The Boy Who Cried CometEdit

===Episode #605===

"The Boy Who Cried Comet" / "Arthur and Los Vecinos"

Synopsis, Quicktime clip, and screen captures by S.C.. Sorry for the crumby quality of the capz. I had bad reception :( hope you enjoy the clip.

Comments by S.C., Aonarr, Esmeraude, George4Browne, and Dave.

Credit from dwdivastar,,KorraIsBack,AwkwardLeixia,GeorgeH4Quinn,Jeriah02,Ben,Arthur&friends,& aardvarky_lewis.


The intro starts off as a spoof to the intro of the classic show "The Twilight Zone". Arthur's in the spooky 'zone', narrating, with things flying around with a space backdrop.

Ratburn flies in front of the camera...

Arthur: A dimension where teachers are aliens...

Mr. Ratburn pulls off his mask to reveal his true alien identity.

Arthur: ...and where principals are robots...

We then see a robotic version of Mr. Haney flying towards us repeating "Hello, how are you? Hello, how are you?" until his metallic head explodes off.


The last thing we see is a yellow road sign with a sillouette of Buster's head in black.

Arthur: Your next stop, "The Buster Zone"!

I did not like the teaser since the Twilight Zone has been parodied to death.

* * * The Boy Who Cried Comet * * * read by BinkyIsBack

The title card is the old spaceship landing with Buster taking off his old alien helmet.

Written by: Peter K. Hirsch

Storyboard by: Elie Klimos & Zhigang Wang

We begin in the school hallways, in front of Arthur's locker where he's hanging up his jacket in the locker. When he closes the door, we see Fern behind it, holding a book.

Fern: Hello Arthur, I see you overslept youralarm clock.

Arthur thinks he's in trouble. Fern points out how she knows this; she notes Arthur's mismatched socks, inside-out shirt, and his bad breath (as a result of not having time to brush his teeth). The conclusion was obvious:

Fern: You're in a rush. Why? Because you slept late!

Arthur's amazed by Fern's skills of deduction. Fern explains she's learning from her book, "Mrs. Marble's Handbook for Young Detectives"

The back of the book says "Discover the Enigma!", some trivial craze...

Buster staggers towards them, out of breath.

Buster: Arthur! Arthur!

Fern: Panting? A look of urgency? Aha! He's trying to tell us something.

Fern consulted her book again.

Buster's about to tell them them, when he realizes that this isn't a secure location. He'll tell them after school.

* * *

After moving to the Power's ice cream shop(is Alan running the place alone?), where it's safe to talk, Buster explains that last night, he saw UFO's from his window. Buster recalls what happened.

In his memory scene, they were the run-of-the-mill flying saucers with colorful beams of light blinking from their sides. The first real UFOs Buster ever saw.----

Arthur interrupts -- he thinks this is an old story -- Buster saw UFOs last week! Buster says no, that was just the little light on the smoke alarm. This was real...

Fern wants to know how many there where. Buster isn't sure, except that there were "a lot of them".

Buster continues -- he went downstairs and outside and that's where they started to communicate with him with flashing lights and a low bass sound in the tune of the classic taunt -- 'naa-naaa-na-naa-naa'.

(or so I thought)

I'm guessing the visuals of Buster's story at the beginning (the window shade flipping up, the ship with the Simon game lights) were a nod at the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". They could have taken that a bit further. I'd like to see Buster building something out of food like what's his name in that movie did of Devil's Tower with mashed potatoes. :)

This isn't the first reference to "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"... there was one in #40302 - "The Fright Stuff". I bet loads of kids watching Arthur got the reference.

In the movie, the spaceship flashes lights and makes the low bass sound, but it's "Nah-nah-nah nur nah". :)

Buster says he somehow knew what the tones meant --that was alien for "we come in peace". Arthur, Fern and Brain (who overheard from behind the counter) are skeptical.

Buster continues trying to make them believers by telling how the UFOs captured him using a tractor beam, took him 200,000,000 light years away, and put him in a alien zoo, as part of the human exhibit.

We see all this in his imagination:

  • Humans on hamster-wheels walking to work...
  • Santa Claus...
  • A man at a desk with a typewriter...

...all trapped in large glass bulbs as exhibits. Then we see Buster in a zoo-like pit, sitting on his normal comfy chair, watching TV and eating from a large pile of donuts while alien children stare and laugh from above.

Those aliens look much like Earth's Rodent-people, just without pupils in their eyes.

Back in reality, Buster confesses he made that last part up, but still strongly believes he saw UFOs last night.

Brain: I hate to tell you, but UFO's don't exist.... there's no concrete evidence for them, just a lot of crazy theories...

Brain tries to explain to Buster -- who was offended by his comment, but it just makes Buster more determined to prove their existence. Buster leaves the ice cream shop determined to get proof.

Here's a Quicktime clip of the entire sequence including Buster's story. (1.8mb .mov) - Requires QT5

Next we see he and Arthur at Arthur's tree house where they struggle to pull up a large box containing a borrowed telescope of Muffy's using a rope. The box containing the telescope is very heavy.

Arthur: Leave it to Muffy to have the world's heaviest telescope...

After they get in into the treehouse. Buster feels enthusiastic.

Buster: It's never even been opened!

Once the box is opened he takes a look at the manual.

Buster: Ahhhh, instructions. Aw! They're in Japanese!

Arthur takes the instructions from him and turns them the right way 'round, and hands them back to Buster.

Buster: Oh, that's better...

Even in a language Buster understands, the instructions are complicated...

Buster: reading with some difficulty) Place the ETX-90/EC refractor on the alt-azimuth mount.

The time-elapse music plays as we see them put the telescope together.

While Arthur screwed in some parts with a screwdriver, Buster dug into the box and pulls out two knobs. He takes one, and leaves the other on top of the box -- and it soon rolls away and falls off the tree house.

Pleased with themselves, and not having noticed the missing part, the telescope is complete and ready for business.

60501 02q

That night, Arthur's curled up under a blanket, in the cold, next to Buster who's looking through the telescope's lens.

"See anything yet?" tired Arthur asks.

"Not yet... Whoooa" Buster says as he finds something.

Arthur quickly jumps out of the blanket in excitement, soon to be disappointed and annoyed that Buster was just looking at Mr. Haney in his purple pajamas!(That assassin..)Arthur orders Buster why they're there in the first place. Buster goes back to looking at the sky instead spying on other people as Arthur elects to go to bed as this is boring.

Buster nexts spots the International Space Station and zooms in with the telescope to see inside a window to see American (in a southern drawl accent) and Russian (in a Russian accents, of course) astronauts playing "Go Fish". 60501 03b

Then Buster finds something very interesting and prints it out on the mini-computer that's attached to the telescope.

I would love to have Muffy's telescope. That's fabulous. Where does Buster plug it in in a treehouse? Maybe it has a rechargable portable power source. It prints lovely glossy pictures.

I would imagine it would have a long-life battery pack, like a surveying total station has. That way it could be used anywhere for an extended period of time. Of course, the printer and the monitor are going to use up juice awfully quickly. :) Maybe it has solar panels which can run on starlight? :)

The next day, at the school's cafeteria, everyone's having lunch. Brain is eating a bag of chips. Buster walks up to the Brain with the picture he printed.

Buster: Feast your eyes on that!

Brain explains it's not a UFO but a shooting star.

Brain: ...or, in more scientific terms, a small object... such as a meteoroid, entering the Earth's atmosphere.

Buster is a bit furious, but doesn't give up, and continues to make prints of things he finds with the 'scope. He hounds Brain everywhere he finds him with prints. Brain explains away all the things Buster finds, none of which are UFOs.

  • In the ice cream shop, Brain says Buster's picture is just Jupiter.
  • At the soccer field, Buster shows Brain a picture of the Crosswire blimp.
  • At the library, Brain is shown a picture which turns out just to have been the leg of a fly that was on the lens when Buster was looking through it.

Brain finally tells off Buster while at the library and shows him a library book on Astronomy.

Brain: Here... This is a book on astronomy. Instead of asking me questions every five minutes, why don't you just see if there's a picture of it in here first!?!

I understand Brain's frustration with Buster, I'm constantly beset by people too lazy to look anything up for themselves as well.

Then again, maybe Buster is just confused by the way the library has reordered the bookshelves. Maybe he'd like to get a book out, but he just can't find one. Also, no Astronomy book is going to have a picture of a bug leg in it, so there'd be no way of Buster being able to decipher that one. :)

The Brain's annoyance with Buster pestering him parallels Alberto's annoyance with Arthur in Arthur & Los Vecinos. And in both case they hand the person annoying them a book to get them off their backs.

* * *

That night, again Buster's alone in Arthur's tree house. But before he starts, he pulls up a picnic-basket brought by his Mom, using a rope.

As he eats a sandwich, Buster prints out yet another interesting find. Consulting the Astronomy book he finds that "it's just a stupid comet!" then tosses the pic over his shoulders as he mockingly reads on...

Buster: ...comets are big pieces of dirty ice...(at least he's not reading "dirty books" ;))blah, blah, blah...

Then his interest flares...

Buster: ...only rarely found by amateur astronomers. Hey! It might not be a UFO, but it's something!

He decides to observe the comet over a period of days to find its course as the book suggests.

* * *

After a few days has passed, Buster hits "F12" and the telescope's computer tells him the following...

Computer: The object at right ascension 3.6 hours plus 20 degrees will collide with Earth in 37 days.

Buster gasps.

60501 04d

SCREENSHOTS: Buster obtaining an image of the comet, and seeing the computer describe it colliding with the Earth.

* * *

During dinner at Buster's apartment, he asks his Mom what would happen if a comet hit Earth.

Buster's Mom: Well, it would depend on the size, of course but first, there'd probably be a big explosion. Then dust might block out the sun leading to another ice age. In fact, some people believe that a comet is what caused the dinosaurs to die out.

...she explains, just like a science teacher. "Why do you ask?"

She must write for the science section, actually I think she writes for anything/every part of the paper.

"Oh, no reason" Buster says in shock.

Buster gets up from the table and walks away with his bowl as his mind repeats his Mom's and the computer's words...

Bitzi: Some people believe that a comet is what caused the dinosaurs to die out...

Object will collide with earth in 37 days... 37 days... 37 days...Buster unconsciously places his bowl in the fridge then throws his metal spoon in the trash.

Not having seen "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" in ages, I'm not sure, but I think the oatmeal/spoon/trash thing is another nod to the movie.

His mother wishes her shaken-up-looking son "good night" as he walks by and he replies "Night good-ommy".

* * *

In Buster's room, he puts on his PJs as he repeats to himself...

Buster: Comet is coming. Comet is coming... comet is coming...

After putting his shirt on backward, he turns off the lights and we then see a dream sequence...

...Inside the White House, a military dog-general informs the President that the "Baxter Comet" will hit earth in one hour. The bunny-lookalike George W. Bush decides that "We got to call us Bionic Bunny".

We then see Bionic Bunny flying into space,(with his theme music playing basically)trying to push the flaming comet back. He can't, so he flew around to the back of the comet in order to grab the fiery tail of the comet -- he successfully holds it back... until a solar cell from a passing space station catches his cape and pulls him away, freeing the comet. Then we see the same astronauts still playing "Go Fish", unaware of what's happening.

60501 05

They play the same astronaut scene from earlier.
60501 03 (1)

And as the comet is about smash into his beloved Elwood City, the dream ends and Buster sits up, screaming.

It's kind of weird that Buster laid with his eyes open while he dreamed about that, then pops up screaming all the while never closing his eyes. I guess that'd make sense if he was imagining, which might mean he just snapped from the thought of it.

What's with Buster's turtleneck pajamas? That's enough to give you a nightmare right there. How uncomfortable.

The next morning at school, wearing his bike helmet, Buster runs up to Arthur and warns him about the impending comet. Buster tells him to pass it on. Arthur looked a bit confused but hesitantly says ok.

Then we see Buster in the boy's lavatory whispering into the ears of other boys...

It's that little brown beady-eyed dog kid again! I don't know why, but he just strikes me as someone who'd hear a lot of this kinda crazy thing.

In the hall, Fern's reading her "Mrs. Marble's Handbook for Young Detectives" book while walking. Arthur walks up to her asking if she got the news about the comet.

take note...

Fern: Yep, strange head gear, a belief that the sky is falling. I'm sorry to say this, Arthur but according to Mrs. Marbles, Buster has finally lost his cookies.

Here, like in #11601 - "Arthur and the Crunch Cereal Contest", "to lose one's cookies" doesn't mean what it does in our universe.

In the crowded, busy playground, Buster climbs atop a piece of playground equipment and makes an announcement.

Buster: Listen up, everyone! There's a comet coming! We have to come up with a plan!

All the kids stop dead in their tracks and silently stare at him. Then they go right back to playing, ignoring him.

take another note...

"Didn't you hear what I said?!" Buster yelled in frustration.

Binky yells back to him from a dirt pit, behind a wheelie/turntable/merry-go-round full of kindergarteners...

Binky: Yeah, yeah, the comet's coming. So is my fairy godmother!

The kindergarten kids: Ha-ha-ha, yeah! Ha-ha.

I guess all the kids are just grimly accepting their fate. That's very noble of them -- I'd have expected 'em to be running around screaming... :)

So, Binky's back to playing with toddlers since Brother,Can You Spare A Clarinet? Huh? But it's even worse now, they're Kindergarteners! But, after seeing D.W.'s age reversal in Arthur & Los Vecinos, I suppose this might have taken place before BCYSAC.

This isn't the first time Binky was playing with kids much younger than him. He was having a great time with them in #31101 - "Double Tibble Trouble".

In the ice cream shop after school, Brain's sweeping up while Buster's trying to get him to help him warn people the comet's coming.

Brain refuses, thinking Buster's a moron.

Brain: No way! Why should I tell people a comet is coming?

Buster: Because they'll believe you! You seem so sciencey!

Brain: That's because I back up what I say with facts, unlike some people. And "sciencey" isn't a word!

Buster explains that he does have proof and persuades Brain to check for himself, then pulls on Brain again, leaving his broom spinning 'til it drops as the two hastily leave the shop.

Is it me or does almost no one go to the Power's shop? And is Brain alone again? I guess Brain's parent just have that much confidence in their son in looking after the shop -- and keeping their fellow citizens from robbing 'em. :D

Brain seems to be pulling a lot of solo shifts at the ice cream shop. After school and weekends, must be kinda rough for an eight-year-old. Family must be struggling or perhaps his Mom is just too hard to work for and she can't keep any help in the place. Don't forget what I said about Brain having to quit college to work to help out the family. If this keeps up he's going to drop out before high school.

Then again, it's easy work, seeing as nobody ever visits the shop apart from Arthur's gang. :)

It's night, Buster, Muffy, Arthur, Fern, Binky, and Francine are standing underneath the tree house in the cold, so they're wearing their jackets -- and complaining to Buster.

Buster, who's pacing as if he's waiting for his child to be born, calls them all over as Brain analyzes Buster's data from within the tree house.

Then, from the top of the tree house Brain makes an announcement.

Brain: I've checked Buster's findings and... (gulps) he's right! There really is a comet headed towards Earth!

Underneath the treehouse, everyone runs in circles screaming, feeling much like Buster did earlier. While this is happening, Buster's just standing there feeling victorious.

Buster: There! Now do you believe me?

As everyone was running around and shouting "Comet! Comet! Comet!", Fern happened to step on a small metal knob -- the knob that rolled out of the tree house earlier when the telescope was being assembled. She picked it up and thinks it could be a clue. So, she took it up to the tree house... we hear her voice narrating, "..and then... using my little gray cells, I determined that the curious metal object was actually an important part of the telescope and without it we were getting all the wrong readings! So I quickly climbed up the tree, and..."

60501 06

Fern's "little grey cells" remark at the end was a reference to the Prince Of Eygpt song "Deliever Us".....

Her book, by "Mrs. Marble" is another Christie reference -- Agatha Christie created another detective in a different series of books, a woman called "Miss Marple".

"...and we fixed the telescope and discovered the comet wasn't going to hit the Earth. The End." Arthur interrupts in a bored tone of voice as we faded from the memory of the events to a table at The Sugar Bowl, where Fern, Arthur, and D.W. are seated.

Ever since Season 1, Arthur didn't want to be seen out around town with his little sister... I guess he's given up trying to be cool.

D.W. was eagerly listening and looked very entertained...

D.W.: Tell it again! I like the part where Arthur runs around like a chicken.

Hey, Fern ran too!

Arthur says "No! No more!", refusing to listen to any more of this.

60501 07a

Buster and Alan walk in holding the Elwood City Times.

Buster: Here it is! "Cat Saver Discovers Comet."

I bet his Mom made sure they didn't forget her son's heroism from before.

Brain reads the article.

Brain: Hey, they got my name wrong! They called me "The Bran"!

I wonder if The Sugar Bowl's a competitor to the Power's ice cream shop? They also sell ice cream. If so, I bet Brain often gets more then he orders there *aaugk-ppt* ;) (that's if they know he's a Powers)

Buster then told them a little more about the article.

Buster: It turns out I'm not the only amateur to discover something in space. A girl named Heather McCurdy discovered a planetoid with her friends.

Don't say that Arthur never teaches us anything. :) Someone might want to add in that that's true, except that Heather McCurdy was real, and Buster isn't. He then notes that they'll be able to see the comet again in three years. Brain: Maybe they will have discovered alien life forms by then.

Buster's surprised by Brain's comment. Buster: You mean you're a believer?!

Brain points to Buster's head.

Brain: If there's intelligent life in there...

Then he points up...

Brain: ...then there must be intelligent life out there...

The camera pans up to reveal stage lights above them. The show isn't real, it's on a set!

"Cut! Cut! That was terrible! Where's the emotion? Where's the passion?" said a one-eyed, purple/pale alien director with two hand "Okay. Everybody take five."

Then the walls are wheeled away to reveal a moon-scape sound stage with alien show-crew encounters. The members of the "Arthur" characters then remove their rubber masks off and revealed their true alien formation. The camera finally pulls away in an aerial shot showing the alien planet where the show "Arthur" is filmed, with Earth in the background 60501 08

The ending where everyone was an alien was strange!

My only dificulty with this episode was the alien set crew at the end. They should have left it with Brain's statement of the discovery of intelligent life in Buster's head. The alien set crew was overkill.

I guess they had a few seconds left over? Maybe we should have had more footage of the gang running around screaming. :) That or have everybody laughing at the end while Buster fumes, noted in "Scooby Doo".

Say, is the last part "canon", or was this just something out of "The Buster Zone"? From now on, I'll always be thinking that Arthur's an alien inside a rubber aardvark suit, living on the moon.



The Earth's that close to the alien planet? Maybe the planet is the moon and the alien's set up a studio there to be closer to the earthlings to better copy them? Great, now I'm sounding like Buster! (this ep must have gotten to me after multiple viewings).

At first, I thought it was unrealistic that an misinformed third grader would go around, telling everyone of some coming catastrophe but with the current anthrax scare, it's not so unrealistic.

As noted, at first it seemed like Buster was successful at passing the information of impending doom. Arthur seemed exited when he asked Fern if she heard about the latest news. Quite a different look when Buster first told him. Kids must have been talking about it cuz even Fern heard (or Buster could have told her himself, as she hinted about the helmet) Either way, the kids didn't seem to care soon after. Maybe they all thought it to be nonsense by lunch time. (as Binky and his Kindergarten Gang seemed to thought so).

Then why did Arthur looked exited asking Fern? Cuz I think he has a crush on her :D (you can start calling me crazy now if you haven't already... ;)) Running up to Fern just to ask her if she heard about Buster latest crazy idea? Fern hanging around Arthur's locker in the beginning?

Oh yeah, their something going on there ;) I think this puppy/aardvark 'ship started when he was to her house in #12801 - "I'm a Poet" (...defiantly crazy :D) But that's all LMFAO :)

It was good to see Fern again. Buster will probably be into aliens when he is an old rabbit!

What's made Fern so "motormouthy" all of a sudden? She seems a lot more sure of herself.

She seemed, dare I say it, a bit of a jerk... (at the start, anyway) Must have been the new book she was reading.

Likely, remember how annoying she was when she came back from that summer Poetry Camp in #20902 - "The Short Quick Summer"?

If there's something going on between Arthur and Fern, then Sue Ellen better not find out. I thought she had a crush on him after seeing the ending of #21401 - "Sue Ellen's Lost Diary"...

And I won't even mention Francine... Arthur'd better watch out. :)

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