Wednesday, September 5, 2012

MST3K: Episode 906 - The Space Children

I'm watching all of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes in order. More about that here and here.

Episode 906: The Space Children

First aired: Sci-Fi Channel on 13 June 1998
Availability: MST3KVideos.com fan copy

So, what's their angle?
This one didn't get a lot of airplay. It aired six times over four weekends in just over two years. There weren't a lot of opportunities to watch this one.

I didn't see any of them.

First time I watched this episode was when I obtained a fan copy. This one was ... well, I'm not gonna say it was a treat, but it was pretty good.

The Space Children was one of those space alien movies where the alien only trying to save the earth from itself.

Uncle Fester in his wife's robe.
And, it has Jackie Coogan in a dress. Okay, not a dress, but a girly-looking robe. Which is the next-best thing. Or next-worst thing.

Let me explain...

The guy that kidnapped Cary Grant in North by Northwest moves his family to California to live in a trailer park next to the rocket factory where he works for Mr. Drysdale, and lives next door to Uncle Fester and The Professor, only as idyllic this sounds, it's not because The Professor is an abusive step-father and Uncle Fester is, well, Uncle Fester, and the kids are always running off and being influenced by space aliens and such, and then the little scamps go and sabotage a 10-foot tall six-stage rocket carrying nukes, but it's all okay, because the big blob from outer space that made them do that is actually a peace-loving hippie blob from outer space who is just trying to save us all, and there's no need for a military or war or anything, and we'll all live happily ever after ... until the invasion. The end.

Mr. Drysdale, rocket scientist.
I never was a big fan of those space alien movies where the space alien was the good guy and the earthlings were the bad guys.

Sure, it's been done well, but not often. There's that Twilight Zone episode where Endora is the old woman in the shack and she's attacked by a bunch of wind-up toys that turn out to be U.S. Air Force astronauts. Then there's ... well, actually, that's about it.

Most of the others were part of the whole "they know better than us" kind of thing. Which, of course, if you take it to the extreme, you end up with Soviet Russia, Red China, or Barack Obama, none of which are compatible with America.

This episode contains the first short film since the Sci-Fi Channel move. It's a delightful little ditty from 1962 called "Century 21 Calling..." It's about telephones at the World's Fair. They actually got a lot of things right, from pagers (they called it "Bell Boy") to Call Forwarding and other stuff that you pretty much take for granted now. But, in 1962, it was Stuff From The Future.

Inspired, perhaps, by the little tiny multi-stage rocket from the movie, Mike builds a model rocket and Pearl starts her own space program, since she already has her own monkey and everything. It doesn't go well.

Oh, and inspired by the short, Pearl installs new phones. It doesn't go well.

This episode overall? It does go well.



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