With cast and character changes ranging from Joel to Mike and from Dr. Forrester and TV’s Frank to Forrester’s evil mother Pearl, “Mystery Science Theater 3000” never lost its flavor for fun and comedy. Legions of fans still have fond memories of the skits and films lampooned in the futuristic series, which went off the air nearly 15 years ago.
Here is the basic premise of the show.
The show mainly features a man and his robot sidekicks who are imprisoned on a space station by an evil scientist and forced to watch a selection of bad movies, as part of a psychological experiment, and frequently preceded by short public-domain educational films, newsreels, or serial dramas. To stay sane, the man and his robots provide a running commentary on each film, making fun of its flaws, and wisecracking their way through each reel in the style of a movie-theater peanut gallery. Each film is presented with a superimposition of the man and robots’ silhouettes along the bottom of the screen. The film is interspersed with skits tied into the theme of the film being watched or the episode as a whole.
The show currently lives on the Internet’s “RiffTrax,” a site with audio tracks for feature films, designed to be listened to while watching the movies. The stars of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” — Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett – provide running comedic commentaries for both present day and vintage films. Now after a 15 year hiatus from television, the cast and crew are coming back (in three-episodes) to cable via National Geographic.
The show will not sport its old MST3K moniker, but will actually air under the “RiffTrax” title. Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett will reprise their roles as robots Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot respectively. Their riffing will be front and center as part of the show’s programming. Hopefully the miniseries will stick to the silhouettes on the screen and the comedy skits that were an integral part of the original show’s charm.
“RiffTrax” will air on National Geographic on April 1st (April Fool’s Day.)