Where No Fan Has Gone Before

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"Where No Fan Has Gone Before"
Futurama episode
Futurama ep65.jpg
Melllvar and the original cast of Star Trek
Episode no. Season four
Episode 11
Directed by Pat Shinagawa
Written by David A. Goodman
Production code 4ACV11
Original air date April 21, 2002
Opening caption "Where No Fan Has Gone Before"
Opening cartoon "Hiss and Make Up" by Merrie Melodies (1943)
Guest actors
Season four episodes
List of all Futurama episodes

"Where No Fan Has Gone Before" is the eleventh episode of the fourth season of the animated series Futurama. It originally aired in the United States on April 21, 2002. Along with "The Why of Fry" (which precedes this episode in production order), it is one of two episodes that do not feature Professor Farnsworth.

Plot[edit]

Zapp Brannigan holds a court-martial of Bender, Leela, Fry, and most of the cast of Star Trek: The Original Series, for traveling to the forbidden planet Omega 3. He orders the group to recount the events that led to the court-martial.

Fry explains that he had learned that Star Trek is forbidden in the future;[1] after the show became a worldwide religion, all of its fans were killed during the Star Trek Wars[2] and the "sacred" tapes of its 79 episodes[3] and six movies sent to a forbidden planet. Leonard Nimoy's head at the Head Museum denies knowledge of the show, but realizes he cannot escape the truth and recounts to Fry how the rest of the cast left Earth.

Fry, Leela, Bender, and Nimoy's head journey to the forbidden planet. There they find several original sets from Star Trek, and most of the original cast (a character named Welshie replaced James Doohan, the actor who portrayed Scotty, as the latter "had trouble yodelling" in a musical reunion in the 23rd century) with their bodies and eternal youth. An energy being named Melllvar appears and explains that he became an obsessed Star Trek fan after watching the tapes over and over again. Melllvar gives Nimoy a body, and orders the actors and the Planet Express crew to participate in a Star Trek convention until the end of time. Welshie is killed in a show of force to force their obedience. While Melllvar forces the cast to perform his fan script, Bender, Leela and Fry escape in the Planet Express Ship. Fry convinces the crew to attack Melllvar to save the actors, but Melllvar destroys the ship's engine as he drags it back to the planet.

After seeing the Planet Express crew's attempt to defeat him Melllvar wonders if they are more worthy of his adoration than the Star Trek cast, and decides to settle the question with a battle to the death. After several minutes of fighting (with the exception of Leela and Shatner, who end up making out), Melllvar's mother appears and makes him come home for dinner. While he is gone, the two groups combine the engine of the cast's ship with the hull of the Planet Express Ship to escape. In order to lose enough weight to lift off, the cast jettison their bodies. Melllvar follows the crew into space with his own ship, a Romulan Bird of Prey. Brannigan boards the Planet Express Ship and starts the court-martial. Leela points out that while the court-martial is in progress Melllvar is still chasing them.

Fry convinces Melllvar that he cannot spend his life watching Star Trek, and Melllvar agrees to end the chase and "move out of [his] parents' basement." The crew returns with the tapes to Earth. The cast goes with them, deciding that immortality is not worth living with "one really annoying Star Trek fan."

Production[edit]

The writer for this episode, David A. Goodman, states in the DVD audio commentary that making this episode was a "dream come true" for many members of the crew including himself.[4] Pat Shinagawa, who directed the episode, also states that there was a certain amount of jealousy that she had gotten to do this episode[5] whereas Matt Groening states that while he is a fan of the Star Trek franchise he has never seen an episode of the original series all the way through, but he has seen the first movie.[6]

All of the living members of the original Star Trek cast agreed to appear in the episode with the exception of James Doohan, whose agent replied with "No way."[4] Because of this, the episode's working title was jokingly named "We got everybody but Scotty" and the character Montgomery Scott was replaced with "Welshie".[4] DeForest Kelley was physically portrayed in the episode but had no lines due to his death in 1999.

Multiple designs for the energy being were considered for this episode; however, the final version was decided upon due to a desire to keep the design simple.[7] Despite this effort, Shinagawa still notes that the final design for Melllvar is more sophisticated than some energy beings featured in the original series.[5]

Star Trek references[edit]

This episode contains many story elements based on episodes of Star Trek.[4]

In the DVD audio commentary, Goodman notes his pride in having included a large number of quotations from the original series, particularly those items which he claims "the people on the internet" had not found on their own. He noted that in "Shatner's Log", based on Star Trek's "Captain's log", the line "The impossible has happened" quotes the opening log in "Where No Man Has Gone Before".[4]

Broadcast and reception[edit]

Although the episode was not the last episode produced for season four, it was used as the season finale for the fourth broadcast season. The episode was then nominated for a Nebula Award in 2004 for best script.[8][9] IGN.com ranked the episode as number ten in their list of the "Top 25 Futurama Episodes" in 2006.[10] The Futon Critic ranked the episode number 44 in its list of the top 50 television episodes of 2002.[11] The popularity of this episode combined with the large volume of Star Trek references has made this episode a touchstone among Trekkies.[12] This episode, along with "Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles", has been called one of the great moments of the fourth season.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Even though several episodes mention Star Trek without public outrage or anyone getting arrested
  2. ^ As opposed to the Star Wars Trek, the "vast migration of Star Wars fans"
  3. ^ With only 30 good ones, according to Fry
  4. ^ a b c d e Goodman, David A. (2003). Futurama season 4 DVD commentary for the episode "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 
  5. ^ a b Shinagawa, Pat (2003). Futurama season 4 DVD commentary for the episode "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 
  6. ^ Groening, Matt (2003). Futurama season 4 DVD commentary for the episode "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 
  7. ^ Cohen, David X. (2003). Futurama season 4 DVD commentary for the episode "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 
  8. ^ Cook, Lucius (April 26, 2004). Hey Sexy Mama, Wanna Kill All Humans?: Looking Backwards at Futurama, The Greatest SF Show You've Never Seen. Locus Online. Retrieved on July 2, 2007.
  9. ^ "2004 Nebula Awards". 2004-04-17. Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  10. ^ "Top 25 Futurama Episodes". Retrieved 2006-11-04. 
  11. ^ "The 50 Best Episodes Of 2002: #50-41". The Futon Critic. 2003-01-06. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  12. ^ Baker, Chris (2007-12-17). "Videogames & Futurama, Part 1: Raiders of the Lost Arcade". Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  13. ^ Hofstede, David. 5000 Episodes and No Commercials: The Ultimate Guide to TV Shows on DVD. Back Stage Books. p. 120. 

External links[edit]