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Episode Recap: Where No Fan Has Gone Before
The Planet Express crew finds itself pitted against the cast of the original Star Trek when an energy creature seeks to determine who is more worthy of his fanatical devotion.
Inside a makeshift courtroom within the Planet Express ship's cargo hold, Zapp Brannigan begins a court-martial inquiry. Zapp tells the gallery of onlookers-which includes most of the cast of the original television series Star Trek-that Fry stands accused of traveling to the forbidden planet Omega Three. Fry maintains his innocence and recounts the events that led to the trial. In flashback, several days earlier, Fry and his friends go to a video store, where Fry learns that all things Star Trek were forbidden on Earth after Trek fandom grew so fervent that it threatened governments everywhere. The last copies of the 79 original episodes and six movies were dumped on Omega Three. Fry make his way to a museum, where Leonard Nimoy's head recounts how the heads of his fellow cast members blasted off into space after growing tired of living in a world that no longer appreciated them. Fry vows to retrieve the forbidden Star Trek videos from Omega Three. After convincing his fellow crewmembers to join him on the journey, the Planet Express ship makes a violent landing on the planet. The crew soon happens upon leftover cardboard sets from the original series. They also encounter William Shatner, clad in a Federation-type uniform, along with most of the rest of the original cast-Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Walter Koenig and Welshy, who vaguely resembles James Doohan. Shatner explains that while he and his costars were traveling near the planet, their ship was suddenly and mysteriously pulled into the planet's atmosphere. Suddenly, a sparkly energy creature steps forward. It fires a lightning bolt at Welshy, killing him. The others react with horror.
Back on the Planet Express ship, Leela takes the witness stand. In flashback, the energy creature tells the group that centuries earlier, videotapes of the Star Trek series rained down upon the planet. The creature, whose name is Melvar, study every episode and developed an encyclopedic knowledge of the show. But Fry insists that no one knows more about the show than he does. With that, Melvar announces that the planet's Trek convention will commence, complete with autograph signings and trivia contests. Melvar then announces that the Trek actors will perform a fan-script that he authored. The Planet Express crew forces Fry to leave with them, but as they rocket away from the planet, they develop a plan to defeat Melvar and save the Trek cast from certain boredom. The Planet Express ship fires on Melvar, but he only grows stronger, having absorbed the weapons' energy. Melvar crashes the ship, then grows confused, as the Express crew showed true heroism, while his actor idols are just that-a bunch of actors. Melvar decides to pit the Express crew against the Trek cast in an effort to determine who is more worthy of his fanatical devotion.
As the battle gets underway, both groups search for ways of making weapons to defend themselves. Nichelle Nichols employs her famous fan-dance to distract the male members of the Planet Express crew, giving George Takei the opportunity to karate chop Bender. Meanwhile, Kirk and Leela engage in hand-to-hand combat, only to end up in a passionate embrace. Suddenly, a large energy creature materializes. It soon becomes apparent that the larger creature is Melvar's mother, who summons him to dinner. Eventually, the two groups decide to work together. The engines from the Enterprise are then welded to the Planet Express ship, but when the engines are powered-up, the ship moves only a few inches. Leela realizes there's too much weight aboard. The ship's hatch flies open and the headless bodies of the Trek cast are dumped onto the planet. The heads of the Trek cast are then placed in various receptacles for the journey home. Suddenly, a Klingon-like ship piloted by Melvar opens fire. But Zapp Brannigan's ship, the Nimbus, lumbers into view, and the Planet Express ship is boarded. As the battle continues, Fry eventually convinces Melvar that he cannot let devotion to a TV show control his life.