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When Aliens Attack

Mars UniversityFry and the Slurm Factory
Production number1ACV12
Reviews written2
Overall rating85%
Voice actor performance90%
Animation quality80%
Music/sound quality60%

Written by cyber_turnip on 11 July 2010.

Overall rating:8
Voice actor performance:10

This is my favourite episode from season 1.

The plot is a simple alien-invasion story (with a contemporary-TV twist). This keeps things simple as well as very enjoyable as even if it's been done before, there's no denying that Earth being under attack by aliens is quite an epic, large-scope and thrilling story.

Just as in 'A Big Piece of Garbage', the plot's simplicity allows it to be used as a springboard for great humour. For my money, this is the funniest episode of season 1 -mostly thanks to Zapp Brannigan who is on top form throughout.

It's still far from the heights that later episodes of Futurama would climb to, but it's a damn fine episode all the same.

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Written by speedracer on 31 July 2010.

Overall rating:9
Voice actor performance:8
Animation quality:8
Music/sound quality:6

What happens when you cross "Ally McBeal" with "Independence Day"? You get a Futurama episode where aliens from a galaxy 1000 light-years away invade Earth because their favorite TV show has been interrupted. Perfectly natural material for Futurama.

While making a delivery to a TV station in New York City in 1999, it is revealed that Fry accidentally knocked the season finale of "Single Female Lawyer", a very transparent sendup of "Ally McBeal", off the air. A thousand years later, aliens from Omicron Persei 8 invade Earth, and everyone's favorite war hero Zapp Brannigan drafts an army to fight the invaders. Fry, Leela and Bender join the resistance, and in an absolute visual spectacle of a battle they appear to score a dramatic victory, but the Omicronian mothership materializes and forces our heroes to retreat. We then learn that the Omicronians really just want to see the last episode of "Single Female Lawyer", and the Planet Express crew quickly rustle up a set and a script and act out an absolutely brutal parody of an episode to placate the Omicronians. There's a tense moment when Fry's script comes up short and Leela ad-libs an unexpected plot twist which is not well-received by the alien invaders, but Fry quickly works out an ending which satisfies the Omicronians. Naturally, Fry proclaims that the secret to successful television is making sure that "everything is back to normal" at the end -- while New New York burns from the Omicronian rampage, of course.

As one might expect, the jokes and gags come quickly and furiously throughout the episode. Where the episode truly shines, however, is in the plot transitions. The twists in the episode are clever and unexpected (contrary to Fry's dictum), but Ken Keeler's expert writing makes them feel completely natural and seamless. Maurice LaMarche does a fantastic job as Omicronian overlord Lrrr, and Billy West's Zapp Brannigan is spot-on as usual. "When Aliens Attack" is easily one of the top episodes of the first season.

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