Let the experiment begin!
"Turn Down Your Lights (Where applicable)"
Experiment #305 ~ STRANDED IN SPACE (1973)
(a.k.a.: "The Stranger")
Original Air Date: June 29, 1991
Studio: Bing Crosby Productions, NBC Television Network
Starring: Dean Jagger, Glenn Corbett, Cameron Mitchell, Lew Ayers, Sharon Acker, George Coulouris, Steve Franken, Tim O'Connor
Directed By: Lee H. Katzin
Theatrical Running Time: 99 Minutes
Tagline: "The Planet He Uncovered was a Twin to Earth... but so Ominously Different!"
After a manned American spaceflight meets with disaster, Astronaut Neil Stryker (Glenn Corbett
) awkens to eventually discover that he is being held captive by a group known as the "Perfect Order" on an Earth-like planet called "Terra". After his escape from confinement, Neil, pursued by Terran government agents realizes that he could return home to Earth, but it will prove to be an arduous task. Will Captain Stryker ever be able to make it back to Earth!?
Joel has turned the bridge of the 'SOL' into an arcade style "Shootin' Gallery", using Tom, Crow (and even Magic Voice) as targets.
Both the 'SOL' and the Mads present variations on the "BANG!" gun. (You know the old prop where one pulls the trigger and a banner pops out with the word "bang!" on it). Both camps present a variety of weapons such as Uzi's, spearguns, knives, nunchukas, etc... , with printed sound effects like 'KA-BOOM!', 'SLUNK!', 'SHLINK!', 'KLUNK!', 'WHSSHH!', 'KA-CHOW!', and the ultimate "ACME" style explosives plunger displaying 'BOINGEE-BANGA-KA-BONGA!'. (Good grief! Is old school "MAD" Magazine cartoonist Don Martin working at BBI?).
The "Kids in Court Trading Cards" collection. (Every major child star who's been arrested, convicted or has litigation pending.) Each card has celebrity statistics on the back... 'Charges', 'Trial status', even 'Lawsuits'. Featuring Adam Rich, Dana Plato, Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges and Danny Bonaduce.
Joel is a "turtle-necked, sport-coated" TV villian and Tom and Crow are his appropriately attired henchmen. All villians have their 'pets', and Joel's is the turtle "Tibby". (A nice 'callback' to Kenny's pet turtle in Experiment #302
Joel and Crow try to 'pitch' the movie to TV exec Servo. Joel reads a fan letter.
Stryker gets his face slapped.
Items of Note:
~ Notice in the 'Invention Exchange' how Joel struggles with the Uzi, and Frank breaks the handle of the explosives plunger.
~ In one scene of the film, at a security guard booth, Tom makes a reference to a "Photomat". ( Do those even exist, anymore?)
~ A lot of 'callback riffs' to earlier experiments like Experiment #202
and Experiment #301
~ "The Stranger" was a 'made for TV' movie intended as a pilot for a proposed series.
~ It was never picked up by any network
~ One of MST's first references in the series to Jamie Gumb's van. ('Silence of the Lambs'
~ Lots of riffs referring to heroin and 'shooting-up' in this episode. Weird.
): "I never thought I'd consider 26,000 miles an hour slow." (Tom
): "That is until I popped a 'Dexatrim'!
~ (Joel, very sarcastically
): "Nice try, Astro-Spy!"
): "Our nurses have been trained to be discreet." (Crow
): "Say, I think I'll try that theory!"
): "Doctor, I think I've been talking in my sleep." (Crow
): "...and Wetting!"
): "Yeah, he drinks, he takes drugs and he's gonna get me off the planet? Riiight!"
): "The Grandpa with the golden arm!"
~ Pop culture references as diverse as 'Oingo Boingo', 'Morrissey' and 'Botany 500' as well as 'M*A*S*H', 'Quinn Martin Productions' and 'Stealer's Wheel'. An avereage MST episode simply because the 'SOL' just has no real visual or audio material to work with. It's no wonder the 'pilot' film was never developed into a series. Strong riffs, but just a plain, bland movie. No (as Emeril Legasse
would phrase it)... 'BAM!
2 "Stranger in a Strange Land" out of 5.
"Keep Trading the Discs (and Tapes)"
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