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 Amazon.com 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).
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
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.