Futurama (1999–2013)
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The Prisoner of Benda 

The Professor's body swapping experiment produces a result he didn't have in mind.

Director:

Stephen Sandoval

Writers:

Matt Groening (created by), Matt Groening (developed by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Billy West ... Philip J. Fry / Prof. Hubert J. Farnsworth / Dr. Zoidberg / Hungarian Midget Robot / Richard Nixon (voice)
Katey Sagal ... Turanga Leela (voice)
John DiMaggio ... Bender (voice)
Tress MacNeille ... Linda / Princess Flavia / Washbucket / Big Bertha / Madame Ambassador / Child at UN (voice)
Maurice LaMarche ... Morbo / Basil / Fishy Joe / Chainsaw-Eating Robot / Robot Ambassador (voice)
Lauren Tom ... Amy Wong (voice)
Phil LaMarr ... Hermes Conrad / Ethan 'Bubblegum' Tate (voice)
David Herman ... Scruffy / Emperor Nikolai / Sweet Clyde (voice)
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Storyline

The professor is bored being old and decides to switch bodies with his intern, Amy. When they get tired of the game they decide to switch back, only to discover its not possible to swap with the same person twice. Bender agrees to swap between them to get everyone back in order, but only after he commits the perfect crime. Written by T

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 August 2010 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title card "What happens in Cygnus X-1, stays in Cygnus X-1" is correct. Cygnus X-1 is a black hole from which nothing escapes. See more »

Goofs

Amy, inside Leela's body, made Leela obese, but in the closing minutes of the episode, Leela's body is thin again without any explanation. The same for the professor's body, which Amy porked up. See more »

Quotes

Hermes Conrad: [Watching Amy eat in Leela's body, which is now obese] Sweet orca of Majorca! You make Fat Albert look like Regular Albert!
Amy Wong: I know! But I can't help myself.
Hermes Conrad: Here, put your mind in my body.
Amy Wong: No! I'll ruin your body too!
Hermes Conrad: Three decades of the munchies beat you to it.
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Connections

Edited into Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A work of demented genius
6 January 2011 | by RobT-2See all my reviews

As someone who has watched all of the original "Futurama" episodes several times each, I've mostly enjoyed the new episodes while making some allowances for a creative team getting its act together. Some of the episodes were very good, some just OK, none quite up to the level of the best original Fox episodes. As it happens, "The Prisoner of Benda" was the last of the new episodes I had a chance to watch, and it knocked me for a loop!

"Prisoner" makes use of the old science-fictional device of mind-swapping along with the associated themes of making use of the potential for freedom in being someone other than one's self, the discovery of unexpected limitations in one's "new self", and the renewed appreciation of one's previously taken-for-granted advantages. One new wrinkle is the condition that two given minds, once switched, can't be switched back (an inconvenience initially known only to the first two mind-switchers, and discovered by them the hard way). Add to this various personal hangups on the part of the Planet Express crew (does Fry only love Leela for her body? might Zoidberg be less repulsive if he was a human?) and Bender's limitless capacity for troublemaking, and things spin out of control very quickly.

This is perhaps the least predictable "Futurama" episode ever; it keeps adding new surprises and plot twists right up to the end. Among other treats, it includes some sexy "fan-service" bits as well as one scene that can only be described as the very opposite of "fan-service", both to hilarious effect. The episode's tone can turn on a dime, though; some scenes possess unusual emotional depth, including one bizarre, funny and touching scene featuring Scruffy the janitor, usually the series' most enigmatic figure. Remarkably, "Prisoner" stays true throughout to "Futurama"'s well-established characters, maintaining their believability even while putting them through one weird change after another.

I found "Prisoner" the most uproariously funny "Futurama" episode since "Roswell That Ends Well". Both episodes take outrageous delight in stretching the show's continuity fabric beyond previously imaginable limits, and the sustained possibility of breaking the show beyond repair powers the episodes' humor. One reason I've been on the fence with the new episodes of "Futurama" is because episodes like "Roswell" set such a high standard, but now I'm ready to stay with them until they come up with another one. (I just hope we don't have to wait another nine years for one this funny!)


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