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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S09 E13: Quest of the Delta Knights

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Well, better than the Quest of the Delta Burkes, I suppose.

Film watched: Quest of the Delta Knights

The episode is available in the Gizmoplex here.

The Segments:

  • Crow is currently out for repairs due to hail damage, so a "loaner Crow" is used to introduce the show in his place.

Segment 1

  • Crow's all fixed up and the loaner is sent elsewhere as Pearl calls in. She's trying to figure out why Mike and the 'Bots aren't breaking from all the bad movies they are made to watch. In order to get a first-hand evaluation, Pearl has Brain Guy send her up to the Satellite of Love to riff the day's movie with Crow and Servo, while Mike is sent down to Castle Forrester and put in charge of Bobo and Brain Guy.

Segment 2

  • Pearl finishes up her evaluation and checks in on Mike, who's enjoying some male-bonding with Bobo and Brain Guy over beer and cards. Pearl gets furious when they start talking trash about her and has Mike and herself switched back, which upsets the 'Bots as they loved having her around (and she gave them a mint).

Segment 3

  • The Satellite of Love presents the Sir Thomas Neville Servo Consort of the Middle Ages Just-After-the-Plague Singers, who perform a beautiful song about the Delta Knights. Then they get raunchy and Mike tries to stop them.

Segment 4

  • Leonardo da Vinci flies up to the SOL to tell the crew that his portrayal in the movie is nothing like him. Nothing like him at all, ya got that?!

Segment 5

  • Pearl comes back into the theater during the movie's credits to discuss renovations with a contractor so she can make the movies more painful to watch. Back on the bridge, the 'Bots sob over Pearl's brief-but-wonderful time spent with them. Meanwhile, the Delta Knights are hosting a giant pancake breakfast in Castle Forrester.

The MST3K presentation contains examples of:

  • Acting for Two: Invoked with several riffs lampshading David Warner playing both the mentor and the villain.note 
    Vultare: (to Baydool) Don't I know you?
    Mike: Aren't you me in another role?
    • Later:
    Crow: David Warner, you are under arrest by order of David Warner!
  • Actor Allusion: Invoked for Richard Kind, who plays Wamthool.
    Wamthool: I think I got it!
    Mike: Yes, I got the role in Mad About You!
  • The Alleged Car: More like Alleged Robot. While Gypsy is repairing the original Crow, she gives Mike and Tom a "loaner Crow" - by AMC no less - that she's been tinkering with. He can't speak coherently, he shakes constantly and smoke keeps belching out of him - but he's got a killer stereo!
    • Truth in Television: AMC cars were remarkably well-built. So much so that their chassis and engine would remain in great working order decades after their production — while everything else would be falling apart.
  • Brotherhood of Funny Hats: The final host segment reveals that the Delta Knights devolved into a Shriners-like organization which doesn't do anything but host an annual pancake breakfast that just barely breaks even.
  • Breast Expansion: The crew's reaction to Athena's Of Corsets Sexy transformation. "Her dough has risen!"
  • Brooklyn Rage: Leonardo Da Vinci lives in Queens and has a Hair-Trigger Temper, and is especially sensitive to any line of questioning that concerns what he and his friends do for a living.
  • Call-Back: Once again, a troupe of Servos launch into a Bawdy Song, to the consternation of emcee Mike, as they did in The Starfighters.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In the opening host segment, Crow goes in for repairs and is temporarily substituted with a less than optimal Fake Crow. When the real Crow returns, he says that Gypsy needs Fake Crow immediately; some other guy's Crow got trashed and he needs a loaner. The Continuity Nod part is the fact that there is another Crow - the one who stayed in the past over the course of Time Chasers. Behind the scenes, Loaner Crow is actually the older version of the Crow puppet from the Comedy Channel era, recognizable by his slightly longer "beak" and duller-colored eyes.
    • The Sir Thomas Neville Servo Consort of the Middle Ages Just-After-the-Plague Singers who sing "Air on a Delta Knight" are presumably the same Servo-clones introduced in The Human Duplicators. previously pressed into service as a choir as the United Servo Academy Men's Chorus in The Starfighters. Once again, the Servos decide to launch into a Bawdy Song, once again inciting Mike, once again imitating locally-based public radio host Bill McGlaughlin of Saint Paul Sunday, to freak out and demand they get out of his studio.
      Sir Thomas Neville Servo: (suddenly with a brusque Oop North accent) Oy, let's sing a naughty one, eh?
    • One of the 'Bots' framed photos of Pearl in the last host segment is her from back in the Comedy Central seasons.
    • During Tee and Leonardo's escape from the tree village, Servo finds himself starting to like Willow in comparison, which he and Mike (but not Crow) very openly disdained in Village of the Giants.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: One of the Running Gags on Tee.
    Tee: (whispering to Leonardo) Follow my lead.
    Servo: (as Tee, whispering) Get hair extensions and talk like a girl.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Invoked by Servo, quipping that Travis' pinto horse may explode.
  • Friendly Enemy: Without Pearl there to egg them on Bobo and Brain Guy drop their respective beefs with Mike to just hang out and share some beers.
  • Historical Domain Character: Mike and the bots audibly groan and make sarcastic comments when Leonardo reveals that he's from a town called Vinci.
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms: The Bawdy Song that the Servos try to sing is a hurricane of Unusual Euphemisms.
  • Late to the Realization: At one point in the movie, Crow says "Hey, that's also David Warner!" Tom replies, "Yeah, Crow."
  • The Mafia: Heavily implied. Don't ask Leonardo da Vinci what he does for a living. He goes for a gun in his 15th Century robes when Servo starts prying into his private affairs.
    Leonardo da Vinci: ...I do what I do. I'm in business.
  • Mood Whiplash: When the scene shifts to bumbling wizard Wamthool and goofy music starts playing, Servo asks, "Are we in the same movie?!"
  • MST3K Mantra: Invoked when Leonardo da Vinci visits Mike and the Bots partway through the movie. The Satellite of Love crew complain that they can't understand the movie, especially in terms of where and when it's supposed to be set. Leo's response: "Hey, it's a bad movie."
  • Overly Long Name: The Sir Thomas Neville Servo Consort of the Middle Ages Just-After-the-Plague Singers.
  • Role Swap Plot: Pearl is so fed up with Mike and the Bots' refusal to go insane that she decides to experience the theater for herself, while Mike winds up hanging out with Bobo and Observer.
  • Running Gag:
    • Hanson jokes concerning Tee's wavy blond locks.
    • Tee "pitying the foo'."
    • The SoL crew makes several jokes mocking the ham-handed way the film "casually" introduces Leonardo as the Leonardo da Vinci.
      "...So then my folks moved, and I was Leonardo de Oxnard for a few years."
      "When this is all over, I hope to be Leonardo de Cancun for a couple weeks."
      "Yep, that's how they raised us in Vinci!"
  • Shout-Out:
    • Wamthool is hockey player Wayne Gretzky. Mike is playing floor hockey on the Satellite in the next host segment.
      Other Wizard: How's it coming, O Great One?
      Crow: You ever get back to Edmonton?note 
    • Mike once again introduces the choir of Servos in the persona of Bill McGlaughlin, host of Minnesota-local public radio Classical Music show Saint Paul Sunday.
      Mike: Hello, my friends. Today on Satellite of Love Sunday Morning, we are livid with proudness in presenting the Sir Thomas Neville Servo Consort of the Middle Ages Just-After-the-Plague Singers.
    • Tom's doubles form a choir group, the "Sir Thomas Neville Servo Consort of the Middle Ages Just-After-the-Plague Singers", a very long, oblique reference to classical conductor Sir Neville Marriner, founder of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields chamber orchestra.
    • The title of "Air on a Delta Knight" is a possible riff on Air on the G String, August Wilhelmj's arrangement of the air from Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3.
  • Special Guest: Leonardo da Vinci shows up in an ornithocopter-spaceship and complains (in a thick Brooklyn accent) about the movie's portrayal of him, calling the twerp in the film a "mook." When Servo wonders how Leo's still alive, the feisty Italian takes it as a threat and goes for his gun. At the end, Mike concludes that it's not a good idea to ask what Leonardo da Vinci does for a living.
  • Strange-Syntax Speaker: Loaner Crow is not all there in the brain processor department.
  • Those Magnificent Flying Machines: Leonardo Da Vinci's Cool Starship has bat-like sail-wings like the flying machines in his journals.