Futurama panel at MCM Expo!

It was no surprise to find that the main stage at London’s MCM Expo was completely flooded with guests for the Futurama panel on Saturday, and when the stars, Futurama, Billy West, Phil LaMarr, Lauren Tom and Maurice La Marche made their way onto the stage, it was to tumultuous applause.

Instantly the cast had the audience cheering thanks to the booming voice of Morbo citing, “Morbo is pleased to see you all!” among the sounds of other familiar characters, but before proceeding any further, they made sure to thank their fans for bringing the show back from the dead. It was at this point in the panel that it was announced that a 7th season for Futurama is currently being written. A theatre-destined movie was also teased as “being talked about”.

The atmosphere at the panel by now was positively buzzing as the Q&A session between the audience and cast began, and the popularity of the animated series ensured that there were a lot of questions to get through! When asked what their personal favourite episodes from the series were, the cast sounded off starting with Phil Lamarr who said that his favourite was “How Hermes requisitioned his groove back” – just because he had the most lines in it. Billy West then delighted me with his answer when he said that his favourite is “The devil’s hands are idle playthings” – A personal favourite of mine too – high-five Billy!
The final was a joint favourite shared by Lauren and Maurice, who both decided that “Amazon women in the mood” was a great episode as it is when their two characters, Kif and Amy found their love for each other.

The next question asked the cast how they all managed to put such good emotion into their characters, and the voice actors all agreed that most of it was down to their fantastic writers creating brilliant scripts, saying, “If the script is well written it takes much less work from us.”
Later on in the panel we discovered that it works both ways for the actors though, as ideas can also come from them and make their way into the show, “A great example of this,” said Phil, “is when I was messing around with a new voice, the robot preacher, and they wrote a new character for me!”

An interesting question asked by one audience member had the cast thinking about who would play them in a live action take on Futurama, but without any thought, Billy West decided that every character should be played by Jennifer Aniston, “except for Zoidberg who should be played by Brad Pitt“, Maurice added.

All too soon the panel ran out of time and the cast were ready to leave, but not before Maurice LaMarche – who fans may remember as the evil, super-intelligent lab mouse, “Pinky” in Pinky and the Brain, asked for the audience to sing happy birthday to Gordon Bressack (writer of Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain) for his 60th – the fans were delighted to have the opportunity!
“When I take over the world you shall all be spared my friends!” was his response.

Sadly the panel really had come to the end after this and the cast then left the stage to a well deserved standing ovation.

The much “deeper” season 6 of Futurama will be airing in the UK some time in the future, but currently no specific date has been set.

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