Episode 201: Rocketship X-M
First aired: The Comedy Channel on 22 September 1990
And so Season Two begins. This episode isn't available commercially, and never has been. It's a good one, though.
|Cambot gets a new look and Joel gets a new jumpsuit
Cambot looks different. This is the third version of Cambot during the life of the show.
In the KTMA season, he was separate from the camera. In Season One, he was integrated into the camera, and looked a lot like the KTMA Gypsy. Now, in Season Two, he looks more like a camera.
This episode is also where, during the opening credits, Cambot's image is shown in the mirror. It'll be a mirror image from here on out, though he does make a couple of more changes in appearance along the way.
The bridge of the Satellite of Love has a new look. They have Joel putting the finishing touches on Tom Servo's new voice. As he tweaks it, the are references to Dick Tufeld's Robot B-9 from Lost In Space, Douglas Rain's HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Jackie Vernon's Frosty the Snowman, finishing with a voice that has a hint of the Mighty Voice that Josh used. But, it was a different voice.
|Frank replaces the "missing" Dr. Erhardt.
Late in the episode, Michael J. Nelson makes his first on-screen appearance (his voice had been heard in Episode 104 - Women of the Prehistoric Planet). Of course, he'll be wearing a dress.
The movie itself is bad. Bad science, bad plot, bad special effects, bad writing, and even some bad acting. But good riffing. Very good riffing.
Despite how bad the movie is, I counted up the number of times I've seen the actual film, the non-MST3K version. The number I came up with was 27. Seriously, 27 times. That's not because it's a good movie. It's not. But, it's one of those silly Men In Space movies from the 1950s. I loved those when I was a kid. If I saw it when I was a kid, I can watch a bad sci-fi movie again and again. Note: "when I was a kid."
|"Oh look, it looks like an Al Jaffee Mad Magazine fold in."
In years past, I saw mostly Mike-hosted shows when the show was on the air, though I did also see some Joel-hosted shows. When I began obtaining episodes of MST3K, I got what was commercially available. It was later that I stumbled onto the whole MSTiverse of swapping episodes that aren't commercially available.
As much as I loved this movie as a kid -- hey, I was young and stupid -- I love this episode of MST3K that trashes the movie. This seems to be the perfect MST3K movie. And some of the riffs had me laughing out loud.
|"Valaria" isn't quite as hot as she seemed in Robot Holocaust, for some reason
Oh, one final though about this episode. It shows the advantage to watching episodes in order. When I first saw this episode, and I saw Mike's Valaria, I had no idea who the character was supposed to be. Now, having seen Episode 110: Robot Holocaust, I get it.
This is Mike's first on-camera appearance. He'll make a lot more before he takes over the host role from Joel in Season Five.
A couple of other things begin with this episode. Joel finally gets a last name.
|Joel's character finally gets a last name.
Two other things begin here. The term "Shadowrama" makes its debut. Also, the phrase "Keep Circulating The Tapes" appears in the closing credits.
|"Keep Circulating The Tapes"