In a lot of ways, the cult classic sci-fi comedy Mystery Science Theater 3000 never really went away. The DVD collections continue to sell, new people stream the show constantly, the Turkey Day marathon has been revived, and the show's stars have continued to mock movies across the nation thanks to successors like RiffTrax and Cinematic Titanic. It's almost like the show's still with us, but maybe almost isn't good enough.
MST3K creator Joel Hodgson has talked for years about reviving the series, which ran for 11 years and produced nearly 200 episodes on three different networks. Now he's really doing it, but he needs a little help. Today Hodgson launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for brand-new movie-length episodes of the series. According to Hodgson, he's been trying for years to get a revival off the ground, but rights issues kept the show grounded. Now Hodgson is free to try again, and he wants to do so with a brand-new cast on the Satellite of Love, with some old friends in tow.
“Basically, I’m trying to blend the old with the new,” Hodgson told EW. “Mystery Science Theater has already refreshed itself once with a completely new cast, so I think it deserves to do that again. The original cast is going to be invited back to write, produce, and do cameos as their mad science characters, and then there’s a new cast with new talent.”
So, what will it take to actually make this happen? The Kickstarter campaign's initial goal is to raise $2 million, which will allow for the production of three episodes. However, every $1.1 million added after that will, according to Hodgson, allow for the production of three more, so if the campaign makes it all the way to $5.5 million, we'd get a full 12-episode season of MST3K.
It's not just about the money, though. Hodgson is hoping to use the campaign as a kind of fan awareness offensive, an effort to convince some online distributor (Hi, Netflix!) that the show is still in high enough demand that it could keep producing new seasons.
"If we want a lot more MST3K, we need to work together to prove that there's still an audience out there that wants MST3K – and that this isn't all some pitiable delusion – so that we can find a network or online platform who will agree to pick up the show and keep it going … hopefully for another 200+ episodes."
So, after years of asking if MST3K would ever be back, we finally have our answer: Yes, but only if the fans help out. If you're one of them, head over the Kickstarter page and check out the rewards, which include everything from a live stream of the premiere to your very own screen-used Tom Servo (though you have to kick out serious cash for that).