As the adventures of the Planet Express crew draw to a
close, Leela discovers which planet she came from, while Fry
learns the reason why he was cryogenically frozen in 1999.
But will these revelations be of any use to Fry as he continues
to try and woo Leela...?
I began to watch this, the final season of Futurama,
I did get a little worried that I had discovered the reason
why the series was cancelled. The opening episode, Kif
Gets Knocked Up a Notch, is decidedly average, despite
the presence of the popular returning characters of Zapp Brannigan
and the long-suffering Kif.
the quality soon picks up with the next episode, Leela's
Homeworld, which, as its title suggests, delves into the
mysterious heritage of the one-eyed wonder. Having been introduced,
Leela's parents make several return appearances throughout
the rest of the series.
is far from being the only bit of character development this
season. Futurama scores over The Simpsons, and
just about every other cartoon series, by developing the ongoing
relationships between Amy and Kif (in Kif Gets Knocked
Up a Notch and Three Hundred Big Boys) and between
Leela and Fry (in The Why of Fry, The Sting
and the last episode, The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings).
This being the final season, the production team also crams
in plenty of revelations about Fry's past, via flashbacks
and time travel in The Why of Fry and the poignant
favourite episodes in this box set include the superhero spoof
Less Than Hero (great theme song, guys), Crimes
of the Hot (an environmental morality tale incorporating
a wickedly satirical public information film), Teenage
Mutant Leela's Hurdles (in which the main characters grow
younger), the hilariously convoluted The Why of Fry,
the moving The Sting and the parallel universe story
(I always like those), The Farnsworth Parabox.
best one of the lot, in my totally biased Trekkie opinion,
is Where No Fan Has Gone Before. It should come as
no surprise that this is a Star Trek pastiche, a series
that has been amply spoofed already, both in previous seasons
and in this one (see the holoshed in Kif Gets Knocked Up
a Notch). But Where No Fan... not only features
the Kirk-like Zapp Brannigan and visual gags relating to Classic
Trek episodes such as The Menagerie and The
City of the Edge of Forever, it also stars the voices
of original cast members William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George
Takei, Walter Koenig and Nichelle Nichols as heads in jars.
An instant classic!
well worth splashing out an extra fiver to own this season
on DVD rather than VHS, because there is a wealth of extras
on offer. These include humorous audio commentaries on every
episode (and an extra one on Jurassic Bark), deleted
scenes from the majority of episodes, complete storyboards
from Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch, the full-length animatic
of Obsoletely Fabulous, eleven 3D modelling sequences
and nine original pencil test segments. There are also a couple
of Easter eggs, allegedly, not that I have been able to find
them yet. My only criticism of the special features is that
the sound levels on the deleted scenes are considerably lower
than those on the main episodes - why?
greatest strength - its focus on the genre of science fiction
rather than the more scattergun social commentary of The
Simpsons - was also the greatest obstacle in the way of
its popular appeal. However, 17 of the 18 episodes in this
box set ensure that the series bows out on a high.
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