Tuesday, August 23, 2016
MST3K's OTHER New Network
We all know the new version of Mystery Science Theater 3000 is coming to Netflix next year, but some fans may not be aware it will also join another network in a couple of weeks.
Comet TV, a sci-fi channel owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, has been around since last Halloween. It's been best known for showing cheesy sci-fi movies like Troll 2, The Raven, In the Year 2889 and Terrordactyl, along with Stargate SG-1, Johnny Sokko and both versions of The Outer Limits. Now, it's announced it will air Mystery Science Theater 3000 every Sunday starting September 4th, It already has its own section to the website which includes a complete episode guide. Does this mean all episodes will be airing on Comet?
Well, we do know that when it starts on the 4th, Comet will have Manos and Teenagers From Outer Space. (Update: it will air Attack of the Giant Leeches and Wild, Wild World of Batwoman on the 11th.) It's expected to have two episodes every Sunday night.
Thing is, Comet has NO press release on which episodes it will be airing, When Retro TV started airing MST3K a couple of years ago, it provided a list of episodes it would air. It's added another 26 this year, but didn't reveal which ones ahead of time. The ones that arrived were pleasant surprises, including Killer Shrews, The Beatniks, Swamp Diamonds, Hercules Unchained and Bloodlust.
If Comet is airing MST, will that mean Retro will let the Satellite of Love go? I have tried everything from social media to e-mails, but it's not saying anything. As of now, it's still on the schedule, and Retro could air Manos the day before Comet does.
I also sent an e-mail to Comet about its plans for MST3K. It says it answers every e-mail, and I am hoping that includes mine.
Fortunately, I have heard from fellow MSTies who have said Retro is keeping the show, and it looks like Retro and Comet will have two sets of MST3K episodes to show. So far, though, both packages seem to overlap. If Comet wants to stand out, it should promote episodes Shout Factory doesn't have. Imagine the excitement of showing Amazing Colossal Man, Rocketship X-M, Hellcats, Monster-A-Go-Go, or Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders. Even some titles it does have, including Catalina Caper or Space Travelers, would also be great.
UPDATE: Comet told me through Facebook it's airing "a season of its best episodes". That could mean the top 22 episodes out of the whole series, but no specifics on which episodes it will offer.
It's surprising that as recently as three years ago, the only place to see MST3K episodes is through DVDs and YouTube..and circulating the tapes. Now, two over-the-air digital channels are showing classic episodes, and Netflix will present the next generation
These are good days in the not-too-distant present.