Futurama: Season 1, Episode 5

Fear of a Bot Planet (20 Apr. 1999)

TV Episode  -   -  Animation | Comedy | Sci-Fi
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Fry and Leela disguise themselves as robots to find Bender after he fails to return from a delivery to a robot planet, only to learn that he has become a celebrity in a culture which fears humans.


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Episode cast overview:
Philip J. Fry / Prof. Hubert J. Farnsworth / Dr. Zoidberg / Robot Leaving Theatre #1 / Robot in Jury #3 / Robot Elder #1 (voice)
Turanga Leela (voice)
Bender / Robot Construction Worker / Robot Playing Human / Robot Foreman / Jimmy (voice)
Wendy / Female Robot at Human Hunt / Robot in Jury #2 (voice)
Hermes Conrad / Blern Commentator / Robot Doorman #1 / Rusty (voice)
Robot Doorman #2 / Radio Newsreader / Robot Elder #2 (voice)
Snack Clerk / Robot General / Robot Coming Leaving Theatre #2 / Robot at Human Hunt / Robot Mayor / Robot Judge / Robot in Jury #1 / Robot Elder #3 (voice) (as Dave Herman)
Robot Passerby / Resin Offering Robot (voice)


Fry and Leela disguise themselves as robots to find Bender after he fails to return from a delivery to a robot planet, only to learn that he has become a celebrity in a culture which fears humans.

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Release Date:

20 April 1999 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The name of this episode references the hip-hop album 'Fear of a Black Planet' by Public Enemy. See more »


In the judgment scene, when the judge freezes up, Fry yells: "Call technical support." In that frame, he is drawn with his manacle chain outside the bars, whereas in all other shots, it's on the inside with him. See more »


Bender: Admit it, you all think robots are just machines built by humans to make their lives easier.
Fry: Well, aren't they?
Bender: I never made anyone's life easier, and you know it!
See more »


References Tetris (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

Thoroughly enjoyable tale... of genocide
25 January 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Here's an episode I almost completely forgot about until I rediscovered it on DVD. It's fairly good, about a delivery to a planet inhabited only by robots, who despise humans and want to eliminate them. (A possible home planet for the terminator, perhaps?) Fry, Leela and Bender bring a package to the planet, but only Bender can actually leave the ship and make the delivery since the robot radicals would kill Fry and Leela on sight. But when they hear Bender has been arrested as a human sympathizer, Fry and Leela disguise themselves as robots and enter the robot city hoping to rescue Bender.

The episode touches on the basic conflict between man and robot- is the robot exploited, and if so, should we feel bad about it? It's not an issue today since robots aren't yet conscious but I've heard this dilemma could become a reality eventually. Bender is shown resenting how he is treated as a thing, and questions whether the anti-human robots can be properly called radicals just because they "want to kill humans." The humour in that is that it is obviously a radical position. This is actually a comedic episode about a very touchy issue- genocide. The robots having a crime against simply being human is a crime against mere existence, and under that law, all of those guilty are to be executed, and that's what we'd call genocide. The robot leaders also at one point admit that humans are harmless and they're just scapegoats for the planet's troubles. Again, this could be touchy because it reflects how Jews were made scapegoats in Nazi Germany. But Fear of a Bot Planet isn't offensive, I guess because it's not about real holocausts, and it actually succeeds in scoring a few laughs. For example, with the robots making an anti-human horror movie. This is also the episode where the Planet Express ship hits and destroys a tiny planet, a joke the makers of the show liked so much that they used it again in Parasites Lost and the volume 3 DVD menu. Thumbs up from me for this episode.

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