My Favorite Martian
Synopsis of TV Show
Every reporter dreams of stumbling across the story of a lifetime, and that's exactly what Los Angeles Sun newsman Tim O’Hara did. On his way to cover another piece, Tim discovered a Martian who had crashed onto Earth. Good Samaritan and ambitious newsman that he was, Tim took the dazed Martian (who looked quite human) and his dilapidated Martian spacecraft back to his place for a little R&R. As the Martian recuperated, he won Tim’s affections to the point that Tim decided to pass him off as his Uncle Martin. Get it? Martian…Martin. Anyway…
Tim and his extraterrestrial buddy lived in a rooming house owned by the sweet and kind-hearted Mrs. Brown. Though the scatterbrained landlady wasn’t a meddler by nature, she had a knack for showing up with her horrible fudge brownies at all the wrong times. The boys didn’t have the heart to tell her how bad her confectionaries were, but as it turned out, the brownies were just an excuse for her to see Uncle Martin—on whom she had a bit of a crush.
Of course Uncle Martin had a slew of special skills—well, every alien had better, or else really, what's the point? Martin could read minds, project thoughts, hypnotize, chat with animals, become invisible and freeze people in their tracks. Soon, levitation was introduced, and by the end of the first season, Tim learned that Martin's retractable antennae could pick up radio signals. This gave him the brilliant idea of getting news stories by tuning into police calls. As the series progressed, Uncle Martin’s powers were further revealed, growing more impressive all the time. By season two he could create force fields, dream in two dimensions, and project images from his “mind’s eye.”
In the second season, Mrs. Brown finally found a proper, non-Martian suitor, the egotistical Detective Brennan. In an episode dealing with time machines and alternate time lines, Brennan found out where Martin was really from and went on a loathsome harangue, to which Mrs. Brown responded: “Oh, what difference does it make? As long as they’re decent, respectable people.”
Masked in smiley sitcom form, the series cleverly examined the superficiality of human nature. On the subject of romance, for instance, Uncle Martin stated, “You earth people. Appearance is everything. You care more about the chase than the prey.” And when Tim wrongly presumed Martin was about to feed a helpless mouse to a hungry cat as part of an experiment, he stopped him at once: “You couldn’t do that! That’s inhuman!” Uncle Martin replied, “It’s very human, but definitely not Martian.” Martin’s insightful comments regularly gave viewers a thoughtful pause.
The chemistry between Bill Bixby (later of The Courtship of Eddie’s Father) and Ray Walston (later of Silver Spoons) was perfection. That human/Martian comedy led to a successful three-season run of 107 episodes and a long life in syndication. A My Favorite Martian motion picture was released in 1999, featuring Christopher Lloyd as Uncle Martin and Jeff Daniels as Tim, but the original series remains a one-of-a-kind experience. We’ve seen plenty of human-alien pairings before, but rarely this raygun-free or downright likable.
Release History of Prime Time Show9/29/63 - 9/4/66 CBS
TV Sub Categoriescomedy
Television StudioJack Chertok television Productions
TV CastUncle Martin (The Martian) Ray Walston
Tim O'Hara Bill Bixby
Mrs. Lorelei Brown Pamela Britton
Angela Brown (1963-64) Ann Marshall
Mr. Harry Burns (1963-64) J. Pat O'Malley
Detective Bill Brennan (1964-66) Alan Hewitt
The Police Chief (1965-66) Roy Engel