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The Gizmonic Institute Compound

Gizmonic Institute, sometimes shortened to Gizmonics, is a top research laboratory. The institute is housed in a large building, shaped both like a gear and like the letter 'G'. It stands about seven floors above ground, with at least 13 sub-basements. The institute has research and development for almost everything from bio-spheres to orbiting satellites, with advanced materials such as high-density Kevlar and molybdenum (as evidenced by the materials Joel scavenged to create Crow T. Robot).[1]

The facility is backed by a small mountain, with a sign reading "GIZMONIC INSTITUTE". Spacecraft can be launched from this mountain. Surrounding the facility is a large office building that is nearly twice the height of the institute itself. The office can deploy spacecraft as well. Nearby was a restaurant ('Home of the big G burger'), as well as a church building (which could deploy its roof as a satellite dish). Also present are a geodesic dome and a large construction crane.


Prior to the beginning of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 experiment, Dr. Clayton Forrester and Dr. Laurence Erhardt were employed as scientists at Gizmonic Institute, while Joel Robinson was employed as a janitor. Despite their roles, Gizmonic was such a prestigious research facility that everybody, even janitors, were inventors.


Refined in season 11

During the early experiments, Dr. Forrester and Dr. Erhardt communicated with Joel from the offices of Gizmonic Institute, where they worked for Old Leadbottom. Following a disagreement with Gizmonic management, they relocated their base of operations to an underground storage area known as Deep 13, named for being thirteen floors below ground level. Over time, Dr. Forrester broke ties with Gizmonic Institute, as firmly embraced Deep 13 as headquarters for the experiment.

But Gizmonic Institute was still a going concern, though its history was unrelated to the events surrounding the Mystery Science Theater. A later employee, research and development engineer Jonah Heston, was kidnapped by Kinga Forrester (daughter of Dr. Forrester) while on a mineral-gathering mission for the Institute. He was then subjected to the same type of experiment as Joel.


The Institute after Dr. Erhardt's raid.

Dr. Erhardt broke into Gizmonic Institute to obtain the stored ashes of Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank with the intent fulfilling Dr. Forrester's wish to have his ashes spread on the planet Mearth (Frank's opinion on the matter being considered irrelevant). He reportedly "blew up a bunch of stuff" in the process.

Another Gizmonics employee, Emily Connor, was tricked into traveling to Moon 1 to work on the Simulator of Love for Kinga, where she was trapped and joined Jonah as part of the MST3K experiment.

Known employees[]


  • The church building was made from an Atlas HO-scale "Town Series" model number 606.[2]
  • The interior of the Gizmonic Institute was initially only depicted during Season K, although the Institute was not named, only saying that Joel "worked in a satellite loading bay". Two rooms in KTMA's building were used to represent the Institute; one a vacant office, and the other a mock television control room used to train new employees. A communications/control room was later seen in the first episode of Season 11.
  • In Season 1, Gizmonic Institute is depicted as built into a volcano with several multi-level buildings placed around it. The institute's G/Gear logo is depicted on a sign in front of the volcano. The familiar 'G'-shaped building would be introduced in Season 2 and remain until Joel's departure in Season 5.
  • Once Joel Hodgson left the show, all mentions of Gizmonic Institute were removed from the show. Joel held the trademark on the word "Gizmonic" and used it in his comedy acts. He requested that the show refrain from using the word after his departure. With Hodgson now in control of the production, Gizmomic Institute returned to the show for Season 11.


The Mads
Principal Dr. Clayton ForresterDr. Laurence ErhardtTV's FrankPearl ForresterProfessor BoboBrain GuyKinga ForresterMax
Secondary Gerry and SylviaDr. PeanutThe ObserversSynthia ForresterArdySkeleton CrewDr. Donna St. PhibesBonesyMega-SynthiaDr. KabahlM. WaverlyGrowler
Mirror Universe Mike NelsonCrow T. RobotTom ServoGypsy
Locations Gizmonic InstituteDeep 13Deep ApeThe WidowmakerObserver homeworldCamping PlanetAncient RomeCastle ForresterMoon 13Moon 1Deep Hurting