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The setting of Futurama, Earth in the 31st century, is first and foremost a backdrop for humour. But as the show developed, the setting also gained sensible of its own as well as internal history.

Time frame

The time, in which Futurama takes place, is set in the 31st century. Matt Groening specifically choose this time frame for two reasons, because it was most simple to have a microwave like cryo-tube time setting to go automatically to a thousand years,[1] but also because the lengthy time distance allowed to create pretty much whatever technology they wanted, but also allow there to be certain backtracks in technology due to often invasions and destructions of the Earth.[2]

As the show grew onward, the authors simply used dates related to real dates of production for which in the episodes/films to be set, but a thousand years in the future, e.g. Bender's Big Score was released in 2007 and most of it takes place in 3007. The producers relates this simplifies defining the show's time setting.[3]

The future

The future in Futurama was considered with care by the creators, to make it reminiscent of the 20th and the 21st centuries, for which current topics in the present world would still make sense in the future.[4] So their future could not be bland and Utopian like The Jetsons, but at the same time not Dystopian like Blade Runner, but rather an inbetween world, similar to the world of the 20th century.[4][5]

Planet Express

Main article: Planet Express headquarters

The Planet Express building is primary location on Futurama, as every episode at some point takes place there, and it is often used as an excuse for taking off the plot, e.g. the professor sending the crew on a mission.

New New York

Main article: New New York

The city of New New York is the most used location on Futurama, as every episode at least at some points takes place there.

See also


  1. ^ "It was just because it was simple on the freezing tube to set it for a thousand years."Groening, Matt (Transcript)
    Groening, Matt. Commentary for "My Three Suns" on Volume One, disc 2.
  2. ^ "[By] setting the show so far in the future, we could justify any technology we wanted and if you recall in the pilot episode, we showed the Earth getting destroyed a couple of times by flying saucers and civilisation being rebuild, so that's how it comes, it is not incredibly technological advanced, we still have light bulbs and battering ramps and other old fashioned [...]"Groening, Matt (Transcript)
    Groening, Matt. Commentary for "My Three Suns" on Volume One, disc 2.
  3. ^ Cohen, David. Commentary for Bender's Big Score on the DVD.
  4. ^ a b "The decision we came to was basically that if we wanted to be able to do any kind of commentary on life today, then the future would have to have good elements and bad elements. It couldn't be a Utopia or a total Dystopia."Cohen, David (Transcript)
    Cohen, David. Commentary for "Space Pilot 3000" on Volume One, disc 1.
  5. ^ "[We] said that we didn't want the future to be dark and drippy like Blade Runner, but we didn't want it to be bland and boring like The Jetsons."Groening, Matt (Transcript)
    Groening, Matt. Commentary for "Space Pilot 3000" on Volume One, disc 1.