My Favorite Martian

Among the hit TV series of the 1960s was the gem My Favorite Martian, which ran from September 1963 to May, 1967...107 episodes in all. The plot centres around pleasant young bachelor and newspaper reporter, Tim O'Hara and his 'Uncle' Martin, who is really a Mars anthropologist who happens to crash land his spacecraft in Los Angeles, within sight of Tim.

In a typically unlikely but endearing sit-com plot device, Tim and the stranded Martian become roommates while Martin attempts to repair his his spacecraft so he can leave primitive planet Earth and return to Mars. Meanwhile Tim agrees to keep shtum about Martins alien status and passes him off as his Uncle, while Martin of course, must conceal his advanced Martian powers from all other Earthlings - an irony...and a sacrifice, when we consider Tim is a reporter and crossing paths with a real live alien would be the story of the century.

Martian Powers
As a Martian from an advanced civilization, Martin's  powers are impressive; through a handy set of retractable antennae he is able to make himself invisible. Not only that but he can accelerate time so everything happens faster, move objects around by guiding them with his finger, has telepathic skills and can communicate with the animal kingdom. By Earth standards Martin is a genius and capable of constructing some fantastic devices - eg; time machines, molecular re-arrangers and duplicating machines, allowing for some amusing adventures and episode plots. However, Martin constantly faces exposure and must be always on guard against curious humans, particularly nosey neighbour and landlady, Mrs. Brown, who, apart form having romantic designs on the bachelor Martian, has a habit of popping over unexpectedly with trays of freshly baked brownies.

Uncle Martins Martian antennae in action

My Favorite Martian was popular enough to last three series and its success owes a great deal to the clever performance of Ray Walston as the sharp-tongued but very likable Uncle Martin. Walston is well supported by Bill Bixby, who provides a suitable foil for the Martian's personality and impossible antics. The 60s was the decade of far-fetched situation comedies where everything was possible - talking horses, domestic witches, living dolls, families lost in space and genies in bottles. It was after all, the era of the moon affable alien from Mars dropping down to Earth  seemed ever so slightly credible.

Uncle Martin - Roy Walston
Tim O'Hara - Bill Bixby
Mrs. Brown - Pamela Britton
Detective Bill Brennan - Harry Hewitt

My Favorite Martian was  created by John L Greene and produced by Jack Chertok and Harry Poppe.