0201 hexfield

The Hexfield Viewscreen's first visitor, the strange Valeria from Robot Holocaust.

The Hexfield Viewscreen was a hexagonally-shaped opening on the Satellite of Love's bridge that served as a kind of monitor through which the inhabitants of the SOL could interact with a wide and diverse range of visitors. Often, characters were taken directly from whatever movie they were watching at the moment (Gamera, Jan in the Pan, etc), but were sometimes only loosely related to the film (the Kitten with a Whip, Yakov Smirnoff) and sometimes not at all (rowdy redneck neighbors, the Nelson family, an annoying mother who dialed the wrong number, etc). The Hexfield was usually activated and deactivated via the blue middle light on the desk control panel.

In the TV series the Hexfield was mainly used for external communications between the SOL and guest characters, as the transmission links to Deep 13 and Rocket Number 9 were both projected through Cambot. In Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie, which didn't feature Cambot, the Hexfield was a larger wall-sized screen which was used exclusively to communicate with Deep 13.

From Season 11 onward the Hexfield Viewscreen was replaced with Jet Screen, a mobile viewscreen which hovers into view on demand.


The Hexfield Viewscreen as it appeared in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie.

Behind the Scenes[]

While ostensibly a viewscreen, the Hexfield was actually a small stage area behind the Bridge set, covered with a dark fabric screen with various styles of sliding doors in front of it. The Hexfield was often "deactivated" by simply turning off its lighting at the end of a transmission, as some of the early doors closed painfully slow.

The door of the Hexfield was originally a simple fabric window shade which Joel could be seen vacuuming during the opening theme beginning with Season 2 and continuing through the rest of his run as host. With Episode 205, the hexfield shutter was changed to a camera-style iris which was designed and constructed by Mark Gilbertson, who was added to the show's end credits for his contribution. The Hexfield remained part of the set through Season 10.

The Hexfield was used more frequently during the years on The Comedy Channel/Comedy Central, although its use popped up irregularly in the Sci-Fi Channel-era. When the original run of the show ended, the Hexfield was among the items sold in the eBay prop auctions by Best Brains, Inc.

The Hexfield as portrayed in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie borrowed a visual conceit best-known from Star Trek shows of the era, which portrayed characters on ship's viewscreens looking directly toward the characters they were talking to rather than directly to-camera (suggesting some sort of 3D functionality). This is also the only occasion in which the image on the Hexfield was a superimposed visual effect instead of the communicated party simply being portrayed by an actor or actors behind an opening in the set's wall.

In many of the Shout! Factory DVD releases of the first ten seasons of the show, the title of the movie is shown in the Hexfield during the looped animation in the DVD menu.

The Satellite of Love
Primary Residents Joel RobinsonMike NelsonJonah HestonCrow T. RobotGypsyCambotTom Servo
Minor/Other Residents BeeperMagic VoiceXT-5000TimmyMike's RobotClayton Forrester (mirror)TV's Frank (mirror)Eddie Nelson (alternate universe)The NanitesMike Nelson (robot)WinstonM. WaverlyMatt Claude Van DammeGrowlerEmily Connor
Visitors EnochDemon DogsNuveenaGypsy (mirror)Tom Servo (mirror)MonadThe ObserversFinneganHadrianAdrienne BarbeauLydiaOrtegaPhantom of KrankorHenry KissingerBowler-Hatted GuyDelivery ManGoosioMikey the Mike spriteMikesocksy the Mike's Socks SpriteBrain GuyPearl ForresterProfessor Bobo
Terminology AirlockDeus ex MachinaHexfield ViewscreenHyper-warp escape shipsJet ScreenManipulator armsMovie signRocket Number 9The TubeUmbilicusWhirlpool
Locations BridgeCrow's RoomJoel's roomKitchenMike's roomMystery Science TheaterTheater hallwayTom's room
Hexfield Viewscreen characters edit
ValeriaJ.C.GoochImperialistic AliensSorri AndropoliHugh BeaumontGorillaMothraGameraBruceCustodian of the Seventh GalaxyKenny and HelenHolo-clownsWinkyJohn BannerAmazon MomsJan in the PanThe Power StevesNelson familyA. BombClayton Forrester (mirror)TV's Frank (mirror)Kitten with a WhipLisa LoebIlya MurametzYakov SmirnoffEarl TorgesonLeonardo da VinciPhil the Alien