Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Making its CBS network debut on September 29, 1963, in the same Sunday night time slot previously held down by Dennis the Menace, My Favorite Martian starred Ray Walston as the title character, an affable, hyper-intelligent and extremely resourceful space alien whose one-man flying saucer crash-landed on a lonely stretch of California highway. Rescued by Tim O'Hara (Bill Bixby), a reporter for "The Los Angeles Sun," the martian is taken to Tim's house to recover from his injuries. At first intending to capitalize on his house guest by turning in the news scoop to end all news scoops, Tim was persuaded not to give away the martian's true identity. Thus, the space visitor would ever after be passed off as Tim's "Uncle Martin," consigned to remain on earth until he was able to repair his damaged vessel. Although human in virtually every respect -- he spoke even better English than Tim -- Uncle Martin had all sorts of remarkable powers, including the ability to teleport himself from one place (or time) to another; to telekinetically move objects through the air; and to make himself invisible. The viewer was always tipped off that Uncle Martin was about to make Martian magic when his tiny retractable antennae emerged from his head. Inasmuch as this was a sitcom, it should not be surprising that Uncle Martin usually exercised his powers to get the hapless Tim out of a jam. Also in the cast was Pamela Britton as Tim's widowed landlady, Mrs. Lorelei Brown, who had a bit of a crush on the likeable Uncle Martin; Alan Hewitt as Detective Bill Brennan, Lorelei's erstwhile boyfriend, who had a sneaking suspicion (which he could never verify) that there was something very odd about Uncle Martin; and during the first season only, Anne O. Marshall as Lorelei's teenaged daughter, Angela, and J. Pat O'Malley as Tim's editor, Mr. Burns. Filmed in black-and-white during its first two seasons and in color for its third and final year on the air, My Favorite Martian ended its network run on September 4, 1966. A Saturday morning cartoon spin-off, My Favorite Martians, was seen on CBS from 1973 to 1975. In 1999 there appeared a theatrical feature adaptation of the original series, with Christopher Lloyd as Uncle Martin, Jeff Daniels as Tim O'Hara, and Ray Walston in a key supporting role.