The big news coming out of last night’s SDCC MST3K panel was that the show had just reached a deal with Netflix to stream its new episodes in America, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand, which is really great news because I’d like to actually watch this instead of just be happy it exists.
But there was more to learn! For starters, the show will connect directly with the old MST3K thanks to appearances by Bill Corbett as Brain Guy, Kevin Murphy as Professor Bobo, and Mary Jo Phel as Pearl. Corbett and Phel will also join the writers room (which we learned isn’t actually a physical room but rather meetings via Skype and through Google Docs). Comedians Hampton Yount and Baron Vaughn will take over as voices of Crow and Tom Servo. And as you probably already know, Jonah Ray will be the main human on the show while Felicia Day will play villain Kinga Forrester.
While revealing all this, Joel Hodgson also guided us through the evolution of a handful of the show's many original physical models. Of these, the most exciting involved the show’s new movie sign doors, each of which will be an actual number that splits apart revealing a highly detailed room aboard the Satellite of Love. Five, for instance is the ship’s bathroom. Three is the bedroom. Tom and Crow, of course, sleep on bunkbeds. Hodgson took us through his own sketches followed by sketches of what he and prop designer Guy Davis ultimately came up with.
We also learned a bit about the bots. Cambot, for instance will now run along a track attached to the ceiling. Gypsy’s face has been redesigned to be much smaller, allowing her more versatility as a performing puppet, indicating we’ll see much more of her in the theater.
Perhaps most exciting of all, original show composer Charlie Erickson will return to revamp the show’s opening and closing themes!
Everything is still so early with the new MST3K, we were not allowed to see any finished footage or models. But the feeling from the panel was joyous and more than a little bit adorable. It was clear all these people had grown up with the show and loved it. Now it’s their turn, under the guidance of Hodgson of course, to do right by its legacy. Everyone seemed excited by and up for the task.