Friday, August 31, 2007

Deep Space Homer

"Deep Space Homer" is the fifteenth episode of The Simpsons' fifth season. It is also the source of the Overlord meme. The episode was written by David Mirkin, who was an experienced producer of the show, with "Deep Space Homer" being his freshman writing credit for the series.

In spite of Homer being chosen to go into space, he is very nervous about going. He runs from the space shuttle and talks with Marge on the phone, and she says that Homer ought to take advantage of going into space. He agrees and gets into the Corvair space shuttle, with its name a reference to the car that was widely considered to be unsafe. The launch is also a Nielsen ratings smash. When on the shuttle, Homer smuggles potato chips ("Careful! They're ruffled!") on board. He opens the bag, but is unaware that they will clog the instruments. His appetite seems to save the day as he floats after the chips in zero-G to the tune of The Blue Danube, but he flies into an ant farm, destroying it, sowing panic across the world as the ants are set free thanks to Kent Brockman's rather premature assessment of the situation.

Although James Taylor comes in to make a modified adaptation of "You've Got a Friend", the disaster continues on board, with Kent Brockman reporting that the space shuttle has been taken over by giant space ants. The ants destroy the navigation system but, luckily, James Taylor suggests that they blow the bugs out the front hatch. The astronauts do, but Homer fails to put on his "shuttle belt" and is sucked out of the hatch. Buzz pulls him inside but due to the vacuums' sheer force, Homer breaks the handle. He inadvertently uses the carbon rod to seal the door shut. They return to Earth, landing at a journalist convention.

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