it ever lose power. Go figure. After a thousand year slumber, Fry awakens to New New York City on December 31, 2999. His first thought after awakening in the future is that he’ll never see his family or girlfriend ever again. He takes a moment to reflect on all of this and shouts out “Whaa-hoo!”

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A few moments (read: after the opening credits) two men walk in to greet Fry and welcome him to “The World of Tomorrow”. Then they escort him to his fate assignment officer, te woman who will determine what job he’ll occupy for the rest of his life. That woman is the one eyed alien Leela. After running some humiliating tests on Fry she determines that Fry’s has a living relative named Hubert Farnsworth and that his job shall be a delivery boy. But Fry doesn’t want that job. He wants to start over and have some cool job like rock star. But Leela won’t budge and tries to plant an career chip in Fry’s hand with a sadistic looking device.

Fry runs away screaming like a girl. Leela chases after him but only succeeds in getting herself locked in a cryo chamber for a thousand years. Fry has pity on her and resets the timer to 5 minuets, enough time for him to get away. And haul ass he does. Fry enters the tube system and flies across town to escape her.
After a painful egress from the tube system, he spots what appears to be a phone booth. He gets in line to make a call to his great great x100 nephew Farnsworth. In line he meets the anti-lovable Bender. Fry is overjoyed to meet the robot, but Bender could care less, he’s here to do one thing; commit suicide. Fry wasn’t waiting for a phone booth but a suicide booth. He just doesn’t realize it until him and Bender are stuck inside about to be eviscerated. Thanks to some lucky dodging both of them exit the booth alive. With nothing better to do, they make way to the nearest pub.

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Fry tells Bender his story and must’ve touched the robot somehow because Bender agrees to be his friend. Good thing too, because that’s when Leela spots him and chases after him. Bender leads Fry into the Head Museum (free on Tuesdays) to hide. The Head Museum features heads from famous people who will share their knowledge and wisdom with anyone willing to listen. But heads with bodies aren’t a good place to hide in a head only building and Leela spots them immediately. The police catch up with the two also and get 24th Century on their asses. Leela finds the beating a bit too much, but doesn’t intervene until one of the cops insults her nose. At which point she kicks the crap outta the cops. This gives Fry and Bender enough time to escape into a room.

Unfortunately for them, they’re trapped. The only way out is through a barred window. Fry tries to get Bender to bend the bars, but destructive bending goes against his code so he refuses. That is until he walks into a light bulb and electrocutes himself. The excess electricity messes up his programming and turns him into the ‘lovable” robot we know today. With his restrictive programming gone, Bender bends the bars, and the two escape just as Leela barges into the room. once on the other side, Bender rebends the bars to prohibit Leela from following them.

Bender and Fry escape down into the sewers. But these aren’t the normal Sunnydale sewers, but rather the remains of Old New York, Fry’s stomping grounds. The old city is trashed. Now only hideous mutants live in this subterranean city. Fry’s sense of loss is starting to hit him. But he doesn’t have much time to reflect because that bloodhound Leela has found him once again. Fry is too depressed to keep fighting and surrenders to her. But Leela herself is also depressed, since she too has no friends or family. She pulls out her own career chip and starts a common bond friendship with Fry.

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The three career deserters, with no other options have travelled across town to meet Professor Farnsworth, Fry’s great x100 nephew. They barge in on the senile old scientist and start trying to mooch off of him. The Professor is old, but not stupid, He doesn’t let them take too much advantage of him. In fact he’ll soon be the one to take advantage of them!

After the Professor shows them his spaceship, the Planet Express, the police arrive to arrest the three of them. Their only escape is to take the spaceship and make a run for it. At midnight exact, the Planet Express blasts off into the sky. The New Years fireworks prevents the police from shooting them out of the sky, and the crew is free at last.

The Professor offers the three of them jobs on his spaceship. He still has the career chips (contents found in the giant space wasp stomach) from his former crew “Those poor sons of…” and assigns them to the three of them to their new jobs. Leela is captain, Bender is a crew member and Fry is… A Delivery Boy. All this hassle for nothing! But Fry realizes what a delivery boy does in the 31st century and is excited at the new job!

So the stage is set for the new series. While this new universe is kinda dark and wacky, the next series will evolve into pure greatness.

I’d rate this episode a wacky 59,670
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Futurama reviews are © 2006 – 2019 Ryan Bechtel.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission

Futurama names, characters and everything else associated with the series are the property of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

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