When it comes to mad scientists, television simply refuses to take a back seat to feature films. It just won’t do to say that mad scientists are not willing to tamper in the big screen’s domain. They will tamper. And they often do so just as well as their feature film counterparts.
Mystery Science Theater 3000
Or, as it is affectionately known, MST3K. This wonderfully witty show featured two mad scientists, actually. The first was Dr. Clayton Forrester and the second was his mother Pearl. Clayton had all the natural appearance of a mad scientist and represents one of the titanic achievements of mad science on TV. With his shock of hair and weird bi-colored mustache, you almost believed that he might actually get something from his experiments in forcing lovable losers to watch bad TV shows. Once Clayton Forrester left and MST3K went over to the Sci-Fi Channel, his mother Pearl took over the reins of mad science. Like the Brain (but not Brain Guy) she simply wanted to take over the world. How she was going to go about doing this by forcing two robots and a lump of white meat to watch “Prince of Space” may never be known.
“Lancelot Link” kinds of turns the tables on the mad scientist who closed down the Satellite of Love on MST3K. Whereas Pearl Forrester engaged the services of a slightly advanced ape as her Igor of sorts, Dr. Strangemind actually was an ape. Of course, it helps to know that every character on “Lancelot Link” was an ape. Dr. Strangemind’s name was based on the famous character in Stanley Kubrick’s film. As a TV mad scientist, Dr. Strangemind really had it going on because he very often creates machines of mass destruction such as one to control the weather and secret potion that causes those who drink it to start acting like little kids.
One of the all-time great learning shows, “Beakman’s World” reached its peak in the first season when mad scientist Beakman had Josie had as his assistant. Those who followed simply could not live up to the standard set by Josie. Nevertheless, whenever Beakman was on, the show thrived and entertained and educated. Beakman is a sort of benevolent type of mad scientist. Yes, he’s more than a little mad, but he’s not evil. And there is a difference.
For instance, there is Professor Frink. Frink most definitely qualifies as a mad scientist, but it would be quite the stretch to suggest that he is evil. Based on the Professor character originated by Jerry Lewis in his movie about a nutty guy who becomes the repulsive Buddy Love, Professor Frink is Springfield’s resident go-to scientist. He has created flying motorcycles and time machines and even managed that most impossible of all accomplishments for the TV mad scientist: to get a girl.