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The KTMA pilot exists — and here it is!

You might have heard that the Cinematic Titanic cast was on-hand for the recent 32nd Archon convention in St. Louis. And you know, that’s just wonderful. Always good to see ’em. But the real news to come out of the convention? The original, never-before-seen KTMA pilot for Mystery Science Theater was shown in its entirety at the panel, with an introduction and some commentary by the Cinematics.

Someone was smart enough to video-tape the event, and the Digital Archive Project was kind enough to get a digital copy out to the interwebs. You can torrent it through this locale (registration required).  I also uploaded the 18-minute video to Google Video, and you can watch it above. The quality isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot better than what we had a month ago — which was nothing.

Watching it, you can easily see why the cast and crew never wanted anyone to watch these early episodes, once they got their riff-groove. Really, the pilot is just a proof-of-concept video, with almost nothing in the way of riffing. Still, the skits (which we’ve seen in clips before) are charming, and the event is definitely a huge moment in MST history. This also means that Jim Mallon must be softening up…

(Thanks to P. Keller, who finally got me off my ass to post this.)

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4 Responses

  1. I love it. It’s so cool to see what Joel was going for in the early days, and how cool is it that we literally get to see “the birth of movie riffing” with Joel’s “number two” comment? Pure awesome. The host segments were also adorable. :-)

  2. At DragonCon, Joel said he had found a couple of early MST tapes in his stuff and that’s what he showed. So Jim Mallon might have had nothing to do with this.

  3. Wow, I never expected to actually get a chance to watch this. Now if tapes of the first few KTMA episodes were to somehow magically appear, my collection would be complete.

  4. Today, November 24th, is the 20th anniversary of the first episode. It hasn’t been seen in 19 years.

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