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Sampo & Erhardt

Sci-Fi Archives


Visit our archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.

Goodbye Sci-Fi

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

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Episode guide: 318- Star Force — Fugitive Alien II

Movie: (1978 original TV show episodes; 1987 compilation movie) The further adventures of the crew of Earth spaceship Bacchus 3: They try to destroy a super-weapon and Ken finally confronts his former leader.

First shown: 11/16/91
Opening: Tom and Crow discuss the nature of puppets
Invention exchange: Tom and Crow compete in a “name-that-puppet” quiz show, with Joel as quizmaster. In Deep 13, the Mads have invented big noses, while Joel shows off his big head
Host segment 1: Tom Servo is dead! Joel and Crow rush to save him
Host segment 2: J&tB present the Captain Joe action figure
Host segment 3: J&tB sing: “The Fugitive Alien medley
End: Crow and Tom are hoping to influence the Mads’ movie choices; Joel asks the bots how they would designing the ultimate evil person; Joel reads letters; Frank defends Tom T. Hall
Stinger: “Captain, I’ve got it fixed! It’s all working again!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (129 votes, average: 4.44 out of 5)

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• I know if they hadn’t done this, fans would be complaining about that “to be continued” at the end of the first one, but did we really need more of this? The first “Fugitive Alien” ep is one of the most beloved episodes of the show, no question. This one, well, it’s more of the same, and it starts to wear a little thin (for me, at least) in the last hour or so. Even Servo sings “We realize you’ve had your fill…” Still, the host segments are great, so overall I’m going to go with a “fair” rating.
• This one was included in Shout!Factory’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Vol XXIV.”
• This is the last of the Sandy Frank KTMA re-dos (though no fan copy of the KTMA riff is known to exist), and the end of this season’s see-saw, back-and-forth pattern — one Japanese outing, one American film, etc. From here the season goes is strange new directions.
• There’s some sort of toy in Crow’s net during the invention exchange segment. Anybody recognize it?
• During the quiz show bit (which is kind of reminiscent of those long season-two segments with the artists renderings) Joel — reading off a card I think — says he wants the bots to guess the “genius” of each puppet. He should have said “genus.” Tom Servo quietly corrects him and they keep going.
I love Joel in full quizmaster mode: “Kukla… Kukla…”
• For a long time, I wondered what that was in Joel’s hand when he’s wearing the Big Head. Then it hit me–it’s his lavaliere mic, which the Big Head would probably have interfered with.
• Trace seems to have more fun with the big noses than Frank. He just loves making waggle ever so slightly.
• Joel wears the big head into the theater, then hurls it aside.
• As soon as the movie starts, all the old riffs come rushing back: “Rocky!” “Again!” “Rita!” “Meter Maid!” And forklifts galore. I don’t think I should call these “call backs.” More like retreads.
• Joel forgets Tom when entering the theater after segment 1. Tom reminds him and he goes back to get him.
• Callbacks: “A girl!?” (Viking Women) “Hikeeba” (Women of the Prehistoric Planet)
• After Joel sings his song in segment 3, Tom quietly comments: “What a lunatic, huh?”
• There’s more Sandy Frank bashing in this one, especially the final verse to the song in segment 3.
• Tom does a lot of singing in this one.
• Then-current reference: “Farfegnugen.”
• Complicated and now-quite-dated riff: “I’m George Bernard Shaw in Baghdad–I’m under a table and I’m writing ‘Candide’.” If this baffles anybody, I’m sure somebody in the comments will explain it.
• This show marks the first reference to Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, as far as I know. Can anybody think of an earlier one?
• To any adult, that first letter Joel reads is worrisome. I wonder what happened to that kid. It’s also a pretty pristine example of the unintended downside of Joel’s “sleepy” character, which a lot of kids mistook as some sort of endorsement by the show, and by Joel in particular, of being a stoned slacker. You can tell the kid was expecting that his comments would be met with approval, not a concerned suggestion that he get into breakfast.
• There’s no further cast and crew roundup other than what was done in the previous “Fugitive Alien” episode.
• CreditsWatch: Clayton James is back at hair and makeup. Additional Music: Lyrics: Kevin Murphy
• Fave riff: “‘Course it pierced his colon…” Honorable mention: “He’s getting a tattoo with a Busy-Buzz-Buzz.”

83 Replies to “Episode guide: 318- Star Force — Fugitive Alien II”

  1. Revlillo says:

    To answer Tom Servo’s question in the credits… It’s pronounced “Ay – men” when spoken and “Ah – men” when sung. At least those are the liturgical rules in the Lutheran church. Sometimes, though, I go all Baptisty and sing “Ay – men.” That’s just the kind of rebel I am.

       2 likes

  2. Spector says:

    I found the first ‘Fugitive Alien’ to be “good, but not great”, although I acknowledge a number of MSTies love that episode. This one I find less enjoyable, probably because the novelty of aliens in blond wigs and the cheesy SFX had worn off, and the host segments in this one were kinda hit or miss. And of course, there was a lack of a memorable “hook” or catchphrase, which the first ‘Fugitive Alien’ did have (“He tried to kill me with a forklift”. “Ah-hahahahaha, you’re stuck here!”) and gave that episode a more redeeming quality. I rated the first one 3.5 stars out of five. I’ll give this one 3 stars.

       1 likes

  3. dale says:

    tenperature

       1 likes

  4. Cornjob says:

    I love both Fugitive Aliens. I regard them as one long movie and a double length MST episode together. I watched this one with my friends before seeing the first one, so the whole forklift thing seemed like a big rediculous non-sequiter that was still hilarious.

    A few years ago I was playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and I spotted a forklift in a hanger I was driving by. I got out of my car, hopped on the forklift and immediately attempted to run over the nearest person. I didn’t succeed, but that’s beside the point. The important thing is that I TRIED to kill him with a forklift. And that made all the difference.

       10 likes

  5. Nick-0 says:

    For those who wanna know:
    The first letter in the episode is from Eddie Hogan of New Jersey, he wrote:

    “Hello, my name is Eddie and I would like to join your information club. As you can tell I do not have very good writing and I am almost 13. I hate school, homework, teachers and cheesy movies. I am a big fan and I think you’re all funny, even Gypsy. I watch your show on Saturdays, I would watch them from Monday to Friday but they are on at 10 am and I am at school falling asleep.”

    Interestingly enough, Joel asks Cambot to put it on Still Store, but it never happens.

    The bit starts off with Joel suggests that they read something uplifting and the letter gets them down and they move onto the next letter, before they do Joel suggests that Eddie should “Get into Breakfast”… Anyone remember where that comes from? I think it was some kind of breakfast cereal slogan.

       3 likes

  6. Cornjob says:

    What is that song that goes, “There’s a world going on underground…”? This has always bugged me. Well not always, but you know what I mean.

       0 likes

  7. Lex says:

    What was that robot at the end when Ken (not that one, the other Ken) was flying away. Where did he come from? What did he do, vacuum?

       0 likes

  8. pondoscp says:

    I absolutely love the letter at the end of this episode. Yeah, I was falling asleep in class a lot too! Cracks me up…

       1 likes

  9. bad wolf says:

    @Cornjob #56–I remember it’s an old Tom Waits song, must be from his first couple of albums… Swordfishtrombones?… but it’s been a long time.

       0 likes

  10. Evan K. says:

    “Underground,” the opening track from SWORDFISHTROMBONES by Tom Waits.

       1 likes

  11. ChaoticYak says:

    I have to chime in and say that, yes, we did need more of this. I LOVE the FA episodes, both of them. …and this one surpasses the first one for me because of the host segments. Tom dying and, above all, the amazing Fugitive Alien medley.

    “I love Ken he is my sweet friend and I love him.
    I’m so blue ’cause I don’t think Ken loves me.
    I’m all messed up inside I might have to off him.
    I’ll frame Rocky and get away Scot free.”

    I’ll have to watch the episode tomorrow, in fact. It’s one of my favorite Joel episodes.

       2 likes

  12. goalieboy82 says:

    “Joel forgets Tom when entering the theater after segment 1. Tom reminds him and he goes back to get him.”
    its host segment 2 by the way.

       0 likes

  13. Bruce Boxliker says:

    Sorry, I’m not in, but if you’d like to leave a message with my shoulder…

    So here’s a question for everyone. We know Ken (Ken, not Ken), Captain “You’re Stuck Here” Joe, Rocky (…again?), Tammy (I hear she loves Ken) and Dan (because he’s the one that gets captured & tortured with a light-up electric shaver), but who’s the other guy? Did they ever mention his name even once? I’m not even sure he had any lines….

    I agree with Joel, the Bachus III and the miniature effects really do look good. Now that I think of it, what happened to Bachus I & II? Did Captain Joe go out for spin after hitting the flask too hard?

    And please, do your utmost to refrain from attempting to kill me with a forklift.

       3 likes

  14. Dan in WI says:

    Bruce Boxliker:
    So here’s a question for everyone. We know Ken (Ken, not Ken), Captain “You’re Stuck Here” Joe, Rocky (…again?), Tammy (I hear she loves Ken) and Dan (because he’s the one that gets captured & tortured with a light-up electric shaver), but who’s the other guy? Did they ever mention his name even once? I’m not even sure he had any lines….

    I’m not sure they ever do. But that has to be a function of editing. If one watched the actual TV series I believe we’d have to know their names.

       0 likes

  15. A.J. (A Jerk) says:

    That sketch where they do a medley of all the songs is just the worst. I’m not a big fan of when they sing in general. There’s a handful of original songs on the show that are pretty good, but most of them are just annoying and they really push it in this episode (which is partly the movies fault since it’s the same music playing over and over again in it).

    Regardless, I think this one is actually funnier than the first installment, which was kind of a snooze. Heck, a lot of these early episodes don’t really hold up too well for me once I get the big jokes (there are some exceptions though).

       0 likes

  16. Sitting Duck says:

    Star Force: Fugitive Alien II fails the Bechdel Test. At no point do two females converse. Plus Tammy is the only female character until the last fifteen minutes.

    The big noses really make Dr. F. and Frank look like characters from a French comic book.

    As it gets noted by Joel and the Bots, Dan and Billy are to Fugitive Alien what Paz and Borma are to Ghost in the Shell

    @ #41: Well there’s nothing to do but hang your head in shame (though I’ll admit the, “Again?” did get pretty annoying).

       1 likes

  17. Prime Minister Jm J. Bullock (pondoscp) says:

    Four years later, and I still love that letter at the end! Maybe you should try to get into breakfast…

       1 likes

  18. Thomas K. Dye says:

    Bruce Boxliker: So here’s a question for everyone. We know Ken (Ken, not Ken), Captain “You’re Stuck Here” Joe, Rocky (…again?), Tammy (I hear she loves Ken) and Dan (because he’s the one that gets captured & tortured with a light-up electric shaver), but who’s the other guy? Did they ever mention his name even once? I’m not even sure he had any lines….

    Billy. He’s mentioned in “Fugitive Alien” (part one) as part of the “crew check” slide show.

       0 likes

  19. Bruce Boxliker says:

    Ah, OK. So, Billy ‘The Superfluous’.

       1 likes

  20. Prime Minister Jm J. Bullock (pondoscp) says:

    Thomas K. Dye: Billy. He’s mentioned in “Fugitive Alien” (part one) as part of the “crew check” slide show.

    Billy, don’t be a hero!

       1 likes

  21. Memorable riffs from movie:
    Joel: “Star Force 2! Two times the action, two times the confusion!”

    Servo: “…. Which Ken hawked for a pack of cigarettes.”

    Crow: “Ken’s a loner? How much longer before you’re Ken is fixed?”

    Servo: “Um, he was just showing him where his larynx is.”

    Character in movie: “Rocky, hold your fire!”
    Crow (as Rocky J. Squirrel): “Again?”

    Servo: “They’re having the film steam-cleaned.”

    Character in movie: “You rule in?”
    Crow: “Yep! We’re number 1!”

    Crow: “Oh! And, he picks up the spare!”

    Rocky: “Don’t worry, it was just a knock-out dart!”
    Crow: “Of course, it pierced his colon!”

    Servo: “Uh, you got a little toilet paper on your shoe.”

    Crow: “It’s Super Tom Servo!”

    Servo: “Oh look, he’s doing Joe Cocker!”

    Joel: “Hey, it’s a three-legged race!”

    Servo: “This is why we don’t let teenagers into our hotels anymore.”

    Joel: “By the way, you’re sitting on the urinal.”

    “He’ll always be a Star Wolf.”
    Crow: “Never a star.”

    Crow: “Hey, neat! Where’d you get the girl on a stick?”

    Fav. riff:
    Crow: “Well, good thing we’re not branches.”

    Comments:
    – Oh how ironic. Servo and Crow discussing what makes a puppet a puppet. Also, Crow’s hands have some chipped paint on them.

    – One of the characters name is “Dark Helmet”, another is “Star Wolf”. Umm….

    – Anyone besides me think Rocky’s suit looks like a Power Ranger outfit?

    – I wonder how they got Servo’s head to crack apart in the theater.

    – Okay when Ken gets excited for shooting an enemy with that laser cannon, I expected J&TB to say, “Great, kid! Don’t get cocky!” But, they never do.

    – Joel forgets Servo when they return to the theater after Segment 2. Was that deliberate?

    – Another reference to “high-definition TV” years before it’d become a household phrase.

    – Is Servo imitating someone in Segment 3? Also, in this segment, Gypsy’s mouth doesn’t seem to be attached right, and doesn’t close right.

    – Fans often comment that during the Sci-Fi Channel era they were too hard on the films, or being to critical, even if the film wasn’t that bad. However, during the closing segment of this episode Servo comments about having the Mads send up films that aren’t as bad as Fugitive Alien II, which seems harsh to me, I thought this film was ok. Campy, but ok.

    Best Segment: The “Tom Servo is Dead” segment features some great acting from Joel, and great dramatic camera angles! Great work to all!
    Worst Segment: A lame Invention Exchange.

    Overall: 4 stars! This is a top-notch episode! ****

       1 likes

  22. Professor Gunther says:

    It’s funny how these things work, because I love the elaborate medley, and I love, love, LOVE the songs in general. And I can’t help but feel nostalgic for the freedom the writers were granted during the first phase of their existence on cable. As the creators and cast have said at various times, they were pretty much left alone to do what they wanted. Clearly they had a little extra time for this one, so they went that extra mile, and I can’t get enough of it.

    I’m with Bill — the songs were one of the great things about the show! (And he should know; after all, he wrote the Dylanesque “Sodium.” I’ve been trying to figure out the meaning of that song ever since I first heard it! :) )

       2 likes

  23. thequietman says:

    I sort of wish this had been the second to last Sandy Frank film, since otherwise the celebratory nature of “Gamera vs. Zigra” seems a bit premature. This one isn’t easy to get through, although the monotony is broken up by Servo’s little breakdown (I love Crow’s freakout in the theater: “IT’S ALL OVER THE SEAT!!!”) and the tension that starts to build with Crow’s constant “A-gain?” riffs. Admittedly there isn’t much of a payoff to the latter.

    Joel seemed unusually active this time around, despite the invention exchange being surprisingly lazy.

       0 likes

  24. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    I dunno, I like this episode better than the first movie. They seem to be much more into it and aren’t quite as confused as to just what the HECK is going on, which opens them up for more pointed riffs.

    Also, plenty of funny songs, and that’s always a good thing.

    “I love Ken he is my sweet friend and I love him…”

       3 likes

  25. Thom "he tried to kill me with a forklift" Sirveaux says:

    To me, the difference between a puppet and a costume comes down to how much of the performer’s body is covered. Specifically:

    Big Bird – costume
    Lamb Chop – puppet
    HR Puffinstuff – costume
    Yoda – clearly a puppet
    Rowlf the Dog – puppet
    Meow Meow Kitty – puppet
    Kukla – puppet
    Spitting Image – puppet
    D.C. Follies – puppet
    Senor Wences – still a cry for help

       2 likes

  26. JoelieGirl says:

    Zee:
    Captain Joe, I’m not going to sit here and watch you Cowabungle your life!

    I loved that skit.

    I also like the semi-obscure Pink Floyd riff during a Bacchus 5 scene, “Set the controls for the heart of the sun…”

       2 likes

  27. Cornjob says:

    Re#76

    Almost any dog can play dead. Only a few can play Floyd.

       1 likes

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

    #75:

    Maybe someone should do a puppet movie the same way “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” was a cartoon movie. Although even that wasn’t as encompassing as it could’ve been.

       0 likes

  29. Sitting Duck says:

    Due to various issues for which I won’t bore you with the details, I failed to include the following with my post last Thursday.

    Favorite riffs

    Please remain seated until the building has come to a complete stop.

    “Only one memory of Rita remained. Her golden Valma medallion.”
    Which Ken hocked for a pack of cigarettes.

    “I’ve got it fixed. It’s all working again.”
    Great. Just in time to see us die.

    Magic booze bottle, take me away!

    My uncle’s got a planet. Let’s crash there.

    It’s going to be the first time he’s passed out cold and he’s going to wake up sober.

    “I’ll try to divert the guards.”
    And watch out for the percussionist. They might have tambourines.

    Me, I’m Carl the Narrator. I used to work with Ken. I use these voiceovers to finance what I really want to do.

    All boring on the Western Front.

    “We’ve got to do this slowly and carefully.”
    So you can thoroughly bore the viewers.

    “Where’s Ken and Dan?”
    That’s a good question. Let’s talk about it on the way home.

    “Everything I learned from you was wrong.”
    Like three card Monte.

       2 likes

  30. trickymutha says:

    #310 and #318 are legendary here. From my early first viewings with camp Star Wars rip off to more recent viewings with new GF where we sing “I love Ken and he loves me” in round. God I love these episodes. And you know, sometimes I don’t know why, so I just relax.

       3 likes

  31. Gare.Chicago says:

    Thom “he tried to kill me with a forklift” Sirveaux:
    To me, the difference between a puppet and a costume comes down to how much of the performer’s body is covered. Specifically:

    Big Bird – costume
    Lamb Chop – puppet
    HR Puffinstuff – costume
    Yoda – clearly a puppet
    Rowlf the Dog – puppet
    Meow Meow Kitty – puppet
    Kukla – puppet
    Spitting Image – puppet
    D.C. Follies – puppet
    Senor Wences – still a cry for help

    And lest we forget, Hermia, in “A Midsummer Nights’ Dream” — Puppet.

    Gare

       0 likes

  32. Tad Eustace Ghostal says:

    The sketches in this episode are fantastic, but the movie segments are my least favorite of the season (maybe rivaled only by “The Unearthly”, although I haven’t viewed that episode in some time). I just find the riffing painfully unfunny. Like Season 1 State Park Riff unfunny.

    Sandy Frank episodes just aren’t my jam. Maybe that’s why. I definitely felt the pain with this one.

       0 likes

  33. mnenoch says:

    Well we’re at the end of Sandy Frank movies and the end of Japanese movies until episode 816. I wish they would have watched more Japanese movies as they are so wacky they really make great riffing material. Also you could say they were very fundamental to getting MST3K since so many episodes in KTMA and Season 3 involved Japanese movies.

    As for this episode I really like the host segments. The riffing is fun and playful but the movie is hacked a part so bad especially the last 30 minutes it makes it really difficult to watch. Overall all a good episode to me.

       0 likes

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