DVD Review: My Favorite Martian (The Complete Series)

We often debate whether a show was canceled too soon. How many more seasons could we have used of The Monkees, Munsters and Star Trek. These were shows that were ended way too short and yet retained their charm and kept gaining fans in reruns. My Favorite Martian only lasted three seasons yet the producers were able to get CBS to air 107 episodes which made it golden for syndication. My Favorite Martian: The Complete Series captures all the way out goodness that ran from 1963 to 1966.

The ’60s was a great time for sitcoms that were about outrageous situations. There were TV shows about people living with witches, genies and talking horses. From this time came My Favorite Martian. No longer was America to be fearful of anyone arriving from the angry red planet. This was not the horrifying martians that invaded us via Orson Welles and George Pal. The martian of this show crash lands on the planet. He didn’t come here to wage war, but to study humans since he’s really an anthropologist. He’s been studying mankind for centuries. He knows all the historical figures. Sadly his ship is messed up so he won’t be getting home anytime soon. Luckily he’s found by newspaper writer Tim O’Hara (The Incredible Hulk‘s Bill Bixby). Tim passes him off as his Uncle Martin. The duo hide the spaceship in the garage so Martin can fix it up. Their biggest antagonist proves to be landlady Mrs. Lorelei Brown (Pamela Britton).She’s always trying to nose in on the duo. Ray must be on guard to make sure his antenna aren’t out when she’s around.

While Uncle Martin can’t get his ship working right, he does invent a time machine that allow him and Tim to jet around in the past. This opened up the episodes to more than just Tim and Martin doing their best to avoid prying eyes to their alien ways. The show was a major hit its first season. And even did well the second season. The third season sticks out since that’s when CBS finally went all color. This is a show that didn’t quite work as well in color which might explain its further drop in ratings and eventual cancellation. Walston remains great with his ability to play a superior intelligence. Bixby holds his own as a swinging young adult in the mid-60s. This was a happening show and luckily the producers were able to make so many episodes in a short time that My Favorite Martian can be beloved for decades.

The video is 1:33:1 full frame. The video looks fine. The black & white look as good as the color episodes. The audio is Dolby Digital mono. You can hear the odd sound effects quite nicely. The episodes are subtitled.

Ray Walston on I’ve Got a Secret (15:45) is part of the game show sponsored by Dream Whip! Steve Allen is the host and I’ll keep the secret a secret so not to spoil your fun. Walston is promoting Kiss Me Stupid which co-starred Dean Martin.

Ray Walston TV Commercial (3:26) has him pitching aluminum.

Photo Gallery is promo pics from the series.

Comic Strip are dozens of pages from the funny pages.

The Reluctant Eye (25:47) is a failed pilot starring Bobby Van. It’s a comedy about a rich kid who will get a million dollars if he can take over his dead relative’s PI business. It was made by Martian producer Jack Chertok.

The Man in the Square Suit (25:07) is a sitcom about a screenwriter. Paul Dooley (The Electric Company & Breaking Away) is the lead. He must be thrilled to have this chance at being the next Seinfeld escape the vault. One of his co-stars went on to be a lead in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

Soundtrack Music Album is dozens of track from the show’s score.

Original Sponsors Spots (13:45) includes the ads for Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes, Paper Mate Pens and Toni, the home perm! Peter Marshall from Hollywood Squares shows off cereal packages.

Vintage Cast Interviews (15:13) includes Ray talking about playing the Devil on Broadway and a Martian in Hollywood. Ray arrives on The Merv Griffin Show.

Behind the Scenes Home Movies (13:27) has the cast goofing around at the Desilu Studios. Grandpa Munster visits with Ray.

Spaceship Miniature Test Footage (8:28) is raw footage of the spaceship.

Animation & Effects Reel (4:44) includes parts of the credits and lots of smoke shots.

Let’s Talk to Lucy is her radio show with chats featuring Bill Bixby (27:22) and Ray Walston (19:15) on the other side of the microphone. Lucille Ball was a podcaster before her time. She was the original Marc Maron.

MPI Home Video presents My Favorite Martian: The Complete Series. Starring: Ray Walston, Bill Bixby, Alan Hewitt & Pamela Britton. Boxset Contents: 107 Episodes on 15 DVDs. Released: October 20, 2015

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