Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE TIME TRAVELERS
April 24, 2017 11:48 PM - Season 11, Episode 3 - Subscribe

"Step through 'The Time Portal' beyond the crack in Space and Time where the fantastic world of the Future will freeze your blood with its weird horrors!" Three smart scientists and a goofball travel forward in time and get stranded there, where a cadre of Eloi future scientists desperately ready a rocket to space to take them from a devistated Earth peopled with Morlocks murderous mutants. But then things go wrong.... This is a movie where the main force driving the plot is a Gilligan, a clueless klutz who, by walking through the time portal and forcing the others to follow to rescue him, messes it up for everyone. Way to go Danny. And he gets rewarded for his thoughtless act with multicolor time nookie! It's a pretty good episode. Episode 1103 is available on Netflix.

Episode 1103 THE TIME TRAVELLERS
Nerd Girl Riot - MST3K Wikia

Movie
Rotten Tomatoes (Critics N/A, Viewers 34%) - Wikipedia

IMDB (1964, 5.6 stars)
"In 1964, a group of scientists create a portal that takes them to a barren, mutant inhabited, Earth in the year 2071."
Directed by Ib Melchior. Writtem by Ib Melchior and David L. Hewitt. Starring Preston Foster, Philip Carey, Merry Anders and John Hoyt as "Varno."

Notes:
Wikipedia tells us about a freaky scene that was deleted from the riffed version. Apparently at the end, after our heroes and the future humans travel to the portal to the far distant future, the movie continued a little bit, with the scene the guys left from continuing to play out, but faster. Then the movie repeats itself in capsule, faster, until it gets back to that scene, where the same thing happens, but faster. It keeps looping, faster and faster, until it suddenly stops. It's just the sort of ridiculous touch that you'd think would be great for riffing, but they edited it out instead of taking it on! It's not the only place where I'd disagree with one of their edits, but I'll talk more about that when we get to 1106 STARCRASH.
posted by JHarris (32 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Imagine a mustache on Danny and you have Ray from Archer. The resemblance is eerie.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:03 AM on April 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


What's weird is Danny (Steve Franken) pops up in the very next episode (1104 AVALANCHE) and I don't think our heroes even acknowledge it.
posted by valkane at 5:28 AM on April 25, 2017


They did make one Danny reference IIRC, but not immediately. Which is weird enough.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 5:50 AM on April 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Thanks to spending my formative summers indoors watching daytime TV with my mom, I immediately recognized the hero of the film as the late Philip Carey, AKA dyspeptic patriarch Asa Buchanan from ABC's One Life To Live. It's slightly weird seeing Carey play a two-fisted, square-jawed man of science in the mold of a John Agar, but he does okay with the role.

The skit with Varno (as portrayed by new head writer Elliott Kalan) was beautifully timed with my own gradual realization during the movie that this highly scientific future society felt an awful lot like a creepy middle-aged pill-popping swinger community. It was also interesting to see Joel making a super-casual on-camera appearance as a random sketch character, instead of sidelining himself for a nearly-inevitable Joel Robinson cameo sometime down the line. (I do have a fan theory about Ardy the maintenance man, though...)
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:30 AM on April 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


I do have a fan theory about Ardy the maintenance man, though...

I would like to hear your theory.

As for Joel appearing here and not as Joel Robinson later, the original cast played multiple roles in the old days. Mary Jo "Pearl Forrester" Pehl popped up all over the place for seasons prior to taking up Dr. F's mom. Mike appeared multiple times before he was the host Mike Nelson. I have no problem with Joel appearing here as a on-off movie character prior to returning as Joel Robinson down the line.
posted by Servo5678 at 7:17 AM on April 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


I've seen movies that incorporated stage magic before, but it was always acknowledged as such. You know, like in a biopic about Houdini or something like that. And I've seen movies showing what purported be stage magic, but that was pretty clearly done with digital special effects ("Now You See Me"). But this is the first time I've seen a movie that attempted to replace special effects with stage magic. The technique turns out not to be terribly convincing.

middle-aged pill-popping swinger community

The movie seemed SO much like it was heading in this direction, and then it didn't, and in hindsight I'm not sure why it felt that way. Varno looked a little like certain photos of Timothy Leary, or perhaps Marshall Applewhite, could that be it?
posted by Ipsifendus at 8:15 AM on April 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


Wikipedia tells us about a freaky scene that was deleted from the riffed version.

Bee Movie but every time somebody says "bee" The Time Travelers repeats and speeds up.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:17 AM on April 25, 2017 [9 favorites]


It's slightly weird seeing Carey play a two-fisted, square-jawed man of science in the mold of a John Agar, but he does okay with the role.

Good call, *very* Agar-esque.

Surprised at how the sexual permissiveness of the future society is pretty much just played straight and even bonehead Danny doesn't make a deal of it. Refreshing how the movie in general is not very sexist.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:43 AM on April 25, 2017


So, I actually watched this movie last week, and therefore I don't remember a lot of the specific riffs. Servo's gag with the lever during the opening scene cracked me the hell up, though. Totally justified the "oh, yeah, Servo can fly now" gimmick.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:56 AM on April 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


"multicolor time nookie!"

Gotta watch this one. :)
posted by zarq at 10:01 AM on April 25, 2017


I actually watched this movie non-riffed last year, after reading a review of it on a Cult Movie website on the intertubes. I have to say, it's not such a bad sci-fi movie for its era.
posted by wittgenstein at 10:15 AM on April 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


What really shook me was seeing Danny (Steve Franken), who I immediately recognized as Chatsworth Osborne, Jr., the rich snob on Dobie Gillis (where THE Gilligan had his greatest pre-Gilligan role). I knew he was using the same fake Boston accent there as Jim Backus on the Island (and to a lesser extent David Ogden Steirs in MASH), but hearing him without it just seemed weird. Referring to his IMDB page, I was surprised how many credits he had that I didn't remember (they even noted "Appeared 6 times on the sitcom Bewitched (1964) in different roles"). Meanwhile, Wikipedia noted "He was a cousin of United States Senator Al Franken of Minnesota." Mind semi-blown.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:17 AM on April 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


This has one of my favorite "Tom can fly bits" with Tom helping to push the rocket up.
posted by drezdn at 10:42 AM on April 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


I have to say, it's not such a bad sci-fi movie for its era.

There's a perfectly good movie buried in there. Even as is, it's more "This Island Earth" than it is "Manos".
posted by Chrysostom at 10:51 AM on April 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


I do have a fan theory about Ardy the maintenance man, though...

I would like to hear your theory.


It's not much of a theory. But given that Ardy's face is covered, it would be fun if it turned out that he was Joel the whole time. Maybe he heard that Forrester's daughter was starting up the experiment again, and so he infiltrated the Moon 13/14 complex to secretly sabotage it from within. Or maybe that was the plan at first, and it looked like everybody was having so much fun that he just rolled with it.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:00 AM on April 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


I mean, Joel does play Ardy, so that could make sense. Maybe it turns out that he hates Jonah's guts due to some prior incident and is willingly collaborating with Kinga and Max.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:15 PM on April 25, 2017


Ooh, Darkest Timeline Evil Joel: What happened to Mike and why are the bots back in space? Joel murdered him and kidnapped them!
posted by jordemort at 12:43 PM on April 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Personally, my theory is that Kinga is running multiple experiments simultaneously, but we only see Jonah (for now). The bots with Jonah aren't the original bots, they are recreated copies. Each host gets a set. Mike and the "classic" bots are still living happily on Earth. Feel free to ask me why I think this near the end of the season.
posted by Servo5678 at 12:49 PM on April 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


I mean, Joel's whole personality dictates that he just kinda drifted back into a job at Gizmonics, and now he's on the moon.
posted by valkane at 2:20 PM on April 25, 2017 [10 favorites]


> What's weird is Danny (Steve Franken) pops up in the very next episode (1104 AVALANCHE) and I don't think our heroes even acknowledge it.

> They did make one Danny reference IIRC, but not immediately. Which is weird enough.

There were actually at least two Danny references (the first one was too subtle/quiet and not particularly funny).
posted by christopherious at 3:34 PM on April 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


It's been noted before that a great riffable feature of certain films are long stretches without dialogue that are there to make an audience "ooh" and "ahh". Clearly that's what the android construction bay scene was, and boy, do Jonah and the bots make the most of it.

There's a perfectly good movie buried in there. Even as is, it's more "This Island Earth" than it is "Manos".

Most definitely. A good movie concept containing various goofy parts that in the end made for a fun episode.

What's weird is Danny (Steve Franken) pops up in the very next episode (1104 AVALANCHE)

I haven't watched all the episodes yet, but of the ones I have, there are at least two other actors that appear in multiple movies (Doug McClure and Caroline Munro) and I don't believe either of them get the callbacks that Danny gets. I have to wonder if Joel specifically aimed for some six-degrees synergy with the film choices or if that was just luck.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:11 PM on April 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


I mean, we also had two Ib Melchior movies, and they definitely made a big deal out of that. Maybe Danny was just more memorable than the other actors?
posted by tobascodagama at 8:37 PM on April 25, 2017


I've actually been netflixing my way through The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis on DVD. It was a bit of whiplash when that nasty boy showed up as the lovable goofball.
posted by ckape at 1:06 AM on April 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


I think they do make a joke about Doug McClure's two films. I don't remember one for Caroline Munro.
posted by drezdn at 4:50 AM on April 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Technically, I think Bigfoot/Sasquatch get the most callbacks this season. Without getting into spoilers, it seems like there's some kind of hairy cryptid featured in at least half of the movies. Coincidence? READ THE BOOK.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:30 AM on April 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


it seems like there's some kind of hairy cryptid featured in at least half of the movies.

Is that how we're referring to Doug McClure now?
posted by drezdn at 7:17 AM on April 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


They also made the obligatory Troy McClure ref.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:16 AM on April 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


The schedule for this week's viewings, all at our rabb.it room at https://www.rabb.it/rodneylives, subject to revision in the event of technical difficulties:

Thursday (4/26):
7 PM Eastern/4 PM Pacific: 1103 THE TIME TRAVELERS
9 PM Eastern/6 PM Pacific:702 THE BRUTE MAN
10:30 PM Easterm/7:30 Pacific: Intermission
11 PM Eastern/8 PM Pacific: Season 11 episode to be determined, possibly 1103 again, maybe 1101 REPTILICUS for those who missed our showing before. We'll ask those assembled which they prefer.

That's a lot of riffing! If you can't make the whole show, feel free to drop by for just part of it. (Indeed, issues with people not being able to attend earlier or later times are why there's so much show, so that more people can attend at least a bit of it!)

If there are technical issues, our fallback is to watch 702 at the cytu.be page, at https://cytu.be/r/Metafilter_MST3KClub. If for some reason you can't watch the rabb.it showing (like maybe browser issues), I'll have 702 cycling there.
posted by JHarris at 12:37 PM on April 26, 2017


portrayed by new head writer Elliott Kalan

One slightly distracting thing about this season is that I know Elliott's humor so well from The Flophouse that it takes me out of the moment when I hear his bits come out of the bots. Pretty much any 'pedantic wordplay' is him all over.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:38 PM on April 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


I was disappointed - the word "Starship" was said at least a dozen times and not once was there a "We Built This City" or a "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" riff.
posted by Ranucci at 6:41 PM on April 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


One slightly distracting thing about this season is that I know Elliott's humor so well from The Flophouse that it takes me out of the moment when I hear his bits come out of the bots. Pretty much any 'pedantic wordplay' is him all over.

Playing "Spot the Elliott Kalan Riff" is one of my favorite pastimes of the new season. I'm roughly 50-50 on the Southern Belle Tom Servo clone from "Reptilicus" being a meta-reference to a now-classic Flop House podcast tangent.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:55 AM on April 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


This is a much shorter movie if I'm in that lab. "Oh, no, Danny wandered into the future despite our explicit instructions not to! We'll miss you, Danny!"
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:42 PM on April 28, 2017 [3 favorites]


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