104. Women of the Prehistoric Planet (1966)

Women of the Prehistoric Planet (1966) is the last finished episode of Season 1. Mirroring the fate of Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders (1996), Prehistoric aired last though its production number is earlier on. Mentions of The Corpse Vanishes (1942), Project Moon Base (1953), Robot Holocaust (1987), and The Black Scorpion (1953) place this after those experiments. New Couch, Clay and Lars’ Flesh Barn, Toilet Paper In A Bottle, This Is Your Life, Isaac Asimov, Doomsday Device, Removable Sideburns. “Women of the Prehistoric Planet. My sister saw this in Junior High. All the boys had to go into the gym”, “Wendell Corey” “Man among men”, “That’s the biggest Pop-O-Matic bubble I think I’ve ever seen.” “Crud on a windshield” or “It’s so beautiful”?

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Clay and Lar’s Flesh Barn.

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Isaac Asimov.

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Doomsday Device.

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Johnny Long Torso.

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Talk about your marketing deception. The title evokes imagery of minimally clad nymphs frolicking about. The reality falls short of this. Though you could amuse yourself by picking out the actors known for their television roles, like Heyboy of Have Gun, Will Travel, Angel Martin of The Rockford Files, Sam Fujiyama of Quincey M.E., and Dorothy Miller of the 1960s version of Dragnet.

The actual plot comes across as a lesser episode of Star Trek with the crew of the Enterprise inexplicably missing. This particularly comes through in the heavy-handed racial relations message. That aspect has made it the subject of much contemporary censure (particularly over the spacefarers being portrayed by Caucasian actors and the Centaurans by Asiatic actors). Though in defense of the writers, despite how clumsily it was handled, their intentions appear to have been sincere.

Another issue was the exposition regarding near light speed time dilation, made painful through use of the Cabbage Head technique and resulting in the subject matter being more confusing.

And if nothing else, this movie shows that John Agar can be tolerable when he’s in a supporting role rather than as the lead.

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I’ve mentioned before that for years I was convinced this was Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women, one of those Soviet sci-fi movies re-dubbed and with scenes of Mamie Van Doren and friends added in for sex-appeal. I think I must have watched it during the period I was rediscovering MST3K on Google Video and convinced myself it was riffed.

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Now that there’s an effort to renumber the episodes: I am definitely on board with the idea of formally relocating this experiment to its rightful place: Season One’s season finale*.

And in that regard: This is a real watershed episode. It’s the (vocal) debut of Mike Nelson and the farewell (at the time!) to Dr. Erhardt and Tom Servo’s Mighty Voice.

This a good episode overall, with a watchable movie with good riffing with S1 Joel and The Bots at their most talkative. It’s very fascinating to go from 101 with the gray theater and sparse riffing to this point. They got this concept just about fully figured out and it’s so exciting knowing what’s to come with their confidence!

And it gave us “HIKEEBA”! That alone make this historic!

*Yet I’m fine with keeping the “official” number at 104 because I can’t unthink it.

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@optiMSTie You alluded to this prior. Your breakdown of 104?

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Season 2 isn’t far away here. The heartbeat of MST3K is there in the frequency of the comments, the zing of Clay and Lar’s Flesh Barn, the concentration of the Host Segments, and the riff quality. The pieces are falling into place and it’s a long ways from The Crawling Eye (1958).

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Convincing argument. John Agar is best in smaller doses.

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When I started working weekends at my job a co-worker suggested I get a portable disk player to pass the time. I did, and Rhino set 9 was the first cd set I bought. And since 104 was the first disk on the set it was the first one I watched. I liked it from the start. Cheesy rocket ship movies are one of my favorite Mst genres and this one checks all the boxes! PLUS, Robert Ito is in this, he’s an underrated and talented actor and he makes the movie palatable. And theres John Agar! One of the best from season one!

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Loving Rear Window (1954), Wendell Corey is someone I at once recognize. It sparks my attention him appearing in Women of the Prehistoric Planet (1966). The 50s and 60s had a wealth of versatile character actors who improved whatever they were in.

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Melissa Gilbert’s dad!

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The fellas were hip to the Raw Food craze about three decades ahead of schedule. :cow2:

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The application of pop cultural trends to the inventions is one of my fondest takeaways from the show.

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