Community Scoop: 'Huge' '70s Disaster Movie Episode Pays Homage to Mad Max

Community disaster movieSeason 5 of Community is going to be one helluva hot mess.

As first scooped by TVLine over the summer, NBC’s cult fave comedy (which returns tonight at 8/7c) will air an episode later this season modeled after a ’70s disaster movie. And the early buzz suggests it’s a scorcher.

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“I call it the lava episode,” previews leading man Joel McHale of the ambitious installment, which took eight days to shoot and finds the Greendale gang surviving in a world where “the entire ground is lava and no one can touch it… It reminded me of Mad Max.”

McHale’s co-star, Gillian Jacobs, says the outing is on par with series creator Dan Harmon’s previous masterpieces, the paintball-themed “Modern Warfare” and “A Fistful of Paintballs” included. And she has the battle scars to prove it.

“I was physically sore from shooting that episode,” she recalls. “My arms hurt, my legs hurt. I think people were developing ab muscles… It was the most physical episode we’ve ever done.”

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The episode will likely pack an emotional punch as well in that it sets up the departure of Donald Glover’s Troy. “Abed wants to give the most appropriate goodbye to Troy, so it’s clearly out of his brain,” explains Dean Pelton himself, Jim Rash. “It almost feels like the [paintball episodes], where they understood the prize to be one thing, but then it becomes a disaster.”

Adds Danny Pudi of his about-to-be-abandoned alter ego: “The episode reveals that perhaps Abed is more affected by the disaster movie than everyone else. He unravels a little bit.” (With reporting by Megan Masters)