All the Presidents' Heads
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|Season 6 episode|
Broadcast season 8 episode
|All the Presidents' Heads|
|Written by||Josh Weinstein|
|Directed by||Stephen Sandoval|
|Title caption||APPLY VIEWING OIL NOW|
|First air date||28 July, 2011|
|Title reference||All the President's Men|
|Opening cartoon||Zoich (2010)|
Writing in an Animated Television Production, 2012, Josh Weinstein
"All the Presidents' Heads" is the one hundred and eleventh episode of Futurama, the twenty-third of the sixth production season and the seventh of the eighth broadcast season. It aired on 28 July, 2011, on Comedy Central. The crew members alter history when they travel back in time to the American Revolution.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Production
- 3 Reception
- 4 Additional Info
- 5 References
Act I: "You have a night job?"
Fry goes to his night job at the Head Museum, where he feeds the preserved heads of the Presidents of the United States. He invites the Planet Express crew to the museum for a party, where they become drunk and begin ingesting the preservative liquid inside the jars. Doing so causes them and anyone standing nearby to temporarily travel back in time to the eras each head originally came from. Professor Farnsworth reasons that this time travel effect is caused by the rare powdered crystalline opal used to make the liquid, which keeps the heads alive in a temporal bubble. After learning from George Washington's head that one of his own ancestors, David Farnsworth, was one of American history's most nefarious traitors during the American Revolutionary War, Professor Farnsworth becomes determined to salvage his family's reputation. He dumps the world's entire powdered opal supply into Washington's jar and licks the head, transporting himself, Fry, Leela, and Bender back to colonial-era New York.
Act II: "Might be a couple of dead cats in there."
The four learn from the Continental Congress that David Farnsworth works at Benjamin Franklin's print shop in Philadelphia, where David would forge counterfeit money that would threaten to destroy the country's economy should it enter circulation. Though they do not find David at the shop, they discover a fake Massachusetts halfpenny and determine he has gone to Paul Revere's silver shop in Boston. They capture David, and burn his forged money just as Revere begins his ride to alert Lexington of the imminent British attack that would start the American Revolution. However, to fuel the fire, Fry takes one of the two lanterns hung at the Old North Church, causing Revere to wrongly warn of the British attack "by land" rather than "by sea."
Act III: "Just shut up and wait!"
The four are suddenly sent back to 3011 and find that history has been radically altered; Great Britain has won the Revolutionary War and taken over all of North America, turning it into "West Britannia." In this alternate timeline, David Farnsworth killed George Washington and was rewarded with a dukedom, making Professor Farnsworth a noble landowner and consort of the Queen of England. Having depleted the world's crystalline opal supply, Farnsworth despairs that there is no way to travel to the past to fix their mistake, until he notices an opal on the queen's crown. After stealing and crushing it, the four are able to use the preserved head of David Farnsworth to return to colonial times and restore the timeline. Once they return to 3011, everything is restored as it was before history was first altered, with two changes; the Professor is satisfied that his family name is cleared, and hanging in the Head Museum is the Gadsden flag replaced by Bender and a colonial spelling of his catchphrase "Bite my shiny metal ass."
During May of 2011, Countdown to Futurama released three items of promotional material for the episode: concept art of the Planet Express headquarters with a Tudor architecture design on 27 May, concept art of Nibbler wearing an English attire on 28 May, and part of the storyboard showing Professor Farnsworth meet Benjamin Franklin and Paul Revere on 29 May.
To coincide with Sarah Palin mangling the story of Revere's ride, Comedy Central Insider released a video clip featuring the Planet Express crew in the 18th century with Benjamin Franklin and Revere. This was the second video clip of the broadcast season not to be released by Countdown to Futurama, the first being from "Neutopia" and the third being from "Benderama".
In the original U.S. broadcast on 28 July, 2011, the episode scored a 0.8 share among adults aged 18-49 and 1.493 million total viewers, both up from the previous week.
- This episode is among the Futurama media featuring its title within the story.
- This episode is one of only five season 6 episodes to include the full opening sequence, the other four being "Rebirth", "That Darn Katz!", "Benderama" and "Yo Leela Leela".
- The opening cartoon is a short film featuring Zoich, an entrant in the mascot contest for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Zoich's design was influenced by the Hypnotoad from Futurama.
- The opening cartoon is the second in the show's history to originate from the modern era, after the clip from the Simpsons short "Making Faces" in "Fry and the Slurm Factory". This does not include the self-references to Futurama in "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings", Bender's Big Score and "Viva Mars Vegas".
- The caption in the opening cartoon reads "БЫСТРЕЕ, ВЫШЕ, СИЛЬНЕЕ" which is Russian for "FASTER, HIGHER, STRONGER"
- "The Late Philip J. Fry" is the seventh episode of broadcast season 7 and involves time travel. "All the Presidents' Heads" is the seventh episode of broadcast season 8 and also involves time travel.
- A few of the American revolutionaries as well as a few of The Redcoats that appear in the documentary also appeared when Fry, Bender and the Professor time travelled through the second universe in "The Late Philip J. Fry".
- In the 1960s, the Andy Warhol painting's soup cans say "Canbell's" instead of "Campbell's", possibly to avoid paying for the use of the Campbell's name, or having to license the painting.
- In the British version of New New York, the Fourth Doctor from Doctor Who can be seen running into a blue police box resembling the TARDIS across the street from Planet Express.
- Coincidentally, in Doctor Who, the Tenth Doctor has visited a city called New New York in two episodes. However, if the city had been more accurately named, it would in fact be "New New New New New New New New New New New New New New New New York" as it was the fifteenth New York.
- Also, in the Hall of Presidents one of the heads is that of Amelia Pond, the Eleventh Doctor's companion.
- It is possibly retconned that Teller's head's jar, seen in Into the Wild Green Yonder, does not use powder crystalline opal, the preservative commonly used for heads in jars, because Teller's head had died, again.
- Each "Franklinator" has a badger on it except Fry's, which has a chipmunk, and Bender's, which has a shark.
- Bender is 40% scrap metal, revealing more of his supersized composition.
- This may or may not change the total values of his composition as scrap metal can be any metal.
- Philo Taylor Farnsworth is the name of a real life inventor. He didn't invent television nor the childhood obesity that came with it, but the first all-electronic televisor.
- In the episode, Paul Revere yells out "The British are coming!" during his ride. In real life, Revere relayed the message that "The Regulars are coming" discretely to other dispatch riders, because his route contained many military patrols and American loyalists.
- Throughout the episode, the halfpenny is referred to by its colloquial pronunciation of "ha'penny".
- Leela tells John Hancock that she is from Peru, after he notices that she has only one eye. The 1940 film Dr. Cyclops is set in Peru.
- The Professor also calls Fry a dope in the twenty-third episode of the seventh production season, "Game of Tones".
- The song that plays during the party scene is "El Sonidito" by Hechizeros Band.
- Early in the episode, the Professor is showing a holographic image of his family tree to the crew. Amy asks where Fry is on the family tree, and the Professor indicates a branch which is covered in fungus and dung beetles. The branch snaps off of the hologram and falls onto Fry, who had been sleeping. Immediately upon awakening, Fry notices the dung beetles and remarks, "what's with the seventeen dung beetles?" This is an allusion to the purported ability of some autistic people to count things very quickly, or to perform superhuman feats of mental calculation, as seen in the movie Rain Man. The joke gets its humor from the fact that Fry is not considered to be very intelligent, especially compared to the Professor, but nonetheless appears to have some kind of autism-esque ability to count things almost instantly.
- FDR's head says, "We have nothing to fear but running out of beer." This is a reference to his first inauguration speech, "So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. "
- Scruffy, Hermes, Leela, and Bender chant, "Four more beers! Four more beers!" This is a parody of a presidential chant, "Four more years! Four more years!" after a President is about to finish his first term.
- Prior to drinking Lyndon B. Johnson's jar juice, Zoidberg asks, "Hey, hey, LBJ. You wanna get drunk?" which is a reference to an infamous anti-war protest chant, "Hey, hey, LBJ. How many kids did you kill today?"
- Wall Footpath Journal is a reference to The Wall Street Journal and the fact that it was found on a footpath.
- Upon entering Boston in 1775, there is a sign saying the groundbreaking of the Big Dig is tomorrow. The Big Dig was the most expensive highway project in the United States and was plagued with rising costs, construction problems, and was completed 10 years behind schedule.
- When the British version of the Planet Express headquarters is first shown, the TARDIS can be seen on the sidewalk, as a double decker hoverbus drops off the Fourth Doctor next to it, who runs inside. This is an obvious reference to the British TV show Doctor Who.
- British Hermes is wearing a Manhattan United shirt, a reference to Manchester United F.C..
- Some references are made in the third act to the television series Monty Python's Flying Circus.
- When Zoidsmythe is walking towards the screen to turn on the documentary, he is walking in the same manner as John Cleese from the famous "The Ministry of Silly Walks" sketch.
- The part of the documentary recalling Paul Revere's ride is done in the style of Terry Gilliam's animations on the series. Coincidentally, he is the one American member of the cast.
- In that part of the documentary, Revere is referred to as "Wrong-Way Revere," a possible refrence to the Python sketch "Mr and Mrs Brian Norris' Ford Popular", where Mr Norris is later referred to as "Wrong-Way Norris".
- Zoidsmythe says he is going to turn on "the Beeb", an old nickname for the BBC.
- In 3011 in the altered timeline, David Farnsworth says he is married to one of the Spice Girls. The Spice Girls were a popular English pop group in the late 90's.
- Bender's redesigned flag of the United States saying "Bite my fhiny metal aff" and Fry's misreading "Maffachufetf" allude to the character long s (ſ) that was in common use at the time of the American Revolution.
- When Fry enters the head museum for his night job, Dr. Cahill calls Fry "Lars". This is understandable since Lars used to assist her in the head museum, and Lars and Fry were revealed to be the same person in "Bender's Big Score".
- The Continental Congress declared New Jersey to be the official joke state, another in the show's long line of jabs at the state.
- This is the second time Bender has referred to Massachusetts as "Taxachusetts", the first being in "Proposition Infinity", with Space Massachusetts instead of Earth Massachusetts. This is a reference to Massachusetts' supposed high tax rates.
- The device that the Professor uses to show Ronald Reagan his family tree is the same device that Dr. Banjo uses to display mankind's evolution in "A Clockwork Origin".
- During the attack on David Farnsworth, Fry and Leela use the same "helmets" they used in "Fear of a Bot Planet" for their disguise as robots but this time the pan is on Leela's head.
- After Fry takes a lantern from the church, making Paul Revere think the British were coming by land, the Professor says to Fry that he "really screwed the granny this time", a reference to Fry's history-changing actions in "Roswell that Ends Well".
- After knocking out David Farnsworth, the Professor says "Let's burn these counterfeits and paddle the next swan boat the hell out of Boston." Swan boats are also mentioned by Fry in "Time Keeps on Slippin'", where they are said to actually just be swans.
- In "Roswell that Ends Well", Bender tells Fry not to change history as he doesn't want to have to memorize a lot of new kings. His fears are justified, after changing history in this episode and before correcting it, there are indeed a lot of new kings.
- Benjamin Franklin attaches his kite string to Bender, redirecting lightning in order to supercharge his speed; however in Hell is Other Robots it's demonstrated that being subjected to electricity causes Bender to get high and hallucinate. One possible explanation for this is that only Alternating Current forms of electricity such as man-made outlet power cause robots to get high while Direct Current forms of electricity such as lightning cause robots to supercharge. This would mean that the electrical storm the Planet Express crew encountered in Hell is Other Robots was a rare naturally occurring form of AC electricity.
- It's revealed in this episode that drinking head jar liquid sends the person back to when the head's owner lived. However, in "A Leela of Her Own", Hank Aaron XXIV drank some jar liquid from Wade Boggs' jar and nothing happened.
- That jar may not have had crystalline opal in it.
- Dr. Cahill claims that no one knows why the mineral used works, but a few seconds later the Professor explains that it has unusual temporal properties, and then explains why after only having seconds to think about it. Admittedly Dr. Cahill is never portrayed as smart, but surely some other scientist would have figured it out.
- It is possible that she did not know about anyone else knowing.
- Before Fry went on the head trip to 1775, he was wearing his Head Museum uniform. When he returned after fixing the timelines, he was in his normal clothes.
- At first when they drink the head jar liquid, they go to the same place as they were when they traveled, but when they return after Fry ruins history, they arrive where they drank the juice, even though they travel miles away.
- It is stated that North America is still under British rule, so how did Hermes (a Jamaican), Amy (a Martian of Chinese descent), and most surprisingly Zoidberg (a Decapodian), become British too?
- Jamaica was a British possession until 1962, so it could still be British in the alternate timeline along with North America. Also, there are many people with foreign ethnic backgrounds who were born and raised in Britain thus making them British.
- As well as Jamaica, Hong Kong (now part of China) was a British possession until 1997.
- During the fight with David Farnsworth, they burn off Bender's antenna when using him as a cannon, but in the next scene he still has it.
- It's not hard to believe Bender has many built-in backup pieces.
- How did Fry, on foot, get to the church quick enough to beat Paul Revere, who was riding a horse?
- They don't call him "Wrong-Way Revere" for nothing...
- The Professor states they can't go back because they used up all the mineral, but as they changed history, they never would have gone back, so the mineral would still be there, admittedly this explains why it does appear again, but why this didn't occur to the professor is unknown.
- The Professor's senility can be an explanation.
- Several times, Paul Revere refers to (and insults) the soldiers as British. However, many colonists still considered themselves as British and subjects of the king. Self-identification was near-evenly split between those who considered themselves American and those who were British.
- "America the Dutiful" starts off as a shoddy re-enactment, but soon starts showing the actual events of 1775.
- The flags on the British ships during the ride of "wrong-way Revere" resemble the modern flag, which was not used until 1801. The flag used in 1775 did not include the red diagonals of St. Patrick's Cross of Ireland.
- The counterfeit money shown by Washington spells "Massachusetts" as "Maffachufetts" in an attempt to use the long "s" (ſ), but incorrectly includes crosshatches, turning them into "f" characters. Fry thinks they're "f", and Franklin corrects him, but they really are "f". "ſ" has no cross-bar. Long "s's" also don't appear after one another, but rather a long "s", followed by an "s" (e.g. "ſs").
- In some fonts, including Courier New, ſ has a crossbar on the left side, but not the right. (e.g. "ſ")
- If the crystalline opal keeps the heads in the head jars alive, how come they are not dead since there is currently no opal left when the timeline is returned to normal in 3011?
- Given that in the British alternate timeline the world's opal supply was still extant, and that the timeline they ended the episode on also differed from the initial one, it's no stretch to imagine they settled in a timeline with a surplus.
- In the British alternate timeline, Scruffy calls Professor Farnsworth "My Lord"; however, a duke would actually be addressed as "Your Grace".
- John Adams
- Sharon Anders' head
- Chester A. Arthur's head
- Chester Z. Arthur's head
- Cheryl Au's head
- Montgomery Black's head
- George H. W. Bush's head
- George W. Bush's head
- Dr. Cahill
- Jimmy Carter's head
- Andrea Cha's head
- Oscar Chang's head
- Colin Chivey's head
- Grover Cleveland's head
- Bill Clinton's head
- Susan Cohu's head
- Calvin Coolidge's head
- Dwight D. Eisenhower's head
- Tim Dylan's head
- Benjamin Franklin
- Debut: David Farnsworth
- Debut: Dr. Dean Farnsworth
- Debut: Philo Farnsworth
- Professor Farnsworth
- Millard Fillmore's head
- Gerald Ford's head
- Fourth Doctor
- Warren Harding's head
- Alexander Hamilton
- Debut: John Hancock
- Rutherford B. Hayes' head
- Herbert Hoover's head
- Andrew Jackson's head
- Thomas Jefferson's head
- Debut: Lyndon B. Johnson's head
- Henry Kissinger's head
- Lars (mentioned in speech only)
- Debut: Simon Lee's head
- Abraham Lincoln's head
- Debut: Louisa
- James Madison's head
- Debut: Summer Maher's head
- Debut: Bob Meyers' head
- Kasey Miller's head
- Walter Mondale's head
- Jeffrey Perez's head
- Franklin Pierece's head
- James K. Polk's head
- Amelia Pond's head
- Debut: The Queen of England, America and two parking spaces in Tokyo
- Ronald Reagan's head
- Debut: Paul Revere
- Franklin D. Roosevelt's head
- Theodore Roosevelt's head
- Debut: Inara Serra's head
- William Howard Taft's head
- Debut: Adam Tocaver's head
- John Tyler's head
- Martin Van Buren's head
- Quincy Wagstaff's head
- Debut: Andy Warhol
- George Washington's head
- Debut: Zoe Washburne's head
- Dr. Zoidberg/Zoidsmythe
- Debut: Ben Franklin's print shop
- Debut: Broadway
- Charlotte (mentioned in speech only)
- Columbus Circus (mentioned in text only, unknown moment)
- Debut: Dunkin' Crumpets
- England (mentioned in speech only)
- Debut: Farningworthshire
- Fifth Avenue
- Debut: Foundry
- Georgia (mentioned in text only, unknown moment)
- The Hall of Presidents
- Debut: Harrods
- The Head Museum
- Debut: The Hitchcock Memorial
- Lexington (mentioned in speech only)
- Louisa (mentioned in speech only)
- Maribel (mentioned in speech only)
- The moon
- New Jersey (mentioned in speech only)
- North Carolina (mentioned in text only, unknown moment)
- Old New York
- Debut: The Old North Church
- Peru (mentioned in speech only)
- Debut: Philadelphia
- The Planet Express conference room
- The Planet Express hangar
- The Planet Express headquarters
- South Carolina (mentioned in text only, unknown moment)
- Tokyo (mentioned in speech only)
- Virginia (mentioned in text only, unknown moment)
- Debut: West Britannia
- ^ 2011 Annie Awards Nominations (PDF). (The Annie Awards.) Retrieved on 06 December 2011.
- ^ Has Sarah Palin Already Seen the New Season of Futurama?
- ^ Seidman, Robert (29 July 2011). "Thursday Cable Ratings: 'Suits' Tops Night in Demo + 'Burn Notice,' 'Project Runway,' 'Wilfred,' 'Futurama,' 'Louie' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved on 30 July 2011.
- ^ Blair Marnell (29 July 2011). FUTURAMA 6.20 'All the Presidents' Heads'. (CraveOnline.) Retrieved on 12 March 2012.