The Series Has Landed

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Season 1 episode
The Series Has Landed
The Series Has Landed.jpg
Production number1ACV02
Written byKen Keeler
Directed byPeter Avanzino
Title captionIn Hypno-Vision
First air date4 April, 1999
Broadcast numberS01E02
Title referenceThe famous line "the Eagle has landed."
Opening cartoonPorky Pig in Baby Bottleneck
Nomination(s)Annie Awards
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Television Production, 1999, Ken Keeler[1]


Season 1
  1. Space Pilot 3000
  2. The Series Has Landed
  3. I, Roommate
  4. Love's Labours Lost in Space
  5. Fear of a Bot Planet
  6. A Fishful of Dollars
  7. My Three Suns
  8. A Big Piece of Garbage
  9. Hell Is Other Robots
  10. A Flight to Remember
  11. Mars University
  12. When Aliens Attack
  13. Fry and the Slurm Factory
Season 2 →

"The Series Has Landed", or "Episode Two: The Series Has Landed", is the second episode of Futurama, the second of the first production season and the second of the first broadcast season. It aired on 4 April, 1999, on Fox. Planet Express gets an order to ship to the moon, the new crew's first mission. This episode also introduces Dr. Zoidberg, Amy Wong and Hermes Conrad.

The Story

Act I: "Here's your package, Mr. Horrible Gelatinous Blob."

Now that Leela, Fry and Bender are the new crew of Planet Express, Professor Farnsworth shows them the company's latest commercial, for which he wants the new crew's opinion on. He even paid to have it aired during the Superbowl, "not on the same channel, of course".

The commercial shows a blob frustrated with a man named Evans for not having his package from Earth. After devouring the man (who also is not Evans), he informs the viewers that he should have used Planet Express, to which a voice over explains the fascinating offers Planet Express can provide, when those other companies just aren't stupid enough to go.

At the end, the blob gets his package, and the man named Evans is congratulated on his fine performance, but is devoured anyway. The commercial ends with the slogan, "our crew is replaceable, your package ISN'T". Fry is not entirely pleased with what he has seen. He is concerned and asks whether there really are giant birds like the ones seen in the commercial. However, the professor assures him they were just special effects. The professor then proceeds to the kitchen to get breakfast started, made from giant eggs no less. Unfortunately he is attacked by a bird newly hatched from one of those eggs just before the opening sequence rolls.

Act II: "Is there a human doctor around?"

Hermes arrives at Planet Express, and the company is in business for the day. A new package has arrived for Luna Park. In a difficult decision, Farnsworth picks Leela as the new captain. In her following interview with Hermes, she is forced to sign a "standard legal release" to prevent Planet Express from lawsuits in the events of the unforeseen. Leela is not quite pleased by the options, such as death by airlock failure, brain parasites and sonic diarrhoea. Despite her assurances that she is not going to die, Hermes tells her to sign it anyway.

Fry needs a physical at the company's staff doctor, Dr. Zoidberg, though Fry's examination doesn't go quite as he had anticipated, since the doctor is a little unusual, and that is not just because he wears sandals. After offending Zoidberg's mother, Zoidberg eventually declares Fry as healthy as a crab. Meanwhile, the professor is cleaning Bender's neck and tidying him up before the flight.

He then introduces Amy Wong, who is an engineering student of his: apparently he just likes having her around because she has the same blood type as him. Leela is surprised to see her at the company, since she is supposedly one of the Wongs, despite Amy's attempts to claim she is not as rich as everyone claims, Leela gets her to reveal she was a member of the Kappa Kappa Wong sorority (prompting Bender's head to distract her long enough for his body to empty the contents of her wallet). However, the crew are ready for their first mission (Leela reluctantly allows Amy to tag along for the mission: the Professor assures her nothing will go wrong, but in private, tells Leela to bring back the blood if it does).

Fry is obviously excited, and even more so when he learns they are going to the moon. Thrilled from their previous ride during the previous countdown, he asks if he can perform the countdown again. But Leela isn't waiting for him to finish, and before he reaches nine, they are at the moon. In the Luna Park on the moon, Fry discovers a giant queue for the Park, after having requested cuts from a stranger, he is denied.

Act III: "They landed an amusement park on the moon!"

Fry, Bender and Amy want to see the park, but Leela really isn't interested. She wants them to deliver the crate like professionals, and then go home. But her crew convinces her and she decides after finishing the job like professionals, they can go ride the bumper cars. She orders Amy and Fry to hoist down the crate.

While attempting to hoist the magnet, Amy accidentally lifts the ship's keys into the crate. Fry and Amy arrives at the depot, where they meet Sal, who is so lazy he is not willing to get up and punch Fry in the stomach. The crew then proceeds into the Luna Park. But Fry isn't entirely amused of it all, tired of the oxygen, the gravity, "you might as well stay on Earth".

Fry wants to see the real moon, so Leela and him get on the "Lunar Lander" ride, where they wear spacesuits and drive on a car on a rail around the real moon. But when Fry discovers that the Luna Park's ride has a complete misconception of how the original moon landing took place, he has had enough, and derails the car and drives across the moon's surface freely.

Meanwhile, Amy and Bender discovers that the content of the crate was prizes for a claw-machine. Unfortunately, Amy also discovers that it contained the key to the ship. So she begins a fruitless journey of attempting to retrieve the keys with the claw. Bender tries to help her with his own arm, but is discovered by the Moon Patrol, and is ejected from the park.

After having crashed the car, Leela and Fry wander aimlessly across the lunar surface until Fry spots a barn.

Act IV: "Don't be a-touchin' my 3 beautiful robot daughters!"

Fry and Leela take refuge in the Hydroponic Farmer's farm dome. The farmer isn't exactly impressed by them, so he decides to force them to chores in exchange for oxygen and shelter. He tells them that they are free to sleep in the barn as long as they do not touch his three robot daughters, Lulubelle 7, Daisy Mae 128k and the Crushinator.

While milking two buggalos, Bender arrives to the barn after ending up in trouble with the farmer, who caught him sleeping with one of his robot daughters. Fry, Leela, and Bender decide to get away from the farm, and steal one of the farmer's rides as well as some oxygen. The farmer and his robot daughters follow them in the Crushinator, but when the Crushinator refuses to jump over a cliff, their chase is foiled.

Fry, Leela and Bender are not so lucky either, for after they jump, their car breaks down and they are again forced to walk. They must move quickly, for the nightfall is coming. Running against time, Fry and Leela suddenly spot the original lunar lander. Fry is amazed by the site he is seeing, but Leela quickly takes refuge in the lander itself. She is getting tired of Fry's immature obsession with the moon, and says that the moon is just a dumb rock and the site Fry is looking at is just a dead man's foot in the dust and a crummy plastic flag. Dismayed, Fry enters the lander. Bender arrives shortly after, but finds no room for himself and so he walks off.

Inside the lander, Fry confesses to his obsession with the moon. He says that the moon was a symbol of mystery and romance and mentions how it could be something you could reach for despite being so far away, but up close, it really is just a rock floating in space. Leela slowly begins to understand how the moon can be so romantic when you can't reach it. And looking out the window, she sees an Earthrise and agrees with Fry that it really is beautiful. In the horizon, Bender emerges, for this time he has really ticked off the farmer for sleeping with the Crushinator again. The farmer has taken full equipment with him, but Amy arrives just in the nick of time with the Planet Express ship to save Bender, Fry, and Leela by using the magnet from the ship, as she has become increasingly good at operating the ship from handling the claw-machine. The crew all fly off into the stars with Bender singing "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain".


Originally, "The Series Has Landed" was not intended as the second episode. Or at least, not its plot, that was actually intended for the plot of "My Three Suns", but David X. Cohen and Matt Groening wanted to start off more down to Earth, so "My Three Suns" was moved to slot 7 and "The Series Has Landed" became episode number two.[2]

Originally the man inside the blob was supposed to be turning into a skeleton.[3]

The script for "The Series Has Landed" was written by Ken Keeler, for which this episode was seen as a test of whether the format would stand. The episode introduces the last three primary characters, Hermes Conrad, Dr. Zoidberg and Amy Wong. Which was somewhat not entirely simple for the writers, as introducing three lesser primary characters in a single scene was not easy.[4]

The advertisement during the cold opening was originally supposed to be a lot more dark,[5] where the man inside the blob would slowly decay into a skeleton. In an early version of the cold opening, the crew would actually meet the crew's former captain, who would very quickly get very angry with the new crew and then immediately die.[5] And instead of the giant eggs at the end, the Professor was originally to put on a giant chicken costume instead.[6]

Originally, David X. Cohen and Matt Groening were actually considering Fry to be the captain, but they decided on Leela as it seem more funny to have him as the underdog.[7] This was also to match the more "sexy babe" science-fiction style heroine, that Matt Groening had in mind for Leela.[8]

Hermes was not written as Jamaican in the first versions,[9] and he was even recorded without an accent for several episodes, which then had to be re-recorded.[10] In addition, his name was "Dexter" and not Hermes, but was changed by Matt Groening to fit the style of the character.[9]

The name for Dr Zoidberg came from a video game David X. Cohen had been working on for 3 years during college for the Apple II called "Zoid", but the video game never actually went through, and his naming was a homage to that wasted effort.[11] The idea from the character was based on Star Trek's Leonard McCoy, who would often perform surgery on many non-human species. And Cohen felt that someone like Mr Spock would feel rather uncomfortable having someone of a different species operate on him, so Cohen's idea was to have someone who had no understanding of human anatomy operate on them anyway.[12]

By this point in the show, Sal had not gotten to point where he would add s'es to random words.[13] That would be before much later, where he would also change jobs on each time we met him.[14]

The sticker added to explain the lunar lander's return.[15]

During the folksinging scene, it was easy to obtain the rights for "Blowin' in the Wind", but not "If I Had a Hammer", which they wanted later instead.[16] The gopher scene originally had material for 20 minutes, which consisted of almost nothing but puns and other gopher jokes.[17]

The lunar lander scene was originally going to have Neil Armstrong's head helping the crew escape,[18] but apparently cooler heads prevailed. Late in the script did the writers notice the issue with the lander, as it would have been blasted off when the astronauts left the moon originally.[15] The solution was to insert a sticker inside the lander to specify that it was returned to the site by the "Historical Sticklers Society".[15]


"The Series Has Landed" aired 4 April, 1999, and the last episode to air on Fox's Sunday line up, after which it was move to its Tuesday line up, where expectations were for it to lose ratings as a consequence. It gained a Nielsen Rating of 8.1/14 in homes.[19]

Ken Keeler was nominated for an Annie Award for his "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Television Production" for this episode.[1]

In 2006, IGN ranked it as the 19th best episode on its 25 best Futurama episode list.[20]

Additional Info

January - 2002 Calendar


  • The 20th-century car on display at Luna Park is very similar to an AMC Pacer.
  • Bender's sticking a bottle into the eye of the Luna Park costumed character is a reference to the scene in "A Journey to the Moon" where the capsule lands by crashing into the eye of the Man in the Moon.
  • The hydroponic farmer's moon car is modelled after the moon car used by the Apollo missions.
  • Fry almost suffocates again in "Love and Rocket".
  • The games at Luna Park include:
    • Skeeball
    • Virtual Skeeball
    • Virtual Virtual Skeeball
    • Mortal Kooperation
    • Gender-neutral Pac-Person
    • Dodecapede
    • The claw machine
  • The Professor's giant telescope looks very similar to his soon-to-be-invented Smell-O-Scope.
  • In order to show the crew his new commercial, the Professor uses a VCR with a "VCRPLUS++" logo. As programming VCRs to record future programs proved challenging to many due to the difficult on screen menu, VCR Plus was a system of individual numbers assigned to every program that were published in TV listings that could be used to schedule recordings. The introduction of TiVo the same year Futurama premiered spelled the eventual end of VCRs and the need for VCR Plus.
  • The Planet Express ship makes it to the moon in 2 seconds (by Fry's count). For an object to get to the moon from Earth (230,100 miles) in just 2 seconds, it would have to travel 413,848,921 mph.


This episode begins a number of continuities revisited later on in the series:

"Freaky Fry-day" (US#009)

    • It is revealed The Crushinator has given birth to a child.


Click here to see cultural mentions made in this episode.
  • "The happiest place orbiting Earth" is a reference to Disneyland, whose slogan is "The happiest place on Earth".
  • The Goophy Gopher Revue is presented by the Monsanto Corporation which has also sponsored attractions at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
  • During the Lunar Lander ride, the tour guide mentions Luna Park's Fungineers. This is a reference to the designers of Disney Parks, the Imagineers.
  • The lunar farmer's hat, which reads "THE MOON SHALL RISE AGAIN" is a reference to similar sayings of America's Confederate South, "The South shall rise again".
  • Crater Face, the Moon mascot, after Bender sticks his beer bottle into his eye, looks like a famous scene from Melies's movie "A Trip to the Moon". Picture
  • The Moon Patrol is a reference to the arcade game Moon Patrol.


    Dr. Zoidberg: Young lady! I'm an expert on Humans! Now pick a mouth, open it and say...
    [He makes a strange, buzzing noise.]
    Fry: Uh...
    [He poorly imitates the buzzing noise.]
    Dr. Zoidberg: WHAT?! My mother was a saint! GET OUT!!

    Fry: That's not an astronaut, that's a TV comedian! And he was just using space travel as a metaphor for beating his wife.

    Fry: Can I do the countdown?
    Leela: Sure. Knock yourself out.
    Fry: 10, 9!
    [The ship takes off and flies to the Moon.]
    Leela: OK, we're here!
    Fry: [whispering quickly] 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, blastoff.

Alien Language Sightings

    Time: 09:00
    Location: Awning in Luna Park
    Language: AL1
    Translation: TASTY HUMAN BURGERS


(In alphabetic order)



Episode Credits


  1. ^ a b 27th Annual Annie Awards. (Annie Awards.) Retrieved on 17 April 2009.
  2. ^ "[...] the central premise of ["My Three Suns"] was one of Matt's earliest ideas for the show. And we were gonna do it right away, but then we decided we better do a couple more more down to Earth episodes, like the second and third episodes, and this ended up moving to slot seven."Cohen, David (Transcript)
    Cohen, David. Commentary for "My Three Suns" on Volume One, disc 2.
  3. ^ "I remember our original boards had the guys who got pulled into glob start dissolving, you saw their skeletons and we were asked to pull that back."Avanzino, Peter (Transcript)
    Avanzino, Peter. Commentary for "The Series Has Landed" on Volume One, disc 1.
  4. ^ "That was the tough part about this scene, that was introducing three of the minor characters very quickly."Keeler, Ken (Transcript)
    Keeler, Ken. Commentary for "The Series Has Landed" on Volume One, disc 1.
  5. ^ a b "Every time I see this, I remember the remember the original cold opening we had for this featured the original Planet Express ship captain, Captain Cameron, who very quickly got angry with all the new crew members and then immediately died. But it was felt to be too dark."Keeler, Ken (Transcript)
    Keeler, Ken. Commentary for "The Series Has Landed" on Volume One, disc 1.
  6. ^ "The original ending of that, had him putting on a hat with a gigantic bird feather in it and walk away."Keeler, Ken (Transcript)
    Keeler, Ken. Commentary for "The Series Has Landed" on Volume One, disc 1.
  7. ^ "We also considered making him captain of the ship at one point, instead of Leela, but it seemed more fun to have him be an underdog."Cohen, David (Transcript)
    Cohen, David. Commentary for "Space Pilot 3000" on Volume One, disc 1.
  8. ^ "I just thought it would be really cool to do "sexy babe", err, you know, science-fiction style heroine and – but give her one eye. And see if we can still make her... comely and attractive."Groening, Matt (Transcript)
    Groening, Matt. Commentary for "Space Pilot 3000" on Volume One, disc 1.
  9. ^ a b "Interestingly, in the original script we wrote, Hermes was named Dexter, and he was not Jamaican."Cohen, David (Transcript)
    Cohen, David. Commentary for "The Series Has Landed" on Volume One, disc 1.
  10. ^ Avanzino, Peter: "Didn't we actually get tracks where he didn't have an accent?"
    Cohen, David: "Yes, we recorded several episodes after that..."
    Avanzino, Peter, Cohen, David. Commentary for "The Series Has Landed" on Volume One, disc 1.
  11. ^ "Part of the inspiration for the name at least, Dr Zoidberg, was a video game I spend most of my high school years working on for the Apple II, which was called Zoid. So Zoidberg is an homage to that wasted three year period."Cohen, David (Transcript)
    Cohen, David. Commentary for "The Series Has Landed" on Volume One, disc 1.
  12. ^ "The idea for [Dr. Zoidberg] was to make him a sort of a reverse of Bones McCoy on Star Trek, who was a human who often had to treat aliens like Mr. Spock, and I was thinking if I were Mr. Spock, I really would not want someone from a different species operating on me. So we decided we would have this doctor who did not understand human anatomy operating on our guys."Cohen, David (Transcript)
    Cohen, David. Commentary for "The Series Has Landed" on Volume One, disc 1.
  13. ^ "This was Sal. But it was before he added an S to all his words."Keeler, Ken (Transcript)
    Keeler, Ken. Commentary for "The Series Has Landed" on Volume One, disc 1.
  14. ^ Cohen, David. Commentary for "The Series Has Landed" on Volume One, disc 1.
  15. ^ a b c "But just that the lander is there, yet it blasted off into space when they left the moon. We caught that fairly far down the line. And added a sign, which comes up in the background here to placate our nerdiest fans."Cohen, David (Transcript)
    Cohen, David. Commentary for "The Series Has Landed" on Volume One, disc 1.
  16. ^ "It astonishes me that we were able to get the rights to "Blowin' in the Wind", but not we wanted "If Had a Hammer" later. We were not able to get that."Keeler, Ken (Transcript)
    Keeler, Ken. Commentary for "The Series Has Landed" on Volume One, disc 1.
  17. ^ Cohen, David: "This scene used to be about 20 minutes long."
    Moore, Rich: "It was the whole show."
    Cohen, David: "It ended up being four seconds long. But it is still pretty funny."
    Keeler, Ken: "I think we spend probably 8 or 10 hours writing a whole bunch of gopher jokes."
    Cohen, David, Moore, Rich, Cohen, David, Keeler, Ken. Commentary for "The Series Has Landed" on Volume One, disc 1.
  18. ^ "Originally, they were going to find the original moon landing site, and I believe, Neil Armstrong's head for inexplicable reasons was going to be there. And he would help them flee from the farmer across the moon. But cooler heads prevailed."Keeler, Ken (Transcript)
    Keeler, Ken. Commentary for "The Series Has Landed" on Volume One, disc 1.
  19. ^ Bierbaum, Tom (06 April 1999). "'Futurama' cools, but still holds on to auds". Variety. Retrieved on 17 April 2009.
  20. ^ Iverson, Dan (07 July 2006). "Top 25 Futurama Episodes". IGN. Retrieved on 26 April 2009.