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The premise is simple: A Martian astronaut, played by Ray Walston, is stranded on Earth when his saucer crashes. He is taken in by a kindly but not too bright earthling (Bill Bixby). 'Uncle Martin' fortunately looks just like a human being except for two bunny ear antenae which emerge from his head at odd moments. He has some special powers but not enough to keep himself and his human sidekick out of trouble with their feather brained landlady and her suspicious love interest. Nor is he able to repair his saucer, hidden in the garage, possibly because he's a pilot not a mechanic.
It was also turned into a movie in 1999 starring Christopher Lloyd as Uncle Martin.
- Alien Among Us: Uncle Martin, natch.
- Animated Adaptation: A short-lived Filmation version, My Favorite Martians.
- Amusing Alien
- Cowboy Episode: "Go West, Young Martian"
- Mind Over Matter: Martin can move things with his mind.
- Pstandard Psychic Pstance
- Psychic Powers
- Secret-Chaser: Lorelei Brown
- Stop Trick
The movie provides examples of:
- Abuse Is Okay When Its Female On Male: Lizzie reacts rather violently towards Tim when she finds Brace in his house.
- Actor Allusion: Tim's friend Lizzie wears an Incredible Hulk t-shirt in one scene, from a 1970's show starring Bill Bixby. Also, Ray Walston (the original Uncle Martin) has a small role as a government agent following Martin and Tim. In the end, his character turns out to be another Martian named Neenurt who has been stranded on Earth since the '60s.
- Adaptation Expansion: The movie introduced new characters (Lizzie, Brace, and Zoot) as well as several new pieces of Martian technology. The most notable would be "nerplex," or Martian gum that changes the appearance of whoever is chewing it (which is how Martin can appear as a human).
- Baleful Polymorph: Coleye ends up being permanently transformed into an alien near the end of the film, when he accidentally swallows a piece of Nerplex.
- Big Eater: Tim takes Martin to an ice cream shop. Although initially wary of Earth food, Martin proceeds to consume all of the ice cream.
- Cultural Posturing: Martin provides several examples of Martians being more advanced than humans ("Your astronauts pee in their space suits. Case closed!"). Later subverted when it turns out that the alternator from Tim's car will double as an "electron accelerator" to fix his spaceship.
- Dancing Pants: Martin has a full dancing suit named Zoot.
- Dumb Blonde: Inverted; the dumb one in this case is brunette Brace Channing, and blonde Lizzie is the smart one.
- Feigning Intelligence: Brace Channing.
Martin (After turning himself into Brace): "Boy, her head was dark and empty".
- Green Aesop: Martin's parting words to Tim include reminding him to take care of the Earth's oceans.
- Although this may be justified by the fact that Martin was completely blown away that Earth even has them, given that "on Mars, all the water has to be squeezed from rocks!"
- Hey, It's That Voice: Wayne Knight voices Martin's talking suit, Zoot.
- Large Ham: Martin and Zoot.
- Losing Your Head: Martin literally falls apart when he goes into "Martian depression."
- Missed Him by That Much: The opening of the movie shows the failure of the Mars rover just before it would have shown footage of the Martian society.
- Monster Roommate
- My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That: Martin is forced to take on Tim's form early in the movie and kisses his friend Lizzie. Martin later helps Tim realize that he and Lizzie are more than Just Friends.
- Mythology Gag: Ray Walston (the original Uncle Martin) is an undercover martian. And he even says the shapeshifting gum lost its flavor in 1966 (the year the show got cancelled).
- Nightmare Fetishist: Tim likes Lizzies' transformed man-eating alien form.
- Oh Blotz: When Martin discovers the I.S.S. on the spaceship.
- Also, when Martin is disguised as Brace and is forced to spit out the gum that makes him resemble a human.
- Pardon My Klingon: Apparently, "blotz" is a direct Martian translation for "shit"...as in "Does a wild bear blotz in the woods?"
- Plug N Play Technology: Tim's alternator is exactly the right size and shape (and function) to double as the piece Martin needs to repair his ship.
- Science Marches On: The movie Hand Waves the fact that there is no life on Mars by placing the vast, technologically advanced Martian cities just out of sensor range.
- Skyward Scream: Dr. Coleye does this during his Evil Laugh
- Stealth Pun: The Martian researcher's full name is Elliot Coleye (E. Coleye).
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: "Not only that was top secret, but it never happened!"
- That Poor Cat: Heard towards the end when Martin lands his spaceship at Tim's driveway.
- The Genie Knows Jack Nicholson: Zoot remarks, while hiding under Tim's couch, "Hey, look! Jimmy Hoffa!"
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Not directly stated, but there are implications that Nerplex does simply more than alters one's physical appearance into another being. The most notable incident is when Lizzie chews the Veenox 7 gum, and seems to have no problem with killing one guard, and eating another while as that alien. This even seemed to carry over when she reverts back to being Human.