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MST3K EOTW #2: Space Mutiny

For the second installment of my new feature, "The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Episode of the Whenever," I've decided to present what is quite possibly my favorite episode of the series, Space Mutiny.

Space Mutiny tells the tale of a giant spaceship (seemingly comprised of mostly warehouse and basement space) which is working as an ark, ferrying human life from the dying Earth to another, fresher planet, which it will surely also choke into submission. But, en route, the leader of the ship's police force decides to MUTINY...I guess. Thank goodness that just as this occurs, heroic Dave Ryder crash-lands aboard the ship and, when not working out or stealing lunch money from the nerds, Ryder helps the muumuu-clad ship's captain and his senior-citizen-in-denial daughter to combat the mutiny. Oh, and along the way the filmmakers liberally use old Battlestar Galactica footage for any exterior space sequences, instead of making their own.

If you caught my previous EOTW, you'll notice that unlike THAT installment, this one features Mike Nelson as the "host." Mike, previously an occasional performer and the show's head writer, took over for Joel halfway through the fifth season and stayed on until the show's end. The debate still rages on amongst fans as to which host was superior, but I find both more or less equally enjoyable. My preference is with Mike, mainly because I grew up watching him, and his humor seemed slightly less stoner-ish than Joel's. However, as I said, I really see the two as nearly equal and count episodes by each amongst my favorites

You'll also notice that there are different "Mad" antagonists, with writer Mary-Jo Pehl taking over as Pearl Forrester, the mother of the previous antagonist, Dr. Clayton Forrester. This change took place when Comedy Central cancelled MST3K during its seventh season and the Sci-Fi Channel picked it up sometime later. In the interim, Trace Beaulieu (who played Dr. Forrester and also did the voice of Crow T. Robot) moved on to other things. Pearl, who had replaced TV's Frank as Dr. Forrester's sidekick during the shortened seventh season, moved up to become the lead Mad.

Joining Pearl are the simian Professor Bobo (Kevin Murphy, longtime voice of Tom Servo) and Observer (aka Brain Guy), played by Bill Corbett (the NEW voice of Crow), both of whom recently had their planets destroyed courtesy of Mike. After a series of adventures in space, Pearl's ship and the Satellite of Love got sucked through a wormhole and into the distant past, which explains the Roman setting of the Mads' segments and also brings anyone unfamiliar with all of this right up to speed.

Anyway, this episode features above-average host segments for the Sci-Fi Era MST3K, and much hilarious riffing throughout the film. Some of the best moments include the running joke of re-christening Ryder various generic action-hero names (Smoke Manmuscle, Flint Ironstag, etc), and all of the railing kills. So sit back, relax, and enjoy Space Mutiny, and feel free to let me know what you think and post any favorite bits in the comments section.