A long time ago on a planet far, far away, there came from the planet Mars…
One day this Martian was flying in his spaceship just above our Earth when things started to go wrong. The next thing he knew was that he had crashed his spaceship into our planet.
Coming quickly to the martian’s aid was a very nice man called Tim O’Hara who worked in a newspaper office.
They become friends.
Before long Tim O’Hara invited Uncle Martin to come and stay with him until he could repair his spaceship which had taken up residence in Tim’s garage.
It was then up to Tim then to come up with a cover story. He told his neighbours and friends that his Uncle Martin had come to stay with him.
That, my dear readers sums up the first episode of what was my first favourite television show which came out in 1963.
This show was called MY FAVOURITE MARTIAN.
I was only six years old.
By way of television, he was one of my after school babysitters at 4:30 every day until my parents arrived home from work.
Uncle Martin had a friendly demeanour, a kind face and a wonderful smile. When he wanted, he could even make antennae rise up from the top of his head which allowed him to become invisible.
Uncle Martin got Tim into all sorts of trouble with his neighbours, his boss and his girlfriends.
Sadly however, Uncle Martin never seemed to be able to fix his ship or get back to Mars.
Eventually, the series ended, and I doubted I would ever see Uncle Martin again.
Then sometime during the 1980’s a new television series AMAZING STORIES by Steven Spielberg premiered on television.
How quickly I rediscovered my six year old glee when I glimpsed him during the opening credits.
Not long after that he became an infrequent visitor on STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION and STAR TREK VOYAGER series. He played BOOTHBY, a kind and wizened groundskeeper at Starfleet Academy in San Francisco.
When DVDs where at their height of popularity, I was finally able to purchase the first season of MY FAVOURITE MARTIAN. I was a little nervous when I first sat down to watch it as I wondered if I would find it old, cheesy and filled with dated humour.
My worry quickly turned to wonder as I once again fell under my old Uncle Martin’s spell. The show was as fresh and funny as I had remembered it.
In reality, Uncle Martin was played by Ray Walston who had a long string of successful roles in both television and movies. Tim O’Hara was played by Bill Bixby who later went on to star in the television series THE INCREDIBLE HULK.
In 1999 MY FAVOURITE MARTIAN, the movie was released starring Jeff Daniels as Tim O’Hara and Christopher Lloyd as the Martian.
Perhaps you’ve seen it.
My own Uncle Martin even made a cameo appearance as he revived his role at the end of the movie. I’m sure that I levitated out of my movie theatre seat.
Although the actor Ray Walston passed away January 2001 from lupus, my fond memories of Uncle Martin will be with me always.
For that, I am grateful.
Thank you my dear Uncle Martin.