6.21 Mobius Dick
Are the writers of Futurama running out of ideas? I mean a second appearance in as many weeks for Tom Baker’s Doctor Who? C’mon guys, how about some Davison or Tennant action? Also, last week’s episode saw a flying London bus, a la Planet of the Dead (one of the Doctor Who 2009 specials), and now a space whale! (Not unlike last year’s Who, story The Beast Below.)
I merely jest, of course, but it’s interesting to note the similarities between the two shows, as we are presented with another sort of time travel tale. I say ‘sort of’, as we get some delightful flashbacks to the Professor’s first crew (some fifty years ago) featuring Candy (a beautiful blonde), a robot called Lifter and the personality-less Captain Lando Tucker (who concludes every sentence with, “… or die trying!”).
Completing the original Planet Express line-up is everyone’s favourite lobster, Zoidberg. Though, in this time, the gang refer to him as “Johnny”, and he sports a rather amusing Fonze-esque hair-do. Not only that, Johnny is well loved by all the crew (the cause of much quizicality from the modern crew, who find it hard to swallow that the crustacean had friends).
Farnsworth believes the ship and former crew to have vanished in the Bermuda Tetrohedon and, within seconds of mentioning it, sends Leela and Co. on a journey bypassing that very area of space to pick up a monument for his lost crew. Of course, you can see what’s coming…
Leela ends up forging through that very space and finds a graveyard for ships. The more geekily eagled-eyed will have a wild time spotting various space craft from 2001: A Space Odyssey, an Electric Light Orchestra album cover and there’s even Oceanic Flight 815 (from television’s Lost).
References ahoy! Obviously, the main reference is Moby Dick and the enemy here comes in the form of a giant killer space whale who can travel interdimensionally, and guzzles whatever he (or she) can in its way. And it’s in the belly of the beast where some familiar faces appear.
It’s another cracking Futurama story and, perhaps more importantly, the gags are plentiful too: from Zoidberg’s changing hairstyle to the visual nod to Close Encounters of the Third Kind‘s closing moments.
A stout re-telling of an old story, with “futuristic” touches.