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My Favorite Martian - The Complete Second Season


TITLE: MY FAVORITE MARTIAN - THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: May 10, 2005 (Rhino Home Video)
B&W
MSRP: $39.95
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 38
Running Time: 950 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English (no subtitles or closed-captioning)
Special Features: None


Introduction:

The Martians are coming, the Martians are coming!!! Well, actually it is just one Martian, and a friendly one at that... it's Uncle Martin from the hit 1960s sitcom, My Favorite Martian! The Complete Second Season of My Favorite Martian presents all 38 episodes of this somewhat underappreciated sitcom (I admit, I never really watched it myself until I received this set) in a collection that is full of laughs and Martian mishaps.

If you've never seen the show--and as I said, even I fall into this category--it is basically one of the many "supernatural" sitcoms of the 1960s. Tim O'Hara (played by Bill Bixby) is a reporter that accidentally stumbles upon a Martian (played by Ray Walston), and as any person that stumbles upon something unnatural (at least in the sitcom world), he becomes friends with the Martian and allows him to live with him. Tim tells everybody that the Martian is his "Uncle Martin" and is constantly trying to cover up for the problems that Martin's supernatural powers cause. My Favorite Martian debuted in 1963, and it was the inspiration for later shows such as Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie.


Memorable Episodes:

In the second season, we discover that Martin's memory machine that he uses to store memories is not ready for humans in "The Memory Pill." Martin is able to intercept phone calls after a mishap with a telephone wire in "Dial M For Martin." Martin accidentally creates another Mrs. Brown in "Double Trouble." Martin has to prove that he really IS an O'Hara (which he isn't) in "How Are Things in Glocca Martin?" Martin becomes a magnet--literally--in "The Magnetic Personality and Who Needs It." Martin is able to get in touch with his inner child--again, literally--in "Uncle Baby." Tim and Martin get to go back in time in "Time Out for Martin."


Packaging:

It appears that Rhino has used the same type of packaging and artwork that they used for The Complete First Season of My Favorite Martin. There is one difference though--this time, they gave the picture of Mars on the cover, an orange/red color, as opposed to the green that they used for the first season. I'd imagine that when/if the third season is released, a different third color would likely be used, but this color of Mars on this set will likely please the folks at NASA because it is much more accurate than the phony green that was presented on the first season set! I was very satisfied with the packaging that was used on this set. Basically, a typical snap-case is used, though the discs are arranged in a way where you don't have to remove one disc to get another disc out.

There are three discs included in this set. Discs One and Two are both two-sided and each side of each disc contains exactly eight episodes. Disc Three is a one-sided disc and six episodes. I'm not a huge fan of two-sided discs when companies put about three episodes on each side, but the way that this set was handled was pretty good, and the two-sided discs are probably better than five one-sided discs. A detailed episode booklet would have been a nice feature for this set, but there isn't one. Instead, just an insert is included that has the episode titles listed by disc. The insert lists the episodes and dates that they originally aired, and the episodes are on the disc in that order (although I should point out that I believe there is a typo on one of the dates, it claims that "A Martian's Senate in Mrs. B's Flat" aired on May 20, 1965 while simple logic dictates that it most likely aired May 30, 1965).


Menu Design and Navigation:

Rhino seems to have similar menus on many of their sets, and this one is no exception. The menu starts off with the My Favorite Martian theme song playing in the background, and then the options of Play All and Episode Selection come up. Both of those are pretty much self-explanatory. The Episode Selection menu simply allows you to choose the episode that you want. There is a Scene Selection menu for each episode, but it is hidden, almost like an Easter Egg! I don't know why they would choose to do the Scene Selection menu like this, but they did. Basically, if you want to get to the Scene Selection menu, once you have chosen to play the episode, you have to hit the Menu button. An easier way to get to a specific scene though would be to use the Next/Skip button on your DVD remote, however, as there are chapters at all appropriate places.


Video and Audio Quality:

There is good news and bad news about the set. First, the good news: Rhino has attempted to put together a set with uncut episodes. Now the bad news: of the 38 episodes on the set, four of the episodes are NOT uncut. Rhino makes that very clear on the packaging and claims that they searched "extensively" to find the original masters, although one poster at the message boards on this very website reports that at least one of these episodes has been released by Columbia House unedited. Exactly what is meant by edited and unedited with this set, however, may not be too troubling for some (after all, 34 episodes are UNEDITED). The unedited episodes tend to run about 25 minutes, while the edited episodes run 23 minutes. That is somewhat good news, because the more recent syndicated standard has been about 21 minutes and 30 seconds, which means that at least you are getting about a minute and 30 seconds more than what you'd get these days on the edited episodes. Even further, the edited episodes are very clearly time-compressed, which means that there is less cut material than there could be. I even took the time to calculate the compression of the opening credits, and found that the edited versions had credits that ran 10% faster than the unedited episodes, so if the entire episode is running 10% faster, than maybe there isn't much missing at all. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to justify the release of edited episodes on DVD, but I'm only saying that the edited episodes on this set aren't missing as much as they could potentially be missing. The edited episodes are "Dreaming Can Make It So," "Never Trust a Naked Martian," "Nothing But The Truth," and "Extra! Extra! Sensory Perception!"

Update (05/21/05): None of the episodes are edited. There is no missing footage. Four or five episodes are time-compressed prints from the 1984-94 syndication run. For more information, click here.

The quality of the video on this set is fairly acceptable for a show that is 40 years old. Actually, I thought it was very good considering the age of the show. There is a little bit of grain in the video, but it isn't terrible. The audio is presented in mono and seems to be a little low, but there really aren't any major issues with the audio. The press release for this set says that the episodes are restored, but letís face it; everything that comes onto DVD has that word "restored." It really isn't much more than a word to make the set more appealing to consumers. However, regardless of how often the word "restored" is used, just take it from me--this set looks and sounds fairly good for a 40 year old show. There is bad news for the hearing impaired with this set--this set is not closed-captioned.


Special Features:

Once again, another season of this show has been released without special features. It is disappointing that Rhino couldn't find something, perhaps old promotional material for the show at the very least, to include on this set. With only one more season of the show remaining unreleased on DVD, it is doubtful that the next release (when and if it happens) will include special features.


Final Comments:

I am honestly glad to be reviewing this set, because I never really watched the show before and never knew how good it was. It reminds me very much of Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie. Although I still must say that I prefer Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie over this show, it is important to note that this show began its run before those shows and was almost definitely an inspiration for those shows. So, if you are a huge fan of My Favorite Martian or any of the supernatural shows from the 60s, then this set is for you!


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: N/A
Menu Navigation/Design: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 5/4/2005.

To order the DVD click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00094ARB4/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

For much more information on My Favorite Martian, visit the excellent website A TV Classic: My Favorite Martian


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