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 quickly bonded with TV's Frank, with whom she had been corresponding 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 did appear in Moon 13 to sing her song Loving Lovers Love for Kinga and Jonah's wedding, before being scared away by Reptilicus Mettalus.
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.
Pearl appeared in Moon 1, eager to have Kinga join her for a movie at the Gizmoplex. She seemed content to let her clones take responsibility for her day-to-day activities. Her status with regards to Bobo and Observer was not specified. Pearl acknowledged that she was growing older and expressed a desire for a closer connection with Kinga, which Kinga dismissed.
Pearl later donned a spacesuit to communicate with Joel Robinson, whose Satellite of Love had been brought to Moon 1 from the year 3000. Pearl was disappointed to learn that her son Clayton had apparently never mentioned her or the rest of his family to Joel.
Pearl prompted Jonah and the 'Bots to present sponsored content, and also tormented them with new shorts. She was typically joined by Synthia when she did so.
Personality and Traits
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.
Although critical of Clayton and his experiments (which ultimately led her to murdering him), Pearl later becomes obsessed with carrying on her son's work.
As revealed in Experiment #1010, Pearl has had many husbands and fiancés, who all died (with it being strongly implied that she murdered them). She specifically identified Chuck (who was turned into a prairie dog by some unknown means), Wendell and Philippe (who were both shot), Maury (who had hatpins shoved through his eyes shortly before the wedding ceremony), and Jerome (who died in circumstances that were not specified).
Pearl did not take the name of any of these deceased men, since both Castle Forrester and her 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.
Pearl also has a strong adoration of snack crackers. In Experiment #819, 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 fondness for crackers is apparently a family trait. Upon arriving in Castle Forrester during Experiment #901, Pearl is pleased to discover that one of her ancestors preserved a recipe for an antediluvian form of Chicken In a Biskit called "Her Majesty's Fool's Hen Crackle Bread".
The cracker running gag may have been inspired by The Incredible Melting Man (Experiment #704), wherein the protagonist becomes fixated on and perturbed by there not being any crackers in his home despite the other dramatic, life-threatening occurrences happening in the film.
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 and the subsequent seasons occur in similarly corresponding years. It is reasonable to assume (based on Pearl's comments in Experiment #801) that when Pearl interacts with Kinga on the Moon 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.
A similar situation exists with the time-displaced Crow from Experiment #821.
|Principal||Dr. Clayton Forrester • Dr. Laurence Erhardt • TV's Frank • Pearl Forrester • Professor Bobo • Brain Guy • Kinga Forrester • Max • Mega-Synthia|
|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 • Moon 1|