Episode 801- Revenge of the Creature

Movie Summary: In this sequel to the superior Creature From The Black Lagoon, the Creature--or, as he is officially known in the movie, the "Gill Man," is captured from his beloved swampy home and taken to a depressing Florida aquarium. There he is subject to research (actually, thinly-disguised torture) by a scientist with a hideously phoney laugh, played by John Agar. John is assisted by Lori Nelson, pretty and charming but hardly believable as a prominent ichthyologist, being as she's only about eighteen years old. Wouldn't you know it, the creature escapes the minimum-security fish tank where he's being held, and stalks poor Lori Nelson, with whom he is smitten. In the end, a posse of cops and locals -- who have for some reason ceded complete martial law authority to Agar -- track them down, save the wet girl, and shoot the Creature for no good reason.

Prologue: Mike, Servo, and Gypsy return to the Satellite of Love from the edge of the universe, where they resume their corporeal forms. There they discover Crow, who has been living there for 500 years. He doesn't remember Mike. They seem to be orbiting Earth, however. But when they contact the planet, a bespectacled-and-lab-coated ape answers. Terrified screams ensue.

Segment One: Mike and 'Bots learn that it's the year 2525, and that apes have becomes the ruling species on planet earth. They (and we!) are introduced to Professor Bobo and his assistant Dr. Peanut, who bring them up to speed and proceed to send them a cheesy movie. When the satellite asks why they are still being subject to crummy movies, the apes reply simply: it's ape law, given to them by the Lawgiver.

Segment Two: Mike and Servo try to repair the satellite, to get away from this ape world. Crow introduces them (and us!) to the Nanites, microscopic robots who might be able to repair the ship. The Nanites immediately eject Servo from the ship's works, sending him rocketing up into the air.

Segment Three: A fierce alien -- half-man and half-octopus -- comes pounding on the SOL looking for Servo. Servo apparently did business with him on the edge of the universe, and has something this angry alien wants. They talk in alien-ese for a while, and when the alien theatens to vaoprize the satellite, Servo gives it over. It's a cask of French Vanilla pudding, apparently very valuable to the alien's race. Servo brags to Mike that he had all sorts of harrowing adventures while travelling the universe, but when Mike asks for specifics, Servo advises Mike not to worry his pretty little head about it.

Segment Four: Crow and Servo sit catching up over cups of delicious coffee. When Mike enters, Crow decides he wants to get to know the "new guy" and offers him a complicated coffee drink from his huge and unruly espresso maker. After battling the machine, Crow hands Mike an extremely tiny cup of caffinated beverage.

Segment Five: Searching the databanks, Mike and the 'Bots learn the true reason for the simian takeover of earth. It turns out that Mike's descendants recklessly intermarried with many species of monkey, causing a quick evolution to the apes who just sent them the movie. Needless to say, Mike isn't pleased. The apes call them: apparently their revered Lawgiver wants a word with them. Turns out it's none other than Pearl Forrester, who was cryogenically frozen for 500 years, thawed out by the apes, and immediately crowned their Lawgiver. It was she who sent them the movie, and she vows to dog Mike and the 'Bots to the bitter end, carrying on the work of her son.

Reflections: A new season, a new network, and many changes. I was a rookie -- or as my fellow writers put it, "new meat." Though I had written for MST3000 on a few episodes towards the end of Season Six, this was my first show as a full-fledged, full-time Best Brainer. Little did I know what else would come my way: I was asked to provide the voice of Crow, replacing the brilliant and justly beloved Trace Beaulieu, part of the Mount Rushmore of MST3000, who had decided that he wanted to move onto other things. Honored and thrilled as I was to be the Gold One's new alter ego, I was given this job on the show on the Friday before the Monday we started production on 801. And I think maybe -- just maybe -- it showed in the puppeteering for the first few episodes, especially this one, where Crow seemed to have suffered a stroke during the 500 years he hung out on the Satellite.
This show also began MST's happy affiliation with the Sci-Fi Channel, as well as an entirely new fiction to the show. This was born out of necessity, since Trace was moving on. We first batted around a number of ideas, including replacing Crow with a new robot. That was ultimately something no one could imagine, but many other radical changes -- Ape World, Pearl Forrester in pursuit, Nanites -- were introduced here, and lots of other new stuff would be coming up. Though everyone here missed the old characters and elements, I think the new direction energized us. And the movie segments -- the bedrock of the show--remained the same as ever. And that, I would contend, is a good thing. -- Bill Corbett

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