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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 04 E 01 Space Travelers

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Film watched: Marooned (repackaged by Film Ventures International under the title Space Travelers)

It's the only Oscar-winning film (for special effects) to be riffed on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

The Segments:


  • Crow is the Great Crowdini, hanging upside down from the ceiling, wrapped in chains, with a lit cannon aimed at his head. Things go bad when he ends up losing the key.

Segment 1/Invention Exchange

  • Crow is revealed to have escaped his predicament by chewing his head off. Joel, meanwhile, has invented the Dollaroid, a camera that puts people’s faces on money. Tom wastes no time ranting about how pointless it is. After observing the decline of The Last Boy Scout in the box office, the Mads present tissues with famous faces drawn on them, allowing people to blow their noses on them in ridicule.

Segment 2

  • The guys list the various ways in which the space program has influenced everyday life. Some are more unreal than others.

Segment 3

  • While reenacting a scene from the movie, Crow causes everything to fall apart when he randomly switches from his Gregory Peck impersonation to his David Janssen impersonation.

Segment 4

  • Joel contemplates what might happen if one of the trio had to sacrifice themselves in space. The bots are quick to point out that he’s the only one who needs oxygen.

Segment 5

  • Joel plays fetch with Gypsy, shows the bots a magic trick, then reads a letter. The Mads are not impressed.

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode provides examples of the following tropes:

  • *Bleep*-dammit!: The "God" in Janssen's "Then God damn you!" is muted out, but the "damn" isn't, which catches Tom's notice in particular.
    • Ironically, Richard Crenna is heard saying "Goddamn" later on in the film, but it wasn't censored.
  • Broken Pedestal: The cast were big fans of Dennis Miller, 'til when they met him: he attacked them for doing this film, saying it was "a pretty good movie."
    • In Frank Conniff's DVD intro for this episode, he seems to agree with Miller's comments, that they shouldn't have reviewed this film because it's too good.
  • Call-Back: When Joel asks rhetorically, "Who decides who lives and who dies?", Crow reminds him that he already called dibs.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Gene Hackman's character accidentally lets a camera float away in space.
    Crow: "Millions of dollars went into this space mission, and they didn't invest in a camera strap?"
    • Genius Bonus: This actually happened once, during one of the pre-Lunar Apollo missions.
  • Escape Artist: "The Great Crowdini" tries to escape from chains while suspended upside-down before a cannon shoots him... but he drops the key, and doesn't quite make it.
  • Advertisement:
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Dr. Forrester and Frank lament the fall of The Last Boy Scout in the movie rankings, as they see its decline as a threat to the forces of evil everywhere.
    Dr. Forrester: You're right, Frank, this is cause for concern. Remember The Return of Bruno.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: Joel says, "I could go for some fap-jacks" upon seeing the name of the film's director of photography, Daniel Fapp, A.S.C. "Fap" hadn't become a profanity/vulgarity yet.
  • Long List: Joel and the Bots list off all of the things that mankind has benefited from, thanks to the space program. Some of the items are a bit suspect, such as Branford, Wynton, and Chicken Marsalis.
  • Reality Ensues: Tom practically goes mental as a result of Joel's bit for the Dollaroid, questioning why Crow would need to provide identification for using money with his face on it and questioning why Joel would give Tom money with his face on it.
  • Running Gag: Confusing James Franciscus for Tony Franciosa, the Finder Of Lost Loves, which becomes a Berserk Button for Tom.
    • Crow making references to David Janssen's role on The Fugitive.
    • Gene Hackman is good in anything.
    • Crow doing a Gregory Peck impersonation.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Smoking Is Cool:
    Joel: Back then you were required to smoke.
  • Take That!:
    • "Eight-million dollar film and they're still using Stock Footage!"
    • After Joel sings a few lyrics from Yes' "Roundabout" over an establishing shot of the Ironman capsule, Crow remarks:
      Crow: Say "No" to "Yes".


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