Awhile back, I wrote a series on Mystery Science Theater 3000. My main focus was on what I saw as the archetypes of the Trickster and the Holy Fool that one could discern in the series. However, I also talked a little bit about how I came to be a fan of the show, and my thoughts on the two hosts, Joel Hodgson and Mike Nelson. The previous seasons have been around long enough that I assume everyone has seen them by now, and I won’t be discussing them, anyway.
As MST3K fans are doubtless aware, in April of 2017, the show, after many years off the air, returned with much fanfare and popular acclaim, as well as with new cast. I watched the new season–the 11th–and enjoyed it. It occurred to me that having written previously on MST3K, I should post something about its newest iteration. However, alas, at that time, I had lapsed from regular blogging. Of late, I have got back to at least periodic writing here at the Chequer-Board. I decided, therefore, that it was high time that I should return to MST3K and to write about my thoughts on the revived show.
Spoiler Alert: There will be mild spoilers for Season 11 below.
Awhile back I wrote four posts on the series Mystery Science Theater 3000. I’ve recently decided to writer another post, and more may follow in the future. Therefore, I’ve decided to make an index page to get them all together in one place. Enjoy!
I’m a likely and yet improbable fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Having been born at the cusp of the Boomer Generation and Generation X, I’m in the target age group. As a male and a science fiction fan, I’m certainly in the target demographic. Despite this, it took me a long time to become an MST3K fan.
I remember running across it a few times in the early 90’s while looking for something to watch. I couldn’t figure out what it even was at first. After watching a few snatches of it, I originally thought it was something like What’s Up, Tiger Lily? This was an early movie by Woody Allen in which he took a standard-issue Japanese spy drama, and dubbed it in English with totally new dialogue that turned it into a farcical spoof about the search for a secret egg salad recipe. I had seen that as a kid and liked it; and when I first saw MST3K, I thought the voices of Joel and the bots were an overdub as in Tiger Lily.
In the most recent installment of my series on Star Trek: The Motion Picture, I referenced the series Space: 1999. I thought it appropriate to say a small bit about it before going on with the series on STTMP.
Gerry Anderson was a British television producer and director best known for his Supermarionation process of using puppets in dramatic television series, although he did work with live actors, as well. His works were primarily oriented towards science fiction. His best known works using puppets are Stingray (about a futuristic sub and its crew; this series was more children-oriented), Thuderbirds (about a futuristic family involved with an international rescue organization), and the slightly more adult Captain Scarlet (about war between Earth and evil invisible Martians, the Mysterons). Later, in the early 70’s, Anderson produced the live-action alien invasion series UFO. Perhaps his best-known non-puppet work, at least among Americans of a certain generation, is Space: 1999.
In 1975, the original Star Trek (henceforward TOS) had been off the air for six years and had gradually developed into a cult series. Its creator (purportedly, anyway–for more on that, see here and here), Gene Roddenberry, had been trying unsuccessfully to resuscitate the series (finally succeeding with STTMP in 1979) ever since. Meanwhile, the appetite of the public for more science fiction had been whetted. Gerry Anderson decided to feed that appetite with a new sf series. Enter Space: 1999.
This episode is about the ever-elusive Comte de Saint-Germaine.
One of my favorite ABC Afterschool Specials from the 70’s. This is about the time of day they used to broadcast them at. If you have a child, or want to relive your own childhood, give ol’ Timer a look!
A70’s miniseries about a sinister small town, featuring the late, great Bette Davis. More to come tonight.