While everyone is celebrating the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary, let’s not neglect another important part of our heritage. Something which some of us observe every November, but that takes on more significance on this very special silver anniversary. 25 years ago today, Mystery Science Theater 3000 was first broadcast on Minneapolis-St. Paul TV station, KTMA. Appropriately enough, November 24th 1988 was Thanksgiving…or “Turkey Day.” Turkey Day would, of course, become an integral piece of MST3K’s legacy.
While we tried to track down an embeddable video version of the MST3K premiere episode, which took on 1981 b-movie. Invaders From the Deep, it just wasn’t happening (but it’s out there, and you can find it…we just don’t endorse any illegal methods). But you know what’s actually cooler? This convention footage of Joel Hodgson’s original, never-aired pilot for MST3K, which he delivered as a “proof-of-concept” for the series! The movie clips they riff on are from 1968’s The Green Slime, which was co-written by Batman co-creator Bill Finger!
It’s pretty rough, but the elements are mostly here. There’s an invention exchange (of sorts), Crow, Gypsy, and…ummmm…Beeper (who is kind of disturbing), and the idea that Joel and his robot friends have to enter and exit the movie theater on the Satellite of Love while we go through all the crazy security doors (in this case, a more low budget version of what fans know from later seasons. It’s only about twelve minutes long, and the quailty isn’t the greatest, and there aren’t even all that many jokes, but you get the added bonus of Joel introducing the footage. Watch it here!