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12 Classic MST3K Episodes Probably Won’t Ever Come to DVD

12 Classic MST3K Episodes Probably Won’t Ever Come to DVD

One of the things we MSTies have always been able to count on in the Wilderness Years following the 1999 cancellation of Mystery Science Theater 3000 is that every few months, DVDs would be released. Beginning at Rhino Video and then heading over to Shout! Factory (from 2000 up to the present), we’ve gotten episodes of the classic series, either released individually or—more commonly—in sets of three or four. In November, Shout! will release Volume XXXIX, which, according to a press release on MST3K‘s Facebook page, will likely be the last, even though not all the episodes have come out.

First, the good news: on November 21, 2017, Shout! will release Volume XXXIX which will contain the previously unreleased episodes, The Amazing Transparent Man, Girls Town (both from season 6), and Diabolik, the show’s series finale. The finale, especially, is an episode we’ve been excited to get on disc for a long while. So that’s great. And there will be a fourth disc as well, called “Satellite Dishes,” which leads to the sort of sad part of the whole thing.

Unlike most TV shows, where if a distributor gets the rights to the series, they can release all the episodes they want, Shout! has to also obtain the distribution rights to each of the films being riffed. Best Brains—the company that produced MST3K—got the rights to do the movies for TV broadcast, but it’s a whole different story when it comes to releasing the films on home entertainment, which is ostensibly what they’re doing. 12 of these episodes have yet to be released, and according to the statement, they likely won’t ever be.

Those episodes are:

Ep #201 Rocketship X-M
Ep #212 Godzilla Vs. Megalon
Ep #213 Godzilla Vs. The Sea Monster
Ep #309 The Amazing Colossal Man
Ep #311 It Conquered the World
Ep #416 Fire Maidens from Outer Space
Ep #418 The Eye Creatures
Ep #807 Terror from the Year 5000
Ep #809 I Was A Teenage Werewolf
Ep #905 The Deadly Bees
Ep #906 The Space Children
Ep #913 Quest of the Delta Knights

Despite our best efforts to include the remaining unreleased episodes, due to licensing issues, it is very likely that Volume 39 will be the last collection of never-before-released episodes, and that these remaining episodes may never get a legitimate release. With this in mind, we decided the next best option was to release the remaining host segments by themselves.

Godzilla Vs. Megalon, it should be noted, was originally released in Volume 10 but was pulled from shelves two years later and replaced in the set with The Giant Gila Monster after the rights from Toho were lost. This kind of thing happens a lot; the set released in 2011 of all five episodes featuring Gamera movies have fallen out of print and is unlikely to return to print.

So, the fourth disc in Volume XXXIX will contain all of the host segments to the 12 movies that can’t be released, so at the very least we get all of that. It’s maybe not the most ideal answer, but it definitely ensures that at least the comedy that didn’t include the movie can still be seen by fans forever. It’s a real bummer since those last three are some of my favorite episodes of all time.

There’s no guarantee that these will NEVER EVER get a release, but my guess is it’d be individual releases as the rights become available, and since they’ve reached the end of the line otherwise, may as well release what they can.

Images: Best Brains/Shout Factory

Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist. He writes the weekly look at weird or obscure films in Schlock & Awe. Follow him on Twitter!

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