Pearl Forrester is the mother of Dr. Clayton Forrester and the grandmother of Kinga Forrester on Mystery Science Theater 3000, as well as being a mad scientist in her own right. Introduced in the Season 6 episode Bloodlust, she became a regular in Season 7 when Pearl took the place of TV's Frank after Frank Conniff departed from the cast.
Comedy Central Era
Dr. Forrester invited Pearl to visit him in Deep 13, hoping to impress her with his experiments on the Satellite of Love. When she arrived, she instead took a shine to TV's Frank, who she had already been corresponding with without her son's knowledge. The two of them took off together to have fun, leaving a frustrated and jealous Forrester behind.
Before Frank died in Samson vs. the Vampire Women, he had invited several guests to Thanksgiving dinner, including Pearl. When she arrived, she was disappointed at having traveled so far only for Frank to be gone. She decided to stay in Deep 13 to help Dr. F get his life back in order. She had also apparently met and befriended Crow somehow prior to moving in and helping with the experiment, although she knew him as Art.
Having his mother in his life proved to be very trying for Clayton as his mother ruled over him and his experiment with an iron fist, although he occasionally bested her. Among other incidents, Pearl dated a sleazy man named Sandy and oversaw turning Crow's infamous script, Earth vs. Soup, into a trailer.
Eventually, in the final Comedy Central episode, Laserblast, she helped Dr. Forrester pack up and move back in with her after his funding is cut. At the end of the episode, Clayton ages, dies, and is transformed into a 2001-esque space baby. Pearl delights in that she has another chance to raise Clayton right as the episode ends.
In Season 8, Mike Nelson and the Bots returned to the Satellite of Love, which had been drawn back to Earth, where it was now the year 2525. There, they discover Pearl Forrester, alive, well, and the "Lawgiver" to a group of sentient apes. She had vowed to start over right with Clayton, but had somehow never "gotten around to it", and he ended up turning out as warped and twisted as he had been before. She eventually smothered him with a pillow, but then, somehow blaming the SOL crew for his death, had herself cryogenically frozen so she could seek her revenge in the future. The apes thawed her out and helped her bring back the Satellite.
After ruling over her ape lackeys for only a few episodes, including the bumbling Professor Bobo, the future Earth ends up destroyed by a group of bomb-worshipping mutants. Pearl escapes in the Widowmaker, a VW van turned spaceship, with a stowaway Bobo. On another planet, she becomes the test subject of a group of omnipotent beings called the Observers, but escapes again after another world-destroying explosion, this time with Bobo and an Observer survivor who becomes known as Brain Guy. From there, she and her two new lackeys roamed to different worlds, including a planet where they start out camping and end up taking care of three omnipotent space children, and a trip into the Roman Times of Earth's past.
In Season 9, she makes her way to Earth in the present and Castle Forrester, the Forrester family's ancestral home. There, she continues her work as a mad scientist with Bobo and Brain Guy, continuing the experiments on the Satellite and terrorizing the local peasant population.
In the season 10 finale, Diabolik, she accidentally breaks the Satellite of Love and sends it spiraling down to Earth. Realizing the experiments are finally over, she leaves Castle Forrester to become the dictator of Qatar. Her first order of business: to put a "u" in the country's name. Her final words to Mike are "Listen, Nelson: move on. I am."
In Experiment #1102, Cry Wilderness, Pearl's granddaughter Kinga Forrester spots the Widowmaker driving by Moon 13 and gets in contact with her in hopes of having some family time between them. Apparently, Pearl is just as bad a grandmother as she is a mother, as she spends the conversation looking for any excuse to escape Kinga and drive off. It is also revealed that Synthia, the second of Kinga's assistants, is a clone of Pearl that was created to keep her granddaughter company (presumably so that Pearl herself doesn't have to).
Pearl does not visit Moon 13 during Season 12. Kinga makes reference to her father having died "twenty years ago", which would seem to confirm that Space Baby Clayton was still a small child when Pearl killed him.
Personality and Traits
Although critical of Clayton and his experiments, which then lead her to murdering him, she then becomes obsessed with carrying on his work. As revealed in Experiment #1010 It Lives By Night, Pearl has had many husbands and fiancés and apparently murdered them all. Pearl did not take the name of any of these deceased men, since both Castle Forrester and her only offspring all share the same family name. It was not established if any of the husbands/fiancés she refers to were Clayton's father, or if his father was some other man.
She also has a peculiar adoration of snack crackers. In episode 819, "Invasion of the Neptune Men", Pearl has little to no reaction to being told Bobo's adoration as a god in ancient Rome might change history and thereby destroy the universe, but gets angry when Brain Guy tries a psychological maneuver informing her that destroying the universe would also destroy Nabisco's Chicken In a Biskit.
Pearl: Bobo is...messing...with my...favorite...snack...CRACKER?!
In another episode she is seen using Observer's brain dish to hold Cheese Nips while she drives the Widowmaker. This entire cracker running gag may be a callback at a riff in "The Incredible Melting Man" where the protagonist is bizarrely perturbed by the notion of their not being crackers in the house in spite of the dramatic occurrences happening in the film. It also may have been a joke written into the film by Mary Jo Pehl and at her expense.
When first introduced, Pearl was older and eccentric in appearance with pant suits and "big hair" that sported her sons white streak (The Amazing Colossal Episode Guide indicated that Clayton got the streak in his hair and mustache from being struck by lightning, so it may be that Pearl had been struck by lightning at some point as well). It's possible that the experience of being in suspended animation also had a rejuvenating effect on Pearl, thus explaining her more youthful and energetic demeanor during the Sci-Fi Channel era.
Given the show's conceit that it takes place in the "not-too-distant future", viewers can assume that Season 11 takes place in or near the year 2017. It is therefore reasonable to assume (based on Pearl's comments in Experiment #801 - Revenge of the Creature) that when Pearl visits Kinga at Moon 13 there is also another earlier incarnation of Pearl that is still on Earth. This earlier Pearl would presumably be engaged in one of two activities:
- In suspended animation after having smothered Space Baby Clayton
- Pursuing whatever lifestyle she led after having smothered Space Baby Clayton but before being placed in suspended animation.
The second scenario seems most plausible, given the internal logic of the show.
A similar situation exists with the other Crow from Experiment # 821 - Time Chasers.
|Principal||Dr. Clayton Forrester • Dr. Laurence Erhardt • TV's Frank • Pearl Forrester • Professor Bobo • Brain Guy • Kinga Forrester • Max|
|Secondary||Gerry and Sylvia • Dr. Peanut • The Observers • Synthia • Ardy • Skeleton Crew • Dr. Donna St. Phibes • Bonesy|
|Mirror Universe||Mike Nelson • Crow T. Robot • Tom Servo • Gypsy|
|Locations||Gizmonic Institute • Deep 13 • Deep Ape • The Widowmaker • Ancient Rome • Castle Forrester • Moon 13|