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Rhino presents
My Favorite Martian: The Complete Second Season (1965/1966)

"Sometimes, Tim, I wonder how you Earth people manage."
- Uncle Martin (Ray Walston)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: April 27, 2006

Stars: Ray Walston, Bill Bixby
Other Stars: Pamela Britton, Alan Hewitt, David White, Jan Arvan, Joyce Jameson, Michael Constantine, Linda Evans
Director: Oscar Rudolph, Leslie Goodwins, Byron Paul, James V. Kern

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 15h:49m:35s
Release Date: May 10, 2005
UPC: 603497041923
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- B+B-B+ D

DVD Review

"There's something peculiar going on around here." - Detective Brennan

The first season of My Favorite Martian introduced us to Tim O'Hara, a Los Angeles Sun news reporter who is now living with a Martian, under the guise of being his uncle, Martin. Martin had warned us never to understimate the powers of a Martian, and it seems that the writers took heed. Despite an intriguing collection of abilities, there were limits to just how many angles could be played against them, especially given the number of episodes one finds in this series. If the Uncle Martin of the inaugural season wasn't enough to drive any normal Earthling to drink, the second season version is even more of a handful. Not only can he manage all his usual tricks—mind reading, levitation, and disappearing among them—now he can render objects from his consciousness, erase memories, change the weather, create forcefields and communicate telepathically. However, it isn't Uncle Martin's abilities that are the biggest problem, it is keeping Tim away from the variety of gadgets that Martin keeps coming up with, which invariably lead to one disaster or another—and Tim never learns.

This may be getting out of hand. - Uncle Martin

With all his extraordinary powers, keeping Martin's true identity a secret is of paramount importance. As if having a nosey neighbor like Mrs. Brown wasn't bad enough, adding to the challenge is the constant presence of her would-be suitor, Detective Brennan, who, apart from always being suspicious (occupational hazard) of our favorite Martian, but his attentions towards Laura Lee spark Martin's jealousy. Brennan can always be found snooping around at just the worst possible moment, leaving Tim to scramble for a cover while Martin comes up with solution.

"Tim, you know very well these are not toys." - Uncle Martin

Among the situations faced in the episodes presented here, Martin has developed a benevolence bulb that will cause people to like him in an effort to stave off Brennan's snooping, but when Tim decides to try it on himself, he discovers it has the opposite effect on humans, and anyone he comes in contact with—including the boss, whom he stands to get a promotion from—now hate him. A "perfume" bottle gimmick shows up a few times. In A Martian's Sonata in Mrs. B's Flat, Laura Lee inadvertantly spritzes another of Martin's elixers with the result greatly enhancing her pathetic musical abilities, which of course sets up another tricky situation for Martin to find a way out of. The following episode has Laura Lee becoming a guy magnet when she douses herself in an irresistability potion, creating a collection of jealous suitors in The Green Eyed Martian. When Tim's real uncle shows up for a visit, Uncle Martin becomes a match-making leprachaun; and Tim and Martin go medeival when Tim fiddles with Martin's time machine. A few of the other situations the O'Hara pair face this time out include a boy who "borrows" Uncle Martin's rocket, an investigation when Brennon disappears after being atomized by one of Martin's gadgets, Laura Lee becoming a psychic able to read Martin's mind with the arrival of her new electric bed, and Tim going invisible, mistaken by a Martian or zapped into another dimension. In other adventures Martin becomes a telephone, is turned into a baby, develops a "magnetic" personality, and develops a "swinging" alter ego. There's never a dull moment around the O'Hara residence.

The writing remains consistent, and with the ever creative story ideas, there is something new in every episode. Sure, things are pretty far-fetched, but the fun is in seeing Tim and Martin try to fix whatever happens without being discovered—a theme that would repeat itself in many future sitcoms, and both Ralston and Bixby continue to excel in their parts.

On the (slightly) negative side, Rhino was unable to locate the original masters for at least four of the 38 episodes —Dreaming Can Make It So, Never Trust a Naked Martian, Nothing But the Truth, and Extra! Extra! Sensory Perception!—so these are time-compressed (unedited), syndicated versions, as noted (thankfully) on the cover. Even with a couple of lesser episodes in this set, My Favorite Martian remains highly entertaining.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Image quality is similar to that of the first season, good overall, but with some pretty glaring transfer defects. Greyscale is nicely rendered for the most part, although there are places where it seems to posturize a bit. Print defects are minor, but the transfer induces a fair amount of cross coloration in fine detail, which is distracting. On our review copy, a handful of episodes have some very annoying side to side shimmying going on in places, which look like encoding errors. There are a few dropouts and tape anomalies. Interlace artifacts surface occasionally, as does aliasing and some mild ringing.

Image Transfer Grade: B-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: Mono audio is clean with no major problems noted other than a somewhat lower than average sound level. Dialogue is easy to make out, there is a fair amount of sibilance, which like the first season I believe to be in the source. Comparable to the first season in overall quality.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 152 cues and remote access
Packaging: unknown keepcase
3 Discs
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Like the first season, there are no extras to speak of. Even the chapter menus are a hidden feature, accessable only when playing from the episode menu (not the "play all" feature) by pressing the menu button while playing each episode.

Extras Grade: D


Final Comments

The 38 episodes that make up the second of three seasons of My Favorite Martian continues to entertain with a barrage of bizzare situations causing havoc for poor Tim—although most are his own doing. While not perfect, Rhino has done a respectable job here. Recommended.


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