|“||In the not-too-distant future – tomorrow, AD – Mystery Science Theater 3000 returns to Kickstarter to start its next chapter.||”|
|— Joel Hodgson|
Let's Make More MST3K & Build THE GIZMOPLEX! (originally listed as MST3K: The Next Chapter) was a Kickstarter campaign announced by Joel Hodgson on April 6, 2021 via an update to his previous Kickstarter, the Bring Back MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 campaign. It ended on May 8, 2021, with a total of $6,519,019 contributed to the project.
The primary goal of the campaign was to build an infrastructure to allow Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes to be created without the need of the backing of any kind of network or outside streaming service. The centerpiece of this plan is the Gizmoplex, essentially an MST3K streaming service where the new episodes can air along with specials, live events and shorts.
The initial campaign goals were as follows:
- $2.0M (reached on April 8, 2021) - the campaign succeeds and finances three new episodes and launches the Gizmoplex
- $3.3M (reached on April 23, 2021) - increases the episode count to six and funds creation of a Gizmoplex app for various streaming devices
- $4.4M (reached on May 4, 2021) - increases the episode count to nine and adds a series of live events
- $5.5M (reached on May 7, 2021) - increases the episode count to twelve and adds twelve new shorts
- >$5.8M (reached on May 7, 2021) - "Secret" Bonus Reward
- $6,364,230 (reached on May 7, 2021, 10:17pm EST) - adds a thirteenth episode to Season 13, which will be a holiday special featuring Jonah, Emily, and Joel. Plus, an extra month added to Gizmoplex Passes
To promote the Kickstarter, several livestream events were scheduled. The first of these took place on April 26. Joel then announced subsequent streams including special guests, announcements and events. The full schedule was as follows:
Several pieces of information about the now-funded Season 13 have been announced by the campaign so far:
- Jonah Heston, Kinga Forrester, Max, Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot, Gypsy/GPC, M. Waverly and Growler can be expected to return, along with the performers from the previous two seasons.
- Emily Connor (formerly Emily Crenshaw) will be joining the cast, and will take turns hosting with Jonah. She will be accompanied by her own version of the Bots, voiced by their performers from The Great Cheesy Movie Circus Tour, The MST3K LIVE Social Distancing Riff-Along Special, and Turkey Day '20.
- Joel will host two of the new episodes as Joel Robinson, as well as a holiday special with Jonah and Emily, since the four original tiers were unlocked.
- Mary Jo Pehl is planned to appear as Pearl Forrester in some capacity, as well as joining the writing staff. J. Elvis Weinstein is also planned to write and appear as Dr. Laurence Erhardt.
- While the campaign was active, Jonah Ray was a guest on the podcast Dumb People Town, hosted by the Sklar brothers (from Cheap Seats). During the episode, Jonah indicated that Josh Weinstein and Bill Corbett would return to voice Tom and Crow for the two new episodes hosted by Joel (as they had done for the MIGIZI shorts in 2020). This has not yet been confirmed.
- Joel has stated that other previous cast members would be welcome to appear on the new series if they are interested and their schedules allow. He also acknowledged that many former cast members are involved in their own riffing projects (and other endeavors), and he urged fans not to pester them about returning to MST3K.
- Episodes will be released as they are completed, instead of in a "season dump" as they were for Netflix during Seasons 11 and 12.
- The season is planned to include the show's first Halloween special, which will also feature its first 3D movie.
- The season will premiere as soon as possible, perhaps as early as fall of 2021.
- Three movies have been announced that are planned to be used during Season 13: Robot Wars (1993) and Demon Squad (2019) were revealed before the campaign ended, while Gamera vs. Jiger (1970) was revealed in a post-Kickstarter update (Gamera vs. Jiger was meant to be revealed in The Final Countdown Part II Stream, but was skipped over by accident). Joel has stated he intends for Gamera vs. Jiger to be the first episode of Season 13, and the premiere of the Gizmoplex
As the campaign progressed, Joel updated the page's cover image to show additional cast members and the percentage of the overall $5.5MM goal. This is a gallery of those cover images.