Creator Joel Hodgson reveals lost Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes

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May 5, 2017, 2:04 PM EDT (Updated)

MSTies now have even more reasons to celebrate at this festive time of year! Series creator Joel Hodgson has announced via his Kickstarter page that two of the three original lost episodes for his hilarious Mystery Science Theater 3000 show have been re-discovered. Hodgson shared this geeky good news with fans supporting the online crowdsourcing initiative to return the show to the airwaves, Bring Back Mystery Science Theater 3000, and offered some enthusiastic words about this important occurrence. Thanks to thousands of avid MST3K faithful, their successful Kickstarter campaign raised millions to enable Hodgson to film 14 new episodes of the seminal sci-fi comedy series for release next year on Netflix. The two elusive episodes unearthed were Invaders From the Deep and Revenge of the Mysterons From Mars, two chapters back from the infancy days of 1988 at KTMA, the local TV station in Minneapolis-St. Paul where the show first aired.

Here's what Hodgson had to say about this time capsule of MST3K history:

I’m happy to tell you that we finally found master tapes for two of the three “lost KTMA episodes” of MST3K: Invaders from the Deep and Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars. I actually thought we had discovered copies of these episodes at one point during the Kickstarter last year, and I was really excited that I’d be able to finally share them with you… and then it turned out that we hadn’t found them, and it was a real bummer. But then, earlier this year, a few final boxes turned up. And there they were: the very first episodes of MST3K ever made.

So yeah: If your Kickstarter rewards include any of the “Classic MST3K Bonus Episodes,” the two “lost episodes” are now waiting for you – a special “Happy Turkey Day” present from all of us at MST3K. (Just remember, though, these are really old episodes, so I hope you can look at them like a “first draft” of what the show would turn into.) Just log into your VHX account, and you’ll see them in your collection of Classic Episodes. You can stream and download them, whatever you want.

I don’t want to give you more reading for today, so I’ll just say that 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.)

Also, I have to tell you: This week was the first time that I’ve watched these in a long time. Seeing them now, I’m so proud we took the leap of faith and tried it. The cast and crew are suiting up in the gear and giving it a whack, and even this early on – as primitive as it is – you can sort of feel where this is all going.

Anyway, I took some notes when I watched them, and I’d like to share those with you. But I thought maybe I’d wait until next week, and give you this weekend to watch them first.

Did you contribute cash to help Hodgson's cause to get MST3K back in the universe, and are you excited for the new Netflix series in 2017?

(Via Dread Central)