While we're all patiently awaiting the return of Mystery Science Theater 3000 to Netflix, here's a cool development, as pointed out by the good folks at Den Of Geek:
The long lost very first two episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 have surfaced, and not only have they been officially released, they aren't bootlegs! The episodes were unveiled by MST3K creator Joel Hodgson for fans who backed the Bring Back MST3K Kickstarter project, which was used to fund the upcoming MST3K revival on Netflix.
Apparently, the master tapes of the first two episodes were only discovered within the last few months, and digital versions were included as a bonus reward for Kickstarter backers.
So, those of you who threw in your lot with the MST3K Kickstarter (I imagine that's a bunch of the BMD readership) are probably already hip to this, but for those of you who weren't involved, be aware that you can now download these first two episodes, Invaders From The Deep and Revenge Of The Mysterons From Mars, via this link and this other link, respectively.
Here's what series creator Joel Hodgson had to say (in an email to Kickstarter backers) about these recently-discovered episodes:
"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have known that, almost 30 years later, there would be a group of about 50,000 folks looking at these as a sort of 'historical document,' I probably would have tried to find ways to put more time into them.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."
Full disclosure: I've not seen either of these episodes (both of which are apparently, er, pretty rough around the edges), so I'm gonna stop short of giving you the hard sell on 'em. For completists, this seems like a slam dunk, but for the casual MST3K fan, I'm not sure if these purchases are mandatory.
As such, I'm gonna let you guys sort this out in the comments below: seen these eps yet? Are they worth owning? And are you still pumped about MST3K returning via Netflix? I want to hear what you have to say. Guide my online-purchasing-hand.