Be Prepared

by Phyllis and Robert White (Aug 10, 1965)

(A summary of the unfilmed My Favorite Martian script) (added 11/29/08)

The story takes place in Tim’s apartment. Mrs. Brown has volunteered to be a Den Mother to a group of Cub Scouts and she has enlisted Martin to come along on a hiking trip. The Martian doesn’t mind helping out as it gives him a chance to study how young Earthlings learn skills. Tim plans to stay home but he gives Martin his Boy Scout knife—Martin comments that Tim must have taken special care of it, since it looks as good as new. Tim confesses that it IS new—he never could figure out how to open it.

As Loralee wonders where the scout boys are, Detective Brennan arrives, decked out in a Cubmaster’s uniform and ready to take the leadership role in the excursion. ("Oh, look—one of your little tykes has put on weight," Tim quips.) Mrs. Brown thinks Brennan will be a great help since she says he was once lost for a week in the woods with nothing to eat. "What’d he do—feed on his own ego?" Tim wants to know.

His remark reminds Mrs. Brown that she forgot to get food for the trip and so she asks Tim to drive her to the market and he leaves with her.

Now the four little boys show up for the hike. Three are members of the Cub Scout pack, but the fourth boy named Jimmy is there to decide if he wants to join. Brennan immediately welcomes them with a salute and assumes the role of Cubmaster, as Martin goes into the kitchen to repair a buckle on a knapsack.

The telephone in the living room rings and Brennan answers it. He listens and then hangs up in dull dismay. "What’s wrong?" Martin asks as he returns from the kitchen. Brennan announces that the call was from the mother of one of the boys, whose little brother just came down with the measles. "We’re all under quarantine until the doctor gets here."


Martin reacts with his own dismay to the situation. He starts for the door, telling Brennan that he needs something in the garage, but Brennan stops him, refusing to allow him to leave the quarantined apartment and reminding him to set a good example for the boys. Then, deciding to make the best of things until the doctor arrives to give them all immunity shots, Brennan has the boys pitch a tent in the living room and he gathers them in the kitchen to teach them how to bake his "famous" sheepherder’s bread, although little Jimmy is less than impressed by it all.

At this point Tim and Mrs. Brown return to the closed front door with groceries and Martin tries to let them in, but Brennan stops him. The detective warns Loralee and Tim away, explaining what has happened. Mrs. Brown goes downstairs to put away the groceries. But before Tim can follow, he is yanked back against the front door like a magnet by Uncle Martin’s power of levitation and the reporter complains, "Would you kindly unstick me from this door? I’m beginning to feel like a holly wreath at Christmas time!"

The Martian complies and Tim is able to comfortably lean against the door as Martin explains what is going on. Being a Martian, he cannot take the doctor’s preventative shot against the measles. Obviously, the boys and Brennan will need it, but Martin must take a Martian mixture that will nullify him from the doctor’s shot. The one ounce of blue liquid he needs is in the spaceship and he tells Tim to get it—then yanks Tim back against the door to further explain that the liquid must be heated to 400 degrees F and that Tim must do that, since Brennan has taken over the oven with his bread baking class.

"Poor kids—first they’re exposed to measles, then Brennan…" says Tim. But now there’s another problem, as Martin says to Tim that he’ll need a nullifying dose of twenty ounces. "Twenty? You said there was only one ounce!" Tim tells him.

"I know! I’ll have to adjust my duplicating machine model M1 for twenty copies," Martin explains. "And unfortunately it’s in the broom closet…right under the nose of our glorious leader. I’ll have to create a diversion." Martin goes to the kitchen and distracts the kids by making Brennan sneeze into the flour. During the ensuing chaos, he levitates the machine out of the kitchen.

Brennan now turns to Martin, accusing him of causing the trouble. Jimmy defends Martin, insisting he was not near the detective and the Martian grins at the boy with a wink of acknowledgement.

Meanwhile, Tim has gotten the blue liquid Martian nullifier and he is now in Mrs. Brown’s kitchen, setting the oven for 400 degrees F. When Loralee returns, Tim suggests that they make cookies for the boys, which she agrees to do, mixing the dough and wondering what type of cookies they should make. Tim says it doesn’t matter and he slams down handfuls of corn flakes into the bowl and then puts mounds of batter on a cookie sheet. He finally slides it into the oven. Luckily Mrs. Brown leaves, and Tim is able to pour the blue liquid into one of the baking cookies. Wanting to identify it, he searches for something in a drawer to use and comes up with a 1936 "Alf Landon for President" button, sticking it onto the cookie that has the Martian antidote.

Upstairs, Brennan has just about regained control of the laughing kids and gamely tries to interest them in the bread baking activity. Jimmy wants no part of it and wanders around the apartment looking for something else to do.

Uncle Martin is in the bedroom, readying the duplicator machine, a rectangular device with a slot in the top, a slot on the bottom, and a long handle on the side. He has it on the dresser and has just finished securing a plate on its back with a screwdriver. His hands are smudged from working on it and he leaves to wash up.

As the water is running, Jimmy opens the bedroom door and notices the duplicator. He goes over to it, then curiously puts a penny from his pocket in the slot and reacts as he hears a whirring sound. Then, 20 pennies drop out of the bottom slot. Jimmy excitedly takes the coins and runs to tell the other boys that he just hit a jackpot on a slot machine.

Martin comes out, realizes what has happened, and shuts the bedroom door in a panic as Jimmy keeps insisting that he got the pennies from a slot machine, "Honest Injun!" declares the child.

This gives Martin an idea. He points at the dresser as the sound of sawing fills the room. Then, on hearing Brennan and the Cub Scouts clamoring to come in, he points at the door, securing it until he can finish his work on the dresser.

Brennan, yelling about a raid, now attempts to break down the door and Martin points at it, flinging it open as the detective and the kids all tumble into the room.

Much to their surprise, they see a handsome carved wooden Indian, its left arm upraised and its right arm extended. Martin is standing there with Tim’s Boy Scout knife opened to a sharp blade.

Brennan demands to know about the illegal slot machine, declaring that it has contributed to the delinquency of a minor. Martin honestly denies that there is a slot machine in the apartment. He explains the wooden carving as a replica of art he was working on for the Scouts. Brennan is about to pull on the sculpture’s upraised arm but Martin stops him, telling him the glue isn’t dry.

By now, the other three boys are confronting Jimmy about his story. "You didn’t win any jackpot! You made it all up!" "Scouts don’t lie!"

Jimmy sticks to his story and tells the kids to ask Martin. The Martian hesitates, uncomfortable, but then, having no choice, he sadly answers, "There is…no slot machine in this apartment."

The boys turn on Jimmy, declaring that he made up the story and they don’t want him in their den.

Jimmy tearfully turns to Martin, "It’s all your fault! I stood up for you and now you’re making them think I’m a liar!" He runs from the room.

Martin wants to call him back, but miserably realizes he can’t tell anyone the truth about the Martian device that Jimmy saw. His face registers pained sadness.


Some time has passed. Uncle Martin telepathically contacts Tim who leaves Mrs. Brown’s kitchen and goes to the yard beneath the bedroom window to talk to the Martian. Martin tells him he needs the nullifying cookie now! Brennan’s suspicious thought waves have accelerated the Martian’s reaction to being exposed to measles and he is about to break out in plaid stripes!

Back in her kitchen, Mrs. Brown has just taken out the cookies and she notices the Alf Landon button. Thinking that Tim must have had a reason for putting it in the dough, she blithely puts it back, but she places it in a different cookie! Now Tim bursts in, telling her he’s got to have a cookie and grabs the one with the button to deliver it to Uncle Martin.

Upstairs, in the living room, after showing the boys how to make a Native American feathered headdress which is now on the wooden statue in the bedroom, Martin has been teaching the Cub Scouts about first aid and they have bandaged up a fuming Detective Brennan like a mummy with splints.

Tim is waiting below the bedroom window with the cookie cure, but, since Martin has not appeared when called, Tim puts the cookie in his shirt pocket, takes a ladder, and climbs up to the bedroom window. He reacts to the sight of the wooden Indian, just as Martin comes into the room. Grabbing the cookie from Tim, Martin explains that he crafted the wooden statue out of Tim’s dresser to camouflage the Martian duplicator machine and now Martin puts the cookie in the statue’s upraised left hand. New cookies start to drop into its outstretched right hand. Tim hopes that the Martian removed the clean shirts and socks from the dresser first, but Martin’s expression tells Tim that he did not. Martin busily starts to consume the cookies as Tim starts to complain further, but then the Martian suddenly stops eating. He goes to the original cookie, breaks it open and studies it. "This is the wrong cookie! This one doesn’t have any nullifier in it!" Tim protests that he marked it with a button but just then a bandaged-up Brennan hobbles into the room. Catching sight of Tim in the window he demands to know what Tim is doing.

"I heard there was going to be an accident…" Tim indicates Brennan’s bandages, "-But I guess I got here too late to enjoy it…"

"Get in here, O’Hara!" rages Brennan.

"I’d love to, but I’ve got something in the oven I have to check on…"

"You don’t leave here, O’Hara! You’re quarantined!"

Tim haplessly climbs into the room as Brennan confronts Martin. "This time I myself distinctly heard a slot machine in here, O’Hara!" Determined to find it, the detective dives into the closet.

Tim doesn’t understand about a slot machine, until Martin indicates the wooden sculpture and Tim then comprehends what Brennan heard. But now, Martin registers sudden alarm and pats his own cheeks. "Tim—I’m turning plaid-" He retreats into the bathroom as Brennan emerges from the closet and begins to search behind a chair.

Now the Martian levitates a blanket from the bed, and then, while Brennan is searching under the bed, Martin levitates the Native American headdress across the room. When the Martian steps back into the bedroom, he is wrapped in the blanket Indian-style and wearing the headdress. The plaid stripes on his face now fit in with the costume.

Going past Tim and Brennan, Martin enters the living room, much to the delight of the three Cub Scouts, who are eager to play at being Indians. Jimmy hangs back, sullen, still hurt by being rejected by the group. Martin tells the boys that he is going to "make big medicine!" Tim stands next to Jimmy at the window and now notices in alarm that the doctor has arrived downstairs and that Uncle Martin has still not taken the Martian nullifier. Indicating to Martin what is happening, Tim steps aside as Martin looks out the window too, just as Mrs. Brown goes up to the Doctor with a plate of cookies.

This gives Martin an idea. He announces to the group that today, as a modern medicine man, he will do something called hyp-no-tism. Telling the boys to watch Mrs. Brown, Martin levitates a cookie off the plate she is holding and makes it fly into the apartment and over to himself. He hides it under his blanket.

The kids are wildly impressed and want to see the cookie. That’s when Tim steps in and asks them, "What are you guys talking about? I didn’t see any cookie!"

The kids stare at him. "You mean, you didn’t see it, Mr.O’Hara?"

Martin then speaks up, telling them that the great magic of a medicine man can make you see things that aren’t there.

Jimmy absorbs this, saying that it means sometimes you think you see something when "-maybe there ain’t nothing there at all?"

Martin solemnly, hopefully, nods. But Jimmy remembers something and digs the pennies out of his pockets, saying that they’re real!

Tim speaks up and says he always keeps extra pennies on the dresser ("...I mean...the Indian…") for the parking meter.

Jimmy returns them to Tim. "I don’t keep nothing that don’t belong to me. And I don’t tell lies, either," he addresses the other scouts.

The boys look downward. Martin sternly tells them that it is a sign of manhood for a brave to be able to say sorry.

The scouts apologize to Jimmy for their accusations.

Brennan now comes out of the bedroom, saying he couldn’t find the slot machine. Jimmy speaks up to say that he only thought he saw one, but that he didn’t really. The detective registers exasperation.

Now Mrs. Brown arrives with the doctor. Martin and Tim retreat into the bedroom where Martin is finally able to duplicate the correct cookie for 20 doses of the Martian nullifier, and the plaid stripes disappear.


Finally, the doctor prepares to give out the shots as the boys look on uneasily. Brennan cheerfully offers to go first, rolling up his sleeve and telling the scouts to be brave little soldiers. The doctor administers the shot to Brennan who, as soon as he confidently rolls down his sleeve, suddenly faints dead away. The scouts all eagerly surround him to practice first aid.

But Martin is feeling a little green himself, from eating all of Mrs. Brown’s cookies.



In a Sept 5, 1965 San Francisco Examiner interview about My Favorite Martian’s upcoming 3rd season in color, producer Jack Chertok mentioned that one planned story involved having the Martian break out in red and green plaid stripes after catching the measles. But ultimately, this episode was never filmed.

The way its plot is resolved is not particularly satisfying. To suggest that a child not believe what he knows for a fact to be true, is an uncomfortable way to end the story, especially in this family-friendly comedy. Even though it is understood that it happened to protect the Martian’s identity, to have the boys disbelieve their eyes simply because Martin told them it was powerful magic, does not seem right. In the script, after mentioning "hyp-no-tism" Uncle Martin does not explain anything else about hypnosis, so the opportunity for the boys to decide they were under a hypnotic influence is not there. And how would that explain what Jimmy saw? The ending is far too dismissive of the fact that Jimmy still had the pennies. Even though Jimmy does receive an apology and he is accepted by the scout group, the idea that he would so readily accept the fact that he did not see that machine is not credible. The conclusion is not a convincing one.

A better way to resolve it might have been in Act II for Uncle Martin to tell Jimmy that he is an inventor who has been working on a machine to put inside a piggy bank. It’s designed to empty the coins but the machine is not perfected yet and he wanted to keep it a secret but realizes that he can’t do so now. Continuing the story from that point would allow the matter to be cleared up and Jimmy vindicated.

Another weakness in the story is that the Martian’s duplicating machine had already been established in season 2 and it looked nothing like the slot-machine design described in this episode. The new design for the machine here seemed to be purely a contrivance for the benefit of the plot. 

Tim really did have a Boy Scout knife, though! It is seen in the 1st season episode "Blood is Thicker Than a Martian" when Tim says that when they were kids, his cousin Harvey made off with his Boy Scout knife. At the end of the episode, Martin gets Harvey to return the knife to Tim.

(Point of Information: In the 1936 presidential election, Republican Alf Landon ran against the incumbent Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt, but Landon won only two states, Maine and Vermont.) 


 Text © 2008-2011 JH Harison


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