Netflix has released a trailer for the upcoming twelfth season of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Collectively titled The Gauntlet, season 12 marks the first time the show has been produced in a binge-friendly format. The new season is scheduled to launch on Thursday, November 22nd, just in time for Thanksgiving in the United States.
First appearing on local-station KTMA in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1988, Mystery Science Theater 3000 was based around the simple concept of dumb movies and smart jokes. The basic plot centers around a series of average joes and their robot friends being forced to watch bad movies after being abducted by mad scientists, but this exists only as a frame story for the premise of funny people making fun of cheesy B-movies. Running for ten years on broadcast cable, Mystery Science Theater 3000 broke crowd-funding records when its devout fandom raised over $6 million dollars on Kickstarter to fuel its 2016 revival. Netflix picked up the distribution rights to the show shortly thereafter and has been hosting it ever since.
The trailer for the new season can be viewed below. The entire six-episode season will be released as one massive marathon that is sure to challenge the resolve of Jonah Heston, Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot and anyone else who dares to join them in this endurance test of cinematic turkeys. The Gauntlet will start with Mac and Me and conclude with the 1982 Conan The Barbarian rip-off Ator The Fighting Eagle.
There is a doubly special significance in this latest season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 launching on Thanksgiving 2018. First, because the series originally premiered on Thanksgiving Eve in 1988. Though the day is not exactly the same, this still marks the spiritual 30th anniversary of the series' first episode.
The series' return on Thanksgiving is also significant because it signals the return of a holiday tradition. For several years during the original series' run in the 1990s, Comedy Central ran a number of Turkey Day Marathons on Thanksgiving Day, often premiering new episodes as part of the event. The marathons usually featured special introductions and skits starting the cast of the show, though one year saw the marathon hosted by Adam West, who had starred in that year's new episode premiere, Zombie Nightmare. While it is unknown if The Gauntlet will include any similarly prestigious celebrity cameos, fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 are sure to have a happy Turkey Day, even if Paul Rudd doesn't put in an appearance.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Gauntlet, releases on Thursday, November 22, on Netflix.