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Episode guide: 104- Women of the Prehistoric Planet

Movie: (1966) A spaceship crashes on a prehistoric world, and its companion ship heads back to search for survivors.

First shown: 02/10/90 (unconfirmed)
Opening: Joel has redecorated
Invention exchange: Clay & Lar’s Flesh Barn, toilet paper in a bottle
Host segment 1: During “This is Joel’s Life,” a strange machine appears outside the ship, so Joel brings it inside
Host segment 2: J&TB try to disarm the Isaac Asimov’s Literary Doomsday Device, but the instructions are no help
Host segment 3: The device explodes, with horrific consequences
End: The effects wear off, letters, the winners of the “name the plant guy ” contest.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (111 votes, average: 4.04 out of 5)

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• I’m out of order?? This episode’s out of order! The whole show’s out of order!! Sorry. Yes, this is the episode with the weird production number. In the ACEG, the Brains confirmed what many fans had long suspected: that this was the final episode BBI shot for season one but, for reasons that remain murky, it was given a production number of 104, indicating it was the fourth one shot, which it wasn’t.
• It was pretty clear to fans that something was up long before the Brains admitted it: this episode features a number of innovations that would arrive later in this season, including an opening segment before the commercial, buttons on the desk in the SOL, and a Movie Sign that looks much more like the Movie Sign we know. Another major clue was the references to several LATER episodes, most notably in the closing segment when Joel announces the WINNERS of a contest that will not be announced until episode 110- ROBOT HOLOCAUST. Also in that segment, a letter refers to episode 105- THE CORPSE VANISHES and episode 109- PROJECT MOONBASE.
• So why aren’t I waiting to do this one at the end of season? It’s about consistency. I have no idea what other episodes were produced out of order from their production numbers. If I had a complete, definitive list of every episode in the order it was produced, I might do them in that order. But if I can’t do them ALL like that, I’m not going to do any, and I will stick with the only ordering system we’re sure about.
• I’ve told the story before, but this was the episode that I stumbled on to when I discovered the show for the first time. I’d actually seen this movie on TV several years before and had been looking to catch it again, so my first delight was in seeing the movie I’d been looking for for so long–then that delight was compounded by the commentary. I was hooked.
• So, all that said, this is definitely one of the best of season 1. The riffing is full-on and fierce, at full season 2 level. It’s got a big, bright, wacky movie with smug John Agar, drunken Wendell Corey, a young Angel from “The Rockford Files,” the stupid “hi-keeba!” racist comic relief guy and on and on. It has a nice story arc set of host segments that are, admittedly, more clever than funny (a problem we’ll encounter often in season 2), but they’re fun all the same. You can really see greatness in their future.
• In the opening bit, Joel says he has “redecorated.” That appears to mean only that they’ve lowered the desk and added a somewhat ratty-looking couch. Nothing else appears to be different.
• This episode contains the first original song on the national series: the “Clay and Lar’s Flesh Barn” jingle (and I would love to know who that is playing the kazoo in the background).
• The catchphrase “Wonder what SHE wanted?” arrives.
• When Joel wants to see the alien spacecraft that’s approaching, he shouts: “Give me an exterior of the ship.” No Rocket No. 9 just yet.
• Joel’s line “…and he’s nobody sweetheart” is a Firesign Theatre reference.
• This show features the first speaking role for Mike Nelson (he’s the voice of the killer satellite).
• Tom twice refers to one of the leading men as “Johnny Longtorso,” a name that would later be used in an invention exchange in episode 421- MONSTER A-GO-GO.
• Of course, this episode is where the oft-repeated phrase “Hi-keeba!” came from, shouted by actor Paul Gilbert (NOT Wendell Corey, as the ACEG incorrectly states).
• Great line from segment three: “Ah, the Samuel Becket method!”
• I never noticed before, but this movie contains several needle-drops of some very familiar incidental music. I tend to think if it as the musical sting from “This Island Earth” (o/` Da-da-daaaaaaa! o/`) but maybe that was a needle-drop too. Any movie score experts out there know what movie this music was in first?
• Favorite riff: “Oh, I’m gonna go spank myself!”

56 comments to Episode guide: 104- Women of the Prehistoric Planet

  • 1
    finniasjones says:

    Strictly speaking, this should be after Black Scorpion at the end of the season, but now that we’re reviewing this one instead of Corpse Vanishes I’m partially relieved. Season One badly needed an injection of colorful sci-fi at this point, and aside from the couple of host segment anomalies Sampo mentioned, it doesn’t make much of a difference to the series’ “narrative”.

    The movie itself is light fluff, and even with its moments of racism, miscegenation, and violence against women, it mostly plays like an extended early episode of Star Trek, which I love it for. Plus Irene looks good modeling her various primitive outfits. The co-ed make-up of the crew predicts some films we’ll see later on MST like Rocketship X-M, 12 To The Moon, & First Spaceship On Venus.

    This was the first Season One episode I ever saw (thanks to Rhino’s Vol. 9 set), and my first exposure to Josh Weinstein. I was so new to the show that while I noted the absence of TV’s Frank in Deep 13, I didn’t realize that Servo was not being voiced by Kevin Murphy. I mostly noticed that the riffing was “slower” than what I was used to from the show. 3 stars.

       0 likes

  • 2
    Dan in WI says:

    Crow sure changed the subject pretty quick when Joel asked what was in the those brownies. Speaking as someone who didn’t actually eat one, I’d sure like to know.

    Wow that invention exchange is a study in contrasts. Clay and Lar’s Flesh Barn is of course a variation (or is it an evolution) of the old Road Kill Café theme. It was clever and a catchy little tune. But seriously what was up with Joel’s toilet paper in a 2 liter bottle thing? It was so bland and out of character for a Joel invention. Was there some sort of joke I’m missing here? In my opinion it is never a good sign when he found the need to continue to attempt to sell the invention when walking into the theater.
    Oh and the Flesh Barn model sure looks a lot like the home of the Big G Burger from later seasons.

    The mutiny on the Cosmos III absolutely had that 60’s Star Trek feel to it right down to the set itself and the bad acting.

    While I’ve not yet see all the Season 1 episodes, so far of what I have seen this is my favorite. I’m sure it’s because it is the last episode of the season and as such really the most evolved of them. It would have fit pretty well in season 2. Also it is a very accessible movie which always helps.

    Favorite Riff:
    We see the spaceship for the first time.
    Tom: It’s any piece of alternative reality we chose it to be.
    Joel: That’s no alternative piece of reality. It’s a battle station.
    I’ve always wondered way we didn’t get more Star Wars riffs over the years.

       0 likes

  • 3
    bad wolf says:

    I don’t know if it was Comedy Channel (/Central) or Best Brains behind the odd numbering but @finniasjones is probably right that the bright, colorful movie here was a welcome relief from the B&W of the first three–and the next three (?). Since they’ve said part of their selling to CC was the time-filler of a two hour show run several times a week, someone upstairs may have realized they were filling their schedule with really old-looking B&W movies and made or asked for a schedule switch-up. It would look like MTV padding out its first year’s schedules with ragtime music.

    The movie itself is the sort of good ’50s sci-fi that i first think of as perfect MST3K source material. The weird aspect to my modern sensibilities is the constant racism–with the aliens all played by a particular racial group! The second in command’s racist dialogue is never really countered by the other characters and there is no sense of “i was wrong the whole time” at the end, as you would probably have in a more contemporary version.

       0 likes

  • 4
    Saint Rude says:

    I noticed that besides the incidental music used in This Island Earth (the same as that in Revenge of the Creature), there are two further musical motifs that appear in The Human Duplicators and Phantom Planet, respectively.

       0 likes

  • 5
    ck says:

    There was also an implied Euro-centric “colonialism is good
    for you” theme in the movie. At most the Centaurians will,
    through the benevolent Earthlings tutoring, “regain” their past
    civilized culture.

    At least there was someone for comic relief more irritating then Angel.

    And the absurdity of the spas crewman falling in the acid water instead
    of going about a foot around it…..

    However, the movie did have an interesting treatment of space travel in
    Einsteinian relativity, although it also illustrated the plot problems
    of not using warp drive in space travel plots.

    Oh, and I liked the extra interview by Irene Tsu.

       0 likes

  • 6
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    This is a great episode with of course, the iconic catch-phrase that every MSTie should see first-hand, “hi-keeba!”. I really like “Clay & Lar’s Flesh Barn”. Lots of memorable jokes in this one. “Bang shang-alang, Tang”.

    What’s up with the comment above that the “more clever than funny” host segments are “(a problem we’ll encounter often in season 2)”? That’s a matter of perspective. I don’t see a problem and I still think Season 2 has some of the best episodes ever and one reason for that is the host segments to me are some of the funniest and cleverest they ever produced. Wild Rebels Cereal, Funny Or Not Funny Floating, Civil Defense Quiz, I could go on and on, I never get tired of those hilarious season two segments. They are extremely clever and to me they are also fall-on-the-floor funny too.

       1 likes

  • 7
    TheDON3k says:

    Hmmm…. How were winners announced to a contest that had yet to even air? I guess it’s like those lotteries I keep winning that I don’t even recall entering.

       0 likes

  • 8
    robot rump! says:

    typical sci fi b-movie fare. i feel sorry for Tang’s ‘hungry friend’ Teeko, the velvet snake and the extra cripsy lizard. i doubt they had much to say about their parts. i would say it was an interesting twist at the end but…it really.. wasn’t. at least we got ‘hi keeba! and Johnny Longtorso’ out of this mess.

       0 likes

  • 9
    hi-Cuba! says:

    I believe some the score featured in both this film and The Phantom Planet is originally from the 1950 classic Destination Moon, composed by Leith Stevens.

       0 likes

  • 10
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    Many film studios maintained score libraries and re-used well-written music in multiple movies. Universal is one studio I know did this all the time. As a fan of their classic monster movies from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s I can tell you that there are certain pieces of music that I heard used over and over again through the pictures made during those years. I’ve heard music from the Creature From The Black Lagoon films in other films for certain and I’ve also heard music from the original Frankenstein movies in The Phantom Creeps, which is a Universal serial that of course was also riffed on MST3K.

       0 likes

  • 11
    finniasjones says:

    #3 bad wolf: Good theory, but the “All Time MST3K Broadcast Schedule” over at mst3ktemple.com indicates this episode didn’t premiere until after 113. When repeats started it was placed in “proper” order as 104. I think the original plan was for this movie to be 4th but CC couldn’t get the film rights in time so the Brains just moved ahead with their schedule, producing this one last.

    Which means when initially aired, Season One featured 8 B&W movies in a row, with Robot Holocaust being the first color film shown nationally. Yikes…

    I’m gonna go spank myself.

       0 likes

  • 12
    Tork_110 says:

    I made a screen capture that sums up the movie. It’s of the scene where they had to cross over a pool on a log. (Click my user name.)

    Look at how ridiculous the scene is! Just walk around it, already!

       1 likes

  • 13
    Sharktopus says:

    I’m not sure where I read this, but someone at BBI – I want to say Kevin – said that there were rights issues with the movie that was going to be featured in 104 – presumably WotPP – so they skipped it and started work on 105. So why isn’t The Corpse Vanishes #104? They never made a cable TV show before and just didn’t know any better.

    Regardless of the episode number and when it aired, Women Of The Prehistoric Planet is clearly the last episode produced for season 1, so it’s a nice breath of fresh air to watch it earlier in the season. And I’ll admit it – I didn’t see the surprise ending coming the first time. I’m a bit embarrassed about that. So the movie claims that two of our ancient ancestors were half white/half Chinese aliensm Does that mean that the other races evolved from the indigenous savages of Earth? Racist undertones indeed.

       0 likes

  • 14
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ 12# “Look at how ridiculous the scene is! Just walk around it, already!”

    Oh yeah, that cracks me up every time I see that scene. It’s like it’s some major miles-long obstacle. It’s almost as implausible as, well, the entire rest of the movie, especially the ending where apparently two people can be a breeding population for an entire race of humans. For an SF, they sure tossed the laws of physics and nature out the window.

       0 likes

  • 15
    Hopkins says:

    We’re definitely firing on all cylinders here. ‘Clay and Lar’s Flesh Barn’ is one of the all time great moments of the entire run of the show. I still giggle every single time. The movie is such an obvious Trek precursor. Everything is so cheap…blinky lights, mechanical switches that make great snapping noises, cardboard sets.

    Wendell Corey is a bit sad to behold. He was never a big star but seeing him on the slide into oblivion is disconcerting.

    I always watch Agar very carefully. He was also a drunk and Shirley Temple divorced him because he allegedly beat her. What kind a of a human being do you have to be to beat up on Shirley Temple!? I’m always looking for some kind of demented body language from him.

       2 likes

  • 16
    frankenforcer says:

    If Mad Monster was shown in December and this was shown in february, more than likely most casual viewers probably thought that somehow they had missed several episodes between Ep: 3 and this one. I know I would have. Had to have been the more hardcore of the developing MSTies that would have realized nothing new had come from the BRains in the two months between.

       0 likes

  • 17
    Fred Burroughs says:

    Prime MST movie: bad sets, bad acting, a planet that’s about 25 feet long. The ‘walking around’ sequences remind me of the later Rock Climbing with Lost Continent. Lots of fake jungle and …walking. 5 minute break, anyone?
    I’m confused by the weird comments about this being a ‘racist’ movie; it’s anything but. The Centaurians are vaguely Asian, and the bad attitudes toward them from some of the crew are proven wrong by the end of the movie. Even the awkward moments are treated with sensitivity, not like most ham-fisted PC films today. I like that the Centaurians are shown to be a real people, not a race of perfect cartoon nobles a’la Avatar. Some of them were rebellious and passionate, and some were caring, intelligent, and loyal.
    And B(ob): about an entire race of humans being descended from just 2 people: where else would they possibly come from?

       0 likes

  • 18
    This Guy says:

    @15:
    This movie has an interesting (if you’re a total Star Trek nerd like I am) Trek connection, too: Irene Tsu (Linda) and Robert Ito (Tang) would much later appear together in an episode of ST: Voyager as Harry Kim’s parents. Ito also featured in a first-season episode of The Next Generation.

       0 likes

  • 19
    Cody Himes says:

    This is actually one of my 12 favorite episodes (I couldn’t narrow it down to 10, OK!?). The movie itself isn’t horrible, but it’s obvious it was filmed on a tiny budget. It actually seems to me like a script that had been written in the early 50s but was shelved for ten years. Also, the musical cue Sampo noted (DA-DA-DAAAAAA) is from Henry Mancini’s score for Creature From the Black Lagoon. I’d have to check again, but I think some cues from the 40s Frankenstein, Wolf Man and Dracula films might be reused as well.

    As for the riffing, I think it’s the strongest of the show so far. There are still a few slow spots, but the movie is breezy enough (IMO) that it doesn’t grind to a halt like earlier episodes (I’m looking at you, Mad Monster). And although this is the actual last episode of season 1, I’ll hold my thoughts on the entire season until we get to The Black Scorpion.

       0 likes

  • 20

    As has been said, this aired after 113. No one watching knew what the episode numbers were at the time, so no one thought anything unusual was going on.

    This is one of my favorite episodes, and contains the beginning of the long-running riff about giving the lead actor a cheesy tough-guy name (which didn’t originate in Space Mutiny, as latecomers continue to believe.)

    A nice color movie that you can actually see, good riffing…a good episode all-around.

       0 likes

  • 21
    losingmydignity says:

    I concur that music Sampo doth speak of is originally from the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Creature came out in 1954 while This Island Earth was 55. In fact, every film I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen most of them) that utilizes the music have a date after Creature so…

    The best ep of the season and pretty decent at that.

       0 likes

  • 22
    H says:

    This is an enjoyable one. The movie’s good but I’m surprised how little talk there’s been about the host segments. I especially like the instruction manual segment but I guess Isaac Asimov is just a divisive subject. I enjoy his work but their characterization is pretty accurate.

       0 likes

  • 23
    Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    Great episode, misplaced or not. Fun movie, clever Host Segments, and breezy riffing in the theater. This one is real close to the quality of Season 2.

    The comic relief guy? . . . . . .Worst Ever! He kept groping Annette, which was GRODY!

    Joel is really active in the theater, interacting with the screen often. Poking, standing, pacing, looking over shoulders, and my fave, trying to crawl into someone’s arms while saying “Hold me.” HILarious.

    This is the Best Season One experiment yet!

    But what’s up with the title? It don’t make sense!

    RIFFS:

    Crow: “Check out all those space age lockers.”

    Servo’s “Johnny Longtorso” comment is a callforward to a later invention exchange. (I know, Sampo mentioned it, but I’m trying hard to coin this term “callforward” so just deal).

    Crow makes a “Land of Dairy Queen” reference which is a callback to KTMA 10- Cosmic Princess.

    That’s all I got written down; I was busy Christmas shopping online while watching this one.

    HI-KEEBA!

    !

       1 likes

  • 24
    Spector says:

    It was VERY obvious this episode was made much later in Season One. The interaction between Joel and the ‘Bots in the host segments is much better, and the riffing is very tight during the movie, which is typically bad 1950s sci-fi. This one ranks as the best episode of Season One, although it’s nowhere near as good as the best episodes in later seasons, it’s still very good. You can see in this one what the show was going to become. And of course it’s responsible for giving us the show’s first catchphrase, the beloved “HI-KEEBA!” which would be repeated several times throughout the show’s history. Four stars.

       0 likes

  • 25
    Alex says:

    Meh…. I never liked this episode too much. The fact that most of the host segments are about the doomsday machine and the riffing is….. okay. This is also one heck of a weird film. Overall, not one of the best, but I still love how “Hi-keeba!” originated from this episode.

       0 likes

  • 26
    ck says:

    They certainly got Isaac Asmov’s ego accurately in
    the skits. A while ago I began reading his two volume,
    autobiography (which had much interesting in it) but was
    so egocentric and smug I gave up on it before the end
    of volume one. Still, for a sensuous dirty old man he
    had some interesting scifi, especially the two scifi
    detective novels and the flawed Foundation series
    (history aspects poor, and the Mule getting sucker punched
    by the smug, superior Hari Seldon’s.

       0 likes

  • 27
    Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    Anybody who has TWO volumes of autobiography MUST be a smug, ego-centric kinda guy.

       2 likes

  • 28
    RaptorialTalon says:

    @ #17

    “And B(ob): about an entire race of humans being descended from just 2 people: where else would they possibly come from?”

    Um . . . population genetics does render this impossible without catastrophic inbreeding . . . think about it, won’t you?

    @#20

    “This is one of my favorite episodes, and contains the beginning of the long-running riff about giving the lead actor a cheesy tough-guy name (which didn’t originate in Space Mutiny, as latecomers continue to believe.)”

    I’m a latecomer, and I don’t fit your sweeping generalization. I like seeing the evolution of the concept, but I will continue to believe that Space Mutiny represents the pinnacle of that particular meme. Since, you know, it’s the best-delivered and all-around funniest.

    Regarding the Asimov comments . . . the man considered himself to be intellectually superior to nearly everyone else. Hubris at its best. IIRC Carl Sagan was one of only two people Asimov considered to be his intellectual equals.

       0 likes

  • 29
    MiqelDotCom says:

    Probably a good decision to air this one out of order … the rapid development of season 1 riffing skills really is in evidence here, it almost feels like a mediocre later season episode, compared to last week that felt more like a KTMA.

    I like the unusual intro segment, no invention exchange but the uncooked meat song makes up for it.
    Launches right into the later-season esque credit riffing .. and COLOR! An awesome oversaturated 60s color sci-fi film! Yay! This is the type film that i most associate with the MST3K paradigm.

    The riffing starts out strong, with a few solid zingers in the first few minutes!

    J,C,T: “Look it’s a lady remmington … a steam iron? … a biscuit warmer? … a chrome watermelon? …”

    Space guy:”Doc, you better dust off your dress uniform”
    Joel: “The Strapless one?”

    Sculpted extra-shiny hair-gel guy: “Is that our time here in space our theirs back at home?” (Joel interacts with the film, touching his hair, feeling the goop)
    Crow: “You’re new here aren’t you Elvis” (really -guy has almost a Shoney’s ‘Big Boy’ hair style)

    Smug racist captain: “I just don’t think we should put so much trist in them, that’s all”
    Crow: “yea, lock em in relocation camps”

    Smug racist capt: “Admiral King’s theory of cosmic colonization”
    Tom: “Is that a Ray Stevens song?” (Note: this cracks me up because Ray’s music publishing company&studios are a few blocks away here in nashville)

    Joel: “Pigs in Spaaace”

    Space ship splashes into swamp: “Filmed on location in Tommy Ronick’s front yard”
    Lt. Bradley: “What do you suppose happened to them admiral?”
    Crow: “They probably crashed in Tommy’s front yard”

    Drunk sounding Admiral: “You can’t trust young planets”
    Joel: “yeah, They’re lazy and they listen to loud music

    There are some mildly dull points later, but overall the focus, timing and creativity of the riffs feel surprisingly ‘modern’ for a season 1, guess they really clicked in the writing sessions. Shades of brilliant things to come. Smile

    Firsts:
    – No invention exchange in intro?
    – Exo-pinchers (revised as a glove operated device in MST3K movie)
    – First Doomsday Machine scenario?

    Classic Riffs:
    – FIRST mention of Johnny LongTorso (?!)
    – HaiKeeeba! (!!!)
    – That was NO boating accident (might have been in the final ktma too)
    – Wonder what (he/she) wanted?

       0 likes

  • 30
    Brandon says:

    My review:

    Plot: Astronauts crash onto a prehistoric world that…. really has no women to speak of. Until Linda is left behind with the planet’s main guy “Tang”, who is “Tangeriffic” I guess.

    Host Segments:
    Opening: Joel redecorates the SOL to look like a talk show stage, for if he ever gets back to Earth.
    Invention Exchange: Clay and Lar’s Flesh barn; Joel’s toilet paper roll inside a bottle.
    Segment 1: A strange satellite is found outside the ship. Joel, typically brings it in.
    Segment 2: J&TB try to disarm the satellite, but that’s not cheese! Oh, wait, wrong episode. Sorry.
    Segment 3: The satellite transforms J&TB into Issac Asimov clones.
    Enging: J&TB announce the winners to the “Name the Plant Guy” contest.

    Memorable Riffs:
    Servo: “We wish you a Merry Anders!”

    Joel: He must hit his head on that beam a lot.”
    Servo: “Probably doesn’t even feel it anymore.”

    Crow: “You’re new here aren’t you Elvis?”

    Servo: “PIGS IN SPACE!!!!”

    Servo: “Meanwhile at the Ocarina.”

    Joel: “No Thunderlizards were harmed during the making of this film.”

    Servo: “Spin & Marty to the rescue!”

    (Tang picks up Linda from the river)
    Servo: “Hey, it’ll look great over the mantle!”

    Tang: “I am Tang.”
    Servo: “I’m not just for breakfast anymore.”

    Linda: “Uh… Tang?”
    Crow: “We’re fresh out.”

    Joel: “You two disposable characters wait here.”

    Servo: “Come on, show her your red butt, like at the zoo.”

    Tang: “Linda like Tang?”
    Crow: “Well, I like other kinds of beverages like Hi-C.”

    Captain: “I can’t leave her here! Linda’s my daughter!”
    Crow: “Jeez, talk about deux ex machina!”

    Crow (as Tang): “We got a planet to populate.”
    Joel (as Linda): “I’m already bored, Tang.”

    Fav. Riff:
    Paul Gilbert: “There’s on thing that puzzles me…”
    Crow: “Fractions!”

    Comments:
    -Joel mentions “Tang” during the opening segment. What are the odds?

    -Joel’s wearing a ti-dye shirt underneath his jumpsuit!

    -This film is THE ultimate candidate for MOST MISLEADING TITLE ever, not to mention most misleading poster. I originally thought this film’s title was supposed to be called, “WOMAN of the prehistoric Planet”, as that’d be more accurate, and “Women” was just a typo. But, nope, the studio purpously gave it “Women” to draw in audiences. Supposeldy foreign versions exist showing nude women swimming in lakes and ponds.

    -We get the first mention of the nickname, “Johnny Longtorso.”

    -Segment 1 is sort of re-made into the Hubble segment from MST3K: The Movie.

    -We hear Mike’s voice for the first time in the episode. Ironically, his first line involves calling Joel a creep.

    -We get the origin of the cry “Hi-Keeba!” from this film. I wonder if that’s how it was written in the script, or if Paul Gilbert ad-libbed it.

    -A rare moment in the series where either of the robots actually do something… well “robotic”. Crow scans the satellite instructions with his eyes so Joel understands them. Usually the Bots are very human-like.

    -Unintentionally funny moment in the film. Linda asks where her clothes are, and Tang simply says that they’re wet. Never actually explaining where they are. The moment where Linda realizes Tang undressed her while she was unconscious is just as humorous.

    -When Linda says, “I must go back to the ship that brought me here”, watch the actress in the iceblock behind her. She’s moving around even though she’s supposed to be frozen. Whoops.

    -The “crossing the log” scene ranks IMO one of the DUMBEST scenes in any MST’ed film!

    -Dirty-sounding riff: “I’m gonna go spank myself.” – Joel as the monkey.

    -The “shocking” twist ending to this film wouldn’t be so bad, if not for the fact that the final shot of Earth, is clearly a “modern-day” shot of Earth. Remember Pangea?

    -Servo’s head falls off during the final segment. Josh: “That was my skull!”

    -Not only is this the final season 1 episode produced, it’s the last episode with castmember Josh Weinstein. So starting with season 2, Tom Servo gets a new voice, and Dr. Forrester gets a new assistant. Farewell, Josh! See you in twenty… er… nineteen… er… whatever.

    -You’re probably wondering why this episode has the number “104”, if it’s the last season 1 episode. Kevin Murphy explains in the ACEG book, that Comedy Central couldn’t get the rights to this movie in time to shoot, so The Brains just skipped this episode and went ahead to shoot 105.
    Although, one has to wonder why The Brains didn’t just re-fix the numbering system? Nobody at BBI probably remembers, but here’s my own theory:
    Back then production numbers were only used for in-house reference only. Mainly so networks would know what order the episodes are supposed to go in, when airing them in syndication. The brains probably figured that since there was no “arc” in any of the episodes, and most fans had the numbering systems memorized anyway, it seemed a waste to refigure everything, so the number was lift the way it is. Although The Brains plumb forgot about the letter reading segment, which makes references to shows 105, 109, and 110!

    Best segment: All of the segments have to do with the killer satellite. I probably like Segment 2 the best.
    Worst segment: I dunno. Segmet 1 is kinda stupid.

    Overall: A really good lead in for Season 2. This one of the best season 1 shows. Riffing is very tight, and segments are enjoyable. I like this episode a lot. But, as you might imagine, the episode still doesn’t hold a candle to what will be in store for us next year.
    Rating: ***

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  • 31
    Keith Palmer says:

    I suppose that ever since I noticed the “MST3K Chronocinethon” put this episode at the end of the first season, I’ve thought of it that way too… although Sampo’s argument for listing it fourth does make sense to me, and of course I haven’t tried watching those “eight black and white movies” one after another, so where I put it doesn’t really matter.

    As for the episode itself, though, I’m not quite sure how much I can say about the riffing, as I haven’t rewatched it lately… but the movie does sort of fascinate me as a skewed version of “Star Trek,” made just before that series set its own stamp on “a quasi-military exploring starship”… although maybe the movie could also be seen as a degenerate copy of Forbidden Planet too. The digs at Isaac Asimov sort of got my attention as well, and I do sort of remind myself he was alive when they were made.

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  • 32
    Lee S. says:

    I wonder if “The Amazing Colossal Episode Guide” will ever be republished with errors like that corrected (and the other 4 seasons covered). Probably not, but it would be nice.

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  • 33
    fish eye no miko says:

    “Oh, great, man evolved from Tang!”

    I LOVE the “Clay and Lar’s Flesh Barn” song. Although… please tell me I’m not the only one who can’t help but think that “Flesh Barn” kinda sounds like a strip club or something?

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  • 34
    Fart Bargo says:

    Classic cheesy SciFi with a heavy dose of White Man Reality world “views”. Enjoyed this very much. Riffs were sharp and host segments lots of fun. Amazing that Josh is only 18(?), he is exceptionally quick.

    As others posted, the Pond of Acid danger should have been in a Commando Cody episode. I especially enjoyed the use of clothesline rope as a safety line, star spanning civilization my toucus.

    In closing, the spider puppet was pretty lame. There are a load of competitors to come however.

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  • 35
    M "I Never Knew Lizards Were So Darn Flammable" Sipher says:

    #30 - We hear Mike’s voice for the first time in the episode. Ironically, his first line involves calling Joel a creep.

    Actually, no… a few moments earlier, Servo asked “Are we up a creek here?”, as in the famous one. The one you don’t want to be up sans paddle. And the Doomsday Satellite says at the end of its alert “And yes, you are up a creek.”

    Speaking of, the Doomsday Satellite bits always tickled me. I love Crow’s attempts to read back the instructions, followed by the electronic laugh after Joel gets Silly Stringed. Coupled with Tom and Crow being casually little to no help whatsoever the entire time (“It’s just a doomsday machine! If it goes off, it’s not like we’re gonna be around to experience oblivion.” ), and the ridiculous fate when they fail to stop it… well.

    This has always been one of my favorite episodes, for most of the reasons stated already, with the best bit clearly being the log-crossing. Tom’s bemused “Oooh shame what a pity” is delivered beautifully.

    And yeah… they’re kinda-sorta TRYING to say stuff about racism=bad, but… it comes across very weak, and kinda self-defeating. “The Centaurians once had a powerful culture. They could again with our help.” Gee. And the one really racist crewmember… I can’t remember which one he is, all those white guys look alike… never really got any comeuppance, did he? Just John Agar being snotty at him, which, well, is the same thing everyone else gets.

    Or maybe it was John Agar.

    Maybe we’re both Cody. Ooooooooo.

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  • 36
    ck says:

    #34 (Fart Bargo)
    “n closing, the spider puppet was pretty lame. There are a load of competitors to come however.”
    ==========================================
    Is that a prescient attack at The Horrors of Spider island?
    Don’t make me have Babs hurt you.

    Btw, I imagine she’d polish off Tang (or any other refreshment on that particualr movie Earth) in about five minutes and then start after the remarkably ineffectual native “fighters.”

    Also, here’s a theory. They crossed the logs because Angel told them that anyone trying to
    go around it should watch out for snakes.

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  • 37
    TheDON3k says:

    Sampo, there’s something I was going to bring up as a possible interview question for Josh or Joel, or any of the gang, really.

    Noticeably (at least to me) in Season 1, there’s riffs which are post-edited into the episodes, in some cases seemingly to add a little more fill, and possibly other times to fix a flub, but most noticeably it seems to be to fill a missed riff. Now, was the riff missed on the script, or instead a riff that they thought of afterward, I’d find interesting.

    If you listen to the episodes on a decent home theater audio system, these lines stand out, since the audio mix is not a perfect match for the actual ‘in-theater’ audio. The audio added later sound a bit flat, soft, or very very slightly lower than the natural audio from the gang captured during shooting. This is where the receiver and speakers pay off, since they stand out.

    I was going to bring this up last week, too, but didn’t get around to it.

    Some examples early on in this episode are:

    Joel (6:10 – Discussion about the spacecraft shape) That’s no alternative piece of reality, that’s a battle-station!

    Crow (8:15 – Besides audio change, mouth does not move) They’re over by e-minor, or c-sharp…

    Joel (10:45 – Discussion about the Admiral) And you’re no Jack Kennedy, Senator!

    Joel (16:15 – Comic Relief Guy talking to the ladies) He’s done everything but insult a Centaurian!

    Crow (12:10 – Craft fly-by – no mouth movement) Even our name says Merry Christmas!

    All (20:15 – *Possible* during the Skipper, Gilligan… bit) Crow has missed mouth-movements, and it sounds as if Josh is doing most of the name call-outs, as well as possible Josh’s voice heard during Crow’s mouth movement.

    Joel’s redubs really stand out, while a few from Trace are difficult to tell (like the Skipper, Gillian bit). There’s several instances of Crow’s mouth not moving, but Trace’s audio seems to match, so I think this was just a puppeteer mistake.

    Anyway, just wondered about this, in regards to the why – was it to simply fill the episode with a bit more, or more that a scripted line was completely missed or flubbed, or simply that someone realized that a great joke had been missed during their writing and came up with it once shooting was complete.

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  • 38
    Chief?McCloud! says:

    Xenophobic women gropers? Couldn’t care less….its a movie….from the sixties. FWIW, the chief engineer does mention that their “relations” began on land, before the space mission.

    Most have touched on all of the firsts, idiosyncracies, and minutia of this episode. So, just some riffs worthy of mention.

    Superb Monty Python riff: “Frow dem to the gwound pwanet most woughwy.”

    Literary/movie riff: *James Mason voice* “….eh, Lolita.”

    Favorite riff: “Mom….always….did like you….best.”

    Honorable mention: “Hey, the mummy’s getting better.”

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  • 39
    Kouban says:

    I only have one question about this movie: What the hell was with that mumbly/slurry captain? Was he drunk during the whole production?

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  • 40
    TarlCabot says:

    The Flesh Barn song is the best thing to come out of Season 1.

    If you’re tired of the same old fare,
    You’ve got a friend in Clay and Lar,
    All our meat is guaranteed rare,
    Because we don’t cook it.

    If you’re tired of cookin’ at home,
    Try our meat right off the bone,
    If you listen you can hear it moan,
    Because we don’t cook it.

    Now there’s no need for you to drive through,
    Our fresh meat’ll walk out to you.
    You’ll say “Hi”, he’ll say “Moo”.
    It’s Clay and Lar’s Flesh Barn.

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  • 41
    Warren says:

    I haven’t watched this in a long time but I remember enjoying it somewhat, even though I wanted to gouge my eyes out when they couldn’t JUST WALK AROUND THE ACID WATER! I barely remember the host segments.
    #30-When anatomically modern humans first appeared the continents would have looked pretty much like they do now, especially from orbit. Exceptions would’ve been coastline variations and some lowlands that more recently flooded due to the end of the last ice age. Pangaea was about 250 MILLION years ago, no people around period.

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  • 42
    Sharktopus says:

    #39: Wendell Corey’s on-set alcoholism is what led him from working with Hitchcock to “Astro Zombies.” He’s stewed in his scenes in Agent For HARM as well. Sad.

    I rewatched Women Of The Prehistoric Planet last night and I kept anticipating Mike (as Cal Meachum) saying “I love Tang!” even though I know that’s from This Island Earth, not to mention this isn’t a Mike episode. Has anyone else experienced this?

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  • 43
    bad wolf says:

    @#37–“This is where the receiver and speakers pay off, since they stand out.” This actually sounds distracting!

    Yeah, there are always moments of Crow ‘mismatched’ that i always assumed were just puppeteer problems, although i have wondered if some were overdubbed instead. Good question.

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  • 44
    Joseph Nebus says:

    Re: Watch-Out-For-Snakes:

    Anybody who has TWO volumes of autobiography MUST be a smug, ego-centric kinda guy.

    Does it matter if they’re really interesting books filled with a lot of entertaining stories, including a great number in which Asimov presents himself as the butt of the joke? (At one point he said his goal was to write down every stupid thing he ever did in his life, making a friend — I want to say L Sprague de Camp, but I’m not sure — wonder that the autobiography was so short.)

    Yeah, he cultivated the image of himself as a comical monster of rampaging ego, and he could be cluelessly insensitive in that natural-to-nerds fashion, but as best I can determine he was also a sweet person determined to be good company and as interesting as you were willing to show interest. If you’re not reading Fred Pohl’s blog, first, you should be, and second, he talks a lot about what Asimov was like.

    The jokes the brains give Asimov in a couple episodes this season feel really weird to me, in part because they vanish after Josh leaves as far as I can tell. Was he the Asimov fan?

    They also feel unsettling from things I know that they couldn’t; at the time the Brains were making fun of him, Asimov was dying of AIDS. They couldn’t possibly have guessed, of course, and the jokes aren’t out of line for how they’d make fun of anybody, but I feel unsettled watching extended mocking of someone going secretly through such a terrifying experience.

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  • 45
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    “please tell me I’m not the only one who can’t help but think that “Flesh Barn” kinda sounds like a strip club or something?”

    Sounds like a sequel/remake of “Barn of the Naked Dead.” Or maybe of “Hunting for Bambi.”

    Sometimes you come across random stuff on the internet and can’t control whether it stays in your head or not…

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  • 46
    Richard the Lion-Footed says:

    What interests me about this episode is how BAD this movie is.

    I know it is from the 60s, but even in the 50s there were science fiction movies that were better than this, with almost no budget. This film make “Crash of the Moons” look like it was done by Stanley Kubrick. The sets are cheap even by 1960s TV standards. Both “Lost in Space” and “Star Trek,” heck, “It’s about Time” had better sets and props than this film. AND with the talent they had.

    For some reason there were a number of films, released after 1965, that looked like they were film school projects, and not studio releases. “Journey to Center of Time” is another example of poor films made then, with cardboard sets and no script worth mentioning.

    I don’t know what was happening in Hollywood at this time that these films were ever made, let alone released to theaters.

    Joel and the bots did alright with this film, and it is as good as any season two offering. I loved the song at the beginning and was glad that someone said, “Hey, let’s do more of these.”

    If you wanted to show the early days of MST3K, this would be one of the best examples of their early work (next to Moon Zero Two).

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  • 47
    M "BLINDAAAAA!" Sipher says:

    #46: “If you wanted to show the early days of MST3K, this would be one of the best examples of their early work (next to Moon Zero Two).

    Personally, I’d go with Robot Holocaust, though I admit I’m biased because that was my first exposure to MST, but that’s a story for when we get to that episode.

    This episode also brings back something I kinda missed in later seasons… the bots being, well, BOTS. Not just Crow’s scan-and-read-back bit, but the way that they just don’t “get” humanity, their going off on odd intellectual tangents (“Do you mean experiential oblivion or phenomenal-logical oblivion?” )… and the bits where Joel gets a hint that they’re a biiiiiit more advanced than he realizes. Early MST had a certain… I dunno. More “nerd humor” vibe, I guess. Maybe that was Josh’s doing, since it faded a fair bit throughout the following seasons.

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  • 48
    M "mumblerummumbleBUMPUS'S DOG!!!" Sipher says:

    … I meant over Moon Zero Two. Prehistoric is totally neck-and-neck with Holocaust.

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  • 49
    Slartibartfast, maker of Fjords says:

    Real………Fakey………Real……….Fakey………….Real Fakey.

    That about sums up the whole movie.

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  • 50
    Cornjob says:

    I love this movie. I saw it when I was about 5 and it left an impression. I really got drawn into the story then, and seeing it as an adult really brought back memories. I can also appreciate all the fine centurians and Linda in her animal skin.

    The riffing is good, and does anyone else think that the racist communications officer that’s tied to a chair in the beginning should get an Mistie award for Best Performance by a Struggling Actress?

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  • 51
    Johnny Ryde says:

    When MST3k made fun of Wendell Corey’s speech in Agent From HARM, I looked him up in IMDB back in the day. At the time there was little information expect that his cause of death was some sort of liver problem. That didn’t look good, and now I see it’s confirmed that he was an alcoholic. That made some of the jokes a little less funny to me.

    I also noticed the Asimov jokes in Season 1 that seem to disappear after this season. I assume J.Elvis must be the Asimov fan, but was curious if any of BB have ever commented on this. I’m late to the thread so I’ll probably ask the question next week…

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  • 52
    crowschmo says:

    I liked this episode. It’s quite a bit more lively than the previous S1 eps. The attitude, the chemistry, the delivery – all much better for this go ’round. Crow’s voice is closer to what he would use in later eps, also. Riffing and host segments are good.

    The movie is, well, the movie. They could’ve put a mat painting or SOMETHING beside the acid pond, or whatever the hell it was, to make it at least LOOK like it was their only choice to go over it and not around it. That was just horrible.

    The first couple of times I saw this, I was actually paying so little attention to the movie that it took this viewing to realize that the first crew that got stuck on the planet had actually been there for years before the second group found them. It says in the ACEG that it was thirty years, but I kept hearing eighteen. Was that just the amount of time that Tang was alone? Or did I miss something else, too? Why were his parents frozen? (And apparently at the same age they were when they crashed??) Didn’t they say on one of the ships that there was no detectable life on the planet? Was that the same planet or were they talking about another one that they just didn’t search because they didn’t think the survivors (if any) of the first ship would be there? And why was there a giant lizard and a giant spider, but the chimp and the snake were normal? What the hell else did I miss? This thing just made no sense.

    Is this the first time we’ve heard Joel’s, “Gee, DON’T say hi”, or did he do it in any of the KTMA’s?

    Some fave lines:

    “And you can’t remove the land from the man, the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true.” – All

    “Are the scenes down on the planet just as static, Bill?” – Crow

    “Have you met Steve, my monkey?” – Joel

    “Do you think I’ll be offed first?” – Crow

    “Uh, it’s too complicated for YOU, bonehead.” – Crow

    “Their technology must be light years ahead of ours, their use of stock footage is amazing.” – Joel

    “Hm. Coconut cream pie, car made out of bamboo and a sailor’s hat. What’s it all mean?” – Crow

    “Did you ever see the movie, ‘Alive’, doughnut boy?” – Crow

    “Kill your brother, it’s the only way to re-enforce the director’s white male reality.” – Servo

    “Meanwhile – at the ocarina.” – Servo

    “Now I know you just shot your brother, but why don’t you just come over here and love me a little bit.” – Joel

    Smile

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  • 53
    M "Mom...Always... Did... Like... You... Best..." Sipher says:

    Man, how could I have bypassed my most favorite line in this episode, one I use with distressing frequency in my daily life…

    “Don’t just do something, stand there!”

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  • 54
    Son of Bobo says:

    Excellent for season one. The host segments are probably funnier to Asimov fans. Crow’s voice is less robotic and more of what we were used to during the remaining Trace years. So sad to see how bad Agar and Corey looked. I didn’t even recognize them at first. In fact, it was Agar’s voice that tipped me off for him.
    Hi-keeba or hotchka!from season seven? I love them both.
    Fave riff: “Ah, Wilma, you’re up.”
    Also: “Don’t just do something, stand there!”

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  • 55
    lancecorbain says:

    My main memories of this episode are the “Why don’t they just walk around the pond?” joke, and a mutual friend of me and my MST-buddy asking what we were talking about once, us starting to explain the show and him stopping us and saying “Stir Tang or he will sink to bottom!!!” Oh, this show brought so many of us cable-junkies together in the early 90’s.

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  • 56
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Incidentally, this sequence of the song

    “Now there’s no need for you to drive through,
    Our fresh meat’ll walk out to you.
    You’ll say “Hi”, he’ll say “Moo”.
    It’s Clay and Lar’s Flesh Barn.”

    is misleading, since virtually all beef comes from cows [females], not bulls [males]; same is true with chickens [of tomorrow and otherwise]: hens, not roosters. So technically it should be “_she’ll_ say “Moo”.”

    Yes, even in the livestock field, it’s the females who get the worst of it.

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