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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: 416- Fire Maidens of Outer Space

Movie: (1956) Astronauts travel to a moon of Jupiter and discover a civilization populated almost entirely by women. Soon they’re battling a monster that has been terrorizing the settlement.

First shown: 11/26/92
Opening: During a posture check, Timmy the dark Crow appears — and attacks Cambot!
Invention exchange: The Mads have the big checkbook, while Joel demonstrates cheese sneaker
Host segment 1: Tom wants to discuss double entendres, but Timmy acts out
Host segment 2: Joel tries to explain the twin-screw controller, but Timmy interferes
Host segment 3: Joel defeats Timmy in a battle to the death
End: Joel, Crow and Tom discuss the lessons they’ve learned, Joel reads a letter, and Timmy’s in Deep 13
Stinger: It’s a secret passage miracle
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (196 votes, average: 4.46 out of 5)


• What a great, great episode, featuring the truly inspired “dark Timmy” host segments. The Brains rarely gave us a complete story within the 15 minutes or so that the host segments run, and this is one of the funniest and most creative attempts. Witty and captivating all the way through. The riffing is, again, just what you would expect at this point in season four, when this team was firing on all cylinders. As for the movie, well…you know, in the theme song when they talk about “cheesy movies”? This is about as cheesy as it gets.
• I would really love to see this one on a future DVD collection.
• This was the second of two new episodes shown on Thanksgiving Day, 1992.
• Of course, for the one or two people who don’t know, Timmy is the Crow they use in the theater, painted black to make a nicer silhouette. But are they using two black Crows in the theater when Timmy sneaks in? I can’t really see a difference in the silhouettes.
• Callbacks: Joel’s posture check during the opening is a callback to the “Posture Pals” short (shown in episode 320- The Unearthly). Crow is right, that is the same footage from “King Dinosaur.” Joel says “tenperature” in segment 2, a callback to “Fugitive Alien.” “I’m feeling REALLY good!” (Gamera vs Guiron). “Lawrence would you get back there…” (Catalina Caper).
• Last time I asked if “I prayed for a friend and he came” is from something. Commenters said it’s from a Frankenstein movie.
• I love Frank’s zoned out expression when they first cut to Deep 13.
• I guess with the holiday season approaching, “It’s a Wonderful Life” was on their minds — not only do they make references to it during the movie, but Frank and Dr. F approximate a scene from it during the giant checkbook bit.
• Dr. F is evil, so he pronounces “WimbleDON” incorrectly.
• Frank has a hilarious bit of business during the invention exchange: He needs to sign a giant check, so of course he needs a pen. He pats his pockets looking for a pen but can’t find one, then steps off camera and returns with a GIANT pen. Funny stuff.
• I wonder who art directed the costumes and set pieces in the blackout scenes after Timmy commandeers the twin-screw controller. The images are wonderfully surrealistic and also vaguely reminiscent of the Daffy Duck cartoon “Duck Amuck.”
• Tom still has the rotisserie in his head when comes back into the theater. Joel helps him out.
• Dopey movie moment: When they first encounter the girl being molested by the monster, the astronauts are at least 50 yards away and the girl is standing right next to the monster, but one of them calmly levels his revolver and shoots in their direction. He misses both of them, but either he thinks he’s a REEEEALLY good shot or he’s incredibly reckless. Or he’s in a cheesy movie. Sheesh.
• That’s Jef Maynard running Timmy (he’s in the credits). In those days he tended to be their go-to guy when they needed somebody else in the puppet trench; later it was Pat Brantseg.
• Servo applauds several times in the theater. How does he do that with inoperable arms? (I know, I know.)
• Timmy enters the theater between segments two and three. When they come back from commercial he can’t be seen, but then he slowly reappears and then starts to creep over to attack Tom. This is one of only 14 times someone or something other than Joel, Mike, Tom and Crow enters the theater.
• As Tom is attacked, Joel says “You didn’t tell us Tommy was in here…” He meant “Timmy.” They keep going.
• After Tom is attacked, Joel runs off left. Is that the only time he’s done that?
• Then-current reference: The then-controversial, now mostly forgotten book “Final Exit.”
• The fan letter read at the end of this episode was written by a woman who now uses the stage name Christmas Sagan, and is a member of the rock group Freezepop. Joel invited her to appear on the Thanksgiving marathon in 2015. She appeared again, and performed a cover of the MST3k theme song, during the live telethon in December of 2015.
• Cast and crew roundup: Art director Scott MacGregor also worked on “Moon Zero Two” and “The Million Eyes of Su-Muru.” In front of the camera, Anthony Dexter is also in “Twelve To The Moon” and “The Phantom Planet.”
• CreditsWatch: Host segments directed by Trace (the first of three eps in this season). Jim Mallon directed most of the first half of the season but in the second half directing duties are being spread around. “Ammendment” is still spelled wrong.
• Fave riff: “Thank you, that’s all.” Honorable mention: “Yeah, it’s Nancy Kulp night.”

97 Replies to “Episode Guide: 416- Fire Maidens of Outer Space”

  1. Gary Bowden says:

    @49 snowdog..I agree,it could be in the public domain by now,but I have a question,Who is Shirley? Or I should say,And don’t call me Shirley…Sorry,I couldn’t resist.. :-)) :-)) :-))


  2. losingmydignity says:

    Wow, I missed reviewing this one the first time around. I really like this ep, both host segs and the riffing. Even the movie is a blast and makes me wish I could see what they did with World Without End which was a favorite saturday afternoon creature feature for me growing up. Maybe CT or Rifftrax will do it.



  3. Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    Back when I started watching the show, back in ’94, during season 6, they were still showing lots of Joel episodes on Comedy Central. I was able to tape most of Season 4 off of CC, but I was missing a small handful of episodes, 3 of them to be exact; CITY LIMITS, MANHUNT IN SPACE, and this episode, FIRE MAIDENS OF OUTER SPACE. About 4 years ago I filled in the holes in my collection through the DAP Central, was looking forward to watching this one, and at first I wasn’t too taken by it. Loved the Timmy skit but felt the rest fell flat. Well, upon this most recent viewing (my third overall of this ep) I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. The movie is terrible, just plodding in pace and packed with padding, but Joel and the Bots do a great job riffing, as they are in the full swing of Season 4 sharpness. The Host Segments are great, in HS#2 the image of Servo on a spit and Joel’s wacky costume are F-R-E-A-K-Y, and I absolutely love the ‘Alien’-like finale in HS#3, Joel’s usage of a broom is inspired, and the wind tunnel effect is cool. “CAMBOT! GIVE ME ROCKET NUMBER NINEEEEEEEE!!!!”


    Dr. F says “Hello, Gang of Four,” during the intro. Gang of Four are an influential English post-punk band; check out ‘Entertainment!’

    Servo: “Saaaaaay, this IS a JOINT operation.”

    Crow: “Guys, we’re in for some deep padding.” —understatement of the year..

    Servo: “It’s the land of Dairy Queen!” —callback to KTMA, Cosmic Princess

    Servo: “Stay off the moors! Stay off the moors!!” —American Werewolf in London ref.

    Joel: “Eat at Joe’s. Eat at Joe’s.” –callback to Being from Another Planet

    Joel: “My pooka shells? Who took my pooka shells?”

    Servo: “I am so toasted right now..”

    Crow: “Dear God, he’s unappealing.”

    Bad movie,
    fun episode,


  4. EricJ says:

    @46 – No, Servo in the wall was the Aliens ref, the “Kill me” was pure Hercules & Captive Women callback, straight off of #412
    (Why does nobody ever get the callback refs when they’re in within five episodes from the same season?) ;)


  5. trickymutha says:



  6. Matt D says:

    Yeah, I’ve never seen this episode, but the stuff of “Timmy” is MST lore, so I will agree that this movie should be released by Shout!Factory at some point.


  7. Keith in WI says:

    Easily one of the worst movies they have ever done. Have not seen this since back in the 90s on CC reruns but do remember the Timmy bits, which I thought was clever and had some pretty funny moments. Almost like they needed something other than the movie to riff on during the theater segments because the movie was so bad. Watched it last week, and remember some great riffs, but did not think it was a great episode, like the previous one Beatniks, was.

    Classic riffs:

    “Jupiter, America’s Dairy-land”
    “This is a Star Trek set…Spock…Spock”
    “Bring Back The Boston Rag” – great Steely Dan reference
    “Can we get a table closer to the plot?”


  8. Stressfactor says:

    @ #54,

    Possibly because back in “Robot Holocaust” ‘Avacado Dad’ was also trapped in a green pod-like substance and also said “Kill me”.


  9. Jbagels says:

    Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me but I thought the guy in the pod in Aliens said something like “kill me” too.


  10. pondoscp says:

    Promo for this episode:

    This is a really good episode. Everyone’s at the top of their game here.


  11. Jason says:

    Sorry everyone, but it’s not in the public domain, and won’t be for another 40 years or so.

    #49 The line may be in H&tCW, but the scenario is straight out of Aliens… and the line appears in that movie right before the first wholesale slaughter of Space Marines. (And though both speakers were partially encased in a cocoon, Tom’s more closely resembles the one Aliens.)

    Of course, both speakers of that line were female, so it really should’ve been Gypsy on the wall. It’s just a show…. It’s just a show… It’s just a show…


  12. Alex says:

    I always loved how they used to deleted scene from Alien for this episode.

    Strangely enough I can’t remember the movie itself.


  13. The GR says:

    I saw the unMST version of this over 10 years ago and all the comments here are bringing memories of the movie…..the horror….the horror.


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

    Apparently I’m a rarity because I CAN’T STAND that the Timmy plot intruded into the theater. Maybe it would’ve been okay if it had stayed within the confines of the host segments, but the theater is for RIFFING. No subplots, not allowed. For me it ruined the whole episode. But of course that’s just me.


  15. Jbagels` says:

    Yeah, I loved whenever something else was introduced into the theater to change things up. Timmy, Gypsy, the Mads, the time Joel got up to fix things when the Commando Cody stopped working or Joel made himself big during the Godzilla movie. Even when they wore hats or whatever. Enjoyed the change of pace. Plus, Timmy didn’t interfere with the riffing much until the very end and the couple times Servo acknowledged him. To each his own I guess.


  16. Jbagels` says:

    I guess the delivery is a little different than Servos.


  17. Jbagels` says:

    That’s definitely a guy saying “kill me” so I think it’s safe to say that’s where the reference came from.


  18. Mrs. Dick Courier says:

    Just watched in online. Hadn’t seen it since its Comedy Central days. Thank you Youtube! The only thing I really remembered about it was Timmy.

    And that’s Heron from Phantom Planet!

    Anywho, really enjoyed it. I always get tickled at the movies full of padding. I like to watch the guys, they do all sorts of funny things. Favorite example being the sleeping in Monster a go go.

    Favorite part is the secretary walking, the creaking and the applause at the end.

    Also love the chat about suggestive sayings:

    Crow: She’s built like a brick sh…
    Joel: Crow!
    Crow: Show-boat.

    Once I see it a few more times I’ll become more familiar with it.


  19. Ang says:

    Is it just me or has anybody else noticed that one of the astronauts in the movie kind of looks like Christian Bale?


  20. John R. Ellis says:

    My favorite part of the experiment is when Joel asks the Bots whether they think it’ll turn out the monster is actually good.

    Mostly because that’s the exact topic I and my younger brother were discussing at the time! Ah, memories.


  21. Stressfactor says:

    Went back just to see if I could read what’s on the giant checks…and I’m surprised no one’s commented on it before now.

    The checks actually read:

    TV’s Frank of
    Dr. Clayton Forrester
    Deep Thirteen
    Undisclosed Location

    I can’t make out the zip code and phone number.


  22. Droppo says:

    5 stars from Droppo.

    Timmy is one of the all-time best running narratives within an episode. Everything from his introduction during the Posture Pals callback to Joel’s Alien parody to Frank’s final BFAP scream…perfection.

    The riffing is also fantastic, particularly the first 20-30 minutes….up there with their all-time best.

    The scene with the secretary never fails to make me laugh:
    “A secretary is not a toy…”
    “Thank you…that will be all.

    I love this episode and agree that Shout! should absolutely release it.

    One of the best.


  23. Cornjob says:

    Has there ever been a more lighthearted and playful human sacrifice scene in a film? Hestia didn’t really seem to mind being lashed to the sacrificial bar-b-q grill until the monster showed up. It had the feel of a man on the the dorm room floor interupting their weekly pillow fight.

    Does anyone else think the Fire Maidens raided Ann Francis character from “Forbidden Planet”‘s wardrobe. I’m not complaining.

    I know it’s really sexist, but compared to the sexism in Hobgoblins and Project Moonbase, the sexism of Fire Maidens is almost sweet.

    Who/What/Why is the burnt mime? Does he just want to kill what’s beautiful because he’s ugly? is he doing it for kicks? Or does he just not care? Do you care? Probably not.

    The “Heroes” of the movie may be dumb as rocks and smug over nothing, they did have selective gas bombs that put my ninja brothers’ to shame.

    Speaking of which: what do you all think of all the ninjas in the movies in season 4? What!? You haven’t seen any ninjas this season? That’s because they were being stealthy. I know this because I can’t see them either.


  24. okerry says:

    Timmy was just plain creeeepy. I don’t like shadow figures. (Maybe I shouldn’t own black cats?) If this episode ever comes out on DVD, I’m first in line to buy it. :)


  25. NickH says:

    This one is so much fun. Easy top 5 episode for me. Great riffing and probably my favorite host segments of all time. Since there aren’t very many Joel episodes left that are likely to be released (Travis’ list has 3 left now) I’m hopeful that we’ll see this episode in a set sometime later this year.


  26. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    • Dr. F is evil, so he pronounces “WimbelDON” incorrectly.

    Sampo is subversive, so he spells Wimbledon incorrectly!


  27. Projected Paul says:

    The fan letter read at the end of this episode was written by Christmas Sagan, future member of the music group, Freezepop. Joel invited her to appear on the Thanksgiving marathon last year. She even performed a cover of the MST3k theme song during the live telethon in December.

    Hey, Sampo, when will you post up that interview you conducted with her? It’s been awhile. Thanks!


  28. Sampo says:

    Johnny's nonchalance:
    • Dr. F is evil, so he pronounces “WimbelDON” incorrectly.

    Sampo is subversive, so he spells Wimbledon incorrectly!

    DOH! Now fixed. Thanks.


  29. Sampo says:

    Projected Paul:
    Hey, Sampo, when will you post up that interview you conducted with her? It’s been awhile. Thanks!

    There was no interview. And there WAS no monster. And you never had a dog! :-)


  30. Kenneth Morgan says:

    Went back just to see if I could read what’s on the giant checks…and I’m surprised no one’s commented on it before now.

    The checks actually read:

    TV’s Frank of
    Dr. Clayton Forrester
    Deep Thirteen
    Undisclosed Location

    I can’t make out the zip code and phone number.

    Maybe whoever got the checkbook during the prop auction can dig it out and post it.


  31. Sitting Duck says:

    My derisive comments about how the rocket lands in post #19 has not aged well. IIRC one of the private space travel companies has successfully developed a rocket that lands in a similar fashion.

    Tom Carberry #33: Even so nothing can prepare you for the shock that the thirteenth moon of Jupiter looks exactly like a beautiful spot in the leafy English countryside – somewhere in Surrey perhaps (although Wisconsin comes to mind) being the most likely locale–with absolutely no attempt made to evoke an alien terrain.

    And we know from Doctor Who that Britain has plenty of gravel quarries available for moonlighting as alien landscapes.


  32. Lisa H. says:

    Ha ha! MOONLIGHTING as alien landscapes! Geddit?

    (yeah, yeah, I know.)


  33. Bruce Boxliker says:

    Went back just to see if I could read what’s on the giant checks…and I’m surprised no one’s commented on it before now.

    I was trying to see the check register to see to whom all they’ve already written checks, but the freeze frame is just too blurry.


  34. jaybird3rd says:

    @#80: I just checked it on my DVD, and the writing on the giant check seems to match Stressfactor’s quote, except that the first line should be “TV’s Frank or,” not “TV’s Frank of” (the latter doesn’t make much sense).

    Ashley Holtgraver’s fan letter is one of the best they ever read on the show, and it was very well used in this episode, lifting J&TB’s spirits just when they needed it most. I was so glad to see Ashley’s participation in last year’s Kickstarter campaign.


  35. Bruce Boxliker says:

    Great episode, and not just for Timmy! All the host segments are fantastic, and even though the movie is somewhat lacking in the action department the riffing is great. The twin-screw controller segment’s Timmy-induced ‘mishaps’ are just brilliant madness.
    Once again we have a rocket that flies through a meteor field. Those things must just be EVERYWHERE in space. It’s almost like space isn’t even space, what with all of them flying around everywhere in random directions. And do our rocket-riding astronauts in these movies ever run into comets (the icebergs of space!)?


  36. Mr. Krasker says:

    Another piece of sexism (and species-ism?) that never gets commented on is that, when the astronauts first see the ugly creature struggling with the beautiful woman, they apply their standards of beauty and automatically assume the ugly one is the bad one.

    It would be perfectly possible (at that point in the film) for the monster to be good and the screeching woman to be the evil aggressor.


  37. thequietman says:

    Monkeyshines AND lying, Crow?

    I’d never seen this one before tonight and coming after the dark comedy of “Tormented” and the hep wackiness of “The Beatniks” this was a bit of a comedown.

    Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Timmy story arc, especially the climactic showdown (although I couldn’t tell, was Joel barefoot during that?), but the movie really does drag and I had a hard time staying focused despite several very funny riffs, including these:

    [cut to Control guy holding radio after what seems like hours]
    Joel: You’re STILL on hold?!

    [Hestia gets mobbed and tied up by the other women]
    Crow: Hey, somebody finally filmed my dream!


  38. Be Right There says:

    In the final host segment, Joel challenges the Mads to do their worst, film-wise. Later in the season, we get Monster a Go-Go and Manos, both regarded as some of the worst films in MST history. Be careful what you wish for, Joel.
    The Timmy segments are some of my favorites in the show. Timmy himself is actually a bit spooky, mainly because we never find out what he is, beyond Joel calling him a “dark specter”. I wonder what the Mads wound up doing with him?


  39. Cornjob says:

    My old comments at #73 still hold. An awful but fun movie (once they find the Fire Maidens anyway).

    Speaking of which, I think there were too many of them. Aside from Hestia and the evil brunette they were completely undifferentiated. The vigilante girls in Angel’s Revenge were characterized with more individuality.

    The guys in this movie have the best luck. All they have to do is sit on their butts, go for a jog, and throw a gas grenade, and a whole harem of beautiful women in skimpy tunics submit to them as if they were gods.

    If this was being riffed now I imagine the small herd of shoe averse young ladies would warrant a Quentin Tarantino joke or two. Would Tarantino’s favorite ladies of MST be worth a discussion thread?


  40. Bruce Boxliker says:

    Also, I’m glad they had the foresight to arm themselves with pistols, plenty of ammo, and gas grenades for their peaceful mission of scientific exploration. Especially since the only thing they did that was even remotely scientific was to check that the air was breathable before they went out…


  41. Bad Wolf says:

    If you described what’s in this movie to me I’d expect it to be a lot of fun: girls, space travel, lost worlds. How it ends up being so dull and lifeless simply amazes me.

    At this point in the series I find I enjoy the movies that aren’t ‘classic’ fare–50s monsters, Sci-Fi, b&w–to be much more enjoyable. Live and learn!


  42. robot rump! says:

    sorry for not reading through all the comments if this was mentioned, but, where does the ‘WHO ARRRE YOOOOOUUUU?’ reference come from? i know, i know…i SHOULD know this but a 500 pound hamster i call work is sitting on my head right now…..


  43. littleaimishboy says:

    #92: I think Bob nailed it back in 2008, the line is from High Plains Drifter.


  44. Cornjob says:

    I thought the monster was going to turn out to be good myself the first time I watched. The second time I watched I was on to him.

    This movie also has the most lighthearted human sacrifice scene ever. Hestia just lays on the bar-b-q grill waiting to be immolated like she’s a baby sitter patiently indulging some kids who wanted to tie her up. She only get’s upset when the mime shows up. As if he posed a greater threat than her sisters and the bonfire. Hestia didn’t even hold the attempted murder against her sisters. Nice girl, if a little naive. I’m not sure I’d be so understanding if someone tried to burn me alive.

    “When slumber parties go bad.”

    “This is what happens when you send your daughter to an all girl school.”

    “How come there’s no cute girls here to tie us up?”


  45. littleaimishboy says:

    “So this is the flight deck, huh? Is there, like, an altimeter or something?”

    “Why of course. It’s in that little alcove, behind the beaded curtain.”

    “Say, who designed this space ship anyhow?”

    “Why, the same boffins who designed my office, old chap.”

    “Aaaaggghhh! Lemme outta here!”

    “Goodness, whatever’s got into our American friend? Here, help me get him down this winding marble staircase to the billiard room. Mind the little gate halfway down the stairs …”


  46. Blonde Russian Spy says:

    This movie has my all time, #1 favorite host segment ever:

    Let go of him, you bitch!

    I swear, the first time I saw it I was practically on the floor laughing! I didn’t know it was from Aliens (I’ve never watched that movie, or any of its outtakes); I just knew it was SO out of character for laid back, sleepy eyed Joel that I found it hilarious. The whole episode is worth it, just to see that.


  47. Cornjob says:

    I guess I’ll have to watch High Plains Drifter again. Great movie.


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