When Futurama aired its final episode, devoted fans had to sit through their favourite animated show ending for what is now the third time. And even though the series had certainly dipped in quality from its golden era on Fox, seeing Fry and Leela sort of end up together was still an incredibly satisfying (and emotional) ending, incredibly fitting for a show that had always been as much about the characters as space jokes.
I first saw Futurama on a pre-Simpsons Channel 4, but didn't truly appreciate until I got the DVDs how sharp the writing and affectionately drawn the characters (in both meanings of the the word) were. Watching it from the beginning hammers home how for the time it was an incredibly out there idea; despite having Matt Groening and David X. Cohen (respectively creator and writer on The Simpsons) at the helm, it was a completely fresh concept and more daring than the very traditional, American family set up of The Simpsons. We were promised the same polish, but in a niche genre that rarely works well alongside comedy.
Now, even with fans devotion to buying the DVDs helping bring it back a couple of times, Futurama's future is likely sealed in the land of reruns. In tribute to the show (and in the spirit of my similar list on The Simpsons) here are twenty facts about Futurama that will blow your mind open more than a tiny doomsday device.
Honourable Mention - Foreshadowing
It's a pretty mind-blowing element of Futurama, but is sadly a little too ubiquitous to deserve a place on this list: many of Futurama's overarching threads were planned from the start and the creators put in extra effort to lay the groundwork as soon as possible.
Most obvious is the presences of Nibbler under Fry's chair when he travels to the future in the first episode, an event that was finally explained in Season 4's The Why Of Fry (as well as adding Fry to the shadow). There's also Leela's parents, seen in the background of sewer scenes over two years before their introduction, as well as the number 9 man, who went through a change of purpose. Originally intended to be part of a civilisation that uses numbers to showcase its hierarchy, he eventually became part of a fanatical cult in the DVD movie Into The Wild Green Yonder.