Friday, February 17, 2012

MST3K: Episode 305 - Stranded in Space

I'm watching all the episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 in order. More about this here. It began here.

Episode 305: Stranded in Space

First aired: Comedy Central on 29 June 1991

A forgettable episode
This is one I missed. The MST3K version.

I don't recall seeing this episode during the Comedy Central years, and, since it hasn't been released on DVD or streaming from Amazon or iTunes, I didn't get the opportunity to view it until I obtained it from a "Keep Circulating The Tapes" site.

My copy is a little fuzzy. Not a lot of tape artifacts; in fact it's pretty clear in that respect. However, the color is just a little bit washed out, and it's ... like I said ... a little fuzzy.

I didn't get this one from, but from another source. I may try to obtain a version from them. Their quality is usually very good. The copy I have is quite watchable. I just have to get in 1990s TV mode.

Too many moons
Joel explains the premise for the first time since midway through Season One. Not sure why, since the opening song explains the show's premise. He even referenced that the opening song tells that. Maybe he just needed something to say.

When I first read the plot of this film -- a twin Earth is discovered orbiting 180° from our Earth -- I wondered if this was Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (AKA Doppelgänger), which I saw on TV years ago. Alas, no. Some similarities, but it's not the same movie. Rather, it's another movie I had seen before.

There were two twin-Earth movies that I saw on TV back in the 1970s. I had forgotten there were separate films. One involved a mirror Earth (everything was reversed) and the other had a twin Earth, but with three moons. This is the three moons movie. Both were bad, though.

Some old-time stars were in this film. Lew Ayers, who debuted in Greta Garbo's last silent film, played Paul Bäumer, the last soldier killed in All Quiet on the Western Front, and starred as Dr. Kildare in that film series, is in this stinker.
Old Young Dr. Kildare"People seemed to laugh a lot more in those days."
George Coulouris, who played Charles Foster Kane's banker guardian in Citizen Kane, appears also, and uttered the line, "People seemed to laugh a lot more in those days."

What's cooking?
The movie's plot? Three astronauts crash to Earth. Only, it's not Earth, but Terra, another planet that looks like Earth, but run by a 1984-inspired government. The people on Terra know he's from another planet and are pumping him for information. He doesn't know it's not Earth, but knows something's wrong. He finds out he's not on Earth, and tries to escape. He fails. The End.

I remember seeing the movie on TV nearly 40 years ago, and not liking it. I was a smart teen, wasn't I?

An okay episode. Not quite as forgettable as the movie, but not as memorable as the movie, either. On the plus side, it's so forgettable that next time I watch it, it'll be like watching an episode for the first time! Yay!

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