My Favorite Martian: Complete Second Season

Encoding: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Number of discs: 3

Street Date: May 10, 2005
Total Running Time: 950 minutes


Most modern audiences will probably know My Favorite Martian as the noisy Disney movie starring Christopher Lloyd of Back to the Future fame from a years back. Or maybe they won't - it wasn't a particularly memorable movie . . .

Anyway, that movie was vaguely based on this early 1960s Black & White TV sitcom about a stranded Martian (named Uncle Martin, ho-ho) with superpowers such as invisibility, telekinesis and the like moving in with Tim, a newspaper reporter. Or well, at least I think he's one because that's what some sources on claim.

Like most sitcom characters Tim (played by Bill Bixby, who would later on play David Banner in the 1970s The Incredible Hulk TV series!) doesn't seem to have a job of any sort and have a lot of leisure time to get into comic situations with the sarcastic ?Uncle Martin?. (Most of these comic situations of course centre on keeping uncle Martin's true identity a secret.)

Watching My Favorite Martian it is somehow comforting to see how the basic sitcom format has remain unchanged in the past four decades or so: the canned laughter track, the obvious sets, and the half hour format, all remain the same.

To be honest I've never particularly warmed to the sitcom format. Maybe I just resent the Pavlovian response we're supposed to have to the laugh track. The best decision shows like The Simpsons and Futurama ever made was not having any laugh tracks whatsoever. However, after a while I found that I wasn't noticing it any more and getting into the groove of things (oh sorry, that's late-1960s).

THE DISCS: You get all 38 episodes of the second season (clocking in at 16 hours or so!) on two double-sided and one single-sided disc. Unfortunately one or two episodes aren't the original uncut episodes, but ones from the later syndication run. (TV stations nowadays edit shows like these so that they can fit in more adverts. See my comment about the good old days at the bottom of this review . . .) apparently nostalgia label Rhino, which is quite meticulous when it comes to this sort of thing, couldn't find master tapes of the original episodes.

No extras whatsoever, but that is fine considering the rather low retail price. Image transfers are quite good (hey, this is a B&W TV show from the early 1960s you know) and the sound is always excellent and clear.

Some users on Amazon. Com complained about the somewhat eccentric packaging, but I had no problem with it.

WORTH IT? My Favorite Martian isn't exactly laugh-out funny nor is it good sci-fi, but it is all rather innocuous and while you'll never exactly find yourself laughing out loud, you'll probably find yourself grinning often.


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