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Futurama’s Co-Creator Doesn’t Understand The Show’s Sci-FIi

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It’s worth noting that the “Futurama” writers’ room is chock-full of scientists, mathematicians, and holders of advanced degrees. Groening’s co-creator, David X. Cohen, liked to brag that the writers’ room contained a PhD in chemistry, a master’s in philosophy, a master’s in computer science, a master’s in math, and a PhD in applied math. David X. Cohen himself has a master’s degree in theoretical computer science from Berkeley. When it came to the sciences, the “Futurama” writers were very, very careful to make sure certain details were correct. 

Naturally, such a nerdy imprimatur attracted nerdy viewers, keen to see certain scientific principles expressed in dialogue, and miffed when certain high-tech sci-fi concepts proved to be inconsistent. When asked if “Futurama” got analytical letters, Groening said: 

“Very analytical. Some are very appreciative, some annoyed at the inconsistencies — because there is inconsistency. How do you get around the universe that’s so huge? Originally we planned to have the spaceship powered by the MW drive, which is ‘magic wand.’ All science fiction has that magic wand where you can travel through galaxies very quickly. And, instead David had a friend who had a theory that you could slow down the speed of light and therefore make things faster.” 

/Film previously wrote about how Cohen and his physicist friend David Schiminovich “covered” faster-than-light travel. It’s impossible for a craft to travel faster than light, so Cohen and Schiminovich said that in the future, the speed of light will somehow be made even faster, allowing starships to travel over 670 million mph without traveling through time. It’s an absurd conceit that covers a real scientific principle. That was enough of a “magic wand” for Groening.



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