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Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

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Episode guide: 310- Fugitive Alien

Movie: (1978 original TV show episodes; 1986 compilation movie) Alien marauder Ken becomes a fugitive from his home planet, then joins the Earth spaceship Bacchus 3 to fight against his former masters. Meanwhile, his girlfriend Rita is sent on a deadly mission.

First shown: 8/17/91
Opening: Old Joel Robinson had a farm?
Invention exchange: The mads demonstrate their eye, ear, nose & throat dropper; Joel has invented a musical chair and there’s a special guest in Deep 13: Jack Perkins!
Host segment 1: J&tB stage a hat party
Host segment 2: Joel forces Crow and Tom to reenact a scene from the movie
Host segment 3: Crow and Tom are confused by the movie, so Joel helps out using Syd Field’s “Screenplay.”
End: Joel explains his buttons and reads a letter, in Deep 13, they’re still torturing Jack Perkins.
Stinger: “AHAHAHAHA….you’re STUCK HERE!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (140 votes, average: 4.65 out of 5)

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• Wow, this was really a watershed episode. There’s so much going on here. The sketches are all great, the movie is mind-boggling and the riffing is everything you want from an MST3K episode. An instant and enduring classic. Plus, it’s full of phrases that immediately became part of the MSTie lexicon, from “You’re stuck here!” to the merry tune, “He tried to kill me with a forkliiiiift….” One of the best.
• This episode was on Shout’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XXIV.”
• Love the opener. These folks have been around farmers and they know farmer talk. Tom’s “help ussss!” is priceless.
• Mike is also hilarious as Jack Perkins. Jack would return, and not just in Deep 13. The character of “the host” who introduced the “MST3K Hour” shows was loosely based on Jack, though he was never explicitly called Jack Perkins. By the way, the real Mr. Perkins reportedly found Mike’s impersonation as hilarious as everybody else did.
• Hopelessly dated line: “He’s in more trouble than ‘Hudson Hawk’ at the box office!” It seemed like a big deal at the time.
• Call forward: Tom mentions “Marooned.”
• The “Marooned” mention comes as part of a succession of bits Tom and Crow do in the theater when they pretend they are scif-fi geeks. Geek culture is now robustly defended by the members of its community. Did (does?) anyone who considers themselves part of that community have a problem with these bits?
• Vaguely dirty lines: Joel: “I wanna die in the thong section of Victoria’s Secret!” Also: “Speaking of punishing mercilessly….rooowrrr!”
• Literary riff: Tom: “Biff!” Crow: “Happy!” SOMEbody’s read/seen “Death of a Salesman.”
• Does this episode hold the record for the most callbacks? Among them: “Third planet from the sun shall be called…Earth” (Women of the Prehistoric Planet); a reference to the “geometric nucleus” (Cave Dwellers); “It was after the…Robot Holocaust;” “I was in Time of the Apes!” “…and a good friend” (Rocketship XM); “Trumpy, you’re stinky!” (Pod People) “Hikeeba!” (Women of the Prehistoric Planet.) “Hey, like the Wild Rebels!” “This must be the [fill in the blank]…I’ve heard them talk about…so much…lately?” (Gamera); “Rock climbing, Joel.” (Lost Continent). Did I miss any?
• Crow has a right to be concerned in segment two. Didn’t Gypsy have a six-foot foam scorpion stinger hanging off her butt during episode 113- THE BLACK SCORPION? There’s a precedent!
• I noticed something this time about the “forklift” song. The first time they sing “This is the chase, Rocky and Ken,” they do so before the movie reveals that it was Rocky driving the forklift (though Ken immediately suspects him and says so).
• When Joel punches the bots in segment 2, note how VERY GENTLY he punches them. He knows how fragile they are.
• Joel is great in the closing bit. “That’s portion control. Next question.”
• This week’s cast and crew roundup is a short one: screenwriter Keiichi Abe also was one of the writers for “Time of the Apes.” That’s it.
• CreditsWatch: Trace and Frank are still guest “villians” (misspelled) and Dr. F’s last name is still spelled “Forrestor.” Special Make-up: Crist Ballas and Glen Griffin. I’m guessing that’s Mike’s Jack Perkins getup. This was Faye Burkholder’s last episode doing regular hair and makeup.
• Fave riff: “Uh, you’re crying on my bombs.” Honorable mention: “Oh, those are bugs. They wash right off.”

121 Replies to “Episode guide: 310- Fugitive Alien”

  1. senorpogo says:

    I really want Joe’s Joe hat.

       0 likes

  2. Sitting Duck says:

    The concept of shoulder nukes lives on in the SF web comic Schlock Mercenary. The officers have epaulettes that are actually anti-matter grenades.

       0 likes

  3. Bruce Boxliker says:

    Great episode! I loved Joel explaining his buttons, even if he seems to forget his lines here & there.

    I read the books a couple years ago, and I enjoyed them. Except for the fugitive Star Wolf & the captain, it was kind of difficult to figure out who was who, since everyone has a different name in the TV series/movies (then a different name for the English language versions).

    For those interested, you can import the original series from Japan on DVD, in two box sets, for about $92 each. There’s also soundtrack and music collection CDs available. Do keep in mind that Japanese DVDs require a region 2 player (USA is region 1).

       1 likes

  4. Bruce Boxliker says:

    Also, I just hope those nuclear buttons are sewn on well. If one were to fall off, everyone dies! Especially in a spaceship!

       0 likes

  5. ahaerhar says:

    @103
    wow, for Japanese DVDs that’s pretty cheap!

    Yeah, the OST was reprinted in a budget line for like Y1500 or so, I got it on sale beyond that for five bucks.

    Pretty sure Animetal did a cover of it on their Tsuburaya SFX show album, too.

       1 likes

  6. thequietman says:

    I had been wanting to see this one since I saw the “Poopie” reel where they had a flubbed take of the opening skit. I’m still wondering what the heck “monkeytail” is in relation to poultry farming. But Mike steals the show here as Jack Perkins.

    As for the movie, well, it gave us an earworm, I’ll give it that…

       0 likes

  7. Thom Siveaux says:

    I am a costume wearing, convention attending Star Wars geek. I was not offended by J&TB acting like geeks. Quite the opposite – they were speaking my language.

       1 likes

  8. Juice says:

    Did “Cabin Air Presser” get mentioned yet?

       1 likes

  9. Thomas K. Dye says:

    On re-watching this movie, several things jumped out at me:

    1) Ken: “I guess I passed your examination, haven’t I?” Yes, you left the ship against my orders, got involved in a brawl and ended up thrown in jail, causing more trouble for us. I’d say you did swimmingly.

    2) The music in back of Rita’s sad death is ridiculously inappropriate.

       1 likes

  10. Thomas K. Dye says:

    Also, I love how Joel repeats the “Cigar, Ken?” line twice. He should have done it a third time.

       0 likes

  11. Ray Dunakin says:

    goalieboy82: as for as i tell, they didn’t say anything in the host segments about Patrick Macnee, but in his honor

    I think it was in “Diabolik” , when it shows a convoy of luxury cars, they make a riff: “They’re all going to John Steed’s house for a kegger!”

       1 likes

  12. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    I love love love this episode, even if I had to watch the movie three times to figure out what the hell was going on.

    That said, I think I like “Star Force” just a wee bit more.

       0 likes

  13. Sitting Duck says:

    @ #88: Normally, this is something I would never do. But for you, I’m more than willing to pretend that I’ve never heard of any Doctor from before Christopher Eccleston.

       4 likes

  14. Bruce Boxliker says:

    Thomas K. Dye:
    On re-watching this movie, several things jumped out at me:

    1)Ken:“I guess I passed your examination, haven’t I?”Yes, you left the ship against my orders, got involved in a brawl and ended up thrown in jail, causing more trouble for us. I’d say you did swimmingly.

    This is something that I’ve always been curious about. I see 3 possibilities:
    1) Captain Joe secretly gave Ken this mission to go scout around & get captured (so secret the audience was left out).
    2) Ken just blundered along & Cap Joe took advantage of the situation.
    3) Cap’n Joe is a strategic & psychological genius, and KNEW Ken would go out on his own & get captured.

       2 likes

  15. Cornjob says:

    I always figured that Ken was supposed to disobey the official orders and end up in the jail where he could bust the blue alien out. The radio contact and shoulder bomb all looked like part of a plan to me. Especially since Joe’s over all plan for destroying the blue peoples super weapon seemed to depend on breaking out the blue guy on the Arabian planet.

       1 likes

  16. Lex says:

    I think of this episode when I heard the name Ken. No wait, I’m thinking Ken. Ken was the guy I was thinking of.

       1 likes

  17. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Is the “hat party” concept (if not this particular hat party) the source of the riff “and mine shall be the grandest of all”?

    “Hudson Hawk” defies datedness. It’s not quite as immortal a synonym for “bad movies” as “Battlefield Earth,” but it’s up/down there.

    #47: aging lush captain can floor him with one punch. Kinda like Shatner defeating Khan

    Is this a reference to “Space Seed” or “Wrath of Khan”? If the latter, well, you don’t really have to be in shape to win a battle of STARSHIPS.

    #59: Frank: I thought it had no texture.

    Hey, that’s what he said about the music played by The Plant That Reviews Music in “Amazing Colossal Man.” Is that a catchphrase that didn’t catch?

    #59: Joel: Now they’re big and in Mexico.

    Now it sounds like they’re talking about “War of the Colossal Beast.” ;-)

    #5: the inexplicable blond wigs on the vicious alien marauders

    It was probably supposed to indicate that they were caucasians (or aliens who are indistinguishable from caucasians, as so many aliens are). In Japan, I suppose it’s the caucasians who are the default villainous racist stereotype (which, what with Hiroshima and Nagasaki and all, makes a certain amount of sense). Besides, compared to the Chicken Men of Krankor, what’s inexplicable?

       1 likes

  18. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    #43: those two other guys that we don’t really know

    As noted on this site (line item #4), Guys We Don’t Know can be an integral part of Japanese popular culture.

    http://www.stomptokyo.com/movies/u/ultra-tiga-dyna-warriors.html

    #43: Fun fact: Ken “accidently” kills three people in this movie– his friend, the Karraran guard, and Rita.

    Well, it *was* the 1970s, the era of Death Wish, Dirty Harry, and so on.

    Fun fact: Luke Skywalker’s last name was originally going to be “Starkiller.” How seventies can you get?

       0 likes

  19. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    (where’d everybody go?)

    #5: “The Black Dragon that Floats in Space”

    “A…BLACK DRAGON ship! A…black dragon!”

    “What?!”

    — “Prince of Space”

    “Oh, for crying out loud! “A!” “Black!” “Dragon!” “Ship!””

       0 likes

  20. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    This may have been my first episode. I also remember seeing snatches of Time of the Apes, but this may be the first episode I saw from the beginning.

    I loved this one from the start. Ken and Ken, the green Japanese boy. The songs were very appealing to me at age 12, too.

       0 likes

  21. mnenoch says:

    This episode contains so many MST3K great moments. I had to say I heard a lot of them through waves I downloaded but it took a long time to actually see this episode. I didn’t really enjoy the episode the first time I watched but now that I’ve seen it about 5 times or so it really has grown on me. Mike is hilarious as Jack Perkins, He Tried To Kill Me With a Forklift, drunk captain Joe.

       0 likes

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