Where No Fan Has Gone Before
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|Season 4 episode|
|Where No Fan Has Gone Before|
|Written by||David A. Goodman|
|Directed by||Pat Shinagawa|
|Title caption||Where No Fan Has Gone Before|
|First air date||2 April, 2002|
|Title reference||Closing line in opening to Star Trek, "Space, the final frontier..."|
|Opening cartoon||"Hiss and Make Up" in Merry Melodies|
|Special guest(s)||William Shatner|
Best Script, 2004, David A. Goodman
"Where No Fan Has Gone Before" is the sixty-fifth episode of Futurama, the eleventh of the fourth production season and the twelfth and last of the fourth broadcast season. It aired on 2 April, 2002, on Fox. It guest-stars William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Walter Koenig, George Takei and Nichelle Nichols as themselves, as well as Jonathan Frakes as himself in a jar. Fry is an avid Star Trek fan, but when he discovers that it has been banned, he seeks out the forgotten tapes.
- 1 The Story
- 2 Production
- 3 Reception
- 4 Additional Info
- 5 Episode Credits
- 6 References
Act I: "Those words are forbidden!"
The opening scene puts us right into court martial held by Zapp Brannigan in the hold of the Planet Express Ship. Accused of setting foot on the forbidden planet Omega 3 are: Fry, Bender and Leela, witnesses are the heads of the cast of the original Star Trek: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols and George Takei. The accused recount the events of the last few days...
While renting some videos, Fry finds out that Star Trek is banned in the 31st century. Leela and Bender explains that it was once a major religion, but was banished. The tapes of the episodes and movies were deposited on the forbidden planet Omega 3. Fry visits Leonard Nimoy's head in the Head Museum and, after getting Nimoy to admit to having been Spock (which he refuses to admit at first), convinces him to join the search for the rest of the cast, whose heads-in-jars have been lost for 300 years. As Fry pulls Nimoy's head from the shelf, Jonathan Frakes's head moves forward and proclaims "Yes, front row!" The Planet Express Ship heads toward Omega 3 to retrieve the tapes, with Leela, Fry, Bender and Nimoy's head on board, and crash-lands on the planet.
The surface is littered with set pieces from the original Star Trek series, and among them, the rest of the cast is assembled - no longer heads-in-jars, but complete. It is revealed that behind all this is a gaseous energy being named Melllvar (looking suspiciously like a bad special effect from the original series), who demonstrates his power by randomly murdering Welshie, the replacement for James Doohan.
Act II: "I am Melllvar, Seer of the Tapes! Knower of the Episodes!"
Now that Melllvar, the self-declared ultimate Trek fan, has the entire original cast complete (Nimoy is provided with a fresh body), he can open the eternal Star Trek Convention, complete with everything: quiz show, autographs, singing contest, fan fiction - all for Melllvar. It turns out that his encyclopaedic knowledge of Star Trek is second to only one - Fry.
In the meantime, the Planet Express crew leave the planet, but decide to return and rescue the actors by trying to destroy Melllvar in a way truly worthy of Star Trek. However, they fail and are dragged to the planet and the Planet Express Ship's drives are disabled. Now Melllvar is not sure who is worthy of his fanatical devotion: the actors or the Planet Express crew, who really are a motley crew of spacefaring adventurers. He chooses the traditional method of all energy beings in Star Trek: a fight to the death.
Act III: "You can't let a TV show be your whole life!"
Just as things are heating up however, Melllvar is called to dinner by his mother and the two crews cooperate to escape. The Trek cast install their own ship's drive on the Planet Express Ship, but find they are slightly too heavy and leave the actors' bodies behind - they are once more reduced to heads-in-jars. Fortunately for Fry, they are still light enough to carry all the episodes.
Melllvar is pursuing them in a mint-condition spaceship when they encounter the Nimbus, and Zapp Brannigan starts a court martial. When he asks what happened to Melllvar, Leela notes out that nothing happened to him, and they are still under attack. Melllvar decides that if he can't have the original Star Trek crew, he won't let anyone else have them either, and continues to try to destroy the ship. Fry persuades him to let them go and get a life instead of letting a TV show be the center of his existence.
The writer of the episode, David A. Goodman, made an effort for this particular episode to include as many references to the original Star Trek series as possible. And his references ranged from obvious ones, such as "Shatner's log", a play on the Captain's log from Star Trek, while there were more subtle ones, such as Shatner's immediate comment about "the impossible has happened" being a reference to the first episode, "Where No Man Has Gone Before", which is the immediate line following the opening.
In addition to writing, much of the animation for this episode was styled after Star Trek, such as the opening where the Planet Express ship flies across the screen like in the original series' openings. As well as the credits sequence's music was replaced with a music bed similar to the Star Trek theme, and using recaps from the episode, something Star Trek did, but Futurama does not. This was also the first Futurama episode to utilize all synthesized music instead of the usual full orchestra. This would become the permanent ordeal due to budget cuts beginning with the first movie.
This episode was subject to censorship by itself.
- The title caption for this episode is the same as the title. This also happens with "Rebirth" and "Reincarnation".
- This episode is one of two Futurama episodes that do not feature Professor Farnsworth, the other being "The Why of Fry", which is the preceding episode in production order.
- The opening sequence begins with a flyby of the Planet Express Ship fitted with Enterprise nacelles, and a William Shatner Shatner's Log, a play on the "captain's log" that opens nearly every episode of every Star Trek series.
- Melllvar is a reference to the companion in Metamorphosis (episode) which is a energy cloud just like Melllvar.
- The are multiple similarities between the Star Trek episode and this one, like how Fry, Leela and Bender try to overload Melllvar's electro-quantom structure just as Kirk and his crew tried to do the same in the Star Trek episode.
- When the crew attempt to overload Melllvar's electro-quantum structure the Planet Express Ship receives significant damage to the interior, with many of the buttons and terminals exploding. This is similar to how Star Trek portrays damage to a ship by causing components to explode. In Futurama, however, the interior of the ship is rarely damaged during battle.
- In the Church of Trek, worshippers are shown wearing Starfleet uniforms, and two have the appearance of the black-and-white aliens from Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.
- One of the Trekkies that is thrown into the volcano wears a shirt reading, "Beam me up Scotty, there's no intelligent life on this planet," a popular bumper sticker slogan.
- As the two men throw Trekkies into the volcano, one of them repeatedly says, "He's dead, Jim." This is a line commonly said by Doctor McCoy (DeForest Kelley).
- In the Head Museum, one of the heads appears to be that of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from The Simpsons.
- All the tapes of Star Trek are fired out of an Eagle from UK Science Fiction show "Space 1999" in a torpedo, and land on a nearby planet, just as Spock's body was at the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
- The estabishing shot of Omega 3 shows props from the Star Trek episodes "Spectre of the Gun," "Who Mourns for Adonais?," "The Gamesters of Triskelion," "The Ultimate Computer," and "The City on the Edge of Forever."
- When Nimoy is saying goodbye to Shatner, he says the line "Bill, you are, and always shall be my friend" a similar line to the one in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
- The trivia contest uses quatloos, the same currency used by the Providers in "The Gamesters of Triskelion."
- When Melllvar hands out his fan scripts to each of the actors, he mentions that he didn't print enough copies and says "George and Walter will have to share" to both the actor's apparent chagrin. This could be a reference to their arrangements during Season 2 of Star Trek. George Takei only appeared in half the season's episodes due to scheduling conflicts, which prompted the writers of the show to include Walter Koenig's character. During this time and due to a tight budget, the two actors were forced to share a dressing room and rehearsal script and trade off episodes.
- This could also be alluding to the way their characters "share" the helm/console, side-by-side on the show.
- As Bender is reconfiguring the beams to Melllvar's frequency, he is shown in a place similar to a Jefferies tube.
- The Planet Express Ship fires down on Melllvar, and as in the original series, the beams are shown leaving the ship in diverging directions, but somewhere in between they converge so that both strike the target at the same time, in the same spot - plus they look like the bad special effect in the original series.
- Shatner rips his shirt, a frequent occurrence on the show that was joked about by the cast. During the fight scene with Leela, he also uses the "clasped fist punch" used many times by Kirk which would be startlingly ineffective in a real fight. Leela raising the stone above her head is reminiscent of Kirk's fight scene with Gary Mitchell in "Where No Man Has Gone Before."
- Nichelle Nichols distracts Fry, Leela, and Bender with her famous fan dance as seen in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
- Nimoy attempts to nerve-pinch Bender.
- Melllvar's ship looks like a Romulan Bird-of-Prey.
- The ending credits feature the Star Trek Fanfare, and play back images from the episode, as well as a picture of Kif in a parody of the famous "Balok's puppet" alien seen on some of the Original Series ending credits.
- The wheelchair equipped with the Morse lamp in which the witnesses are placed is a spoof of the wheelchair used by the disabled ex-Enterprise captain Christopher Pike in the original Star Trek episode "The Menagerie".
- Nichelle Nichols had her second appearance on the show here, as did Leonard Nimoy.
- Although DeForest Kelley appears in this episode, and is specifically identified by Leonard Nimoy, he never speaks. This is because Kelley had sadly already passed away prior to this episode's conception.
- At the end when Shatner says "Lets get the hell out of here" it is the same ending line as the one said inThe City on the Edge of Forever
- An ongoing joke in the Star Trek series, if someone was to die on an away mission it was a non-permanent character in a red uniform, or a redshirt. Thus Welshie, the non-permanent character in a red uniform, was killed and re-killed by Melllvar.
- Movies at the Rent-a-Wreck Video include:
- "Human Cop"
- "Pippi Longtentacles"
- "Moon Men From Mars"
- "Galaxy Wars"
- "Planet of the Clams"
- "The Bellyachers"
- "The Yawning'
- "Werewolf Dog"
- 6 unnamed Jim Carrey movies
- James Doohan, known for playing Scotty in the Star Trek franchise, refused to appear on this episode.
- The video showing the Church of Trek depicts a sign stating "Ceiling of the Christine Chapel closed for renovation". The name of the chapel is a reference to both the Sistine Chapel in Rome and on nurse Christine Chapel from the original Star Trek series.
- The fact that Melllvar is referred to as a child by Fry could be a reference to the (possible) Q Trelane, who was amongst Q a child and whose parents appeared almost identical to Melllvar.
- Welshie's death, and its purpose (demonstrating an alien creature's power), is similar to the death of Tasha Yar in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- George Takei shows off his abs as he did in TOS The Naked Time.
- Interestingly, Shatner had rejected Futurama's sister show The Simpsons. He is frequently cited as the first to do so, many years before his appearance in Futurama. He rejected The Simpsons for unknown reasons, so it is possible he liked working with former co-stars or the sci-fi type of Futurama.
- The gun that Bender finds is a Thompson submachine gun, which featured in TOS A Piece of the Action.
- The title caption for "Less than Hero" says that Futurama is "soon to be a major religion". Star Trek, which is referenced in nearly every episode, is revealed to have become a religion centuries ago in this episode.
- Although it is revealed here that the use of the words "Star" and "Trek" together in the same sentence is forbidden, no one reacted that way whenever those words were mentioned in the pilot.
- Fry was interrupted trying to say "Star Trek" in ("Space Pilot 3000").
- During the episode "Brannigan, Begin Again", Hermes says the words "Star Trek" in order to relate DOOP to something Fry is familiar with as the professor is giving the ceremonial ribbon cutting scissors to the crew, and no one reacts as if those words are forbidden.
- "Star Trek: The Pepsi Generation" failed to be forbidden in "That's Lobstertainment!".
- Since only "Star Trek: The Original Series" and its accompanying six movies were specifically mentioned as being forbidden and blasted to Omega 3, it's possible that the subsequent Star Trek shows and movies were never outlawed.
- While Melllvar should have 86 tapes- 79 episodes, 6 movies and "that blooper reel where the door doesn't close all the way," the cart is holding only 85 tapes.
- The blooper reel could be an extra on one of the episode or movie tapes.
- Mellvar may have gotten rid of the blooper reel as he seems to want to think the show is perfect.
- The blooper reel could be an extra on one of the episode or movie tapes.
- When Fry is telling Melllvar to rethink his life, he is clearly holding Shatner's head is his arms. However, after Melllvar flies off, Shatner is suddenly on the table with the rest of his cast members.
Fry: All this time we thought he was a powerful superbeing! Yet he was just a child...
Melllvar's Mom: He's not a child, he's thirty-four!
Walter Koenig: When we woke up, we had these bodies.
Fry: Say it in Russian!
Walter Koenig: [groans] Vhen ve voke up, ve had these wodies.
Fry: Eeee! Now say "nuclear wessels"!
Walter Koenig: No!
Leonard Nimoy: Melllvar, you have to respect your actors. When I directed Star Trek IV, I got a magnificent performance out of Bill because I respected him so much.
William Shatner: And when I directed Star Trek V, I got a magnificent performance out of me, because I respected me so much!
Leonard Nimoy: Hey, we've done heroic things too!
Nichelle Nichols: Yeah. In the third season, I kissed Shatner.
Fry: Look at Walter Koenig. After Star Trek, he became an actor.
Walter Koenig: Not just an actor, but a well-rounded person. With my own friends and credit cards and keys.
Nichelle Nichols: What if I distract them with my famous fan dance?
William Shatner: Oh, that's good, good, good. And then, George, you hit them with a karate chop.
George Takei: I find that offensive! Just because I'm of Japanese ancestry, you assume I know karate. Have I ever led you to believe that I've studied karate?
William Shatner: Well, no. But, you never talk about yourself.
George Takei: [sadly] Maybe if you showed a little interest...
Fry: [Melllvar has just killed Welshie.] WELLLLSHIEEEEEEEEE!
- Bender's mother (possibly)
- Debut: DeForest Kelley
- Dick Clark's head (cameo, unknown moment)
- Debut: George Takei
- Debut: Jonathan Frakes
- Leonard Nimoy
- Nichelle Nichols
- Matt Groening's head (cameo, unknown moment)
- Debut: Melllvar
- Debut: Melllvar's Mom
- Mike D's head (cameo, unknown moment)
- Pamela Anderson's head (cameo, unknown moment)
- Debut: William Shatner
- Smitty and Url
- Debut: Video Store Clerk
- Debut: Walter Koenig
- Debut: Welshie
- Debut: Welshie's cousin (mentioned in speech only)
- Zapp Brannigan
- Voice Actors
- DVD Commentary
- Special Guests