For those asking about what I said regarding Josh's Crow - yes, I was talking about the scene where he got frozen. I think they played it in more than one episode because Tom found it amusing? It's been a long, long time since I watched those. I completely and utterly forgot that he voiced the character in K01! Since The Green Slime was never broadcast... does this kinda technically make Josh the "original" Crow? Not that such things really matter that much, but it is interesting trivia at the very least.
All things being equal - if Josh is back as Servo and a former full-time Crow isn't willing/able to come back - they should probably just have Hampton or Nate continue alongside Joel rather than make things even more complicated than they already are.
Honestly while not as Crow, I actually wouldn’t mind Paul Chaplin returning in some capacity for season 13. I can only assume that part of why season 11 was a lot stronger than 12 was due to his involvement with the writing for the former.
Honestly this Crow situation really makes it a bigger bummer the Joel and Trace are on bad terms, because having the original trio of Joel, Josh, and Trace would have made for a delightful trip down memory lane. I’m guessing that Joel’s crow is likely to be someone new….time will tell I guess!
Paul Chaplin is credited as a writer on four Season 11 episodes: Reptilicus, Starcrash, The Loves of Hercules, and Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II. Starcrash and Wizards II are the episodes that Bill and Mary Jo are credited as writing on.
I think that's an aspect of the way the writing works on new MST that some fans (not you, in general) aren't aware of: just because someone is writing on a season, doesn't mean they are writing for all the episodes. Most likely their contribution is to write scripts for a few movies, and possibly work on a host segment if Joel assigns it to them. Any individual writer that is outside the core team (the Alternaversal people and the West Coast team of Jonah/Elliot Kalan/Tammy Golden/Seth and Mary Robinson for the past two seasons and live shows) is likely to have very little overall impact on the feel of a given season.
I wasn’t just talking about Paul Chaplin. Like you pointed out, both Bill and Mary Jo worked on the writing of season 11, and they too were absent from the writing on the gauntlet as well. I mean hell, even with the guest appearances of Josh, he wasn’t involved in the writing on season 12 either. For many I’m overanalysing it, but I think that one of the big issues with season 12 was that it was the season with the least input from people who made MST3K great in the first place!