Good News Everyone! Summer may not have given us much sunshine, but it did give us something far more exciting whilst we waited out the drizzle: the return of Futurama!
‘Radiorama,’ the first new episode in four years, heralds the return of the Planet Express crew for a double length adventure, but not as you’ve ever seen them before. In fact, you can’t see them at all, as the experimental episode comes as an audio only instalment of The Nerdist Podcast.
Futurama: the show that never dies, but is so sick it lost its video.
We have comedian Chris Hardwick to thank for this latest outing, who first pitched the idea to creator Matt Groening. Hardwick also voices the podcast’s virtual villain Klaxxon.
Although the programme has been cancelled and brought back several times before, all previous resurrections have returned to its typical cartoon format. Within the episode, an announcer picks up on this new take, dubbing it “Futurama: the show that never dies, but is so sick it lost its video”. Regardless, it’s great to be reunited with all the characters and satirical wit of Futurama, even if the lack of image makes it slightly surreal at the start.
It is just a shame that at times this eagerly awaited return to Futurama feels little more than an advert itself.
The only disappointment comes from the shameless advertisement for the Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow mobile game. Of course, the episode needed to be economically viable, as Hardwick explains in a brief introduction. One of the reasons he was able to convince Matt Groening to agree in the first place was that a podcast allowed the lengthy and expensive animation process to be bypassed entirely.
Whilst the adverts themselves are made into jokes, they stop being funny around the third or fourth time you are ordered to download the game (perhaps Hypnotoad simply isn’t as compelling without visuals)., especially as there is currently no suggestion that the show will be returning to our screens - or ears - any time soon.