Of all the news to come out of San Diego Comic Con this year, the info that titillated the most fans may very well be about a little show where people make fun of old movies. As the public has known about since the Kickstarter campaign earlier this year, ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000′ is coming back for a 14-episode season, with a host of new faces to propel the storyline (some old faces will be back as well).
At SDCC, it was announced that the show will find its home for the new season at Netflix, with the premiere date given as, in classic ‘MST3K’ vernacular, “the not-too-distant future.”
— Netflix US (@netflix) July 24, 2016
Starting its life in the 1980s as a cable-access show before moving to Comedy Central and eventually onto the SyFy channel for the duration of its original 10-season run, MST3K focused on hapless janitor Joel (played by series creator Joel Hodgson) trapped aboard the space station “Satellite of Love” by the evil Dr. Clayton Forrester, who forces him to watch bad movies in the hopes of finding the worst movie ever so that he may use it to rule the world (flimsy, I know, but fun). To stave off going insane, Joel builds two robot companions to keep him company, Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo; portrayed is silhouettes at the bottom of the screen, the trio watch -and make fun of – the old films, while taking occasional breaks for their own comedic storyline skits. As the show progressed, Hodgson chose to leave and was replaced on screen by Mike (aka head writer Michael J. Nelson); Dr. Forrester and his crony, TV’s Frank, were replaced by the characters of Pearl Forrester (Dr. Forrester’s evil mother, played by Mary Jo Pehl) and henchmen Dr. Bobo and The Observer (played respectively by Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy, who also voice Crow and Tom).
When the show was cancelled in 1999, the group of creators split off into their own projects, with Nelson, Corbett, and Murphy forming the ‘Rifftrax’ improv-movie-watching troupe, and Hodgson bringing several other original creative members onboard his ‘Cinematic Titanic’ act.
The new season of MST3K, which Hodgson is spearheading, will feature new talent: Jonah Ray will take over the lead role of the show, with Hampton Young and Baron Vaughn voicing Tom and Crow. Felicia Day will step into the role of the lead villain, Dr. Kinga Forrester, with Patton Oswalt by her side as Son of TV’s Frank. Pehl, Corbett, and Murphy have been announced to return to “reprise their roles,” but how exactly this plays out remains to be seen. Nonetheless, the series landing at Netflix is tremendously exciting news, and as a man who has a Tom Servo figure staring at me from across my desk every day, I for one cannot wait for the series’ triumphant return.
Tony Schaab misses ‘Futurama’ so much that he made himself a best friend out of a silver trash can and has daily internal debates about cutting off his head and sticking it in a jar. A lover of most things sci-fi and horror, Tony is an author by day and a DJ by night. Come hang out with Tony on Facebook and Twitter to hear him spew semi-funny nonsense and get your opportunity to finally put him in his place.