Forrester originally worked with fellow "Mad" Dr. Laurence Erhardt at the Gizmonic Institute, until they moved their operations to the bowels of Deep 13. He engineered the kidnapping of janitor Joel Robinson, shooting him into space aboard the Satellite of Love, then later conspired with TV's Frank to kidnap temp worker Mike Nelson to replace Robinson.
Dr. Forrester (full name Clayton Deborah Susan Forrester) has been a mad scientist ever since his youth, when he was a member of Evilos (a mad scientist version of Webelos), where he grafted the rear end of a dog onto the rear end of a cat "and they all laughed." He has traced his scientific ambitions back to "Oslo...I was found drunk and woozy...scratching the name "Toller Cranston" into my thigh with a nail." (Toller Cranston is a Canadian male figure skater ,active in the 1970s.) Other pivotal moments in his early life include a 1956 visit to "Sun Valley...where I was found behind the soft-serve machine, drooling over a picture of Dick Button" and a visit to "the Ice Capades, [where] I was hot-riveting my kneecaps to Peggy Fleming's zamboni."
Forrester's high school career was typified by a series of humiliations, presumably contributing to his rather deranged personality. Frequently teased by classmates, he received a "shameful expulsion" from the Chess Club, suffered a "shameful shower incident" during his sophomore year, got rejected by the Swing Choir, was frequently victimized by book-dumpings after typing class, was forced to do power sit-ups in gym, and received "the revulsion, scorn, and rejection of all the pretty girls." At some point, he was struck by lightning, resulting in the white streak in his hair and mustache.
While earning his doctorate, Forrester took some undergraduate courses in Super-Villainry, and at some point he joined the Fraternal Order of Mad Science. He was a frequent attendee of the Mad Scientist Convention, although he lost the convention's invention contest each year (on one occasion his entry, "the More Painful Mouse Trap," was met only with laughter). In response to his rejections, he has blown up the convention center twice and once used incendiaries to not "actually make the building blow up, it just made it burn...really quickly. Oh it was beautiful."
In Experiment #414 Tormented, Dr. Forrester expressed happiness that the Seattle Mariners had won a baseball game, indicating that he had become a fan of that team at some point.
The MST3K Years
While working at Gizmonic Institute, Forrester and his assistant Erhardt (later TV's Frank) sent Joel (and later Mike) cheesy movies which he was forced to watch, in order to find a movie that would drive people mad and allow him to take over the world. In response, Joel built several robot friends to keep him company, and keep himself from being driven mad. Joel, Crow T. Robot, and Tom Servo mocked each of the movies they were forced to watch. During Joel's time on MST3K, Forrester participated in Invention Exchanges with Joel and the 'bots, apparently hoping that Joel would conceive of a new invention that was good enough to steal.
At the end of the sixth season, Frank was assumed into Second Banana Heaven by the angel Torgo the White. In the seventh season, Pearl Forrester (Mary Jo Pehl) joined her son Clayton to help him out. When Trace Beaulieu left the series, she took over as the head mad, and continued sending bad movies to hapless Mike Nelson (played by Michael J. Nelson, who had replaced Joel halfway through the 5th season) and the 'bots.
Clayton's last appearance in a full episode was Laserblast (Episode #706), where he announces that his funding has been cut, causing him to pack up Deep 13 and cut loose the Satellite of Love. The end of the episode is a parody of 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which an old Clayton tries to reach a monolith-like giant videocassette labeled "The Worst Film Ever Made". In the final scene, he is reborn as a star child. When Pearl muses about another chance to raise her son, he utters his final words of the Comedy Central series: "Oh, poopie."
In spite of being generally misanthropic and not particularly charismatic, Doctor Clayton Forrester managed to attract some followers, and in some cases retain them of more or less free will.
By far the longer-lived of Forrester's minions, TV's Frank was generally a sink for abuse by his awful boss, but despite this was surprisingly friendly toward Forrester and even had some moments of apparently romantic affection toward him. Frank lasted through five years with Dr. Forrester, coming on the scene in 1990; he was assumed bodily into Second Banana Heaven at the end of 1996 by Torgo the White.
When the show moved to The Sci-Fi Channel and the characters were (at the start of Season Eight) existing in the future year of 2525, it was revealed that although Pearl had intended to do a better job in 1995 of raising Clayton properly the second time around, she murdered him in his youth as his twisted personality manifested once again (because of her bad mothering). When the SOL crew returned to the 20th century, it was at the same time they had left it, i.e. at the end of Episode #706, which would mean that a second Pearl and a baby Clayton were still alive at that time. Viewers can assume that Pearl would be cautious (since she had advised Mike on the danger of time travel paradoxes before), and because she was now the de-facto ruler of a peasant-inhabited country far away she would be unlikely to have any contact with the other Pearl and Clayton. However, this potential paradox was never addressed.
|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|
|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|