Leaving fans in uproar, Futurama was controversially cancelled back in 2003 after a mere four fantastic seasons. With The Simpsons falling into mediocrity many had seen Matt Groening’s future in developing the Fry and co.’s space adventures but instead America’s favourite yellow family were ordered for further seasons.
Thankfully Comedy Central took charge. Wanting to bring the superb series back into production, negotiated with Fox for a handful of feature length Futurama episodes, and with the original team back on board, the green light finally came.
With plans to break up the future new episodes into four chunks ready to be aired on TV, the first new Futurama story comes straight-to-DVD, and Bender’s Big Score is born.
Opening with a hilarious five minute introduction explaining how Planet Expresses shipping contract was cancelled by the “Box Network” (see what they did there?), it’s quickly back into the swing of things for Fry, Leela, robot Bender and the rest of the usual bunch. Flying out for their first delivery to a nudist beach planet the crew unwittingly signing petitions for a peculiar alien trio, opening themselves to a ton of span when they return home.
The scammers trick Planet Express owner Professor Farnsworth into giving away his business, plant a virus in Bender to control his every move and discover a time-bending paradox code on a mysterious tattoo on Fry buttocks. The scammers then send Bender back through time to steal all of Earth’s great treasures, before tricking President Nixon into handing over the planet itself as the population becomes doomed. leaving an almighty tussle to win back their home and rid themselves of the alien scammers for good.
With inventive plot twists, funny story quirks and more than your average dose of hilarious moments, Bender’s Big Score is a fantastic return to form for what always as one of the greatest animated series. While not quite pushing the classic episodes of old, Futurama fans will rejoice at 80 minutes of new material and the promise of a further three feature length episodes, while Bender’s Big Score also gives the perfect starting point for those new to the series.
With an all-new Hypnotoad episode, comic book reading, commentary and the normal storyboard and deleted scenes special features, the bonus material also puts most full season box sets to shame.
Film 4/5 Extras 4/5