The lost first episodes of MST3k finally found!

Last Updated on July 31, 2021

This is exciting news for MSTies everywhere! As someone who has professed my love for this amazing show before, I couldn't be more ecstatic! With everything seemingly going to shit all around us, it's nice to know that at least something positive happened this year.

For those who don't know, MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 is a comedy show where a hapless guy (Joel Robinson, played by series creator Joel Hodgson) and his two robot friends (Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot) watch bad movies together while stuck on a space station. It began officially on Comedy Central (at that time hungry for content) in 1989 with THE CRAWLING EYE, but that wasn't the first time the crew riffed together. The show first began a year earlier in 1988 on a Minneapolis-St Paul area TV station KTMA. While these episodes aren't considered "canon" (and referred to by fans of the show as "Season 0"), these KTMA episodes have nonetheless have found their way online through bootlegs and other means. 

However, the actual first episodes INVADERS FROM THE DEEP and REVENGE OF THE MYSTERIONS FROM MARS (both bad THUNDERBIRDS-esque Supermarionation films) have been seemingly lost to time.

Until now! According to Den of Geek the episodes have finally been found!

The long lost very first two episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 have surfaced, and not only have they been officially released, they aren't bootlegs! The episodes were unveiled by MST3K creator Joel Hodgson for fans who backed the Bring Back MST3K Kickstarter project, which was used to fund the upcoming MST3K revival on Netflix. Apparently, the master tapes of the first two episodes were only discovered within the last few months, and digital versions were included as a bonus reward for Kickstarter backers.

And here's what series creator Joel Hodgson had to say in an email to the aforementioned Kickstarter backers:

I really loved getting a chance to see these early episodes again. You can see Josh and Trace and me just wading into 'movie riffing' and starting to play with all the elements and dynamics of the show and the set pieces. Obviously, it’s pretty slow. We didn’t pre-watch any of the films or even attempt to write any jokes; it’s just us, starting out, 'blue skying' it. Naturally, if I could have known that, almost 30 years later, there would be a group of about 50,000 folks looking at these as a sort of 'historical document,' I probably would have tried to find ways to put more time into them. But, as they say, it is what it is.

Admittedly, the shows at KTMA and even the first few episodes proper are kind of hard to sit through (it took awhile to find the rhythm that would make the show special), so this is definitely something for completists and historians only. But as a hopeless completist, I'm looking forward to giving these a look.

Any other MST3k fans out there? You guys excited as well? And what's your favorite MST3k episode? Sound off below!  

Source: Den of Geek

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