My Favourite Martian

My Favourite Martian

1963 - United States

En route to his office, LA journalist Tim O'Hara witnesses the crash landing of a space ship. On further investigation he discovers that the UFO's pilot has survived the crash and is in fact an anthropologist from the planet Mars. O'Hara takes the stranded Martian home in order that he may carry out repairs to his spaceship, and this gives rise to a number of comic situations as the journalist tries to hide the truth from friends and nosy neighbours, during the alien's elongated stay. 

O'Hara was played by Bill Bixby who would go on to star in a number of TV roles, most notably The Magician and David Banner, the mild mannered but troubled alter-ego of The Incredible Hulk. Ray Walston, a star of the movie South Pacific played the Martian (referred to as O'Hara's Uncle Martin), the human looking alien with the ability of levitating objects, turning invisible and reading minds. At the time the series began there was much enthusiasm and interest in America's Apollo space programme that would eventually put man on the moon, and this probably contributed to the shows success as it shot to the top ten of the Nielsens ratings. 

A spin-off animated series of 16 episodes was made between 1973-5 and in 1999 a movie version starred Christopher Lloyd was released to lukewarm reception (and that was being generous). Walston made a cameo appearance in the movie.

Published on January 9th, 2019. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.

Read Next...

Barney Miller

American sitcom set in a New York City Police Department police station on East 6th St in Greenwich Village.

Also tagged Us Sitcom

A Builder by Trade

Pamela Gems' first play for ITV is about two sisters, May Vine (Vanda Godsell), Louie Robbins and the man who becomes their lodger.

Also released in 1963

Benson TV series

This spin-off of the Susan Harris-created farce Soap sent the Tate family's insolent African-American butler Benson to the mansion of Jessica Tate's bumbling cousin, Governor James Gatling. In other words, Benson went from one dysfunctional family to another.

Also tagged Us Sitcom

Citizen 63

One of the most significant TV shows of 1963, this five part John Boorman documentary, made by BBC West filmed five individuals as they confronted and conformed to the problems and pressures of everyday life in Britain in 1963.

Also released in 1963

Burkes Law

Millionaire police officer heads LAPD's murder squad to solve high profile cases.

Also released in 1963

Bewitched

A witch marries a 'mortal' in 1960s America - and her family do not approve!

Also tagged Us Sitcom

The Brady Bunch

Architect Mike Brady marries beautiful young Carol, who has three girls to care for. Likewise, Mike's previous wife's death has left him to raise his three boys all alone. In no time this amalgam becomes the ideal average American middle class family.

Also tagged Us Sitcom

The Dick Emery Show

BBC televisions longest running sketch-show, running as it did from 1963 until 1981, was one that introduced some of the mediums most memorable and enduring comedic characters, skilfully brought to life by an undisputed master of his craft.

Also released in 1963

Diff'rent Strokes

Diff’rent Strokes was a sitcom created around the talents of its young star, Gary Coleman, and it was a perfect fit–and a much-needed success for a ratings-starved NBC in the late 1970's. But after the show went off the air, its three non-adult stars found life difficult...

Also tagged Us Sitcom