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Author Topic: The Late Philip J. Fry Goof (SPOILERS, big 'uns)  (Read 13708 times)
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FistfulOAwesome

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #240 on: 12-25-2010 04:41 »

Actually, I'll post a (rough, while watching the commentary itself) transcription of the relevant parts.  There's not a LOT said, but:


In general, they don't seem to be taking it that seriously and the tone is pretty jokey.  From the first part, it seems like they're a bit ambiguous about it or haven't thought it through that much (Morton has to ask if it's a new universe, in his own script).  Most likely, fans can just pick whatever explanation or philosophical distinction that makes the most sense to them.

Oh, well... I'm a bit disappointed but I'll deal with it. I was hoping the writers had put more thought into the time travel, but it seems they saw it as little more than a means to tell this story. It's unsatisfying to find that they seem to have put less thought into the time travel than most fans did (and I'm talking about the very first page in the TLPJF thread). Still, I won't fault them much for that. The episode was universally hailed as one of the best in the series, so they made as close to the best choice as could be reasoned.

All that said, I don't look forward to them essentially ignoring the events of this episode when the inevitable "Fry has another destiny to save the universe/Earth/humanity from certain doom" episode comes to pass. The fanboy bitching I'll throw then should hopefully be impressive.
Aki

Professor
*
« Reply #241 on: 12-25-2010 12:38 »

Oh for fuck's sake. That's not what I'm doing and you fucking know it. You're trolling. Which leaves me only one response: Drown in your own shit, you nasty fucking stain.
If you try to read a sentence twice before posting you'll know I didn't accuse you of anything. I asked you to clarify so I didn't have to accuse you of anything. You may call me slow or stupid, but I am not in any way trying to be annoying, and I am not trolling.
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #242 on: 12-25-2010 13:54 »

I am not in any way trying to be annoying

Coulda' fooled me. Okay, here's clarification. If the writers had confirmed they meant to show CU, then CU would be canon and I would be disappointed. I would continue to maintain that what was shown on screen was CT, and that therefore they had goofed.

Since the writers have basically confirmed they have no idea what they showed, what they did, or what they intended, they just wanted to do stuff with time travel, CT is as good as definitively right, since that's what's shown onscreen.

I'm not going to make it any clearer than that. If you still don't understand it, tough. Find a six year old. They could probably explain it to you.
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #243 on: 12-25-2010 17:03 »

From the sounds of that transcript, it's pretty obvious that they intended it to be a cyclic universe theory situation, but then I thought the episode made that pretty clear as well and you still argue that they're wrong.

Time for you to lose respect for the writers, I guess.
Aki

Professor
*
« Reply #244 on: 12-25-2010 19:45 »

Okay, here's clarification. If the writers had confirmed they meant to show CU, then CU would be canon and I would be disappointed. I would continue to maintain that what was shown on screen was CT, and that therefore they had goofed.

Since the writers have basically confirmed they have no idea what they showed, what they did, or what they intended, they just wanted to do stuff with time travel, CT is as good as definitively right, since that's what's shown onscreen.
Thank you.
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #245 on: 12-25-2010 20:48 »

From the sounds of that transcript, it's pretty obvious that they intended it to be a cyclic universe theory situation

It's pretty clear to me that they had no idea what the situation was, and were just writing a TV show. They portrayed Cyclic Time. A Cyclic Universe is one interpretation (the wrong interpretation) of what's shown, but the writers pretty obviously were just bumbling along.

Anyhow, evidence:


When Lew Morton unambiguously states that he wrote this episode spanning multiple universes rather than multiple iterations of the same universe, then you've a case for CU. I don't think that the writers thought that hard about it, or intended for it to be one way or the other, so I'm sticking by what I've said earlier. The model portrayed is Cyclic Time. If it turns out that CU is correct, the entire basis for time travel, time paradoxes, and the passage of time itself within the Futuramaverse falls apart, and it becomes an order of magnitude less of a smart-and-funny show. I don't know why you're so keen for this to be the case. Unless you actually secretly hate all nerds. In which case, what the fuck are you doing here?

DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #246 on: 12-25-2010 23:22 »

Please bear in mind that the transcript I wrote up was a ROUGH transcript.  I left out little bits of banter and some of what I wrote is NOT word for word.

I THINK (I'd have to check again) that Cohen uses the word "original" for instance, but I think this was mainly just a way of differentiating them within the conversation of the commentary.  These are done very informally after all and I don't think he was planning out his words that specifically.
lemily33

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #247 on: 02-25-2011 06:06 »
« Last Edit on: 02-25-2011 06:08 »

No, there should be, but as someone already pointed out in the episode's thread, it makes sense that it'd work with them killing the third universe's Fry, Professor and Bender and replacing them and the 2nd universe killing the 4th's, etc. Basically, it skips a universe each time.

I like this theory.

Even "Roswell that Ends Well" still remains under fire for the mystery of the Y-chromosome...

It's no mystery to me. It's just Rule of Funny: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleOfFunny

Would it be as hilarious if Fry were not his own grandfather? That is really the only plausible explanation.

Indeed. The three universes visited are three different, but near-identical, universes that are not alternate or parallel and occur sequentially on the same timeline.

The three can, however, be represented with the same timeline analysis of their lifespan with limited differences. The Earth was in a slightly different position in the third universe and so we can't guarantee that the second universe's travelers made it to the fourth to crush their travelers. They may instead have wound up underground or kilometres away in space.

Also we can't assume the universe we started in was a true original universe, it seems plausible that there was an infinite number of slightly different universes before and after any given universe.

The spacetime-interference of each group of travelers, including other groups of time travelers could be what causes the Earth to be in a slightly different location. At the end of the second universe some quantity of matter was configured differently enough to be pulled together and blown apart by the big bang into another location. Thus by killing Hitler in the second universe Farnsworth caused third universe's Earth to be in a different location.

Following this, the actions of all groups of time travelers need to be understood to determine the number of universes in the repeating universe loop, if indeed there is a loop to be found. It's like saying pi = 3.141593, because that's how far your calculator goes.


I agree with this, but I won't argue for it. Live and let live. smile

I'm a huge nerd and normally I'm all for long discussions about the science of fictional shows. But... it's Futurama. Sometimes things happen that don't make sense.

It's a cartoon. If Fry's stomach contents can boil from gamma rays (in "Insane in the Mainframe") without his skin blistering or any other water in his body boiling, then little inconsistencies in a time-travel plot, which far more serious scifi shows have gotten wrong, will not harm anyone. big grin

In my head, this is how I explain it:

Many people on this thread: It works like this. See, [wimmy wham wham wazzle blah blah blah]-
Me: Magic. Right.

big grin

Actually, I'll post a (rough, while watching the commentary itself) transcription of the relevant parts.  There's not a LOT said, but:


In general, they don't seem to be taking it that seriously and the tone is pretty jokey.  From the first part, it seems like they're a bit ambiguous about it or haven't thought it through that much (Morton has to ask if it's a new universe, in his own script).  Most likely, fans can just pick whatever explanation or philosophical distinction that makes the most sense to them.

Oh, well... I'm a bit disappointed but I'll deal with it. I was hoping the writers had put more thought into the time travel, but it seems they saw it as little more than a means to tell this story. It's unsatisfying to find that they seem to have put less thought into the time travel than most fans did (and I'm talking about the very first page in the TLPJF thread). Still, I won't fault them much for that. The episode was universally hailed as one of the best in the series, so they made as close to the best choice as could be reasoned.

All that said, I don't look forward to them essentially ignoring the events of this episode when the inevitable "Fry has another destiny to save the universe/Earth/humanity from certain doom" episode comes to pass. The fanboy bitching I'll throw then should hopefully be impressive.

Well, he would be saving lives. It's a big deal even if he does it 50 million times.
SpaceMaN

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #248 on: 02-25-2011 06:11 »

[wimmy wham wham wazzle]
I usually spell it "wozzle", but either way, this is not used enough in real life.
lemily33

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #249 on: 02-25-2011 06:12 »

[wimmy wham wham wazzle]
I usually spell it "wozzle", but either way, this is not used enough in real life.

Wozzle might be a better way; you're right. big grin

I will endeavor to use this tomorrow!
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #250 on: 02-25-2011 15:32 »


Even "Roswell that Ends Well" still remains under fire for the mystery of the Y-chromosome...

It's no mystery to me. It's just Rule of Funny: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleOfFunny

Would it be as hilarious if Fry were not his own grandfather? That is really the only plausible explanation.


I really wish I could find the diagram I made to explain how this works. It was one of my favourite crappy MS-paint explanations for things. Too lazy to re-create it though.

Anyhow, for TLPJF, the model that should be considered "correct" IMO is this:



Xanfor

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #251 on: 02-25-2011 15:46 »



The only thing you missed was Lister jump starting the Big Bang with the jump leads from Starbug.
lemily33

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #252 on: 02-25-2011 17:08 »
« Last Edit on: 02-25-2011 17:12 »


Even "Roswell that Ends Well" still remains under fire for the mystery of the Y-chromosome...

It's no mystery to me. It's just Rule of Funny: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleOfFunny

Would it be as hilarious if Fry were not his own grandfather? That is really the only plausible explanation.


I really wish I could find the diagram I made to explain how this works. It was one of my favourite crappy MS-paint explanations for things. Too lazy to re-create it though.

As a (young) biologist, I'm pretty sure it just plain can't work, logically. Each time (because it's a loop) he has sex with his grandmother, he impregnates her with a sperm that contains a Y chromosome that is different from his own. Furthermore, he received an X chromosome from her. It could be the same egg and therefore X-chromosome each time, but it CANNOT be the same Y chromosome because it can't be the same one that *he* has - the process of meiosis recombined his sex chromosomes as well as his non-sex chromosomes. Furthermore, he has different somatic chromosomes (everything that isn't X and Y). So he should look like a different brother each loop, not the same Fry, and the time loop should be a paradox sort of like "your grandfather is alive, you're alive, now you kill him, now you're dead, now he's alive, now you're alive..." He should be "now this Fry, now that Fry, now this Fry."

Probably, an unstable time loop just can't happen because it's a paradox. So this probably can't happen IRL even if we had the tech.

That doesn't matter, though. My logical brain is soothed into enjoying it by Rule of Funny. laff

That's how I think about The Late Philip J. Fry. smile No big deal, and trying to make it fully make sense isn't like trying to make Primer or something make sense because this ep wasn't as well thought out as Primer was. big grin
Xanfor

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #253 on: 02-25-2011 17:33 »

I keep hearing noises in my attic. I think I ought to call the exterminators.
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #254 on: 02-25-2011 17:47 »
« Last Edit on: 02-26-2011 16:52 by totalnerduk »

As a (young) biologist, I'm pretty sure it just plain can't work, logically.

Challenge Accepted.

Alright, first, you've got a loop mixed up with a cycle.


This is a loop:




This is a cycle:
 
 It doesn't stop, just keeps going.

Fry is born, goes back in time, comes back from the past, and gets on with his life. His going back in time directly triggers his birth, but each only happens once.

Now, onto the part you're bothered about: sex.



Fry gives his dad a Y chromasome. Fry's dad then gives Fry a different Y chromasome. Fry then goes back in time to give his dad a Y chromasome.

The intermediate step allows it to work logically. Being your own father would be a lot harder than being your own grandfather, but the presence of an intermediate step allows space for the DNA to be reshuffled.

I didn't see your reply until after I'd edited this to put my diagrams and text in. But I'd have posted it here anyway. What's the point of making horrible MSpaint diagrams if you're not going to inflict them on as many people as possible?
lemily33

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #255 on: 02-25-2011 18:34 »

As a (young) biologist, I'm pretty sure it just plain can't work, logically.

Challenge Accepted.

I love HIMYM. big grin Message me and see if you can convince me. I will post back here if you do.
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #256 on: 02-25-2011 18:57 »

Feel free to analyse my above post for potential flaws. I'm not infallible.
lemily33

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #257 on: 02-26-2011 09:05 »

I'll try to get to this tomorrow when I can think of it. smile
lemily33

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #258 on: 02-28-2011 10:37 »
« Last Edit on: 02-28-2011 11:01 »

Okay, TNUK. Finally got time to analyze this. I have put it in spoiler tags just to save people from having to see it. No spoilers.


So, how does it work?

MAGIC. tongue

Like. I. Said.

Don't try to make it work. Rule of funny. I've thought it through.

I realize that's confusing, and if you haven't had basic genetics at an AP/IB or college level, it will be incomprehensible. I did my best, but I don't think I can explain it better.
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #259 on: 02-28-2011 21:16 »

I comprehend. Basic gentics... check. But I don't see it as happening in exactly the way you describe. Initial conditions are not changed by the loop.

It works fine from a genetic POV, but you're still thinking in terms of Fry A and Fry B, when you should be thinking in terms of Fry A only. If you consider the existence of Fry B as a seperate entity, it's a cycle. But if we assume (as we must) that Fry's genome remains unchanged, the information must be passed on correctly, somehow.

Let Fry's sperm equal (a), Mildred's egg (b). They combine to produce (c). Let (c)'s sperm equal (d) and Fry's mother's egg (e). They combine, and the product is Fry, whose sperm equals (a). I can definitely produce a feasible diagram for this with 4 colour-combinations to illustrate... not sure I can be bothered to extend that to 23 chromasomal pairs.

The reason I'm simplifying it is that genetics gets horrendously complicated, and I'm trying to produce a simple, feasible model here. Fry's Y-chromasome is half from himself, half from his father... who in turn got half of that from Fry and half from himself (via Fry). I don't want to get into the potential for infinitely recursive reshuffles, and I accept that part of the justification is Rule of Funny, but there *is* an argument and a justification from a purely theoretical POV. Yes, it's simplified. Most of the theoretical considerations for the events which occur in Futurama need to be simplified before they can be easily understood. Yes, it's tenuous. Yes, it relies on at least one major assumption.

But it works within the context of the show. I don't mind if it doesn't quite work outside of it - Futurama plays fast and loose with a lot of things - but it works within the setting of the show. The internal model is what I'm attempting to set out.
lemily33

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #260 on: 03-01-2011 01:42 »
« Last Edit on: 03-01-2011 01:48 »

There is no feasible model, just like there's no feasible way for Fry's stomach contents to boil without his skin being blistered.

But if we assume (as we must) that Fry's genome remains unchanged, the information must be passed on correctly, somehow.

This is where we disagree. It doesn't work in the real world with real humans. Period. End of story. Can't work. No way to argue that it can.

So instead we just assume that Futurama doesn't care about human genetics (a pretty safe assumption, given the mutants big grin).  The answer to "how does it work" is "magic," just like it often is in Trek and other shows. I'm fine with that. smile

Given that you DO understand the genetics in the real world, I think we should just agree to disagree. smile


But it works within the context of the show. I don't mind if it doesn't quite work outside of it - Futurama plays fast and loose with a lot of things - but it works within the setting of the show. The internal model is what I'm attempting to set out.

See, I'd rather just pretend there is no internal model. big grin Why does there have to be?

I think the only aspect on which we disagree is this: you want to create an internal "science of Futurama" as it were. I'm content to just write it off as magic because thinking of it as science makes me crazy.

This is why I don't like Dr. Who (because the explanations are wrong) but I like BSG (because there are no explanations).

Handshake? big grin

---

To get back on topic: Similarly, I don't mind the wackiness in The Late Philip J. Fry because I can sort of just gloss over it in my mind. Trying to make sense of it only shows me how little sense it makes IRL, annoying me. So it's magic. big grin
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #261 on: 03-01-2011 16:13 »

Fine. We can agree. Crazy ass-backwards "science" makes you angry. I can respect that. I tend to try to make things work, bashing pieces over the head with a wrench until they fit, rather than shouting "WRONG" immediately. Although, I do a fair bit of that too.

I suppose it comes from the same place that my love of complex machinery does. A desire for everything to move in synchronicity.
lemily33

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #262 on: 03-01-2011 20:10 »

I come from a purely scientific perspective. If it doesn't work, throw it out and find a new model. The best example of trying to bash pieces with a wrench is "creation science" - i.e. the dinosaurs and Adam and Eve were together in the Garden of Eden, etc.

But since it's a fictional show, it's all good. smile
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #263 on: 03-01-2011 20:14 »

When it comes to the real world, I do agree with you. But with Futurama, the wrench is part of the fun. big grin tongue
futurefreak

salutatory committee member
Moderator
DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #264 on: 03-06-2011 22:07 »

I know we've been forbidden to mention this ever again, but I was rewatching classic Futurama and in The Cryonic Woman there is an unfrozen guy in the Cryogenics lab on the probulator, and this is what plays out:

Fry: So, while you're on the Probulator, tell me what
brings you to the future.
Man: Oh, well, I wanted to meet Shakespeare and I
figured that time was cyclical.
Fry: Nope. Straight line. [His control panel pings.] Ah, the
Probulator's done.

Anyway just found it interesting.
SpaceMaN

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #265 on: 03-06-2011 22:20 »

I just thought of that the other day too.  Fry didn't know, at the time.  The writers probably said screw it, to make the episode.
Imy

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #266 on: 03-25-2011 10:27 »

I love to try and make sense of the "science" used in Futurama like many of you, but for this episode it was purely for the purpose to entertain. Time could be cyclical, or linear, but really, how the hell are we ever going to know?  confused

Oh, and this is my first time on this forum, or any Futurama fan forum (but I've been a fan for six years!) so... Buenos dias!  laff
Xanfor

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #267 on: 03-25-2011 14:27 »

I love to try and make sense of the "science" used in Futurama like many of you, but for this episode it was purely for the purpose to entertain. Time could be cyclical, or linear, but really, how the hell are we ever going to know?

I don't know, but it's sure going to be fun waiting to find out!
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
**
« Reply #268 on: 03-25-2011 16:54 »

I love to try and make sense of the "science" used in Futurama like many of you, but for this episode it was purely for the purpose to entertain. Time could be cyclical, or linear, but really, how the hell are we ever going to know?  confused

By experimentation and observation. You run in circles, and I'll time you. Then, run in a straight line for the same amount of time. Following this experiment, we must analyse the data, preferably producing some sort of graph. Then we petition various governments for more funding in order to design a more complex experiment. It's the cycle of science!
Imy

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #269 on: 03-26-2011 14:43 »

I love to try and make sense of the "science" used in Futurama like many of you, but for this episode it was purely for the purpose to entertain. Time could be cyclical, or linear, but really, how the hell are we ever going to know?  confused

By experimentation and observation. You run in circles, and I'll time you. Then, run in a straight line for the same amount of time. Following this experiment, we must analyse the data, preferably producing some sort of graph. Then we petition various governments for more funding in order to design a more complex experiment. It's the cycle of science!

laff
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