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TV is filled with all kinds of reboots and revivals nowadays, and some are more exciting than others. Netflix’s upcoming Mystery Science Theater 3000 reboot has the makings of an epic series, combining the best of comedy, camp, and sci-fi. Called Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return, the reboot sounds like it will have an awful lot in common with the original. In fact, even original creator Joel Hodgson is on board, and he’s revealed the biggest way that the reboot differs from the original series:
I think the biggest change for the new series is that we really collaborate with the movie more, in that we don’t really talk over the movie. We’re really careful about letting the movie deliver its dialogue. I think we were just a little sloppier before. Personally, I feel like the audience now listens faster and absorbs more so we really wanted the movie to show through and we used the negative space to collaborate with it. 50,000 of our backers, or a big percentage of them — maybe thirty or forty thousand of them — got a version of our first [new] episode, and a very high percentage of the response to it… I answered about 600 or so questions from them on Facebook this week, and about 10 or 20 of them were saying, ‘Oh, it’s faster. I’m not sure I like that.’ To me though, that was a deliberate thing. Because we’re trying to update the show a little bit, but also it’s a function of us collaborating more with the movie and using the space that’s available and not talking over the words.
We already knew that the basic format of the original MST3K would be more or less the same; we’d have two mad scientists (Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt) instead of just one, but we’d have another unfortunate janitor stuck with robots and subjected to providing commentary on campy movies. Judging by Joel Hodgson’s comments to IGN, however, we should expect some differences in the flow of the commentaries. In fact, it sounds like we’ll get a fuller experience: the movie and the commentary.
Joel Hodgson did admit that not all of the fans who have seen the first of the new episodes liked the updated format, but the vast majority is apparently on board with the changes. That said, it’s not surprising that Hodgson is particularly attentive to the opinions of the fans. MST3K: The Return. The reboot wouldn’t be happening at all if not for the lovers of the original series who were willing to shell out their own money to support a new version of the show.
The Kickstarter campaign for the Mystery Science Theater 3000 reboot actually broke a major record, pulling in $5,764,229 from folks ready and waiting for new episodes. The sum total beat the previous record of $5,702,153, which was held by the Veronica Mars movie funded by fans. With the merchandise sales factored in, the MST3K number is bumped up to nearly $6.3 million. Joel Hodgson may not have been beholden to the fans in how he brought the reboot to life, but it makes sense that he’d keep aware of how they feel about the project.
Luckily, even those of us who didn’t get to see an early version of MST3K: The Return will get to judge for ourselves in a matter of days, as Netflix will soon release the episodes to all subscribers. Season 1 of the new Mystery Science Theater 3000 will be available starting on Friday, April 14 at 12:01 a.m. PT. If that’s not soon enough, there’s a batch of classic MST3K already available streaming. Check out our 2017 Netflix premiere schedule to see when you can catch other fabulous Netflix originals, and don’t forget to drop by our midseason TV premiere guide and our summer TV premiere schedule.
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