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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S08 E07: Terror from the Year 5000

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Film watched: Terror from the Year 5000

The Segments:

  • Having bought a new coat, Servo is now obsessed with giving comfort ratings to everything he sees.

Segment 1

  • The Observers have grown tired of catering to Pearl's every demand and announce their true intention to have her and Bobo dissected and placed on display in a museum. They psychically force the Mads to fight to the death and attempt to do the same to the crew, but Mike and the 'Bots are unaffected by their powers.

Segment 2

  • For superior beings without bodies, the Observers eat a LOT of Food Pills. They send some bowls of them up to the crew for them to try, and Mike spices up the bland meal with some gourmet cuisine.

Segment 3

  • The Nanites have constructed a time machine. Mike has Crow use it to meet with his family in Wisconsin and tell them that he's alright. Crow ends up spending 11 years with the Nelsons and strikes up a very close relationship with Mike's girlfriend Ginger, but forgets to tell all of them about Mike.

Segment 4

  • The crew gets into yodeling, which agonizes the Observers. They counter their yodeling with a soulful serenade full of brain puns.

Segment 5

  • As payback for Crow stealing Ginger, Mike uses the time machine to set Crow up on a blind date with the TERROR. She's actually quite sweet once one gets past her incoherent screaming. Pearl has finally defeated Bobo and is expected to put him to death, but she refuses and gives a passionate speech about the sanctity of life... until Bobo recovers and the fight is on again.


The MST3K presentation contains these tropes:

  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: At one point, Bob asks if there's a good movie playing in town. Mike's response: "So now we get to watch people watching a movie? What's that about?"
  • Food Pills: Observers sent Mike their super-advanced Food Pills — but you have to eat huge heaping bowls of them. Mike serves up gourmet pill dishes a la Anthony Bourdain.
  • Funny Background Event: Bobo and Pearl keep fighting in the background throughout the entire episode.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The SOL's yodeling ("Like Jimmie Rodgers!") is this to the Observers. "Yodelayheeyodelayheeyodelayhee—" "Yodlodlldloyodllodlodlyo—" "YolooOOOOooOyyolooOOOOooo—" "YO-DE-LAY-DEE-YO-DE-LAY-DEE—"
    First Observer (Mike): What are you doing? Stop it this instant!
    Third Observer (Bill): Can't you see you're killing Observer?
    Second Observer (Paul): (clutching his temple) ...devils! ...devils!
    • After "When I Held Your Brain In My Arms", Mike gets a taste of his own medicine when the 'bots start singing the riff from 'that one Asia song' ("Only Time Will Tell").
  • Ho Yay: Invoked for comedy when Victor arranges to have Bob sleep in his room.
    Mike: (As narrator, while Victor sneaks out of bed) The Terrible, Aching Crush I Have On My Roommate... FROM THE YEAR 5000!!!
  • I Read It for the Articles: When one of the women in the film starts undressing, Crow excitedly says, "Movie's getting better, movie's getting better! I like the pacing, the cinematography has improved considerably."
  • In the Style of: In the writeup of the episode, Kevin Murphy remarks when they sang "When I Held Your Brain In My Arms" that "the Observers sound a helluva lot like Servo covering the The Ink Spots."
  • Involuntary Battle to the Death: The Observers cast aside their welcoming facade and force Bobo and Pearl to kill each other as a test of their abilities.
  • Kirk Summation: Pearl refuses to kill Bobo at the behest of the Observers, going on a passionate speech about being human and responsibility to other living things, looking straight into the camera. The fact that it's the show's lying, bullying, Adult Child villain saying this does not go unmentioned:
    Pearl: Being human isn't about killing in cold blood those who are helpless — though I have in fact done that, I probably shouldn't have...
  • No Indoor Voice: Miss Blake is said to be this, as a joke on her Extreme Doormat personality and exaggeratedly-gentle mannerisms.
  • Running Gag:
    • Servo keeps impersonating the narrator's booming declarations of the TERROR FROM THE YEAR 5000 to apologize and make excuses for the TERROR's failure to show up until about an hour into the movie.
      Tom: I Realize I May Have Oversold The "Terror" At The Beginning, And For That I Apologize.
    • The pale, flabby, unattractive physiques of the lead characters when they get into their bathing suits.
    • Riffs based upon Bob's haircut making him resemble a Drill Sergeant.
    • Bob's secretary supposedly having a Hair-Trigger Temper.
    • Angelo the Crusty Caretaker, his obvious perversion, and his resemblance to Jimmy Carter lead to plenty of jokes.
      Mike: (as Angelo) I believe I am experiencing stagflation.
  • Same Language Dub: The Observer played by Mike Nelson lip-syncs to what is very clearly Tom Servo/Kevin Murphy's voice for most of the song. The Bill Corbett Observer, on the other hand, lip-syncs to... his own voice.
  • Shout-Out: The SOL's yodeling and the pain it causes the Observers are a reference to the Martians' Weak Sauce Weakness (Slim Whitman's "Indian Love Call") in Mars Attacks!, which came out the previous year.
  • Shown Their Work: "When I Held Your Brain In My Arms" throws out a lot of neuroanatomical terms in service of its tortured Tunnel of Love metaphor.
    First Observer: I remember
    We would stroll
    Along your fissure of Rolando
    When I held your brain in my arms
    Third Observer: I miss how we would float down your vestibular canal
    And how we would go swimming in your pons
    The music you would play us
    On your locus coeruleus
    First Observer: Still tickles my neurons...!
  • Slasher Smile: The Observers sport these in the Stinger. Just look at Paul Chaplin's and try not to be scared.
  • Spoof Aesop: All three riffers get one in over the closing shot of the now-dead TERROR:
    Crow: "Remember to moisturize, and use a sunscreen!"
    Mike: "And don't bob for french fries!"
    Servo: "Marry only UL-approved attractive people!"
  • Time Machine: Used to mess with Mike Nelson a bit, and to teach Crow a lesson for same.
  • [Verb] This!: Crow tells one of the Observers to "Observe this!" after they try and get Mike and the bots to fight each other.