Friday, July 6, 2012

MST3K: Season Six Wrapup

Season Six saw TV's Frank escorted into Second Banana Heaven by Torgo the White.
I'm watching all of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes in order. More about that here and here.

Season Six is down, and there are four seasons to go before I finish my quest. However, I'm over 60% complete.

Let me explain. I'll use math.

MST3K ran 10 seasons. Or 11 seasons, if you count the season it was a local show on KTMA TV-23 in Minneapolis.

So, we've actually covered seven seasons. But, we're over 63.6% (7/11ths) complete.

One of the worst movies ever made: The Creeping Terror
Counting all the episodes produced, plus the pilot, plus the movie, plus the alternate version of an episode, there were 200 episodes all together. That means we've covered between 70.5% and 72% of the episodes. There are three episodes that aren't available, potentially reducing the number of episodes to 197. So, depending on if you count the pool of available episodes as 197 or 200, and if you count the number we've covered as 141 or 144, we get that we've covered either 70.5% or 72% of the episodes.

And, yes, only an MST3K fan would care. But I am, so I do. So there.

Alrighty then, now that we've carefully done the math and reached an undetermined conclusion, let's wrap up Season Six.

The Sinister Urge, a film by Edward D. Wood, Jr.
The show was, well, sort of coasting. Not that coasting was necessarily bad. It's like they perfected the show in Season Four, and since then, hadn't messed with the formula. It was pretty much a matter of don't mess with what works.

Well, when Season Six ended, they messed with it big time. Frank left.

Sure, they had cast departures before. J. Elvis (nee Josh) Weinstein left after Season One, then Joel Hodgson left in the middle of Season Five. So, Frank leaving shouldn't have been that big a deal, right? Well, it kind of was. We'll go over how that dynamic changed during Season Seven.

Other than Frank Conniff leaving the cast, there was a something ... special ... about Season Six. We met Coleman Francis. Well, not really. He died in 1973. But, we got to see the three films he wrote and directed. We were treated to his films in Episode 609: The Skydivers along with Episode 619: Red Zone Cuba as well as Episode 621: The Beast of Yucca Flats. While he acted in others, these three were the fulfillment of the Coleman Francis legacy of bad cinema.
The SkydiversRed Zone CubaThe Beast of Yucca Flats
Season Six saw all three Coleman Francis movies get the MST3K treatment.
Of course, there was an Ed Wood film in Episode 613: The Sinister Urge, which he wrote and directed. There was also Episode 610: The Violent Years, which featured a film he wrote.

Mamie Van Doren and Ann-Margret were featured in a film each, and we had a couple of sword-and-sandal features.

Yes, the crew may have been coasting, but Apollo 11 coasted most of the way to the moon, and that was an amazing journey.

Season Six was no Apollo 11, but it was fun. Mike was right at home as the subject of the experiments, Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank were always fun, and the Bots were ... well, the Bots.

All in all, things seemed to be going great as Season Six wrapped up. But, it wasn't.

Comedy Central wasn't sure they wanted to keep the show around. The crew seemed to be focused on making the movie, which was what led to Joel's departure in Season Five. Big changes were in store, and the show would soon end its Comedy Central run.

But, that's to come. For now, in my quest to watch all the MST3K episodes in order, I'm having a pretty good time.

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