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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: 821- Time Chasers

Movie: (1990) A small-town inventor builds a time machine, only to see it misused by a greedy corporation.

First shown: 11/22/97
Opening: Mike explains what’s happened since the last show, but Tom just needs him to say “Lost in Space”
Intro: Mike & Pearl have a nice chat
Host segment 1: Tom sends Crow back in time to convince Mike the dude to stop taking temp jobs
Host segment 2: Crow succeeds and, returning to the SOL, finds Mike’s big brother Eddie in Mike’s place, and learns that Mike’s new future was worse than the old one
Host segment 3: Having seen the future, Crow returns to the past to keep Crow from performing his mission
End: Mike refuses to say what needs to be said, and, during another nice chat, Pearl points out a troubling detail
Stinger: “Matt, it’s time for you decide if you’re gonna be one of my team players or not”

• Another very strong episode, with great host segments (now that the Roman Times stuff has mercifully ended), a baffling movie, great riffing and a guest star of sorts in the theater.
• Paul’s take is here.
• This episode appeared on Rhino’s (and now Shout’s) “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 5.”
• Two notable things Mike’s surly, pun-hating older brother Eddie does: most notably he does two theater segments. Also, he pauses to grab a smoke at one point. It’s a very memorable turn for Mike.
• There was something very satisfying about Mike’s two little chats with Pearl.
• This episode got internet fans talking about the number of Crows that are out there — remember you also need to count the one that went back in time in episode 807- TERROR FROM THE YEAR 5000.
• Patrick gives his most powerful performance yet as the cheese factory worker. “Dude!”
• Tom’s “Nicknicknicknicknick” is a Firesign Theatre reference. We don’t hear them as much anymore.
• Nice callback to the old days with Mike’s reference to “chinderwear,” an invention exchange in episode 505- MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD.
• Cast and Crew Roundup: None.
• CreditsWatch: Produced by Kevin. Directed by Mike. An intern named Scott Bowman worked on this and only this episode.
• Fave line: “I’m gonna buy some Liva-snaps and a hosta!” Honorable mention: “Oh, he’s like poo, alright.”

216 Replies to “Episode guide: 821- Time Chasers”

  1. Jason says:

    The last three episodes of Season 8 really are a high water mark, and Time Chasers is a great installment in that trilogy. It’s also a terrific introductory episode because it ticks all the boxes: excellent riffing, a movie that is not especially punishing, and host segments that are effectively independent of the Season 8 story arc.

    It’s such a good riff that I thought it was a mistake for Rifftrax to try to redo it, because unlike Manos or the Christmas movies, I didn’t think there was much room for improvement on the commentary front. Indeed, the MST3K episode is the funnier riff, but the Rifftrax Live show was still worth it for the unlikely experience of watching this movie in HD. Apparently, the new scan was made possible because of the license Rifftrax paid for, which makes this movie kind of a Cinderella story in that it’s probably benefited more from its mockery than any other of the show’s subjects. Doesn’t the story go that it broke even when Sci-Fi bought the rights in 1997?

       4 likes

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

    Steve K:

    But what really bothered me is this: The main character can ride a bike, ride a horse, drive a boat, and fly a plane, but he can’t drive a car?

    Nick never said he CAN’T drive. He said he DIDN’T drive. So he has the ABILITY to drive but he rarely does so and THAT’S why he’s not very good at it. ;-)

       1 likes

  3. SaveFerris says:



    Sadly, I love this stupid little movie enough to have ACTUALLY bought a copy of the Edgewood ‘Special’ Anniversary edition dvd, and……..wait for it……..YES, the Edgewood Studios “Official” Castleton t-shirt (size LARGE, btw, for anyone already planning their X-mas gift-giving list for their FAVE MSTies!!!), BOTH items, mind you, including a PERSONALIZED autograph from none other than Edgewood Studios auteur and head honcho, DAVID GIANCOLA, through their edgewoodstudios.com website !!!


    PLEASE, PEOPLE…….somehow try to keep your OBVIOUS envy for me in check! After all, I put my Bugle Boys on one leg at a time, just like the rest of you….. ;-)

       4 likes

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

    Chris:
    #89 – “If Mike stayed at the cheese factory before moving to a new temp job, why does he have no memories of Crow?”

    I would see this along the same lines of why Marty’s mom had no memory of him. Do you remember everyone you worked with ten years ago? I know I don’t. Even if I see them on the street, I might have a hint of familiarity. But, I have no clue who they are or why I should know them.

    I can’t help suspecting that you’ve never worked with a golden spider-duck made out of molybdenum, though. HIM, I think you’d remember…

       1 likes

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

    So, for trivia fans, Mike used to work for the Burnett Co. Dairy Cooperative (’cause, see, there’s a sign there). Another splinter group of the National Dairy Council?

    How does a company have its own cooperative, anyway? Are they just making up bureaucratic stuff as they go along?

    Sitting Duck:
    The way they ragged it, you’d think it was another Manos.

    Manos: The Hands of…the Clock.

    If I’m not mistaken and frankly what are the odds of that, The Master had risen after however many years in satanic hibernation and returned to that state at the end of “Manos.” This begs the question of just how long his former sleep lasted and how long his current sleep will last. Until 2041?

    Jimmy:
    How, exactly, does Lisa know J.K. Robertson really IS Bob Evil?

    Because she could smell the corporate crap, of course. Back then, being rich and non-evil was almost as unheard of as a rich man passing through the eye of a needle. (Matthew 19:24 (not Matthew Paul))

    Yet she seemed surprised when she learned that Robertson knew his time transport plans were going to send the future into anarchy or whatever and he just didn’t care very much. So she’d presumed he was evil but not that he was THAT evil. I guess.

    klisch:
    The only drawback is the main charactor (Nick) is always squinting or blinking…I can’t get past that.

    The future’s so bright but he doesn’t wear shades.

    Thomas K. Dye:
    42: I meant the line “What would MacGyver do?” was only worthy of being mocked.

    It’s a mobius strip of a riffback.

    ck:
    Perhaps 1985 Crow worked hard (after all, the cheese ain’t gonna cut itself)

    And you can’t make an omelet without cutting some cheese.

    Robert Denby:
    “So in the future kids become gay agents?”

    A certain percentage of them, yes. Others become heterosexual agents or bisexual agents or…

    continuing legend:
    “He’s trying to get honey, like Pooh!” “Oh, he’s like poo all right” is one of my favorite lines.

    To each their own. Scatalogical references bug me, man, they just really bug me…

    Wampa Joe:
    Another contribution this episode has made to my life: Whenever I go to Martin’s (which is a real grocery chain on the east coast), I can’t help but say “wat’ up?”

    I wonder if that’s more common among MST3K fans or among Martin Lawrence fans.

    Wampa Joe:
    I never successfully pick up any women in the produce aisle though.Maybe next time I’ll wear my Castleton shirt.

    Or maybe it’s the way you fondle the melons and peaches…

    crowschmo:
    My aunt saw them filming this when they were in the back alleyways there, from her office window,

    “I thought we sprayed for filmmakers!”

       1 likes

  6. Mr. Krasker says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    So, for trivia fans, Mike used to work for the Burnett Co. Dairy Cooperative (’cause, see, there’s a sign there). Another splinter group of the National Dairy Council?

    How does a company have its own cooperative, anyway? Are they just making up bureaucratic stuff as they go along?

    Burnett County, not company. Burnett County, WI is right across the state line from Hinckley, MN.

       2 likes

  7. My pick for best host segments after Pod People although mike and pearls talk beats the invention exchange in pod people. This is an episode where I feel mike and the bots took on a familyesque nature. I couldn’t imagine crow going back through time to stop Jonah from getting trapped on the SOL. Every host segment is awesome, Eddie is awesome, and what an perfect bad movie for the show. The riffing starts super negative on the hero but lightens up.. So many great moments and unique in its a fairly new movie for them.

    A top 10 episode.

       0 likes

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

    Mr. Krasker: Burnett County, not company.Burnett County, WI is right across the state line from Hinckley, MN.

    Oh, okay, thanks.

    Wait, why would the county government be involved in the production of dairy products? Doesn’t sound very free-enterprise to me…

    ;-)

       1 likes

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

    TOTALLY OFF_TOPIC, I’ve come across various Deviantart pages which offer versions of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen per genre, decade, and so on.

    I hereby thus (no, wait, that should be thus hereby) suggest “Who would be on your MST3K League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?” as a non-episode thread topic. I suppose that could use some fine tuning, it’s up to you, I can’t make all your decisions for you…

    And now, back on-topic:

    The Bolem:
    Also, after Nick gets shot down upon arriving a few weeks in the past, he pulls out a handgun and shoots back at J.K.’s plane…but where did that gun come from?

    The glove compartment?

    Chekhov Shmekhov…

    mikek:
    I like this naughty riff:
    Lisa (looking down as Nick finishes kissing her): “Nick, what’s that?”

    “It’s my gun. No, really, it’s my gun, it figures prominently in an upcoming sequence.”

    The Bolem:
    Nick’s whole reason for alligning himself with EvilCo. was that he needed money.Well, as Pink Boy pointed out just before trying to walk back to the past from the 2040’s, all he had to do was open a bank account a hundred years ago (or to be safe, sometime after 1929), and come back to the present to withdraw his millions in interest.

    Nick openly disapproved, downright scowled at this idea, though. He outright says “That’s not what I had in mind” OSLT. He wanted to find ways for us to stop shooting at each other. OSLT.

    The Bolem:
    Surely anyone capable of inventing the Time Transport would have thought of this.

    The preceding bit about him having thought of it and rejected it notwithstanding, though, being a genius never stopped anyone from being an idiot. It’s that old yolk about being an egghead…

    crowschmo:
    “He’s making up physics as he goes along.”

    Yeah, everybody who invents time travel has to do that because it’s an entirely fictional field of study so far.

    Watch-out-for-Snakes:
    Servo:“Stop splaying!”

    Oddly, I heard that as “Stop ‘splaining!”

    “Please, no more ‘splaining!” – from The Tick vs. Brainchild

    crowschmo:
    “You had the misfortune of running into ME – I’m a life-wrecking idiot.”

    “He travelled back to…my time, and had the misfortune to meet me. His clothes fit quite well, don’t you think?” Anyone, anyone?

       1 likes

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

    BTW I’ve got at least three more posts pre-prepared so anyone who wants to avoid acres and acres of me better start chipping in quick. ;-)

       1 likes

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

    Depressing Aunt:
    Time travel’s a real mess.I’ve definitely over-watched this episode, and haven’t learned a damn thing about how it works.

    The episode taught you well, then.

    Michael Howe:
    Btw, was there ever a reason given why Crow keeps calling Eddie, “Edward?”

    He was trying to irritate Eddie, of course, because Crow is, among so many other things, an immature little borderline sociopath. It’s just that Crow has no experience in irritating people who will outright HIT him…

    It just occurred to me: Would Eddie be the father of the niece to whom Mike once gave a Devil Doll? Do we know if Mike supposedly has more than one sibling? Maybe Crow met him/her/them during the eleven years he spent with Mike’s family in an earlier (a-heh) time travel jaunt.

    Cornjob:
    I always figured that once the military got a hold of the Time Transport technology they started using it to launch per-emptive strikes against enemies that had just staged a successful operation recently, or maybe killing Hitler or Bin Laden as young adults

    Why is it always about KILLING the pivotal Bob Evil, anyway? Why not abduct him as a baby and leave him to be raised by a loving family unit in some “primitive” village that the “civilized world” won’t even “discover” until, uh, 1985 or so?

       2 likes

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

    klisch:
    Using a Commodore 64 as a time travel device is so 80’s.

    Kenneth Morgan:
    OK, this movie isn’t all that great, but there are whole seasons of “Doctor Who” that are less credible than the Commodore 64/light plane-inspired time paradoxes featured here.

    Dan in WI:
    For my money the Commodore 64 is the star of this film. This was the first home computer our family bought when I was about 5th grade in 1983. That really was an amazingly flexible machine in its day and its games totally blew away the Atari machines of the day.

    Larry P.:
    I loved the Commodore 64 making an appearance; guess those things were more powerful than people realized!

    I was comparing the family Commodore 64 computer to the Atari 2600 game machine because I actually used it.

    jay:
    Time Chasers had a Commodore 64 in a Beechcraft Bellanca.Nothing says cinematic visual excitement like 5 1/2 inch floppy disks.Who wouldn’t thrill to the sound of the hard drive spinning up.

    My, the whole forum’s certainly buzzing about that Commodore…

    Films have been depicting computers doing things that computers can’t possibly do for as long as there have been computers if not longer. ;-) For more action-packed Commodore action, see a film entitled (quite coincidentally with no bearing on the next episode) “Interface” (released in 1985, with which many people remain pre-occupied). This Star Chamber meets Mazes & Monsters non-stravaganza was filmed on an even smaller budget than “Time Chasers” with much worse actors, features quite possibly THE most incompetent cops in bad movie history, and its teacher protagonist makes Nick Miller look like Indiana Jones (if you kind of squint…) while SIMULTANEOUSLY being sharper than his female lead. Currently, it is, alas (if not inappropriately), available only on VHS.

       1 likes

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

    crowschmo:
    The cabbie:Okay.An ACTOR.Who’s from NEW YORK.Moves to…Rutland? GREAT career move. :roll: Perhaps he was a history buff and ended up in a field somewhere… :wink:

    Do you folks experience real-life in any capacity whatsoever? Stuff happens. A lot. People relocate. For all kinds of reasons. His prospects in New York dried up completely so he relocated a mere five hours drive away to live with his cousin and his cousin’s family in Rutland, Vermont until destiny beckons again. He’s a New York fish in Vermont water. It’s comedy graphite. ;-)

    The Bolem:
    In the finale, as Nick and JKR grapple for the controls, you can clearly see telephone poles and all manner of 20th century buildings whizzing by out the windows, yet I didn’t notice it until about my dozenth viewing because no jokes are made at its expense.

    To be generous (a rather rare sentiment around here, to be sure), that could be taken to mean that during the struggle the plane kept flickering in and out of hyperspace from one century to the next and to the next and back again. Maybe, with work, it could ultimately have made the Kessel Run in a mere EIGHT parsecs.

    DrChadFeelgood:
    The muffiny-chin hero was a wannabe stunt-man with delusions of fame based on a Richard Dreyfuss imitation. Just look at his face in one of the many, MANY unfortunate close-ups of this man: HE CAN’T EVEN KEEP HIS EYES OPEN.

    So he’s kind of a…a tired-eyed guy, then?

    DrChadFeelgood:
    And the Revolutionary War re-enactment scenes were almost embarrasing. Servo: “Gee, our forefathers were dumpy!”

    Prove that they weren’t. I dare ya.

    DrChadFeelgood:
    And the villain’s office? It was a stairway landing in some kind of mall or shopping center! They couldn’t even film in a real office somewhere?!?! Sheesh!

    “Yeah, I made a movie that cut a lot of corners. What kind of movie did YOU make?”

    DrChadFeelgood:
    When Mike introduces the Rhino release of this and talks about the people who made this turd-of-a-film inviting Best Brains to the premiere – and about how they were all crushed by the MSTie treatment of their “movie”, all I can think is “Good! Maybe you’ll stop this nonsense and get real jobs!”

    Yeah, didn’t Steven Spielberg’s parents tell him the exact same thing? Or am I thinking of David Lynch’s parents? Or possibly Tobe Hooper’s parents? Or…

    And, potential replies to subsequent remarks notwithstanding, my work here…is done.

    But not elsewhere. ;-)

       1 likes

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

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    My, the whole forum’s certainly buzzing about that Commodore…

    Films have been depicting computers doing things that computers can’t possibly do for as long as there have been computers if not longer. ;-) For more action-packed Commodore action, see a film entitled (quite coincidentally with no bearing on the next episode) “Interface” (released in 1985, with which many people remain pre-occupied). This Star Chamber meets Mazes & Monsters non-stravaganza was filmed on an even smaller budget than “Time Chasers” with much worse actors, features quite possibly THE most incompetent cops in bad movie history, and its teacher protagonist makes Nick Miller look like Indiana Jones (if you kind of squint…) while SIMULTANEOUSLY being sharper than his female lead. Currently, it is, alas (if not inappropriately), available only on VHS.

    Wait, I stand corrected, it’s on DVD too. :-)

       1 likes

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

    Oh, and yes, I botched the whole “I’m done” thing. Sorry about that. :-|

       1 likes

  16. Kenneth Morgan says:

    ADDENDUM:

    Today, I got back from a trip to Johnson, VT. I wanted to thank my brother Bri’s colleagues at Johnson State for the picture and letter they sent after his passing. I talked with the Athletic Director for a while, and I mentioned Bri’s comment about, “We don’t mention the C-word.” The AD laughed when he heard it. JSC and Castleton are, indeed, rivals.

       1 likes

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