As the day rolls on, we’ve gotten some new news about the Mystery Science Theater 300 relaunch that series creator Joel Hodgson announced a crowdfunding campaign for this morning.
First up, the series will feature a new human host character stranded on the Satellite of Love with two robots being forced to watch cheesy movies and fighting back with sarcastic quips. This may hit some fans rather hard. But do remember that there was a lot of uneasiness when Mike Nelson took over the host role on the show from Hodgson, so a change in hosts is not necessarily a bad thing. As to who that new host is? Well, Hodgson isn’t saying quite yet. As he stated in a Reddit AMA this afternoon –
I’ve already talked with the actors I’d like to bring onto the show as the next host and the next Mad, and you’ll meet both of them in the next few days. In fact, the next host is in the video you’ve already seen… but I’ll give him a proper introduction. I’ll introduce you to the next Crow and Servo, too. We actually shot a few videos for the Kickstarter with all of them, since there was so much we wanted to talk about. Those will be out soon, and I can’t wait, because I’m really happy about all of them. I think they’ll do great.
Already some fans, including myself, have pegged the voice heard in the Kickstarter video as belonging to comedian and podcaster Jonah Ray, which would be a really great choice for the show.
There will be a new Mad Scientist and while Hodgson won’t reveal who will be in the role quite yet, he did reveal “the new Mad will be the offspring of Dr. Clayton Forrester, and the grandchild of Pearl Forrester, and therefore heir to the MST3K Experiment.
As to who is not coming back, both Trace Beaulieu (Dr. Forester/voice of Crow T. Robot) and Micke Nelson (former head writer and host of the show following Hodgson’s departure) have stated that they are not involved. Beaulieu answered the question about his return under an unrelated post on his Facebook page, while Nelson addressed it head on.
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No word yet on any of the show’s other writers returning. However, Hodgson did say in his AMA that while the show will be produced most likely in Los Angeles, the crew may be scattered around the country.
The show will be written and created from all over the place, because most of our writers work remotely. We’ll source the props, robots and costumes from all over the country too.
Hodgson did stress that this will be a continuation of the show, drawing a parallel to Doctor Who. He added that the addition of new blood is something that was always in the cards for the series. But he doesn’t preclude some of the other original writers/cast members from returning. (Despite what Nelson and Bealieu have said.)
I think it’s important for the show to move on to it’s next host, just like it always would have if it weren’t canceled. That was always the idea for the show – it just wasn’t clear because two doesn’t make a pattern, and we got canceled before we ever had a third host.
I’ve invited everyone from the original cast to come back and participate creatively — to write, and hopefully to do cameos as their Mad Scientist characters. I don’t know yet who will and won’t decide to come back. I think we’ll know more after we see how this Kickstarter campaign goes. But this isn’t a reunion show either. To keep the show fresh, I really believe it’s important to keep bringing in new talent and keep looking forward.
As for what films will be riffed, Hodgson stated that the new show will cast a wide net for material and won’t limit themselves to just a couple of specific decades.
I think we’re gonna go after everything. But I have to tell you, I think movies from the 70’s and 80’s are part of what makes MST3K, MST3K. Those movies will be what feels familiar to people. There’s just so many of them! We’ll slowly work our way upstream. There are definitely some movies from after 1999 that are ripe for riffing.Thanks for your support and suggestions. There’s a lot of moving pieces to this puzzle, but I’m excited to see how it turns out too!