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Weekend Discussion Thread: Rediscovering a Forgotten Episode

Alert reader Andrew has an intriguing question:

Over the last few years, I’ve found that going back through episodes that I don’t remember that well is practically as exciting as seeing them for the first time. My goal is to only re-see official re-issued copies, because it’s wonderful to see them crisper than before, and also to pace myself a little better than I did last time thru.

So, my question is: what shows had you not seen in ages and nearly forgotten about that you had fun rediscovering?

Me, the last time I saw 305- STRANDED IN SPACE it was like seeing the episode for the first time. I’d almost completely forgotten the movie. Has that ever happened to you?

41 Replies to “Weekend Discussion Thread: Rediscovering a Forgotten Episode”

  1. DarkGrandmaofDeath says:

    San Francisco International. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed the riffing (“No way, my friend!”) and the segment where the Mads are working on a construction project. Even the Urkel stuff didn’t seem too annoying when I watched it again.


  2. ready4sumfootball says:

    Most recently, it was Squirm. I knew I’d seen it before, but didn’t remember it being that much fun. Completely forgot what an egg cream was.

    In ways, I purposefully try not to remember too many details about episodes I’ve seen. It makes rewatching them a lot more fun. It’s a lot easier for me to remember which episodes I had a blast watching than individual host segments or riffs.


  3. robot rump! says:

    “Diabolik’ for me. i remember getting home to catch the last half of the ep when it first came out. i didn’t realize it’s significance until the end. i finally got to see it all the way through some time later on ‘youtube.’ i still get a little MSTie eyed when i see the closing credits.


  4. robot rump! says:

    San Francisco International.I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed the riffing (“No way, my friend!”) and the segment where the Mads are working on a construction project.Even the Urkel stuff didn’t seem too annoying when I watched it again.

    great riffing all around on that one for sure, but for me “the answer my friend is blow it out your ass” is king of the list.


  5. radioman970 says:

    I’m up to early Season 2 right now. So many I could list throughout these early season which were so much greater this time going through them, I was amazed. But…only one, I’d say hands down, that unintelligable honey from Robot Holocaust. Lusting and laughing… what a great time. I forgot all about her.

    I also believe after going all the way through Season 10, watching a few CTs and RTs… I go back around to the beginning and all seems new again even after all these years of watching the show. That’s the beauty of it. And certainly, the official releases help too. Makes it seem all new again all over again.


  6. MSTie says:

    Nothing to do with the riffing, but when I saw the MST3K version of “The Mole People” I remembered how I’d seen it on Saturday afternoon TV when I was very little and it scared me to death. For ages I had a fear of stepping onto loose sand and being sucked down. Kinda stupid, but what can ya do?


  7. Son of Peanut says:

    That happened recently with Last of the Wild Horses. I think the general opinion on that episode was that the Mirror Universe element of the host segments completely overshadowed an otherwise forgettable film. However, when I watched it a few weeks ago and actually paid attention to the movie, I found myself cracking up at some of the riffs, particularly those regarding lovable old Remedy.


  8. Mibbitmaker says:

    “Attack of the the Eye Creatures”. I’d thought I remembered an MST3K that had a lot in it about day and night being mixed up in the same scene, many times over, but never seemed to find that one no matter how many times I went over the episode guide. I knew it was Joel era, but thought I’d seen all the episodes at least once by then. I finally tried that one, thinking I’d watched it already, and was happily surprised to rediscover that classic.

    Similarly, I remembered the moment that began Frank being referred to as “TV’s Frank” at the end of an episode, but hadn’t remembered which one. It didn’t help that there’d been no mention of that seminal moment in any MST3K histories I’d seen. Once I got the volume 10.2 of the DVDs and watched “The Giant Gila Monster”, there it was: a letter “signed, TV’s Frank”, Forrester repeating the name sarcastically and its first appearance in the credits (not used regularly until after a few more shows later). Still not sure if it was a real letter, or written by the Brains as if Frank sent them his own letter.


  9. EricJ says:

    8 – Not actually sure whether “TV’s Frank” began with Dr. Forrester’s ad-lib to Frank’s Stooge-a-holic confession in “Gamera vs. Zigra”, but the Brains keep retroactively describing it as if it was their idea all along. The world will never know.


  10. Steve Vil says:

    Since we didn’t have cable in our area yet during the 90’s (we’re VERY rural) I missed almost all of the original Comedy Central run of the show. It wasn’t until it hit the Sci-Fi channel that I was able to watch it faithfully. So, whenever a new boxed set comes out, there are often at least two episodes I’ve never seen.


  11. Goshzilla says:

    Andrew makes a good point about how a newly released DVD can make an episode seem fresh. Seeing the Shout DVD of Robot Holocaust after only having a several generations-removed VHS copy was a huge difference. The jokes are funnier when you can actually see the movie.


  12. David Mello says:

    For me, it was “Warriors of the Lost World”. It was one of those movies I never got a chance to tape. I saw it again after getting the Volume XVI DVD set.
    Also, thanks to Retro TV, I got a chance to see some shows I haven’t had a chance to see in years, including “Super Agents Super Dragon” and “The Rebel Set.”


  13. Flying Saucers Over Oz says:

    Not exactly ‘re-discovering’ but many of the early Sci-Fi Network shows I’d never seen before because my work schedule prevented me from catching them when they were originally on. So they’re mostly new to me when I see them in the DVD sets. I honestly had no idea they’d even riffed ‘I Was A Teenage Werewolf.’


  14. swh1939 says:

    Just a comment about why I think we could have this reaction to an episode: In between viewings we live our lives, gathering more information. So there could be a certain riff that you didn’t get the first time around that on the next viewing you finally get. I tend to not remember riffs if I didn’t “get” them so once I do, it’s like a new joke that wasn’t there before. It can really up my attitude if the episode hasn’t been ringing my bell.


  15. Gary says:

    Escape 2000. I saw it back in the day. However today at work I put it on (youtube) just for background noise and it’s great. “Leave the Bronx!”


  16. Brandon says:

    Frank, in the ACEG book actually refers to Stranded In Space as the episode most MSTies forget about.


  17. GizmonicTemp says:

    I TOTALLY agree with the “seeing the EP for the first time” feeling. In fact, it happened just last week to me with “Rocketship X-M”. The very first part of the episode where the astronauts are holding a press conference struck me as extremely funny. Joel’s “At this point the rocket has become engorged with astronauts” line sealed the deal for me and my 20-minute viewing turned into an episode-long event. Perhaps I don’t give the early-early EPs enough credit. Same thing goes for some of the mid-late season 6 EPs. My RPM project didn’t really turn me on to “Codename: Diamond Head”, but just a few months ago I watched it two times in a row while I watched the NFL draft. What a great EP!


  18. The Mighty Untrained FOOZLE says:

    Squirm is the only episode I could never convert to DVD from my old VHS (and then my VCR player died), so it’d been years since I’d last seen it. So glad it’s on the most recent set. It’s definitely a keeper. I love a lot of the old black and white ones, and the sloppy print ones can provide a few jokes (Girl in Gold Boots, Danger: Death Ray!), but the brightly colored 70s and 80s movies are so much easier to see, which makes them easier to watch. How’s that for a sentence? Oh, but one exception: even if it was in IMAX 3-D, Alien From L.A. would be a brown, muffled, blurry mess. WTH?


  19. underwoc says:

    I’m normally adverse to trolling the forums, but wouldn’t be a fun controversy if someone mentioned Invaders From the Deep or Revenge of the Mysterions in this thread?


  20. GizmonicTemp says:

    I’m normally adverse to trolling the forums, but wouldn’t be a fun controversy if someone mentioned Invaders From the Deep or Revenge of the Mysterions in this thread?

    Believe me, I would love nothing more than to be able to go back to those two. But, alas… :sad:


  21. Joike1013 says:

    I just did that with Rifftrax’s Planet of the Dinosaurs. I watched it when I first got it a year or so ago but never thought much of it. I just re-watched it yesterday and it was like seeing it for the first time! I found myself laughing several times!

    “When white guys clap.”


  22. Leave Crow T. Robert Denby Alone says:

    I had to revisit Hellcats and Sidehackers purposely because I thought they were dull eps. But the more familiar they become, the more I appreciate them. I also lost a tape I made of Soultaker, so it was really nice to be reunited with a great episode too!


  23. rvoyttbots says:

    Concerning the three missing KTMA episodes. “No fan copy is known to exist.” Does that mean they do exist and aren`t available for viewing or they are completely lost?


  24. agentmom says:

    I can’t say I’ve forgotten. There’s so many episodes I’ve never seen in the first place. In the 90s, we were a struggling family raising two kids and couldn’t always afford cable. So, there were a lot of times I couldn’t see MST3K period. Now, well, I see the ones that are out on commercial release I can afford to buy, but there are still some that don’t have releases because of the rights. The KTMA episodes? Haven’t seen ’em! My dream is, some day the rights issue will be resolved and they all will be released and I can finally catch up on what I missed in the 90s — ESPECIALLY GODZILLA VS. MEGALON!


  25. trickymutha says:

    “Moon Zero Two”- what a goofball of a film- but it was a find last night for GF and me- the film itself has a great sound and print, and, the riffing is great for Season one. All fairness to Josh, he had no idea his Servo replacement was going to be in 163 episodes and a film (compared to the 34 for Josh)- so, it can be funny listening to his take on the gumball fireplug.


  26. Just got done watching ‘The Screaming Skull’ from the latest DVD set. Haven’t seen that one in a while. Forgot what a weird choice is was having a Gumby short before it.


  27. pondoscp says:

    Rocket Attack U.S.A.
    For years, this one would just put me to sleep. Then one day, it all clicked. “Help me!” I have loved the episode ever since.


  28. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    “The Killer Shrews”
    I forgot how much I loved this one.
    The carpet-covered dogs, the indecipherable accents, the Killer Shrews Board Game AND drink. Good times.


  29. Interesting you’d mention this.

    After far too long away, I re-entered the fandom about three years ago after stumbling over The Creeping Terror on YouTube and thinking, “Hot damn, MST3K! I’d almost forgotten about this!” I’ve spent the past three years doing a lot of downloading and binge watching to reacquaint myself, although there were still a bunch of episodes I haven’t seen since they were last broadcast, or had seen maybe a couple of times in reruns long ago.

    My latest “project” was something I called The “For The First Time Again” Project in which each week or so, I’d pick an episode out of the pile that I hadn’t seen since it was broadcast — in some cases, nearly 20 years — and so for all intents and purposes I was watching for the first time.

    Found a bunch of new instant favorites this way: Being From Another Planet, Teenage Strangler, Giant Spider Invasion, Projected Man, and Blood Waters Of Dr. Z.


  30. Actually, now that I think of it… the high point of my For The First Time Again Project was about a month ago, when I saw MST3K: The Movie for the first time since I saw it in the theater back when it first came out. I’d almost totally forgotten what a beautiful job they did on Deep 13, and the SOL model and interior sets — especially that wicked parody of the “workout” scene from 2001… not to mention one of my all-time favorite MST3K riffs: “There’s more than one woody in this scene!”


  31. Huggybear says:

    Funny that this discussion thread has come up. I have been recently going back and watching episodes that were never my favorites instead of just watching ONLY my favs. In doing so I have rediscovered “Time Chasers”. As @#27 said this was an episode that was like a sleeping pill to me. But now it has become a favorite. I never like the “guest” appearance by Eddie but now I find myself laughing my ass off when I see it. I love how he refers to Joel as “that sleepy eyed guy” that was here before me. Sometimes it takes more than one or two viewings to really “get” an episode.


  32. ElectricWizard says:

    I found my way to mst3k back in the early 90s, once the local cable provider began carrying the Comedy channel, so I’ve always leaned toward the Joel era of the show as containing my favorites. Anyhow…over this past summer I scored quite a few dvd episodes, and one that I’d completely forgotten about (and was indeed lost from my old bookcases of vhs’ from way back when!) was First Spaceship On Venus.


  33. Andrew says:

    Rocket Attack U.S.A.
    For years, this one would just put me to sleep. Then one day, it all clicked. “Help me!” I have loved the episode ever since.

    So true, had that very same experience last year. The riff that made me laugh the hardest was towards the end, along the lines of “Yes, even little children must die so that we can make our point.” Soon followed by one that I did not get when I saw it years ago, in reply to a shot of a a pawnbroker’s storefront sign, “Even Rod Steiger must die.” What a gem.


  34. hellokittee says:

    Funny that Sampo’s answer is Stranded in Space because that is mine too. I saw it a few months ago and I didn’t remember any of it! I actually found myself kind of interested in the story…


  35. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    “Rocket Attack USA” is indeed another good one from early S2.

    My favorite bit also comes near the end:
    Two women are walking down the street when the siren goes off
    Woman 1: “Not another of those things…”
    Woman 2: “I think they’re stupid.”
    Crow: “Darn old apocalypse, I just ignore them!”


  36. EricJ says:

    @25 – To be honest, I never even realized Moon Zero-Two HAD a plot until the Hammer historians explained it in the featurette. (Ohh, they’re crashing the asteroid-thingy for the gems!)

    @16 – Stranded in Space was the TV pilot? Or was it Marooned?
    How ’bout that, I DID forget about it!


  37. Melissa the Dorf says:

    For me that is too many episodes to name. For many movies the first time I watch I am caught up in the plot (or lack thereof) after the first viewing I can settle in and hear more of the riffs. The Starfighters seemed to have ten hours of sex refueling riffs but on the second viewing I realized there was a little more there. Is it bold?


  38. senorpogo says:

    Many moons ago, I made a point of watching and re-watching Stranded in Space just so I’d remember it exists.


  39. goalieboy82 says:

    Phase IV is now on netflix streaming (non mst3k).


  40. senorpogo says:

    pondoscp: For years, this one would just put me to sleep. Then one day, it all clicked. “Help me!” I have loved the episode ever since.

    Same here.

    And all we learn is that we’re supposed to live in the suburbs, not in the city!


  41. rvoyttbots:
    Concerning the three missing KTMA episodes. “No fan copy is known to exist.” Does that mean they do exist and aren`t available for viewing or they are completely lost?

    It just means no fan (as far as anyone knows) actually recorded those episodes when they originally aired, so no fan copies are available for trading.

    Jim Mallon has them though, and released clips of the host segments online some years ago.


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