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Space Pilot 3000

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-The Series Has Landed
Production number1ACV01
Reviews written7
Overall rating90%
Plot86%
Characters97%
Gags84%
Voice actor performance84%
Guest actor performance82%
Continuity94%
Animation quality80%
Music/sound quality65%

Written by totalnerduk on 10 July 2010.

Overall rating:10
Plot:10
Characters:10
Gags:10
Voice actor performance:9
Guest actor performance:10
Continuity:10

As a show opener, SP3K is incredible. Whilst it probably wouldn't stand up so well if it wasn't the very first episode, it has a look and feel that very much set the tone for the rest of the original 72-episode run. SP3K is essentially part 1 of our introduction to Futurama, TSHL being part 2. SP3K does an admirable job of pulling together the three plot threads, establishing Fry, Bender and Leela (as well as a couple of other incidental characters), and of bringing Matt Groening's dystopic vision of a "utopian" future to life. Voice acting is a little off, but that's to be expected. The voices really don't change TOO much in any case. Bender perhaps sounds drunker as time wears on, and the Professor sounds a little older, but this is again to be expected. There's absolutely nothing I can find wrong with SP3K. It stands as the first episode of the first season (and the only season without a single weak episode, IMO). Love it or just like it a little, you can't hate it.

2 approves and 0 disapproves of this review

Written by AdrenalinDragon on 11 July 2010.

Overall rating:10
Plot:10
Characters:10
Gags:10
Voice actor performance:9
Guest actor performance:10
Continuity:10

Futurama began back in late 1999 for the UK, and although I missed the very first episode when it aired, there's no denying that the Space Pilot 3000 episode of Futurama was very important in setting up the whole concept of a 20th century guy attempting to cope with the future, and nevertheless Futurama begins with a bang and does it perfectly!

It's December 31st 1999, and Phillip J Fry, a pizza delivery boy in New York, gets an order from "I.C Weiner" to a cryogenics lab, and realising its a prank call, he waits for the millenium to hit, and shortly afterwards falls down from the seat and into one of the tubes, where he is frozen for 1000 years. Fry wakes up in the year 2999, with one day before the year 3000, and first encounters Leela, a one eyed cyclops who works at the cryogenics lab. She tells him he must be signed to a career chip, and after he gets "delivery boy", he attempts to escape and finds information about one of his relatives Professor Farnsworth. After wandering around the city New New York, Fry finds a phone box, which is actually a suicide booth and bumps into a robot named Bender. They both enter the booth and survive the "Slow and Horrible" treatment of suicide, and decide to try and find Farnsworth afterwards. Nevertheless, Leela is attempting to capture them, but Fry and Bender head underground to find the ruins of New York. Fry, realising he's lost everything now being in the future, decides to give himself up to Leela, but Leela changes her mind because she feels the same about Fry as herself. They both escape and head to Professor Farnsworth. They are greeted by Farnsworth and he's surprised to find a relative alive. He offers the crew a chance to be part of the Planet Express team, and the group agree to join, but the police are waiting for them outside. They escape in the ship and the year 3000 is hit. Professor Farnsworth then tells Fry that he is going to be a delivery boy and jumps up in excitement.

Overall, the first episode of Futurama is one of the best. It delivers a solid story and a very good sense of humour, and nevertheless it couldn't have started any better in my opinion. With amazing gags to a well structured plot, Space Pilot 3000 introduced us to the future and our favourites Fry, Bender, Leela, and Farnsworth (the others show up in the next episode). An incredible start to quite possibly the greatest animated show ever!

1 approves and 0 disapproves of this review

Written by cyber_turnip on 11 July 2010.

Overall rating:8
Plot:8
Characters:10
Gags:7
Voice actor performance:9
Guest actor performance:9
Continuity:10

This is probably the best pilot for a story-driven comedy that I've ever seen. It's fair to say that Futurama hit the ground running and whilst it may have increased its running speed in later seasons, it's like comparing gold and platinum. Both are great. The episode had to establish a lot, and it does so simply, effectively and with fantastic pacing. More importantly though, it doesn't sacrifice humour in place of story. It establishes the several laughs-a-minute format of the show from the opening line of dialogue onwards. For big fans of the show, there's a lot of fantastic set-ups for later on. Not only do we see a brief moment between Fry and Leela and a certain shadow that fans of the show should know about by now, but the core members of the Planet Express crew are all introduced along with fan-favourite: Richard Nixon. And their characters haven't changed a bit since unless you count the voices being ever so slightly different... which personally, I don't. All in all, this episode was a brilliant start to a brilliant show.

1 approves and 0 disapproves of this review

Written by i_c_weiner on 11 July 2010.

Overall rating:8
Plot:8
Characters:10
Gags:8
Voice actor performance:6
Continuity:10

For a series pilot, this ranks among the best for intriguing and grabbing an audience. As an overall episode of the series, it's pretty good.

The pilot sets up the series pretty well as neither a utopia nor a dystopia but just a society like today. That's a reoccuring theme of the series as a whole: the 31st Century is just like the 21st Century. Sure, you have crazy looping tubes instead of subways, but mass transit is still tedious and annoying with long lines and delays.

It also sets up two reoccuring elements: Heads in Jars and the night of December 31st, 1999. The former sets up hilarious situations, as, although this is 1000 years in the future, any celebrity of today or even the past can show up. Great examples in future episodes include the return of Nixon and Chester A. Arthur falling down. December 31st reappears in almost every major episode of the series and sets up what's referred to as the Origins story arc, along with "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid", "Roswell That Ends Well", and "The Why of Fry". These episodes make up the core of Futurama's sci-fi roots. It's also touched upon in episodes such as "Love's Labours Lost in Space", "Jurassic Bark", "Bender's Big Score", and "Into the Wild Green Yonder" due to it's relations to the shadow and the ramifications of time travel.

The gags were light in this episode otherwise, and the voice acting wasn't up to par of the performances in Season 2 and beyond. Bender and the Professor sound off in this episode. The guest voices of Leonard Nimoy and Dick Clark were fantastically fun, especially as Nimoy becomes reoccurring later in the series.

1 approves and 0 disapproves of this review

Written by Gorky on 11 July 2010.

Overall rating:10
Plot:10
Characters:10
Gags:8
Voice actor performance:9
Guest actor performance:7
Continuity:10

This is one of the best pilots I've ever seen--and it's easy enough to say that, since Futurama is my favorite show. But even in an objective sense, SP3K accomplishes everything that a premiere episode should.

The episode introduces us to most of the main cast efficiently, organically, and entertainingly: Fry meets Leela; he runs away from Leela and meets Bender; Leela sees the error of her Bad-Ass Career-Assignment ways and unites with Bender and Fry; while on the run as job deserters, they find Farnsworth and become his employees at Planet Express. All of this in 22 minutes, and with our plot we are given heaps of character development (that scene between Fry and Leela amidst the ruins of Old New York is one of my favorite scenes ever; it is so simply, effortlessly insightful and emotional) and an introduction to this universe where the characters--and we, as fans--will be spending most of their time.

My only gripe--and it's not so much a gripe as it is me steeling myself for those who will consider it a negative--is that this episode isn't as laugh-out-loud funny as later offerings. It's not exactly a quotable episode in the way that, say, "Amazon Women in the Mood" (or even, much more closely, "I Roommate") is. But there are some great situational things (the suicide booth is downright classic), and there's plenty in here that makes me grin, smirk, what-have-you.

This episode thoroughly endears you to New New York and its inhabitants, and it makes you excited for what's to come in the series--which is, ultimately, all a pilot episode can be expected to do. So the humor's not as shining as it is in later episodes; so the voice acting still has a way to go (but, to be fair, that's true of all animated shows right out of the gate). This episode tugs at the ol' heartstrings and entertains thoroughly--and, to me, that's what makes an episode great.

2 approves and 0 disapproves of this review

Written by Svip on 11 July 2010.

Overall rating:9
Plot:8
Characters:10
Gags:10
Voice actor performance:10
Guest actor performance:8
Continuity:10
Animation quality:9
Music/sound quality:8

It is no surprise that this pilot was the most viewed pilot in Fox history when it aired. It gets everything straight for a show that has a great deal of premise required to be explained. And does it well. And just like Groening mentions on the commentary, 'it doesn't look like a different show'.

Indeed not, Groening, indeed not. And this is why I find this episode to very rewatchable over and over. But that is not to say all is perfect, however.

While the plot is hindered by being a pilot, it is still slightly weak, and a bit too 'emotional' at times. It's cute, I guess, but ending does seem a bit like a cop out to me, even if a nice call back to the original countdown in the beginning of the episode.

Gag wise you need to understand that almost *every* piece of dialogue in this episode is a punchline. It's almost baffling how they managed that. Then again, they had 2 hours worth of material for this episode I hear!

And also a great with some guest actors in this episode, though I feel Dick Clark was rather underused in this episode, which is a damn shame, because it seems his performance was for naught.

2 approves and 0 disapproves of this review

Written by speedracer on 19 July 2010.

Overall rating:8
Plot:6
Characters:8
Gags:6
Voice actor performance:7
Guest actor performance:5
Continuity:6
Animation quality:7
Music/sound quality:5

As everyone knows, this is the episode that launched the show. Philip Fry, an unremarkable pizza delivery boy from the 20th century, is locked into a cryogenic chamber and reemerges on the eve of the year 3000. He befriends Leela, a beautiful, strong-willed cyclops, and Bender, a smartass alcoholic robot. Together they become the new crew for Planet Express, an intergalactic delivery service run owned Fry's descendant Prof. Hubert Farnsworth.

Compared to most Futurama episodes, "Space Pilot 3000" doesn't pack in many jokes, nor does it feature a particularly intricate plot. What it does do is set a foundation for the series by painting a picture of the strange new world into which Fry emerges. It's a world of fantastic technological marvels, but it's also a world where individuality and personal expression are valued very cheaply and where human life is considered disposable, as evidenced by the street-corner suicide booths which so famously confused the Fox network executives when the show was first conceived. It's very much a reflection of creator Matt Groening's worldview, and indeed it makes the viewer wonder exactly how much different in spirit this futuristic society is from the present. As a bonus, this episode features a large number of easter eggs which are hatched in later episodes.

While this episode isn't necessarily representative of the whole catalog of Futurama episodes, it's absolutely essential viewing for anyone who wants to get into the show.

0 approves and 0 disapproves of this review