It's been just four years since Futurama bid us all farewell following its second TV cancellation, but it might as well have been 1,000. Fans haven't stopped clamoring for more from the animated sci-fi comedy, and we're now actually getting a brand shiny-metal-ass-spankin' new adventure from the Planet Express crew! But it won't be happening on TV, or in theaters, asthe original cast and writers returned for a Futurama audio podcast that will likely bring to mind classic radio dramas of years past. And it comes out soon!
The new Futurama episode will be available to download for free on Thursday, September 14, on Soundcloud, Nerdist and on Spotify. Let's first celebrate that the Futurama episode will actually be 42 minutes long, so it's double the length of TV episodes, and without any commercials mucking up the momentum. Second, let's celebrate this new storyline that will reunite all the beloved characters -- including Fry, Leela, Bender, Amy, Professor Farnsworth, Hermes and Zoidberg -- for a routine mission gone awry. A trip to the planet Junkleon 7 puts them in the crosshairs of Kaxxon, a most evil life form that's made completely from soundwaves of podcasts from the 21st century. And, naturally, the Earth is in danger of being destroyed by those soundwaves. Dun-dun-dunnnn! Or, perhaps more fittingly: [the opening keys to Serial's theme].
And guess what? This new episode will usher in the return of the in-show soap opera All My Circuits, which means we'll see more from its ego-dripping star Calculon, who'd already faced death and resurrection during Futurama's Comedy Central run. We'll also get to see the rock-faced Borax Kid, who was first introduced in the episode where everyone lost their genders. Both characters are voiced by Maurice LaMarche, who'll of course be joined by other cast members like Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal, Phil LaMarr and Lauren Tom.
Jam City, FoxNext Games and Matt Groening are the big names behind the new adventure, which was created by Groening, David X. Cohen and the Futurama writing crew. The idea came about after the original team got together to create original content for the hilarious mobile game Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow, and its existence was previously teased by Cohen, although it was unclear what he was talking about at the time. Nerdist founder Chris Hardwick, who voices Klaxxon in the episode, was apparently the one who pitched the audio-only idea, which definitely saved everyone some time, without the animation process entering into things. It makes sense, as TV-inspired audio dramas have seen a resurgence in recent years, especially in the sci-fi realm, such as those based on Doctor Who, The X-Files and The Twilight Zone.
Here's what David X. Cohen had to say about it all.
Futurama has set off a strangely sci-fi-ish paradox where the episodes inspired the Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow__game, and now the game is inspiring new episodes. Hooray for infinite loops!
So remember, Futurama will be back, albeit in an audio form, on Thursday, September 14. One can only hope this will lead to even more podcasts and potential animated specials, if not entire seasons. Our hopes are plentiful, considering the conspiracy-starting way that Cohen said the plural "episodes." Thankfully, the series should soon be available to stream again when it hits Hulu.