When Aliens Attack

When Aliens Attack

Infobox Futurama episode
episode_name = When Aliens Attack

caption = The Omicronians attacking Monument Beach.
episode_no = 12
prod_code = 1ACV12
airdate = November 7, 1999
country = USA
writer = Ken Keeler
director = Brian Sheesley
opening_subtitle = Proudly Made On Earth
opening_cartoon = "Daffy - The Commando"
season = one
"When Aliens Attack" is episode twelve in season one of "Futurama". It originally aired in North America on November 7, 1999. This episode was written by Ken Keeler and directed by Brian Sheesley. The episode features an attack by aliens from Omicron Persei 8 who are outraged when the final episode of Earth show "Single Female Lawyer" (a spoof of "Ally McBeal") is interrupted by technical difficulties. Much of the episode, particularly the method in which the aliens attack, is a spoof of the 1996 film "Independence Day".cite book|last=Booker| first=M. Keith|title=Drawn to Television: Prime-Time Animation from The Flintstones to Family Guy|pages=pp. 115–124]


The episode opens in the year 1999, with Fry making a pizza delivery to the control booth of WNYW, New York's real Fox affiliate. While there, Fry spills beer on the console, interrupting the broadcast of "Single Female Lawyer" (a spoof of "Ally McBeal"). As the technician panics, Fry ominously states, "Like anyone on Earth cares." The camera pulls back from the broadcast tower, away from Earth, and through the depths of space, settling on Omicron Persei 8, a thousand light-years away and a thousand years later. Incensed that they do not get to see the end of the episode, the Omicronians launch an invasion fleet. Back on Earth, the off-duty Planet Express crew decides to take a trip to Monument Beach for Labor Day, where most of the world's monuments have stood since the 27th century, when the Omicronians begin to invade, destroying them all at once. Lrrr, ruler of Omicron Persei 8, demands that the Earth produce "the one called McNeal". President McNeal, fearing for his own safety, orders Zapp Brannigan to lead an assault against the alien invaders, enlisting the Planet Express crew and thousands of other ships. Instead, they only succeed in blowing up the Hubble Space Telescope while suffering heavy casualties: the fleet stands no chance against the "actual" alien mother ship.

After the attack predictably ends in disaster, Earth's government hands over President McNeal. Lrrr announces that he is the wrong McNeal, and vaporizes the President. Lrrr shows the world a photo of the McNeal they want, and Fry recognizes her as Jenny McNeal, the title character of "Single Female Lawyer". The Omicronians demand the broadcast of the television show, or they will destroy the Earth. Unfortunately, most videotapes were destroyed in 2443, during the second coming of Jesus. The Planet Express crew decides to fake the show in order to save the world.

Fry's script comes up short, and Leela (as Jenny), is forced to improvise. She proposes marriage to the judge (played by Professor Farnsworth). During a commercial break, an aggravated Fry tells Leela that people don't watch TV for clever and unexpected situations because they scare them. Lrrr makes a public statement backing up Fry's assertion.

Fry quickly writes an ending where the judge (Farnsworth) dies (even though the judge didn't know what was going on and tests his pulse), leaving Jenny McNeal as a single female lawyer again. The Omicronians, satisfied with the ending, leave Earth to watch a one thousand year old Jay Leno monologue, saying the show was good enough for them to spare the planet, though not good enough for them to give humans their secret to immortality.

The episode ends with Fry stating that the secret to a successful television show is that everything ends up back to normal at the end of each episode. Ironically, the camera pans out to a view of New New York burning in ruins (though, surely enough, it is restored in subsequent episodes).

Introduced Characters


Future planets

Future planets which appeared in this episode:

*Omicron Persei 8 is the fictional home world of a race of aliens, known as the Omicronians, ruled by emperor Lrrr and his wife Ndnd. It is a habitable planet orbiting the (non-fictional) star Omicron Persei, which is about 1000 light years from Earth; this convenient coincidence allows the Omicronians in the 31st century to view 21st century television broadcasts. The planet's design appears to be influenced heavily by Qo'noS, home planet of the Klingons on "Star Trek".

Production notes

Though his coworker Linda appears, Morbo is absent from this episode. According to the DVD commentary, the writers try to avoid putting Morbo into episodes that have a large focus on aliens. They also discuss the similarities of Morbo's voice to that of Lrrr, another possible reason for Morbo's absence.

In a deleted scene, Fry asks why the crew is going to a man-made beach in Iowa; Amy and the Professor reply that the oceans are now over-populated with man-eating whales. Had this been in the episode, it would have negated Fry's line about the various monuments being in New York and the episode "The Deep South", in which the crew goes fishing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.


External links

* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0756892/ When Aliens Attack] at the Internet Movie Database
* [http://www.tv.com/futurama/when-aliens-attack/episode/1545/summary.html When Aliens Attack] at TV.com
* [http://animatedtv.about.com/od/futurama/ig/Futurama-Pictures/Futurama--When-Aliens-Attack-.htm When Aliens Attack] at About.com
* [http://www.tvsquad.com/2006/08/20/futurama-when-aliens-attack/ When Aliens Attack] at TVSquad.com

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