31st Century Fox
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Broadcast season 9 episode
|31st Century Fox|
|Written by||Patric M. Verrone|
|Directed by||Edmund Fong|
|Title caption||Today's Episode Brought To You By The Letter (Alien Letter)|
|First air date||29 August, 2012|
|Title reference||20th Century Fox|
|Special guest(s)||Patrick Stewart|
- This article is about the episode. For the in-universe organisation, see 30th Century Fox.
"31st Century Fox" is the one hundred and twenty-fifth episode of Futurama, the eleventh of the seventh production season and the ninth broadcast season. It aired 29 August 2012 on Comedy Central. It guest stars Patrick Stewart as the Hunts Master. Bender discovers a cruel hunt of robot animals and decides to take action.
 Act I: "Tomorrow's clothes at yesterday's prices."
Following an active delivery to Tokyo, the crew return in ravaged uniform remnants. Amy questions the Professor on his promise to provide newer uniforms for the crew a year ago. The Professor dismisses the notion until one of the creatures responsible for the tattered clothing, and which stowed aboard the ship, flies out and renders Hermes and Farnsworth practically naked forcing the Professor's hand. And thus it's off to the garment district.
The crew travel to the shop of a Decapodian clothier to find a new set of uniforms. While trying on various outfits (see below), Bender becomes enthralled by a 20th Century fox hunting attire. Failing to find anything suitable, Leela calls for them to leave but, before they go, the clothier offers them at a discount the very uniforms they'd been promised a year ago of which Farnsworth approves.
Suited up in their new outfits, everyone is surprised to find Bender had chosen to buy the fox hunting outfit and professes a conveniently newfound joy of the sport. Leela is disgusted by the notion of fox hunting but Bender insists they come with him to an upcoming hunt he'll take part in.
 Act II: "You, sir, have been outfoxed...I spent all night on that."
During the hunt, Bender is introduced to the Hunts Master who follows a strict code of etiquette including a 30 minute head start for the fox. Leela makes numerous unsucessful attempts to protest the hunt but is thwarted each time by the Hunt Master's traps, including an anti-gravity generator. The fox is located and surrounded by the hounds as Leela watches with disgust. However, after the dogs have torn it apart it is revealed as no more than a robot fox with which Leela is less than concerned about. Conversely, Bender is disgusted and cries out over the crime against robot rights and even more so at the fact that the whole hunt operates off of robot on robot violence (the hounds and horses also being robotic).
Bender begins his own quest towards animal rights (particularly robot animals) by forming B.A.R.F., Bender's Animal Robot Front. Gathering a modest group of attendees, Bender begins a quest to stamp out injustices against robotic animals including the liberation of robot chickens from laying eggs as they were designed to, and the butchering of robot animal flesh. Although B.A.R.F. is declared sucessful, moderately, there remains one last effort on Bender's part: liberating the robot fox.
Failing to get the fox declared a protected creature, Bender, Leela, and Fry sneak in at night to take the fox and rescue it from its role as prey. However, Bender remains to perform one last act. The next day, the hunters are shocked to find Bender waiting in the cage.
 Act III: "It's Bender's middle finger. I'd recognize this anywhere."
Bender's efforts are outwitted by the Hunts Master supplanting him for the fox and gives him the same 30 minute head start. Bender makes a run for it trying to out think the hunters. Although Bender fails to actually make any discernable escape, he is surrounded almost out the gate. The Hunts Master benevolently gives him a second chance which Bender uses to try and escape again.
Meanwhile, at Planet Express, the crew fall in love with the robot fox as it behaves in a cute, pet-like manner. The cuteness wears off though as the fox is not house broken and proceeds to make a mess of things including destroying the new uniforms. Though Leela tries to defend it, she quickly changes her mind after it has also damaged her protest sign. The crew try to kill the fox themselves but only manage to tear half of its face from its head as it scurries off down the street.
Bender unsucessfully tries to throw everyone off the trail by masking his scent. Elsewhere, the crew chases the fox through New New York taking shots at it. The fox boards a train for New Jersey which they realize is trying to go back to where it considers home. As Bender is overcome by the hardships of being pursued in the wilderness, he ultimately manages to sever a finger and becomes trapped in one of the Hunts Master's traps. The fox finds him and helps to get Bender's trapped foot free as the hunt is almost upon them. Barely escaping, the hunting party is interrupted by the ship landing and Leela demanding they hand over the fox. However, the fox is of no concern to the hunters anymore as they now have bigger game which everyone realizes is Bender.
With the fox's help, Bender is able to avoid the Hunts Master's traps giving Bender an idea of how to turn the situation in his favor. As Leela attempts to compromise with the hunters over trying to go after both targets, the Hunts Master slips off to personally pursue Bender.
The Hunts Master, though cautious, is taken off guard by one of Bender's traps which leads him to stumble through a hollow tree trunk. He finds himself watching Bender caught in the anti-gravity snare but Bender reveals that it is really he who is caught in the gravity field which Bender turns off. Now with the Hunts Master's gun, Bender has him defeated but shows mercy as Fry and Leela find them.
The Hunts Master isn't so benevolent as he steals back the rifle and is prepared to shoot. Bender is saved by the fox who mauls the Hunts Master to reveal he was a robot himself all along. Ultimately the irony is enough to satisfy everyone as they mount the Hunts Master's head as a trophy back at Planet Express.
On 12 July, following the broadcast of the episode "Zapp Dingbat", the public were given the opportunity to participate in a live chat with the Futurama cast and crew. Several clips of "31st Century Fox" were shown during the live stream.
 Additional information
- This is the first episode (in production order) of season 7 to be aired out of order, as the broadcast order of both this episode and "Viva Mars Vegas" were swapped.
- It is confirmed in the commentaries that this swap was requested by Comedy Central as they wanted to advertise Patrick Stewart being in the season finale (which they subsequently did not).
- The plot is a direct reference to the short story, "The Most Dangerous Game" written by Richard Connel.
- With this episode, the Awesome Express uniforms have officially been acknowledged as serving Planet Express.
- The Professor had provided new uniforms before in Love and Rocket which occasionally showed up.
- The episode's title is a reference to 20th Century Fox, the company that owns Futurama.
- The uniforms tried on by the crew contain many references:
- The first uniforms are stillsuits from the film of Dune by Frank Herbert.
- The red thong with suspenders is a reference to Sean Connery in the film Zardoz.
- Leela wears a costume from Barbarella.
- Amy wears a Pan Am uniform from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- Fry wears an operations uniform from Star Trek.
- Zoidberg wears Storm Trooper armor from Star Wars.
- Squidward Scissorhands is a reference to Edward Scissorhands and the character of Squidward Tentacles from SpongeBob SquarePants.
- The highway sign reading "Highway jammed with broken heroes on a last-chance power drive" is a reference to the Bruce Springsteen song Born to Run.
- As Leela tries to kill the robot fox with her sign she cuts off half its facial fur, a possible reference to The Terminator.
- "Missed it by that much" was a reference to Get Smart.
- "Newmar's Own Catnip" is a reference to both the "Newman's Own" brand of products from Paul Newman and Joan Woodward and Julie Newmar's Catwoman on the 1960's Batman.
Farnsworth: Fox news, everyone! I've decided to make the fox our new corporate mascot!
Leela: Where's the Hunt Master?
Poopenmyer: Remember when you said "Nobody leave." and then turned your head briefly....He left an hour before that.
- When shopping for new uniforms, Fry is wearing a red operations uniform from Star Trek, including the emblem. After the Decapodian store owner walks past Fry the emblem vanishes.
- The trench that the Hunts Master knocks Leela in, isn't there before or after (later on the second hunt) he knocks her in.
- Leela states she's okay with a robot fox dying, but later goes to Benders antiviolence to robot animals meeting.
- She could have changed her mind or Bender could have forced her to go to the meeting.
- Bender says he's starving, but as a robot, it's been stated he doesn't get hungry.
- He's a self-professed drama queen.
- Bender cuts his finger off with a knife, but he's made of metal.
- He didn't necessarily cut off his finger, he could have just dislodged it from his hand, such as how his arm can disconnect from his torso.
- Bender is unable to break a metal cage, but is strong enough to bend an unbendable bar?
- Bender runs farther than the distance shown when the hunt catches up with him the first time.
- When the horse falls on Bender the first time, it flattens him, but the second time he just keeps running, with it on his back.
- Bender didn't see it coming the first time and didn't catch it as he did the second time.
- It's stated the fox urinated on the floor, but its made clear by Bender in several stories that robots don't go to the bathroom.
- The fox could have simply done something likened to urination.
- Fry says Bender got rid of all robot animal cruelty in fifty yards of the building, but there is no farm or pier in fifty yards of planet express, as shown in overshots.
- That means Bender didn't really do anything noteworthy and they were really just trying to get him to bring everything to a close.
- Whats the point of robot hen eggs? Or cutting up robot animals? They can't be eaten as they're made of metal, so why waste resources on them simply for cruelty?
- You answer your own question (the Hunts-Master blew up a robot horse just to prove a point) and it was later proven he himself was a robot (and was ready to kill Bender for hunting too.)
- The robot chicken could be a means of mass producing robot hens. It's proven robots can have babies
- There could be alien species that eat metal and consider robot animals as some perverted form of food. Some consider Human noses aphrodisiacs.
- (In alphabetic order)
- ^ Episode Guide: 7 ACV. (CGEF.) 29 February 2012. Retrieved on 29 February 2012.
- ^ "Just Fan" (29 February 2012). "Futurama: Futurama News (pre-season 7)". (PEEL.) Retrieved on 29 February 2012.
- ^ Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
- ^ "Tastes Like Fry" (12 July 2012). "Newsarama! (Futurama News Thread)" (page 1). (PEEL.) Retrieved on 13 July 2012.
- ^ Eric Rogers (30 January 2012). Kitchelfilms. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 31 January 2012.