Wow, is this the earliest episode in the rewatch? I think it's the first season one episode on the DVD sets, so pretty likely, yeah. You can tell they're still trying to sort things out, even with that first KTMA 'pre' season under their belts. They've found a lot of their footing, but things are still rough, not least of which the originalish Tom Servo, and proto-Frank, Larry.
But even so, they had some good stuff to work with in this movie, and it is a really solid early effort. The plot is spacey goofy with a group of space explorers searching for a crashed ship on a barren planet. The time dilation science, as presented here, is a little dodgy in its explanation, but they got it mostly right in concept, which for this kind of movie? For this time period? For even caring? I give them credit.
And you know what? I kinda love the twist ending.
Haikeeba! I remember always wondering where running gag came from. I think that's one of their more persistent lines in the series.
Another note, is that the host segments, while the invention exchange was pretty much phoned in, even admittedly so! they actually seemed to do one whole storyline throughout the host segments. That was something that became rare as the show went on, and they just went more for topical skits. They did more of the story stuff in the Scifi Channel era, and I kinda like that approach.