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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: 820- Space Mutiny

Movie: (1988) The leaders of a space colony must fight back when their security chief plans to take over the ship.

First shown: 11/7/97
Opening: Crow and Tom think Mike’s encyclopedias are outdated
Intro: Mike has new encyclopedias; Pearl, Bobo and Observer are in prison
Host segment 1: Mike’s tea time is interrupted by the bots trashing some escape pods
Host segment 2: Crow’s a Bellerian…or is he?; Bobo’s escape plan fails
Host segment 3: Servo installs railings
End: Tom is buff, Crow less so. Meanwhile Pearl, Bobo and Observer escape, and a fire begins!
Stinger: Our hero bravely screams like a girl and bails out
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (396 votes, average: 4.86 out of 5)


• First of all, has everybody signed Sherri’s birthday card?
• For several episodes now, the show had been going very strong, but many fans point to this show as probably the zenith of season eight, where everything worked and they were firing on all cylinders. It’s good, okay, at least in terms of the riffing. Still, a geeky scandal plagues this episode and many of the segments are only so-so. I’m not sure the next two eps aren’t just as good.
• The many many names of Dave Ryder just got funnier and funnier—and one, “Big McHugelarge,” later became a bumper sticker BBI sold. Scarcely a week goes by that someone doesn’t tweet that video.
• Paul’s take on this episode is here.
• This episode was included in Rhino’s (and now Shout’s) “The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 4.”
• The big scandal about this episode was the “Battlestar Galactica” footage nobody at BBI recognized. I remember at the time that several online fans simply COULD NOT CONCEIVE of the POSSIBILITY that they would not recognize this footage. It seemed simply out of the realm of possibility to them. I said at the time that this lapse pointed up the painful lack of nerds on the Sci-Fi Channel-era writing staff. If Frank or Trace were still on the staff, I don’t think this would have been missed.
• The encyclopedia segment sort of predicts Wikipedia, which would launch a few years later.
• That’s Patrick and intern Dan Breyer as the Roman guards, and that’s Best Brains Controller Tim Johnson, hopelessly typecast as Mike Down, CPA.
• Classical music buffs: What is the piece Mike is listening to in segment 1?
• Movie observation: Reb Brown’s character is supposed to be a military officer, isn’t he? Then why the heck is he walking around in a wife-beater?
• Trivia: The Mitchell family infests this movie. In addition to Cameron Mitchell, his son Chip Mitchell portrayed mustachioed crew member Blake and his daughter Camile Mitchell provided the voice (but not the body) for Jennera.
• The rest of us may not enjoy Cisse Cameron’s portrayal as Lea (and btw I cannot BELIEVE they gave the female lead in a space action movie that name). But Reb Brown apparently liked what he saw. The two are now married and the set of this movie is where they first met.
• Callback from the old days: The line “Guard! Guard! Sick man!” is a bit from “Red Zone Cuba.”
• Of course, another classic moment in this movie is when the character we saw killed in the previous scene is quietly back at her station on the bridge.
• Mike does a very good impression of SCTV’s Ed Grimley at a couple of points.
• Segment 2 is another of those “Crow is not right in the head” segments. I think they work because Bill really commits to the concept.
• Crow is still wearing his Bellerian costume in the theater.
• Mike, channeling protective father figure Joel, covers the bots eyes during some suggestive moments.
• Segment 3 gives Mike a chance to do some nice physical comedy. He nails it.
• Servo thinks the movie is Canadian. Nope, South African.
• Another closing credits conversation.
• The final segment is not the first time the bots have bulked up. They also tried it in episode 410- HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN.
• Cast and crew roundup: special effects guy Jerry Kitz also worked on “Soultaker.” Makeup person Debi Nichol worked on “Outlaw of Gor,” as did production designer/art director Geoff Hill. In front of the camera, John Phillip Law was also in “Danger: Diabolik” and Cameron Mitchell was in “Stranded in Space.”
• CreditsWatch: Produced & directed by Jim. This was intern Todd Severson’s first episode.
• Fave riff: “JUST STOP AND AIM, YOU IDIOTS!” Honorable mention: “She’s presenting like mandrill!”

259 Replies to “Episode guide: 820- Space Mutiny”

  1. docskippy says:

    Space Mutiny is what I think of as an idiot movie. What I mean by that is that its premise and plotline fail to clear even the lowest “suspension of belief” bar. Consider that the Southern Sun is a colony ship searching for a new home planet. Okay, fine, a tired premise, been done before, but that’s okay. So then, where do David Ryder, the professor, and Ryder’s unnamed wingpeople come from? Some other colony ship? Or maybe a habitable planet? If the latter, it cannot then be one of the space pirate worlds, right? Basically, the screenwriter wasn’t capable of or wasn’t interested in reconciling this threat to the film’s premise, so we got what we got. And that’s really just the tip of the iceberg – one could write up a big analysis of the movie’s failure to hang together.

    This is part of the reason I find Space Mutiny so entertaining.

    Two other beloved idiot movies, just off the top of my head: Robot Holocaust (Neo asks the robot who the Dark One is, then just a few minutes later reveals that he’s on a quest to topple the Dark One – THEN WHY DID YOU ASK ABOUT HIM?) and The Doomsday Machine (the human race is going to be preserved and kickstarted by just THREE women? I don’t think so. also, they’re going to set up shop on Venus, perhaps the most hellish and inhospitable of the inner planets? sure)


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

    The BSG? What is that, the sequel to The BFG? The Big STUPID Giant?

    Wait. Never mind. ;-)

    Moving along — (sigh) — man, some of you folks’d complain if they were hangin’ you with a new rope…

    And that’s okay.

    Colossus Prime:
    So apparently this space ship has both a military group and a police group (this is a complete assumption).The military group works directly with the command crew while the police group is completely autonomous organization that has absolutely no oversight from the higher ranking command crew.Seems like a horrible idea, but ok.

    So, sort of like the army and the cops, then. ;-)

    It’s a big ship. It has to be, to sustain multiple generations of people. It’s probably the size of a small city OSLT.

    Colossus Prime:
    One of my favorite self contained baffling moments is when Ryder asks the old guy how many enforcers Kalgan’s killed, when told 38 Ryder immediately says, “So Kalgan’s control of the Enforcers is complete.” Where the hell did that assumption come from?

    From, uh, an in-universe character who knows a lot more about “the Enforcers” than we do?

    The “No! This is treason and I warn you I must report!” guy who gets impaled by the cane early on also shows up alive and laughing in a party scene later on in the movie long after he got killed.
    That guy SO deserved to die — who gets up in a roomful of homicidal fanatics and announces he’s gonna turn’em all in?An idiot, that’s who!

    Well, he probably didn’t know they were *homicidal* until it was too late. Besides, as with the sheriff in Village of the Giants and Crenshaw in Boggy Creek, some people just can’t adjust to rapidly changing shifts in power…

    Raptorial Talon:
    Regarding stupid plot screw-ups, anyone else notice that the ship has been traveling 13 generations to reach the next star, but then Kalgan decides to drive them into the next constellation? How the hell can you suddenly take a detour into the next constellation when your (presumably non-faster-than-light) engine takes hundreds of years to get to the next solar system!?

    Kalgan’s nuttier’n a Stuckey’s log, that’s how.

    The Sting guy(Capt. Santa Claus’ second in command) says that McPherson new the countermeasures. So, why even kidnap Lea if Kalgan had someone on his side who knew them?

    Sure Sting guy knew that, and we knew that, but no one said that KALGAN knew that…

    At times I sympathize with Kalgan, because who would want to be stuck on that ship?For that matter, I think movie’s backstory doesn’t make sense at all.So, the Southern Sun is on a journey to a distant planet.One might assume that there is not much else in space.This would then have the journey make sense.That is, however, not the case at all.No, apparently the Southern Sun is traveling through a pretty active area of space.There are alien monk ladies from another planet, space pirates, and that doctor the Chunk McBeefy was transporting came from somewhere else as well.Whatever that distant planet is, it must be one hell of a place.

    The generation ship proceeded to its destination at its steady pace only to eventually find that Earth subsequently developed FTL ships which zipped ahead of them to wait for them…at their destination.



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

    >>>SAMPO: Reb Brown’s character is supposed to be a military officer, isn’t he? Then why the heck is he walking around in a wife-beater?

    It’s what he was wearing under his pilot uniform or whatever it was. It’s his undershirt. Evidently he didn’t want to wear a Southern Sun uniform (which I’d presume is all they’d have handy). Perhaps wearing the uniform of a ship you’re not assigned to just…ISN’T DONE.

    It was stated that Mitchell would take any role, no matter how awful, to make a paycheck to cover his/his family expenses, no matter what they were. That’s apparently why he’d appear in anything, just doing it for the shekels.

    and the pesos, just to see their smiling face-os, for the money, money, money, money, money…

    Also, take it yet again, Mr. C…

    “I’ve made some of the greatest films ever made – and a lot of crap, too.” — John Carradine

    An actor ACTS.

    The Bolem:
    Another weird inconsitency, most likely on SciFi Channel’s part:Why was “son of a bitch” censored in The Final Justice to the point that M&TB had to acknowledge it and create a running gag (“What’s he a son of?A preacher-man?A son of a son of a sailor maybe?”), but here Kalgon calls our heroine, “You space-bitch!”, without so much as a bleep?

    I’m assuming any censorship was SciFi Channel’s doing, so why the double standard?Was “space-bitch” just deemed so silly

    Maybe it was just deemed so accurate. ;-)

    Yes. That was mean. I apologize.

    Flying Saucers Over Oz:
    The space disco is priceless.It’s so adorable to me all these 70’s sci-fi shows apparently just assumed disco would still be going strong in the 43rd Century.

    43rd century? Was that specified?

    Anyway, nostalgia brings styles back again and again. Maybe they were in the 119th revival of the Funky Seventies…

    I’ve never understood what was supposed to be so dreadful aboud disco to begin with.

    Flying Saucers Over Oz:
    Also love how the Southern Sun consisted entirely of small groups of people all wearing ludicrous outfits which had no discernable relation to the OTHER ludicrous outfits the OTHER groups were wearing.

    Like the army and…the cops, then.

    Dan in WI:
    I love Pearl’s line “it wasn’t my fault in a way I haven’t thought of yet.” Observer’s misunderstandings on getting Mike to the planet were fun. I especially like Observer belittling him. But am I alone in thinking that when Pearl asked for help, Mike should have destroyed the planet?

    The, uh, “the planet”? You mean Earth, future birthplace of Pearl, Mike, Joel Creator-of-Bots, and so many others? Yeah, I think you stand alone on that.

    PPS: My all time favorite episode is “The Girl In Lover’s Lane.” Anyone with an opposing view point is wrong and stupid!!!

    No no no no no no no, it’s not wrong and stupid, it’s *stupid* and WRONG! Incredibly stupid! And wrong!


  4. Johnny Drama says:

    We have just experienced the above. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.


  5. Thad Boyd says:

    Justin Corwin: I see your point but why stop there… Why not have a positive black character test?Majority of these films will fail any social justice test you could throw at it because of the obvious and well known cultural dynamics of the time period in which these are made.just my take on it. You think having two women talk to each about something other than a man is worth labeling every film a pass or fail but why not other commonplace diversity failings?Black men kissing white girls on screen test?White actors cast in nonwhite characters test?Couple examples. I just don’t find the bechdel test that interesting.

    I mean, if your argument is seriously “We shouldn’t examine whether a movie is sexist because it might also be racist,” then I guess I can’t compete with that impeccable reasoning. Might I suggest that if you’re not interested in discussing something, you just don’t discuss it, instead of interjecting about how uninteresting you find it?


  6. docskippy says:

    Justin Corwin:
    I think the bechdel test posts would be more interesting if every movie didn’t seem to fail it. It’s only interesting if the film PASSES the test because it seems rare.


    Those Bechdel posts would be more interesting if they were about men.


  7. Thad Boyd: I mean, if your argument is seriously “We shouldn’t examine whether a movie is sexist because it might also be racist,” then I guess I can’t compete with that impeccable reasoning. Might I suggest that if you’re not interested in discussing something, you just don’t discuss it, instead of interjecting about how uninteresting you find it?

    Oh stop with the faux internet outrage. Lighten up.You don’t agree with me.. Who cares? We had a national tragedy a few days ago.. None of the **** we say here matters at all..


  8. docskippy: Translated:

    Those Bechdel posts would be more interesting if they were about men.

    Uh no.


  9. docskippy says:

    Justin Corwin: Oh stop with the faux internet outrage. Lighten up.You don’t agree with me.. Who cares? We had a national tragedya few days ago..None of the **** we say here matters at all..

    None of the stuff anyone says here ever matters, period.


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