REVIEWS of My Favorite Martian……. .
photograph © Jack Chertok Productions, Inc.
"My Favorite Martian--This one is slick, if the opening segment is representative, and it will appeal to young and old alike. Ray Walston is smooth."
DENVER POST Oct 1, 1963
"My Favorite Martian: A clever and well-written fantasy about a Martian who lands on Earth. Ray Walston handles the alien space role as if it was created with him in mind."
DETROIT FREE PRESS Sept. 30, 1963
"Whimsical comedy of a kind too seldom seen on television is the feature of CBS’ ‘My Favorite Martian’ on channel 3. The ‘My" of the show’s title is Bill Bixby, a young actor with a lot of charm to match his talent.
"The Martian is puckishly portrayed by Ray Walston…
"The Martian crash-lands on Earth, is found by newspaperman Bixby and promises him a string of scoops because of the Martian’s magical insight into events as they develop."
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER Oct 1, 1963
"The Jack Chertok TV Inc production of My Favorite Martian is almost certain to be the sleeper hit of the new season; it certainly deserves to be. Hilariously blending the public's insatiable appetite for science-fiction with comedy, this far out series is way in. John Luther Greene has peopled the fable with an ingratiating set of characters,and given them real dimension in his plot script. You not only want to know what'll happen next, it has you counting the nights till next Sunday when the Martian has announced he'll take his extra-sensory perception powers to Las Vegas to get the funds to repair his spaceship ("many of the parts still haven't even been invented yet") that was damaged when he passed the AF's X-15 at 9,000 miles an hour.
"Ray Walston’s pixie playing of the Martian will help the series swamp the ratings. He knows the Earthlings won't believe in him ("although Thomas Jefferson struck me as a pretty bright kid") so he works his invisible manipulations through an enterprising young reporter, played with personal charm and wide-eyed wonder by Bill Bixby. For the debut, Greene's scintillating script has the pair trying to throw the USAF off the scent. Sheldon Leonard directed the opener with his sure hand and it came up aces. He got great jobs from an attractive female trio—Ina Victor, Pamela Britton, Ann Marshall—who shape up as a top team to kick the laughs around in future segs and solid support from Herbert Rudley, Simon Oakland and Lee Kreiger. Chertok hasn’t missed a point in smart production. Photography by Glen MacWilliams, music by George Greeley, editing by Ralph Davis Jr. and TonyDe Zarraga and the attractive home by Rolland M. Brooks and Pato Guzman are all crack credits….there’s plenty for everyone in this orbiting sparkler."
LOS ANGELES TIMES Oct 1, 1963
Martian Scores on Earth
"By contrast, CBS broke in a new show Sunday night called My Favorite Martian with Ray Walston and Bill Bixby that, despite the premise of a man from Mars with antennae growing from his head who can disappear at will and read Earthlings thoughts seemed professional, slickly done and completely delightful to me.
"Mr. Walston who once played the Devil in "Damn Yankees" is the most easily believable Martian since Cyrill Ritchard visited this small planet. The script by John L.Greene was excellent…."
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY Oct 1, 1963
"I was never more surprised!
"My Favorite Martian" opened Sunday night on CBS…and I loved it! It was nothing in the world but good, old fashioned horse play, perhaps a cut above the talking horse. But the lines were clever, the props outrageous, the performers clever, and the whole thing came off in fine style. If this isn’t one of the year’s comedy hits there is something wrong with all of us!
"Ray Walston is the Martian whose spaceship gets in the way of (an) X-15 on a speed test flight. Bill Bixby is the newspaper cub who gets a great story, now finds himself involved with a Martian whom no one will believe exists."
NY HERALD TRIBUNE Sept. 30, 1963
"'My Favorite Martian', which materialized on CBS-TV last night is concocted of second-hand material, like most Hollywood situation comedies. This one has about equal parts of "Visit to a Small Planet" and "The Invisible Man", and small doses of "The Front Page" and "Superman"
"But here's a Hollywood switch. Instead of a tiresome round of familiar paces, "My Favorite Martian" is a small blessed event of light humor. It has tongue well in cheek and a lot of fine bright performers and that makes the difference.
"Chief in an excellent large cast are Ray Walston, a great pro in the title role; Bill Bixby, a pleasant young man who plays an implausible reporter, and Ina Victor, a good-looking nubile young girl. All of them lent breezy good humor to a fanciful tale of a friendly superior visitor from Mars temporarily stranded on Earth.
"If it can keep ringing fresh changes on a Martian's clairvoyance and ability to become invisible at will, this series--fast paced and funny--will delight youngsters of all ages."
NY TIMES SEPT 30, 1963
"Separate ideas used in "Visit to a Small Planet" and "Topper" have been combined in My Favorite Martian which had its debut last night on Channel 2. A man from Mars finds himself stranded on Earth and thereupon generates assorted crisis through his ability to read minds and disappear and reappear at his own convenience.
"Ray Walston is starring as the bemused Martian and Bill Bixby plays a newspaper man who stands to benefit from the visitor's advantages in reporting. Since the "Topper " series ran for a number of years, this latest twist in electronicphantasmagoria might make it, particularly if it reflects Mr. Walston's dry playing."
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER Sept. 30, 1963
"If all interplanetary visitors are ingratiating as the title tourist of CBS' "My Favorite Martian", who zoomed in on a flying saucer Sunday night, we're in favor of a mass extraterrestrial immigration.
"Apparently, judging from the introductory half-hour, these cosmological characters live hundreds of years, read minds, vanish at will by use of retractable head antennae, chat with dogs and rate salutes from them, subscribe to such old-fashioned virtues as loyalty and gratitude, and are--at least as depicted by the likable likes of Ray Walston---chockful of charm.
"Although ostensibly aimed at the small fry, the series promises to be thoroughly enjoyable to oldsters, too--especially the kind who used to dig the "now-you-see-him-now-you-don't shenanigans of the old "Topper" shows.
"Until the arrival of the Martian--dupped "er, Uncle Martin" on the spur of the embarassed moment by a newspaper reporter who helped extricate him from his cracked saucer--this seemed like just another situation comedy about the reporter (Bill Bixby) and three gals next door: matronly, sexy and teen-age.
"But then the proceedings became fast, funny and like out of this world."
"…This was the premiere of the series and the kids should enjoy the Martian who crashes to Earth and stays with a young reporter. He’s full of tricks, like making himself invisible. The dialogue includes a few witty, worldly quotes and star Ray Walston works with a nice crisp authority as the wise man from Mars."
SYRACUSE POST-STANDARD …..NOV 3,1963……(added 8/16/07).(.
"Man on a Couch": "The best thing about this series is Ray Walston’s underplaying. Walston keeps the whole thing in bounds here during a run-in with a psychiatrist. It could be ludicrous but charm sneaks in instead."
SYRACUSE POST-STANDARD …..NOV 10,1963…….(added 8/16/07)
"A Loaf of Bread…And Peaches." "Despite a far-out idea, Ray Walston, as the Martian, handles it with restraint and deserves a bonus. Considering the Martian’s superior intelligence, it seems somewhat unlikely he would fall in love with a stripper. However, the humor comes from the Martian losing his remarkable self-control."
VARIETY OCT 2, 1963
"Looks like My Favorite Martian could be around for a long time. As early Sunday evening fare in the pre-Sullivan 7:30 to 8 period, this Jack Chertok production starring Ray Walston as the "first Irishman from Mars" got off to a headlong start. It has a basic appeal for both young and adult alike.
"It's a simple yet crazy premise that had its origins in the early TV "Topper" series, with a dash of "Damn Yankees" (Walston's ex-musical legiter) thrown in. Whipped together for an initial script by John L. Greene under Sheldon Leonard’s deft direction, the combination augers well for the series.
"For here is a Martian endowed with ectoplasmic virtues (it appears he's been making this trip to the planet Earth for hundreds of years). He can read minds, disappear and reappear at will (through the simple expedient of putting his built-in adjustable rabbit ear antennae into play) and in fact has a maneuverability that can send the series into as funny an orbit as the writers themselves will allow.
"Since its already got Walston (and the casting of this singularly fine talent is a stroke of good fortune) the rest quite obviously is going to depend on the writing. When the writing is way-out beyond the reaches of credibility, as evidence in the closing portions of the preem stanza, it will attain the desired hilarity.
"The opener fortunately didn't consume too much time in getting the Martian down. And once he expounded his philosophy ("Earth's all right for a visit, but wouldn't want to live here") it was off and running.
"Another asset going for it is Bill Bixby as his down-to-earth foil and companion…."
VIRGINIA DISPATCH Oct. 1, 1963
"Youngsters will love "My Favorite Martian" while parents will probably chuckle along. Ray Walston, a man of charm, is a Martian who has been visiting the United States of America over the past couple of hundred years. He crash lands his flying saucer and meets reporter Bill Bixby who writes up an exclusive story about the X-15 as a result. And this leads to complications when the government wants to know where the security leak is. Bixby is a charming young actor with a fine comedic flair."
VARIETY Sept. 30, 1964
"A delightfully funny episode opened the second season of "My Favorite Martian", a half-hour which, by comparison, puts many of the new situation comedies to shame.
"The script evidenced an uncommon inventiveness, an imaginative flair, a feel for the comedic turn, all the elements a good situation comedy should have. Kudos go to scripters Ben Gershman and Bill Freedman.
"Ray Walston, who portrays the Martian visiting Earth, again displayed his wry humor, his ability to tickle the audience’s funny bone in the right place. Bill Bixby, the keeper of the Martian, the newspaper reporter closeted with the biggest story yet to be told, again showed himself to be the perfect partner to Walston.
"The madcap outing for Walston and Bixby was paced for maximum results by director Oscar Rudolph. In two sequences, director Rudolph utilized the speed-up of film, reminiscent of silent pix, to obtain whiz-bang movement, again registering in the laugh meter. The opener involved (the) Martian’s ability to dream in two dimensions. What happened when Martian Walston was deprived of nutrition by the meddlesome landlady and he began dreaming in three dimensions served as the plot. The meddlesome landlady with an eye toward matrimony was played effectively by Pamela Britton.
"It would be tedious and injudicious to go into the convolutions of the plot. Let it be said that each twist and turn was a surprise and the yocks built right up to the final scene. "Martian" again looks like a winner for CBS in its 7:30 p.m. time slot."
VARIETY Sept 29, 1965
"This CBS gimmick comedy into its third semester, continues to get fairly good mileage out of the farce plots. Likable, talented leads don’t hurt it either. Most recent (26th) seg offered some engaging satire (and worthy moral to boot) of the film silents via one of those " time machine" returns to Hollywood circa 1925. Favored by the script, vet co-star Bill Bixby took full advantage and delivered nicely as a flamboyant screen idol. Ray Walston, the show’s top liner, is per usual, a solid asset for this vid frolic.
"Review seg also had good efforts from Leon Askin as a Prussian megga, Howard Morton, John Considine, Arlene Martell, and Barbara Perry. The Albert Lewin-Burt Styler yarn was basically thin, of course, but with enough class to merit attention and give the bromides a refurbished look."
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