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Episode guide: K02 – Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars

First shown: 11/24/88
Movie: (episodes originally aired 1967; compilation released 1981): The commanders of Spectrum battle against a subversive alien force.
Opening: Joel and Crow discuss the Thanksgiving parade
Host segment 1: Joel uses Gypsy to demonstrate a horn of plenty
Host segment 2: Joel is explaining Thanksgiving to Crow until Tom arrives and turns it into a game of “Pyramid.”
Host segment 3: Joel leads the “puppet bots” in an arts and crafts project.
End: Dinner, such as it is, is served.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (14 votes, average: 4.64 out of 5)


• On Nov. 25, 2016, 28 years and one day after this show aired on KTMA-TV in the Twin Cities, Joel Hodgson announced that the master tapes for this and episode K01- INVADERS FROM THE DEEP had been found, and he made them available to backers of the relaunch kickstarter. There was much rejoicing -— well, some.
• When this episode and episode K01 were released to Kickstarter backers, Joel offered thoughts about them on the Kickstarter site.
• Again, as with K01, this is a compilation of four episodes of TV series “Captain Scarlet.” They are: episode 12: SHADOW OF FEAR, episode 15: LUNARVILLE 7, episode 21: CRATER 101 and episode 22: DANGEROUS RENDEZVOUS.
• I am adding the “From Mars” to the title because that’s what the title card says.
• After a bit of a slow start, the riffing picks up to a more typical KTMA frequency.
• Trace is doing Crow, unlike in episode K01. This makes this Trace’s first true episode.
• A Geraldo joke starts things off. Shows you how long he has been in the public eye.
• Joel enters the theater alone, then Crow joins him. Both seem to have less trouble getting in and out than the previous episode. A path must have been made.
• The voice of Captain Scarlet is basically an impression of the legendary actor Cary Grant by Francis Matthews.
• After the first break. Servo pops us with a “What’s going’ on here?” He sounds a little like Gomer Pyle. Tom later asks Joel why he gave him such a silly voice. I was wondering that too.
• We get the very first “…at first” riff, which makes Servo laugh.
• Servo extends his neck at one point.
• Movie question: What exactly is the rolling countdown thingy measuring?
• Servo reacts with terror at the first gunfire.
• Servo: “I personally don’t think that puppets should be on TV.”
• Col. White kinda looks like James Brolin, no?
• The characters keep saying “S.I.G.” Turns out it means “Spectrum is green,” more or less equivalent to “A-okay.”
• Before the second segment, Tom just sort of ducks down, saying “I have to go do some radiator maintenance.” Because he can’t leave with the others?
• Early Servo is more than a little Beeperish.
• When they come back into the theater, Tom pops up again. I think they hadn’t worked out the details of Tom coming and going with Joel and Crow.
• Joel seems to have popcorn in the theater at one point. There is much crunching into the mics. Then he pours it into Tom’s bubble. Tom seems to approve.
• At one point Crow calls Joel “Hoel Jodgson.”
• Again Tom leaves by ducking down, saying “Time for me to drain my radiator.”
• And, again, they do not have nomenclature. They don’t have a word for what would later be called The Bridge. Tom refers to it as “the front thing.”
• Gypsy is Gypsy sometimes and Gypsum other times.
• Cast and crew roundup: Many of the same people worked on “Invaders from the Deep,” of course, including executive producer Lord Lew Grade (he may have also been that for “Cosmic Princess”) Gerry (who also worked on “Cosmic Princess”) and Sylvia Anderson, supervising director Desmond Saunders, puppetry supervisor Christine Glanville, assistant director Bob Bell, production designer Keith Wilson (who also worked on “Cosmic Princess”) and score composer Barry Gray (who also worked on “Cosmic Princess”).
• Fave riff: “You know there was an off switch, dumb-o.” Honorable mentions: “Be careful! It’s the worst special effect yet!”


18 Replies to “Episode guide: K02 – Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars”

  1. Keith Palmer says:

    I noticed the riffing frequency pick up a bit from “Invaders from the Deep” with three characters in the theatre, but having jumped into the KTMA episodes cold with this Kickstarter bonus I did wonder if Joel, Josh, and Trace became better at improvising over the course of the season. At the same time, though, I suppose the KTMA “Star Force: Fugitive Alien II” still being missing amounted to a personal firewall against pushing on to seek out the later, sourced-from-nth-generation-copies episodes…

    Anyway, so far as the “movies” of these first two episodes go, “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons” does seem to have taken itself just a bit more seriously than “Stingray,” and that might have been a slight counterweight to the improving riffing for me. The commercial included in the Video Scrapbook mentioned Thunderbirds are Go and used clips from it; I’m wondering just a bit if there was a decision an actual movie would seem less disjointed and therefore not quite as funny, or perhaps if there was a thought that “Thunderbirds” was a bit better known and that this might also distract from the riffing for some.


  2. Bad Wolf says:

    I wonder if the availability of these episodes was facilitated by Shout having the current DVD rights to the Anderson Supermarionation series? (It’s kind of a shame we only got this list of episodes now, they were available on Hulu up until a couple of months ago and I would have appreciated knowing which ones to watch.)


  3. “Early Servo is more than a little Beeperish”

    Meaning what, exactly? Does he still make weird beeping noises?


  4. Skiptastic says:

    Something I like about the KTMA episodes is gaining a further appreciation of Josh. He’s meta about “puppets on TV”, he’s reacting to the things on the movie. And the guy is only, what, 15 or 16 years old? Maybe it’s because he’s young and he can conceptualize the jokes really well. But man, love or hate his voice, love or hate his on-screen acting…the guy really understands riffing. Maybe his understanding is why he helped bring in Mike Nelson to work on the show. Maybe he knew Mike would take to the format really well.


  5. littleaimishboy says:



  6. The Bone Ranger says:

    I still can’t seem to get into season 11, but I’m overjoyed about these KTMA episodes. Jim Mallon showed pristine clips of K03, so hopefully that one will be released at some point. I’ll definitely support another new season if it means getting more pristine KTMA episodes.

    Thanks again, Joel, for K01 and K02. I’m eternally grateful, good sir!!!!


  7. Alex says:

    Honestly, after watching this episode, K02 is now my personal least favorite KTMA episode (it even beats K05 in my opinion). I almost fell asleep watching this episode the first time. But, it was still a treat getting to see it for the first time.

    The way Servo just randomly appeared in the second theater segment as a first on-screen appearance was…. weird. On another note, I also thought the voice Josh did for him in his first episode sounded very strange, like a cross-over between Randy Newman and Bullwinkle.

    The host segments were okay. All Thanksgiving related (which is understandable since it was around the holiday). But overall, not an episode I’d watch very often.


  8. Lisa H. says:


    Maybe she/he’s into soft rock.

    Servo: “I personally don’t think that puppets should be on TV.”

    I love these self-referential jokes, like “Puppet wranglers? There weren’t any puppets in this movie” and when Crow says “I can’t wear yellow.”


  9. littleaimishboy says:

    Lisa H.: Maybe she/he’s into soft rock.



  10. H says:

    Brandon Pierce:
    “Early Servo is more than a little Beeperish”

    Meaning what, exactly? Does he still make weird beeping noises?

    He’s more bulky and slow-moving than the Servo we’re used to.

    Nothing much to be said about this episode that hasn’t already been said. The seedling that is MST3K continues to bloom.


  11. BBA says:

    A general correction – the bot on the left is just “Servo” in these very early episodes. He only becomes “Tom Servo” when he gets his deep, mighty voice.


  12. trickymutha says:

    Can one get these episodes for a price if they weren’t a kickstarter backer?


  13. The Bone Ranger says:

    Can one get these episodes for a price if they weren’t a kickstarter backer?

    I don’t think they’re available by legitimate means for anyone anymore. If that is true then you will have to search it out by various “file sharing” methods.

    Hopefully, though, Shout Factory will clear the rights and make them available in the not too distant future along with the rest of the KTMA eps.


  14. Atorgo says:

    Servo sounds like the Sugar Crisp Bear here.


  15. Earnest says:

    The countdown thingy is the time from whenever the probe does something to when they’ll find out whether it’s successful back on Earth due to the information heading back at the speed of light.


  16. Trumpy's Dad says:

    As for the movie, I was impressed by how much emotion the marionettes showed in comparison to many of the live actors in many MSTied films. As for this episode, I think once is enough.


  17. Uhh, I just met a girl named Uhh says:

    It seems like S.I.G. is an attempt by the Andersons to replicate F.A.B. from Thunderbirds. It means the same idea as “A-Okay”, but doesn’t actually stand for anything.


  18. I too received this as part of the Kickstarter rewards, and by the time I watched this one, it was on my laptop while in a hospital suite with my wife and our newborn child, living in a sleepless twilight zone for a few days while she recovered from her C-section. Holding my newborn in my arms, trying to rock him to sleep, watching marionette action on vintage MST3K – something I will never forget. One day I’ll be able to expose him to MST3K.

    Of course, it’s still a not-very-good episode, but under those circumstances it was most welcome!


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