Sunday, December 4, 2011

MST3K: Episodes 0, K01, K02, & K03

I mentioned earlier that I would be attempting to watch all the episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The quest now begins.

I'm covering 4 episodes now. Sort of. Actually, there are three episodes in these four, and the one I've actually seen isn't an episode.

Let me explain.

L-R: Crow, Joel, & Beeper
Episode 0: The Green Slime

A demo episode (sort of a pilot, but not actually a full episode) was made in 1988. It's about 15 minutes long, and includes six "host segments" and five brief visits to the theater. Plus, the characters are a little different.
  • Joel has long hair.
  • Joel uses his real name, Joel Hodgson, instead of Joel Robinson.
  • Crow is familiar, but not exactly the same. The eyes don't move.
  • Tom Servo's earlier form, Beeper, is there. Beeper is silver and has a fish tank instead of the clear globe for the head. You can tell that it will evolve into Servo, though.
  • Gypsy is male, and a gold in color. He looks sort of like the familiar Gypsy's skeleton.
Joel & Crow watch the film
The concept of the show is a little different, too.
  • In the demo/pilot, Joel is not from Earth, and built the ship. The storyline of mad scientists shooting him into space for an experiment came later.
  • Riffing the movie doesn't happen. It's Joel, orbiting the earth, watching movies with robots.
The copy I have has an interesting story. In 2008, Joel and several other actors from the show appeared at a convention, and showed the demo/pilot to the crowd. Someone in the crowd filmed it. Someone took that and put it on DVD. A copy of that DVD made its way to me. So, I have a DVD copy of a DVD copy of a hand-held camera filming a showing of a 20-year-old tape shown to a crowd. So, no, not the best quality. Versions are available on YouTube, if you want to check it out.

L-R: Crow, Joel, & Gypsy
Very rough, very raw video, but interesting for fans of the show, who want to see how it all began.

Episode K01: Invaders from the Deep

First aired: KTMA on 24 November 1988
Availability: Not available; no copies exist

This was the first official episode. No copies are known to exist, although excerpts have been posted on the official MST3K Website.

The "movie" was actually 4 episodes of the old puppet show Stingray show cobbled together and released as a film.

Episode K02: Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars

First aired: KTMA on 24 November 1988
Availability: Not available; no copies exist

This was aired along with Episode K01 as part of a Thanksgiving debut double-feature. No copies of this episode are known to exist.

Another "movie" made up of segments from a TV puppet show, this time using Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons.

Episode K03: Star Force: Fugitive Alien II

First aired: KTMA on 27 November 1988
Availability: Not available; no copies exist

Another "movie" made up of TV show parts. This time, a Japanese show called Star Wolf. It had people, not puppets, as stars.

Next Up

We covered the demo/pilot and three "lost" episodes. No copies are known to exist of the first three KTMA episodes, so I haven't seen them, and probably never will. If you have copies of any of these, let me know.

I do have Episode K4: Gamera vs Barugon, and we'll cover that next time. By the way, Gamera vs Barugon was also shown during Season 3. The version we'll be covering next week is the KTMA version. It's available here.


  1. Eep! I'm very excited that you are taking this journey. If you need an episode, let me or Max know.

  2. I appreciate the offer.

    I have all 18 of the available KTMA/Season Zero episodes, so I have enough to get started. When I get close to one I don't have, I will take you up on it. Thanks.


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