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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 09 E 02 The Phantom Planet

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Film watched: The Phantom Planet

Among other things, Mike and the 'bots ridiculed the silliness of the Solarites' appearance (repeatedly compared to that of dogs) and the eponymous Phantom Planet's resemblance to a piece of fried chicken. Other running jokes also included adding dialogue for the mute Zetha and how utterly silly the dialogue is when navels are contemplated.

The Segments:

  • The 'Bots and Mike have an Andy Rooney-Off, with Gypsy as the judge.

Segment 1

  • Pearl is getting herself settled into Castle Forrester and has just gotten her new doomsday machine in the mail, but a crucial radioactive component gets sent to the SOL by mistake. Mike and the 'Bots debate over sending back "the thing" to Pearl.

Segment 2

  • Servo seeks the perfect balance of "good" and "beautiful". His initial pairing of a candy bar and a supermodel seems to work well, but Mike suggests something else that works just as well.

Segment 3

  • Crow is more focused on putting decals on his model car than making sure Mike doesn't float off into space. Pearl and Brain Guy attempt to assemble their doomsday machine, but are interrupted by a very hairy "ghost".

Segment 4

  • Mike finds Crow and Servo trying to play water glass rims and shows off a bit of his own skill.

Segment 5

  • Crow wants Mike and Servo to talk with him about his habit of dressing up like creatures from the movies they watch, in this case the Solarites. Being unable to build her doomsday machine, Pearl is having doubts about her chances of world domination, but a semi-accidental dumping of hot oil on her visiting neighbors (and Bobo) cheers her up.

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation has examples of:

  • Call-Back:
  • Excessive Steam Syndrome:
    Servo: Look, there's the problem, their dryer's leaking.
  • Evil Laugh: After Frank rejects her advances, Liara gives him a cold look and takes her sweet time leaving.note  Mike supplies the requisite maniacal evil laughter.
  • Flashback Effects: After Frank returns to his spacesuit, the movie kicks off a flashback sequence with some swirling effects, which continue throughout. Mike and the 'bots were not impressed:
    Crow: Come on, we didn't like these scenes the first time!
    Servo: Yeah!
    Mike: What if these flashbacks lap themselves?
    Servo: (as a Solarite) Can I go out, please?
    Crow: No fair! You can't flash back to stuff we saw ten seconds ago!
  • Advertisement:
  • Flashback... Back... Back...: Parodied, as Frank drifts through space early in the movie.
    Servo: Congratulations, Mrs. Astronaut, it's a boy... boy... boy...
    Mike: Wake up, Frank. You wet the bed... bed... bed...
    Crow: Frank, you'll have to take third grade again... gain... gain...
    Mike: Mr. Chapman, this is Western Financial Collections. Do you value your credit rating... rating... rating...
    Crow: I'm afraid you're just not 7-11 timber, Frank... Frank... Frank...
    Servo: You're the worst party clown we've ever had... had... had...
  • Haunted House: Castle Forrester is full of ominous moaning and rattling chains... but it's just Bobo wandering the halls and yawning, apparently having accidentally stepped into some random chains and not noticed.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • The nature of these lovely 1960s sci-fi films.
      Crow: Somehow, the answer to all [the movie's] questions is "big white guys in jumpsuits."
      Mike: [chuckles, then realizes] Hey...
    • When the aliens say breathing a different atmosphere will cause people to shrink or expand:
      Crow: So people are just balloons?
    • Also:
      Mike: Good thing there's so much gravity in space, huh?
      Crow: So you can just take a sharp left in space.
      Crow: Ahh, remember when you could fix your rocket ship with just a crescent wrench?
    • During the final segment, Crow pointing out how he will see a movie, snap, think he's a character from the movie and dress himself up accordingly.
      Mike: I don't know if you do that any more than the rest of us, really.
      Servo: Yeah.
  • Nightmare Retardant: In-Universe. The Solarites are meant to be scary monsters, but aside from the usual People in Rubber Suits factor, they also look like big-eyed sad-looking poodles.
    Crow: Um, ma'am? I realize you don't know me, but I really need to go walkies.
  • Retroactive Recognition: In-universe during the opening credits: "Oh, Richard Kiel! A real star for once." The crew had a somewhat different opinion during Eegah! and The Human Duplicators, both of which came out in the years after this film. In the actual movie, Kiel is completely unrecognizable (other than his height — he plays the Solarite), so they speak no more of him.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: In the first minute of the show, Mike says Crow has "challenged Tom Servo and I to an Andy Rooney-Off." (It should be "Tom Servo and me".)
  • Running Gag:
  • Sanity Slippage: Crow once again decides he's a character from the movie (a Solarite in this case). Instead of the bit being about Crow acting like a Solarite, however, it's about Crow lampshading the fact that this keeps happening with various characters. He's rather baffled by his "sick, amnesic psychotic blackout."
    Crow: And you know what's weird? I don't even remember doing this, and it's a very good costume!
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: After a search party is dispatched to look for Chapman, who could be anywhere in space.
    Mike: So, which part of the universe do you want to search first?
  • Security Cling: Pearl and Observer cling to each other when they think the ghost is coming for them. They are, of course, embarrassed (and enraged) once they realize it's just Bobo.
    Observer: It is among us! Oh, Pearl, hold me!
    Pearl: Embrace me in this moment of oblivion!
  • Shout-Out: Mike and the 'Bots hold an Andy Rooney-Off-60 Minutes-fame-off in the opening segment. Gypsy moderates.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance:
    Mike: Does this tepid little scene really deserve a TA-DAH! TA-DAH-dah-DAH-ta-DAH!!!
  • Take That!: An extended one against Northwest Airlines, or really, air travel in general.
    Mike: [as Chapman is helped aboard the rescue ship] Just want to remind you this is a Northwest flight, so we'll be sitting on the tarmac for an hour with no beverages and air conditioning and we're out of meals and the flight attendants are overworked and abusive and if you complain we'll throw you off the flight.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Perennial Butt-Monkey Mike gets one over on Crow and Servo when he casually bests them at wine glass rim music.
  • The Unreveal: We never learn who won the Andy Rooney-Off, as Gypsy gets fed up and leaves without announcing the winner.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: A despondent Pearl, convinced that she'll never take over the world, perks up when she sees what looks like an angry mob of villagers outside the castle and has Brain Guy summon some hot oil for dumping on them. Turns out, they just want to welcome her to the neighborhood and have even made her a casserole. The oil gets dumped on the villagers anyway, which makes Pearl so happy that she dumps more on them (and also Bobo, who went down for the casserole).
  • Zeerust: Invoked.
    Ray: March 16, 1980.
    Crow: Oh, our old future.


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