In 1997, Mike Nelson and his robot friends, Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot, watched a bad sci-fi film called The Thing That Couldn’t Die. We might as well rename the beloved TV series Mystery Series Theatre 3000 with the same title, because the fan-favourite show looks like it’s almost certainly going to be resurrected from the dead for the third time.
Creator Joel Hodgson has kicked off a new MST3K Kickstarter campaign to create three to 12 new episodes of the show, similar to the 2016 campaign that helped create seasons 11 and 12. However, this time MST3K will be returning to an online, virtual theatre where fans can watch a myriad of premieres, live events, and more. You’ll also be able to host group watch parties, with a new collection of episodes released each month.
If past is prologue, the show is almost certainly on its way. The original Kickstarter earned more than $US6 ($8) million, breaking the site’s then-record for its most-funded campaign (held by the Veronica Mars movie). The show has a legion of fans who have loved it since it first premiered back in 1988 on a Minneapolis, Minnesota, TV channel. But it’s also gained more over 30-plus years with its delightful simple concept — just a trio of friends watching cheesy movies and making fun of them. It’s just that two of those friends happen to be puppets.
The initial goal of the Kickstarter is to raise $US2.2 ($3) million in order to create the theatre, which Hodgson calls the Gizmoplex, and release three new episodes. However, the ultimate goal is $US5.5 ($7) million, which would allow 12 new episodes, 12 new shorts, monthly live events, and Gizmoplex apps for TVs and mobile devices. The donation rewards are pretty amazing, including a music box that plays the classic “MST3K Love Theme” from the show’s end credits, a snowglobe, and a chance to riff a short with Joel Hodgson himself. Best of all, Hodgson says the plan is to keep making more MST3K episodes as long as fans keep paying for them, presumably with more Kickstarters, meaning the show will no longer depend on a network’s support to keep existing.
As of the time of this article’s publication, the Kickstarter has already netted more than $US500,000 ($656,350) in less than an hour. Yeah, I think it’s safe to say Mystery Science Theatre 3000 is back.