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Classic episodes of ‘MST3K’ coming to Netflix this week

UPDATED: Tue., March 14, 2017, 4:14 p.m.

The 1997 version of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” featured host and head writer Mike Nelson, along with the robots Crow, left, Gypsy, center, and Tom Servo, right. Classic episodes are coming to Netflix this week, with new episodes available to stream in April. (MIKE KIENITZ / Associated Press)
The 1997 version of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” featured host and head writer Mike Nelson, along with the robots Crow, left, Gypsy, center, and Tom Servo, right. Classic episodes are coming to Netflix this week, with new episodes available to stream in April. (MIKE KIENITZ / Associated Press)

The Satellite of Love is ready to launch: On Wednesday, 20 classic episodes of the cult television show “Mystery Science Theater 3000” come to Netflix.

The return of Joel and Mike, along with beloved robots Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot, and Gypsy, sets the stage for the ultimate news: New episodes begin airing on the streaming service April 14, thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter launched by series creator Joel Hodgson that raised $5.7 million of a $2 million goal.

The Peabody Award-winning “Mystery Science Theater 3000” - or MST3K for short - was a television show born in Minneapolis in 1988. Over 10 season, broadcast by The Comedy Channel/Comedy Central and SciFi, our human host and his robot companions skewered bad B movies. We mean really bad. Among the 20 episodes coming to Netflix this week are “Eegah!,” “Hercules Against the Moon Men,” “Pod People,” “Teenagers From Outer Space,” and the legendary “Manos: The Hands of Fate.”

(“Manos” is widely regarded as one of the worst films ever made. It tells the story of a family driving through Texas who falls prey to a polyamorous pagan cult. It was produced by an insurance and fertilizer salesman from El Paso. It’s terrible.)

The show’s premise was this: A couple of mad scientists believe the secret to world domination is bad cinema. Before they unleash their dastardly plot, they send a man into space aboard the Satellite of Love to test their theory by showing a constant stream of bad movies. He builds a few robots to keep him company, and together cracking wise and make snide, sarcastic comments throughout their cinematic torture.

The reboot will feature a new resident of the satellite - Jonah Ray - along with the robots. Series creator Hodgson has said the movies will be of more recent vintage.