"I suppose you're wondering when the Terror from the Year 5000 will show up. My apologies. It is taking rather long, but we're trying to pace ourselves."
  — Servo

The Movie


The Terror From The Year 5000 kills the pervert

On an island near mainland Florida, nuclear scientist Howard Erling (Downs) uses a crude time-travel device to trade various artifacts with denizens of the future. A woman from 5,000 AD (Salome Jens), the mutated victim of atomic radiation, shows up and impersonates a nurse (whom she has murdered). She does this in order to execute her designs on Erling's research backer and assistant, Victor (Stratton). It is the future woman's intention to populate the world of 5,000 AD with uncontaminated children, and to do this she must forcibly take Victor back to her time [1]


  • Well-known Broadway actress Salome Jens, who plays the title character, wasn't listed in either the advertising or the official cast lists of the film. [2]
  • Frederic Downs (Prof. Erling) appeared as the chemist that the character Suzy "seduces" in order to obtain acid in Coleman Francis' film The Skydivers. He also briefly appears as a member of the posse that appears at the end of Red Zone Cuba to murder the main characters.
  • Salome Jens and Ward Costello (Dr. Robert Hedges) both had recurring roles in the Star Trek franchise, Costello as Starfleet admiral Gregory Quinn in two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Jens as the Dominion's changeling leader in fifteen episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

The Episode

Host Segments

  • The Observers sing

    Prologue Tom Servo orders a coat from a catalog that is comfort-rated. He proceeds to comfort-rate everything on the ship...everything.
  • Segment 1 Pearl and Bobo have worn out their welcome, and The Observers make them fight each other to the death before they dissect them. The Satellite of Love crew is too dense to be susceptible to the Observers' mental commands, so they are forced to resort to Charades to communicate.
  • Segment 2 The Observers reveal that they no longer eat food, but pills. However, the pills have extremely limited nutritional value. Mike makes the pills into a nice parmesan-encrusted pill cakes.

    Mike, Crow, and the time machine

  • Segment 3 Mike has the Nanites whip up a time machine and uses Crow to test it by sending him to see his family in Wisconsin. Crow spends eleven years there and has a hell of a time, yet forgets to tell the Nelsons anything about Mike's fate. He also hits on Mike's girlfriend, whom he nicknamed "Ginger-SNAP", which hurts Mike so much that he starts crying.
  • Segment 4 The crew debates yodeling-styles (they were debating what Jimmy Rogers sounded like), which is enough to drive the Observers crazy. The Observers respond with music of their own, a sweet little ditty called "When I Held Your Brain in My Arms". The SOL crew is impressed.

    Beth McKeever as The Terror

  • Final Segment Crow brags some more about his exploits with Mike's girlfriend. Mike sets Crow up with a date courtesy of the time machine...the Terror herself. Meanwhile, Pearl defeats Bobo, but refuses to kill him. Her impassioned speech touches the Observers, until Bobo comes back and starts the fight again.
  • Stinger The Observers offer you their brains...yet again, this time giving nasty smiles. They can see you.

Other Notes

Guest Stars


  • The Observers forcing Pearl and Bobo to engage in combat is a nod to the Star Trek episode "The Gamesters of Triskelion", in which Kirk, Uhura, and Chekov are abducted and forced to engage in gladiatorial combat for the entertainment of a trio of disembodied brains knowns as The Providers. The speech Pearl gives in the final host segment is stylistically reminiscent of the ones Kirk would frequently give.
  • “When I Held Your Brain in My Arms” was the first original song since Dr. F bid farewell to Frank in Samson vs The Vampire Women.
  • There's a rare moment where Mike breaks the fourth wall. At one point, Bob asks if there's a good movie playing in town. Mike's response: "So now we get to watch people watching a movie? What's that about?"
  • This episode aired second during Sci-Fi Channel's Thanksgiving Marathon.
  • "When I Held Your Brain In My Arms" is done in the style of old pop/jazz vocal groups like the Ink Spots or the Mills Brothers, who were the direct precursors to Doo Wop.


Running Jokes

  • Servo keeps impersonating the narrator's booming declarations of the TERROR FROM THE YEAR 5000 to apologize and make excuses for the TERROR's failure to show up until about an hour into the movie.
    • Tom: "I realize I may have oversold the "terror" at the beginning, and for that I apologize."
  • The pale, flabby, unattractive physiques of the lead characters when they get into their bathing suits.
  • Riffs based upon Bob's haircut making him resemble a Drill Sergeant.
  • Bob's secretary supposedly having a hair-trigger temper.

Obscure References

  • "Are you ready for some TERRRRRORRRRRRRRR..."

Mike is imitating the catch phrase of ring announcer Michael Buffer: "Are you ready to RUUUUUUUMBBBBBLLLLEEEE..."

The legendary German synth-pop group is famous for showing absolutely no emotion as they play.

  • "Martin Bormann: Stock Car Racer."

Martin Bormann was head of The National Socialist German Worker's Party and private secretary to Adolf Hitler.

  • "I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine!"

Lyrics from the song "One Night in Bangkok" from the stage musical Chess.

  • "Funky little shack! Funky little shack!"

Lyrics from the B-52s Song "Love Shack".

  • "I'm going to the city to be a stud."

A reference to the film Midnight Cowboy, in which the protagonist Joe Buck had plans to leave his hometown in Texas and go off to New York to act as a prostitute for rich women.

  • Servo: "He..." Mike: "He was a small, oily man..."

Mike and Tom are singing to the tune of the Beatles' song "She's Leaving Home".

  • "They whacked Toonces!" "He killed a made canary."

A reference to the "Toonces, The Driving Cat" sketches from Saturday Night Live, which involved a cat who could indeed drive, but would inevitably drive off a cliff. In Mob circles, a "made man" is someone who has been inducted into the actual La Cosa Nosta organization, and thus killing them without permission of a boss would be punishable by death.

  • "Hey! Here's a great new essay by Susan Sontag."

Susan Sontag was a social and political essayist known for her radical commentaries on subjects like war, AIDS and human rights.

  • "Augusta National. Proud to be restrictive."

Augusta National is an exclusive golf course that was criticized for its former policies on not allowing African Americans or women to join, as well as requiring all caddies to be black.

  • "NyaaaahhhhAHHH!"

Referring to the wailing cry of Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song".

  • "We got some good songs too. Like um...like 'Cherry Pie'...and 'Silver Thunderbird'." "Yeah. And what's that one Asia song?" (The bots begin making annoying sounds.)

"Cherry Pie" is a song from the band Warrant, while "Silver Thunderbird" is a ballad sung by Marc Cohn. "That one Asia Song" Crow is thinking of is "Only Time Will Tell".

  • "Brought to you by a grant from the Onan Family Foundation."

The Onan Family Foundation is a philanthropic organization that gives grants to various organizations in the Minneapolis area, but the reference is also to Onan, a character in the Bible, the source of the term "onanism" which generally refers to masturbation. Angelo is leaving his shack full of dirty pictures at the time.

  • "Dressed like Pagliacci"

Crow is referencing the "sparkling" outfit of the woman from the future, with the large circular attachments. Pagliacci is an Italian opera, whose main character is Canio, an actor playing a character named Pagliaccio in a comedic play (the opera itself is a tragedy). Pagliaccio wears a distinctive white outfit with large buttons on the front.

Memorable Quotes

Narrator: Now, in an isolated area of central Florida, man struggles to penetrate the imposing barrier of all...
Sevo: Dames!
[Two scientists are looking at a statue of unknown origin]:
Scientist 1: Now there's an interesting sample!
Crow: Now there's an interesting line read!
Scientist 1: What is it?
Scientist 2: Don't know yet.
Servo: Remember, when making a dramatic film, be sure to use genuine actors.
Claire: I thought scientists were great explorers of the unknown.
Dr. Hedges: I'll do my exploring in the laboratory, if you don't mind.
Servo [as Hedges]: I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine! [N]
Servo: All these random scenes simply abut each other to form a movie.
[Claire takes a reluctant Dr. Hedges to a pier after answering about two dozen stupid questions from him.]
Mike [as Hedges]: Now what's going on?
Servo [as Hedges]: Who's that other guy?
Crow [as Hedges]: Where are we going?
Mike [as Hedges]: What is this fluid under my feet?
Servo [as Hedges]: What happened to the day-ball?
Crow: Let's chip in and buy this movie a life.
[On the creek bottom, Bob Hedges finds the chest containing the dead cat.]
Mike: Hey! They whacked Toonces!
Crow: Well, he killed a made canary, so they had to do 'im.
Dr. Erling: Think, Bob. Throughout human history, what has been the first activity of explorers of any new region?
Crow [as Hedges]: Genocide?
Mike [as Hedges]: Slavery?
Servo [as Hedges]: Diseased blanket spreading?
[Bob Hedges, Claire, and her father have some time to kill while waiting for Victor's test results.]
Hedges: Is there a good movie in town?
Mike[snorts] Now we get to watch people watching a movie? What is that all about?
Crow: Heh heh heh!
[Mike and Crow consider what they're saying.]
Mike, Crow: Oh.
[Victor packs a suitcase and leaves the house]
Crow [as Victor/Joe Buck]: I'm goin' to the city to be a stud.
Mike: Please! That's a hideous thought.
Servo: This is the same sumptuously detailed set that was later used in The Age of Innocence!
Crow: Or was it Sense and Sensibility?
Mike: I think it was Barfly.
Crow: Yeah, that's it.

Video releases

A home video release of this episode is not currently forthcoming. However, the host segments are available on the Satellite Dishes disc included in Volume XXXIX.

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