February 3, 2001 – The Animated Series Lloyd in Space Premieres on ABC’s One Saturday Morning
“Yes! Today, Lloyd P. Nebulon turns 13-years-old!”
On February 3, 2001, the animated series Lloyd in Space premiered on ABC’s One Saturday Morning programming block. The series ran for 39 episodes, finishing its run on ABC when the programming block was pulled. The series received positive reviews from critics and viewers overall. It was created by Joe Ansolabehere and Paul Germain, was starred Courtland Mead as Lloyd, Justin Shenkarow as Eddie, Bill Fagerbakke as Kurt, Brian George as Station, April Winchell as Nora, Pam Hayden as Douglas, and Nicolette Little as Francine .
The first episode, “The Big 1-3,” begins with a big parade for Lloyd (reminiscent of the end of Star Wars), as he is turning 13. Revealing this is just a dream, Lloyd wakes up and stares out the window of his space station, excited by the prospect of “becoming a man.” Station gives Lloyd a gift of a toy spaceship, and Lloyd tries to hide his disappointment. His mother brings him his favorite cereal, but Lloyd dismisses it for something more “grown-up.” Lloyd continually voices his disappointment as being treated like a kid, even to his best friend Eddie, who is more excited about Lloyd’s party, until Lloyd talks about a more “grown-up” party where the food served is fruit and cheese. In class, Lloyd gets in trouble for asking to be treated like a man; his teacher then decides he needs to write a paper on what it means to be a man, due the next day, and will be given detention the rest of the year if he can’t write it. After school, Lloyd sulks outside the space station, as he has no idea what it means to be a man. Station thinks that Lloyd needs to learn what it’s like to be a man, and takes him to a poker game. The game only upsets Lloyd, but then gets a call from his grandfather, who advises Lloyd to go fishing instead. While Lloyd manages to hook a fish, he also manages to accidentally throw the fish into the Power Plant Satellite, accidentally blowing it up.
Lloyd is arrested, but talks to Officer Horton about his assignment. Lloyd is discouraged, thinking that being 13 doesn’t mean anything, but Officer Horton tells a story about learning how to drive. Officer Horton agrees to let Lloyd try driving the patrol car, and gives him advice on acting like a man. Unfortunately, Lloyd activates the hyperspeed rockets on the car, and crashes it into the station. His mother is furious at Lloyd’s antics, and grounds him for a month before sending him to his room. In his room, Lloyd tries to start his paper, but he can’t even start. While in his room, he gets an emergency call from Francine’s preschool: Francine is upset about something, and her telekinetic powers have gone berserk. To get to the preschool, Lloyd uses what he’s learned to get to the school, including bluffing and acting like he’s in control. Once he gets there, Lloyd sees Francine’s doll stuck in a tree, and while Francine is unable to get it down, Lloyd uses his new fishing skills to bring the doll down. In the end, Lloyd learns what it is to be a man: doing the right thing and putting people’s needs before his own; he is then able to write his paper.