Hyperdrive Humour
Loads of laughs with a science fictional edge


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My Favorite Martian
107 episodes (1963-66) 30m


A Martian crash-lands on Earth and is taken in by an amiable young man who agrees to protect his true identity. 'Uncle Martin's' special powers (invisibility, ESP, telekinesis) regularly get his host into and out of all sorts of trouble. Ray Walston and Bill Bixby are terrific in the lead roles. A prototype for both Mork & Mindy and ALF, not to mention Harry & the Hendersons.





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Get Smart
138 episodes (1965-69) 30m


Mel Brooks spy spoof has bungling CONTROL agent Maxwell Smart (Don Adams) misusing an array of high-tech gadgetry to fight the evil KAOS organisation, while always managing to get the job done. Pretty sidekick Agent 99 is joined by the interminably frustrated Chief in support. Hilarious and still getting plenty of re-runs, including Hymie the robot and a handful of over-the-top sci-fi episodes.





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Mork & Mindy
92 episodes (1978-82) 30m


Happy Days spin-off with a young Robin Williams in the lead role playing off-the-planet Mork from Ork. Similar premise to My Favorite Martian - only this time the alien gets to hang out with attractive girl-next-door type, Mindy (Pam Dawber). Their relationship develops throughout the series and there is a moralising end to each episode. Mushy as it comes, but fun.





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Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
6 serial episodes (1981) 35m


Typically cheap BBC sets and costumes are the perfect backdrop for this hilarious rendition of Douglas Adams' now-famous creation. Arthur Dent, the last human left alive, travels the galaxy with Marvin the Paranoid Android - occasionally getting 'advice' from Ford Prefect amidst numerous segues to the Guide. Originally a radio play, a film version has also made it to the big screen.





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ALF
102 episodes (1986-90) 30m


Short fuzzy alien life form (ALF) from the planet Melmac crashlands into typical middle-class family's garage. They take him in and set about concealing his extraterrestrial origins from the rest of the world. The mischievous Alf has a few strange habits (e.g. cats are delicacy on his planet). Great family entertainment and a big hit in its day, although things get a bit soppy at times.





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Red Dwarf
52 episodes (1988-99) 30m


Low-budget special effects are purposefully exploited in this huge worldwide BBC hit. An accident wipes out the crew of the mining ship Red Dwarf, with slovenly Dave Lister (incarcerated in stasis) the only survivor. Eons later his only companions are a highly-evolved cat, a 'loser' hologram, an android and the ship's computer. Funniest sci-fi show ever made by an intergalactic eon.





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3rd Rock From the Sun
139 episodes (1996-2001) 30m


Irreverent, often distasteful, and at times utterly hilarious. A crew of aliens is sent to Earth on cultural fact-finding mission. They take on human form with some strange twists - the oldest and wisest gets to be a teenager, the macho military expert becomes his sister, etc. John Lithgow is a hoot as their self-centred commander, but a fine cast all-around.





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Hyperdrive
12 episodes (2006-07) 30m


Nobody does quirky better than the British, so it is a pity that this underrated series was never given much of a chance. The crew of the HMS Camden Lock set out to protect and promote British commercial interests in the galaxy, while occasionally displaying a minor dose of ethical behaviour. The tolerance levels of some particularly offensive alien races are tested along the way.


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