Commentary:Space Pilot 3000

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Commentary for
Space Pilot 3000
Space Pilot 3000.jpg
Production number1ACV01
On DVDSeason 1
Disc 1
Matt Groening
Writer, creator
David X. Cohen
Writer, executive producer
Rich Moore
Co-director, supervising director
Gregg Vanzo
Co-director, supervising director
John DiMaggio
Actor (Bender, etc.)


Topics of Discussion

  • They attempted to insert secrets into the episode to set up the future episodes and plan to point them out in the commentary.
    • Secrets included the Nibbler shadow; at several other points the group randomly said "Secret!" despite nothing important being on screen.
  • Simultaneous countdown is a stretch.
  • The sequence while Fry is frozen was inspired by The Time Machine.
  • Script changed many times, but it was seen as important to end the cold opening in the future.
    • An early version of the script featured Fry being sold at an auction to the professor for spare organs.
    • Another early version had Fry as a night watchman at the (1999) cryogenics lab.
    • Fry was to be the captain of the ship.
    • He may also have been an army man.
    • A removed scene featured flashbacks of important parts of Fry's life; Birth, College, etc.
      • Such long scenes caused them to have two hours worth of material.
  • The first shot of New New York was also the first 3D sequence in the show, and an experiment of sorts.
  • It was decided all technology was to malfunction, much like it does in the present.
  • Character design
    • Difficulties animating a cyclops, origins of the Leela character.
    • Designers didn't want Leela's nose as big as it is, Matt had to push for it, the belief was that female leads had to have tiny noses.
    • Bender used to have ear antennas.
    • Fry's outfit is based on James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause.
    • All designs in Matt Groening's style are intended to be recognisable from silhouette.
  • Fox was shocked at the high ratings the pilot received and didn't understand most of the concepts, particularly the suicide booths.
  • Bender's voice was what John DiMaggio thought the Professor should sound like.
  • The Statue of Liberty was going to be robotic.
  • Suicide booths are based on a Donald Duck cartoon, in which Donald went to a museum of the future and used coin-op devices that injured him.
  • Career chips were going to be much more important.
  • Cohen points out a sign with alien language one on it and discusses the languages.
  • The group was thrilled to have "approval" from Leonard Nimoy, and to be able to still make fun of Nixon.
  • Notes that the French language is gone.

Highlights / Quotes

  • David X. Cohen: That's my parent's home address "405". It's a different street, but that's where the number came from.
    Matt Groening: Wow! Everything is of significance.
  • Rich Moore: I think this is the first time we see Leela?
  • Fox (a production note made on the script): Standard caution on the probulator.


Related DVD Features

  • Season 1, Disc 1
    • Animatics
    • Script
      The script contains an early version of the episode, which includes a mild profanity; divided by the introduction (A, B)
    • Storyboard