With cautious optimism verging on unbridled enthusiasm I’m looking forward to the new episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K).
If you don’t know, MST3K is the greatest show of all time. To be more specific, it was a cult TV show where a man trapped in space with a couple of robots is forced to watch old, bad movies as part of an experiment administered by a mad scientist on Earth. The show ran for seven seasons on Comedy Central in the early 90s, and then finished off the decade with three seasons on the Sci-Fi Channel. It’s a great show about funny jokes and references and silly ideas. Since it went off the air in 1999, MST3K has continued to connect with comedy fans through DVDs and online. Many of the people involved with the original show have also gone on to keep the riffing going with Cinematic Titanic and Rifftrax.
Last year series creator Joel Hodgson launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance new episode of the show. After quick success, enough funds were raised to produce a new season. From what we know, this will be a new show with a healthy influence of the original. We will have a new guy stuck in space, a new mad scientist, a new mad scientist sidekick, and new voices for the robots. Also, there will be direct connection to the show’s old mythology (what there was of one) and support from the original cast.
WHAT WE KNOW:
- There will be 14 new episodes, including a new holiday special
- The new episodes of MST3K will be on Netflix.
- Production of the new episodes has started.
- Comedian Jonah Ray is taking the Joel/Mike role as the jumpsuited host and man in space.
- Actress Felicia Day is the new mad scientist Kinga Forrester. Kinga is the daughter of original mad Dr. Clayton Forrester and granddaughter of Pearl Forrester who continued the experiments when the show moved to Sci-Fi.
- Comedian Patton Oswalt will be TV’s Son of TV’s Frank, henchman to Day’s mad scientist. From the title, one assumes he’s the offspring of original mad henchman TV’s Frank.
- Jonah’s robot friend Crow T. Robot will be now be voiced by comedian Hampton Yount.
- Jonah’s other robot friend Tom Servo will be now be voiced by comedian Baron Vaughn.
- Original series stars Mary Jo Pehl, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett will guest star in the new show as Pearl Forrester, Professor Bobo, Brain Guy, respectively. Pehl and Corbet have also joined the writing staff of the show.
- Elliott Kalan, winning former head writer for The Daily Show and one of the hosts of the great podcast The Flop House, is the head writer for the show.
- The writing staff also includes Joel McHale and Dan Harmon, Justin Roiland, Ernest Cline, Rob Schrab, Nell Scovell, Pat Rothfuss, musical act Paul & Storm, Dana Gould, and Robert Lopez. Writer on the original series Paul Chaplin will be back too.
- Original series composer Charlie Erickson, prop designer Beez McKeever, makeup artist Crist Ballas will also be working on the new show.
- Joel Hodgsen has also invited several non-TV writers to join the writing team.
- The premiere date and whether it will be a staggered or all at once release have been announced.