"Now prepare yourself for my maddest madness yet!" - Dr. Clayton Forrester, Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie
Portrayed by comedic writer Trace Beaulieu
, Dr. Clayton Forrester*
is the primary mad scientist
on TV's Mystery Science Theater 3000
. Born to Pearl Forrester
and one of her many husbands that died under mysterious circumstances, Clayton Deborah Susan Forrester grews up as a child who was forced to take trombone
lessons by his mother, one of the many incidents that created a rift between them. After turning to science, Clayton eventually earned his doctorate and headed up a research lab at Gizmonics Institute
. A tragic lightning strike caused his hair to stand on end permanently and put a streak of gray in his mustache; moreover, the lightning caused the unstable scientist to become all-out mad. Dressed in the greenest of greens and working with fellow scientist Dr. Lawrence Erhardt
he hatched a plan to take over the world by forcing the planet to watch the worst movie ever made. To decide which movie caused the most pain and torture, the doctors marooned a janitor from the lab, Joel Robinson
, in space aboard a spacecraft known as the Satellite of Love
and forced him to watch horrible movies so that they could study his reactions. To finance the experiments Dr. Forrester filmed Joel
watching the movies and sold the tapes to television stations where they were presented under the name Mystery Science Theater 3000
. The films forced upon Joel
were some of the worst cinematic dreck imaginable: Mitchell
, The Killer Shrews
, and Manos, The Hands Of Fate
were all grist for the mill. The research phase of the experiment was set to last no more than ten years, and Forrester sabotaged the Satellite of Love
to self-destruct once time had elapsed. Fortunately Joel
was able to repair the ship in episode #1001, Soultaker
, just before it came apart.
During the first year of experiments Dr. Forrester conducted his affairs from his lab at the Gizmonics Institute and broadcast the results on a local Minneapolis television station known as KTMA, but after his superiors learned of his unauthorized experiments he and Dr. Erhardt fled to the thirteenth sub-basement of the lab, near the atomic pile: Deep 13. It was at this time that he began receiving funding from Comedy Central to continue the experiments so that they could continue to air fresh "episodes". After the first national season of the show Dr. Erhardt went missing and Dr. Forrester hired a local Arby's employee named Frank to take his place. Forrester and Frank shared an odd relationship; they were simultaneously always in conflict with one another (Forrester killed Frank a number of times), but yet shared many of the same stereotypically feminine passions such as eating pints of ice cream while commisserating over lost loves and complaining about their respective weights. Random fact: Dr. Forrester likes to eat popcorn out of his The Little Mermaid bowl.
Aside from this madness Dr. Forrester has invented his fair share of wacky, brutal, and outright cruel inventions. The weekly Invention Exchange with Joel gave rise to such creations as the double butt graft (the rear ends of a cat and a dog melded together), the Unhappy Meal (a fast-food kiddie meal with a moldy sandwich, half-eaten fries, and a dead bug for a toy), Johnny Longtorso (the man who comes in pieces, hence the need for kids to buy lots and lots of accessories), and tank tops (beachwear that could fire heavy artillery).
In mid-1993 Dr. Forrester hired a temp worker by the name of Mike Nelson to organize Deep 13 in preparation of an audit. During this time one of the robots built by Joel on the Satellite of Love, Gypsy, overheard him planning to kill Mike. However, she mistakenly came to believe that he planned to kill Joel, leading to his eventual escape from the experiment. His plans in ruins, Forrester kidnapped Mike and shot him up to the Satellite of Love where he continued the movie-watching experiment. In 1995 Frank was assumed into Second Banana Heaven by the mysterious Torgo the White, leaving Dr. Forrester alone in Deep 13 until his mother moved in with him. Now the tables were turned and it was Forrester himself who became the oppressed. After a few weeks living under the same roof Comedy Central ceased purchasing new episodes of his experiment in 1996 and, with no further funding, set off a chain of events that sent the Satellite of Love into deep space. Alone one evening, Forrester saw himself grow old and become a starbaby, allowing Pearl a chance to raise him correctly. Unfortunately he grew up and started up with his twisted experiments again, forcing Pearl to smother him as he slept one night. His last words were a plea that the experiments continue, so Pearl seized the chance to make his death wish a reality when, in the year 2525, she found herself reunited with Mike Nelson and the Satellite of Love. Aided by Professor Bobo and Observer, she settled at the Forrester ancestral home, Castle Forrester, and started the experiments all over again.
Dr. Clayton Forrester never did get around to ruling the world, nor did he find a movie horrible enough to realize his vision. His work was not unappreciated, however, as the 176 episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 would be for naught without his dreams of world domination.
* Dr. Forrester shares his name with the name of the hero from the 1953 George Pal film adaptation of H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds.