The Series (4/5)
I am a sucker for sitcoms from the golden age of television. I did not grow up in the era when they first aired, but growing up in the late 80's and early 90's they were frequently aired on channels such as Nick at Nite and in cable syndication. I watched them relentlessly.
My Favorite Martian was one of, if not the first shows to blend sci-fi and comedy. It aired between 1963 and 1966 for a solid 3 season run. It’s first 2 seasons were released on DVD just about a decade ago. Fans now have a comprehensive 3 season set of the show from those fine folks at MPI with a slew of extras.
My Favorite Martian can be seen as a precursor to shows such as I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched that have a unique or otherworldly character drop into a domestic situation. The premise of this show is simple enough to create some fun comedic situations. Tim is a newspaper reporter who discovers a Martian who lands on Earth, and cannot leave. Tim allows him to stay in his house, under the guise of his "Uncle Martin". Things are not simple for the pair and they have to deal with keeping the secret from the world, and it's not always easy. Throughout the show the pair get into bizarre predicaments and need the other to get out of them. We discover that "Uncle Martin" has some alien powers and uses these to help get out of these situations.
The writing of the show is pretty typical of 60's sitcoms and pretty much sticks to a certain template of the pair getting into assorted hijinks. The first season does more toward developing the relationship between the pair, and developing their characters, while the second and third seasons of the show fall more into more traditional sitcom roles. The first 2 seasons are in black and white while the third is in color. Bill Bixby and Ray Walston have great chemistry as the shows intergalactic odd couple, and at 3 seasons it feels the show ran for just the right amount of time.
No one will mistake the transfers on My Favorite Martian: The Complete Series for a new show but the 1:33:1 full frame transfer are quite solid. Detail is nice, there is some grain, but because these are obviously from old TV masters there is some minor damage, slight bits of grain, and occasional softness. Color is decent in the third season, but don't expect it to be a revelation.
The audio track in English sounds quite good for what it is, dialogue and musical track come through nicely, and I have no complaints on that front.
MPI has gone out of the way to create a really special extras package for this release. They have included test footage for the special FX bits, animations, talk show and game show clips with the cast, commercials for the show itself, photo galleries, and so much more.
My Favorite Martian is a fun slice of early 60's sci-fi/comedy. It is a nice precursor to shows like Mork and Mindy and Out of this World. The DVD set looks and sounds quite solid, and comes with a decent extras package RECOMMENDED.