Futurama Season 6 Episode 7 – The Late Philip J Fry

The Professor builds a time machine that can only go forward in time. This leads to Fry being late for his date with Leela – very late, seeing as the gang end up in the year 10,000 – so the crew deciding to keep going forward in time until they can find a time machine to take them back home to the past.

In a way, Futurama is based on the idea of time travel, or at least the idea of temporal displacement, so this episode has links with the very nature of the show. Plus it’s a particularly good episode.

There has been very little mention of Fry and Leela’s relationship thus far in the new Futurama, but this episode focuses on the fact that Fry is always late for meeting Leela on their dates. As the crew travels forwards through time they meet some strange versions of civilisation, encounter wars and utopian ideals. Everyone finds a time they like (despite Bender’s initial misgivings – “Time? I can’t go back there!”), except Fry, who just wants to go back to his date with Leela.

There are many great pop culture references in this episode, including Planet of the Apes, The Terminator and HG Wells’s classic time travel novel, The Time Machine. A brilliant parody of the Zager & Evans song In The Year 2525 accompanies the scenes of Fry, the Professor, and Bender travelling through time. As well as this there is a definite nod to Douglas Adams’s Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, as Fry, Bender and the Professor drink beer and casually watch the end of the universe.

This episode, combined with last week’s Lethal Inspection episode surely shows that the Futurama reboot has found its feet. The jokes are spot on, the relationship between Fry and Leela is finally addressed and the characters seem to have found their rhythm again.

Fans of the show never doubted that the reboot would work, but there were a few wobbles so far in the season. With this episode, any doubts should be laid to rest, Futurama has hit its stride again.

GS Reviewer: Brogen Hayes

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