Out of This World (TV series)
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|Out of This World|
|Created by||John Boni
|Developed by||Bob Booker|
|Directed by||Bob Claver
|Voices of||Burt Reynolds|
|Opening theme||"Swinging on a Star"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||96|
|Executive producer(s)||Bob Booker|
|Running time||22 mins.|
|Production company(s)||Bob Booker Productions|
|Original release||September 17, 1987– May 25, 1991|
Out of This World is an American fantasy sitcom about a teenage girl who is half alien, which gives her unique superhuman powers. It first aired in syndication from September 17, 1987 and ended on May 25, 1991.
During its first season, the series was originally part of NBC's Prime Time Begins at 7:30 campaign, in which the network's owned-and-operated stations would run first-run sitcoms in the 7:30-8 pm time slot to counterprogram competing stations' game shows, sitcom reruns and other offerings. Out of This World was rotated with the original series Marblehead Manor and She's the Sheriff, a syndicated revival of the 1983 sitcom We Got It Made, and a television adaptation of the play You Can't Take It with You. NBC ended the experiment after the 1987-88 season due to the low ratings put up by three of the series, with Out of This World being one of the two that were renewed (the other being She's the Sheriff). After its first season the series was largely moved to weekend time slots, where it remained until its cancellation following the fourth season.
The series revolves around Evie Ethel Garland, a young girl who discovers on her thirteenth birthday that her father is an alien named Troy, from the planet Antareus, who married her mother and "merged lifeforms" to create Evie. Evie's half-alien heritage gives her superhuman abilities. Most of the episodes revolve around Evie misusing her powers and causing some trouble, which she spends the rest of the episode trying to fix. Only Evie and her family know about her alien father and her powers, and many episodes depict Evie trying to hide her secret from other characters. The series ended on a cliffhanger in the Season 4 finale, where Troy came to visit and Donna took his place by accident and ended up in Antareus, leaving Troy stranded on Earth.
- Evie Ethel Garland (Maureen Flannigan) — Evie is a half-human, half-alien girl who lives with her mother in Marlowe, California, in a house overlooking the sea. She is an only child. Evie attends a school for gifted children (run by her mother) and achieves good grades there. Her mother had always told Evie that her father was a secret agent, but on her thirteenth birthday Evie began to develop superhuman abilities and it was revealed that her father is an extraterrestrial from the planet Antareus. Evie's main power is the ability to freeze time on Earth by joining two fingers, allowing her to maneuver herself or objects to alter the course of events on Earth. When she claps her hands together, time resumes as normal. She can also "unfreeze" individuals by touching them while time is frozen. She later gains the power to gleep, which allows her to manifest objects by using the power of her mind. Her father describes her as "the perfect child: loving; caring; with the same needs of most teenagers". The series follows Evie through her teenage years, from her thirteenth birthday in the first episode to her eighteenth birthday in the final episode. Although she was the leading character, Flannigan was billed last in the credits. In the first season, she received the billing "And Introducing Maureen Flannigan". In the last 3 seasons, she was billed as "And Maureen Flannigan as Evie".
- Donna Garland (Donna Pescow) — Evie's mother. Described by her husband as "an ambitious working mother with a career", Donna runs a school for gifted children, which Evie attends. She later founds her own catering company, "Donna's Delights". Toward the end of season 3, Donna becomes the mayor of Marlowe. Donna is very protective of her daughter, often to the dismay of Evie, who would like to be more independent. Donna and Evie's Uncle Beano (then later Uncle Mick) are the only regular characters on the show who know Evie's secret.
- Troy Garland (Burt Reynolds, voice only) — Evie's father. Troy is a human-looking extraterrestrial, with many special powers, from the planet Antareus. Troy met Donna when his spacecraft crashed on Earth at some point in the late 1960s or early 1970s. The two fell in love, were married in 1971, and two years later Donna gave birth to Evie. Shortly after, in 1974, Troy was called back to Antareus to fight in a war. Since then, Troy occasionally visits Earth, and stays in touch with his daughter via a special communication device known as the "cube" (see below). Troy's powers seem to be almost limitless: though he lives on Antareus, he can control many things on Earth (from computers to the weather); he can give and take away Evie's powers at will; and also seems to be aware of certain events on Earth. While Troy appears in the show's opening credits, he rarely makes a physical appearance in the series — and when he does his face is obscured (for example, via a surgical mask or shadows). In the series finale, when Troy arrives on Earth, he is seen in a silhouette with stars from the galaxy. Troy was credited as "himself" in the opening credits from Season Two onwards.
- Beano Froelich (1987–1990) (Joe Alaskey) — "Uncle Beano" is Donna's brother and Evie's uncle, who lives next door to them. Beano has a large appetite and runs the diet clinic known originally as "Waist-a-Weigh", and later as "Beano's Diet Clinic". Beano is one of the three regular characters who know Evie's secret, along with Donna and Evie herself. He last appears in season 4, episode 12.
- Kyle Applegate (Doug McClure) — Kyle is a former television actor who is now the mayor of Marlowe. Kyle is a good friend of the family, but "the mayor" punishes even the smallest offenses. As well as being egocentric and vain, Kyle is dimwitted and gullible, often completely failing to notice Evie's "alien" antics. He clings to his former TV glory as the star of "Mosquito Man" and many long forgotten mainly Western movies. Towards the end of season three, Kyle is appointed police chief by Donna, who takes over from him as mayor.
- Buzz (Buzz Belmondo) — The manager of Beano's diet clinic, and one of the more eccentric characters in the town. Buzz usually makes one brief appearance per episode, during which he performs a series of jokes which are typically puns or prop-based gags, sometimes relating to the elaborate costume that he is wearing. He speaks with an unknown accent, and is prone to bizarre behavior. Donna sometimes resorts to him for help, more often than not regretting it.
- Lindsay Selkirk (Christina Nigra) — Evie's best friend. Evie and Lindsay spend a lot of time together drinking milkshakes at their local diner, the "Goodie Goodie" and is Evie's confidante when it comes to boys and her non-Antarian related problems.
- Chris Fuller (Steve Burton) — Chris is a surfer and high school student who later becomes a student at Marlowe Community College. He is introduced as a new student and good basketball player in the season one episode "Evie get your Basketball". Chris becomes Evie's boyfriend, and although they sometimes date other people, they always end up together. In an episode of the final season, Chris says Evie was and always will be his girl.
- Quigley Handlesman (Carl Steven) (1987-1988) - One of Evie's classmates at Donna's school for the gifted.
- Phil (John Roarke) (1987-1988) - The jovial, funny handyman who works on the Garlands' house during the first season. He is always snooping around in the family's business, with Donna, Evie and Beano constantly making sure that Phil doesn't suspect the existence of Evie's powers.
- Jeffrey Cummings (Tony Crane) (1990) - A high school classmate of Evie and Lindsay's who transfers in during their senior year. Incredibly handsome and basically taking up the slack that Chris had left after going onto college, Jeffrey quickly begins to date Evie. The two began going out despite Evie's continued involvement with Chris, forcing her to cover up her activities with either of them, alternately.
- Peter (1990-1991) (Peter Pitofsky) — A waiter at the Goodie Goodie who is introduced in the first scene of season four. He is a clumsy, goofball Antarean who provides his own brand of comic relief whenever Evie and her friends stop by the restaurant. He was military intelligence for Antareus until he chose to stay on Earth. His memory erased of all Antarean things. Penchant for misinterpreting people's orders, and sometimes even forgetting his own name.
- Mick (1990–1991) (Tom Nolan) — Donna's brother and Evie's uncle, who was introduced in season 4, episode 7, to replace Uncle Beano as a recurring character. He is a former rock musician.
Evie is able to communicate with Troy through a special "genetic" communication device known as the "cube", which he gave to her when she turned thirteen. The cube effectively functions as a telephone line to Antareus — it can even be used to leave Troy an "answerphone" message, as seen in the episode "My Little Evie". There are no controls on the cube; Evie simply calls for her father and the cube activates when he answers, deactivating when he "hangs up". Sometimes when Troy uses his powers whilst talking through the cube, a beam of energy is emitted directly from the cube.
Evie and Donna normally keep the cube around the house, out of sight (often in Evie's bedroom), sometimes telling people it is an ornament or a talking clock. When the cube is activated, the top half of it opens up on a hinge, a magenta light pulses inside, and a "spacey" sound effect plays. The lights in the room usually dim, although not always. Troy's voice is heard clearly through the cube with reverberation.
Originally, even though everyone was able to hear Troy through the cube, Evie was the only one Troy could hear as the cube was genetic. This rule changes in the first episode of season 2, "Evie's Birthday Wish". At the end of the episode, Evie wishes her mother could talk to Troy like she can. As a result, Troy can now hear Donna and they can now talk back and forth. It is unknown whether the rest of Evie's family could also talk to Troy, but there have been other aliens that Troy could hear through the cube, as seen in Season 4 Episode 5 "Evie's Guardian Angel". An Antaerian is sent to Earth to protect Evie and Donna, and he can speak to Troy.
The series featured several celebrities who made cameo appearances on the show, occasionally as themselves. In chronological order of appearances:
- Norman Fell (as Evie's psychiatrist Dr. Hauser, "The Nightmare", 1987)
- Scott Carpenter (as himself, "Evie and the Young Astronauts", 1987)
- Charles Nelson Reilly (as himself, "Dueling Mayors", 1987)
- Betsy Palmer (as Donna's mother, "Uh, Oh... Here Comes Mother", 1987)
- Tom Bosley (as Troy's father, "Guess Who's Coming to Earth", 1988 and "Around the World in Eighty Minutes", 1989)
- Jamie Farr ("Go West, Young Mayor", 1988)
- Scott Baio (who also directed several episodes) made a cameo appearance in "Princess Evie" (1988) and "Evie Goes For the Gold" (1989)
- Lyle Alzado ("Goodbye Mr. Chris", 1990)
- Mr. T ("New Kid on the Block", 1990)
- Susan Anton ("Best Friends", 1990)
- Pop singer Tiffany ("I Want My Evie TV", 1990)
- Kathleen Freeman (as Miss Ogilvy, Evie's high school teacher, "Educating Kyle", 1991)
- Evie's Thirteenth Birthday
- Playing with the Power
- The Nightmare
- Till Then
- Evie, Get Your Basketball
- Every Beano Has His Day
- Evie and the Young Astronauts
- Fifties Mom
- Dueling Mayors
- Baby Talk
- Beano's New Diet Clinic
- Uh, Oh... Here Comes Mother
- The Anniversary
- To Tell the Truth
- Pen Pals
- Broadway Danny Derek
- Mosquito Man: The Motion Picture
- The Russians Are Coming
- Aka Dad
- The Box Is Missing
- Boy Crazy
- The Three Faces of Evie
- I've Got a Secret
- Evie's Birthday Wish
- Blast from the Past
- Career Crunch
- Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot?
- Evie's First Kiss
- Princess Evie
- Old Flame
- Guess Who's Coming to Earth
- Go West, Young Mayor
- Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind
- The Incredible Hunk
- Pupil's Court
- Evie's Two Dads
- The Secret of Evie's Success
- Honest Evie
- Evie Goes to Hollywood
- Two Many Evies
- Futile Attraction
- Beano the Kid
- Queens for a Day
- The Amazing Evie
- Whose House Is It, Anyway?
- Frisky Business
- Star Dog
- Evie's Sweet Sixteen
- Cinderella Evie
- Bring Me the Head of Donna Garland
- A Froggy Day in Marlowe Town
- Evie's Driver's License
- Evie Goes for the Gold
- Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
- Around the World in 80 Minutes
- It's a Cruel World
- The Rocks That Couldn't Roll
- One in a Million
- Four Men and a Baby
- Evie's Double Trouble
- The Garden of Evie
- Evie's Magic Touch
- Cowboy Kyle, Man of Granite
- Evie's Secret Admirer
- Evie's Yuppie Love
- Diamond's Are Evie's Best Friend
- A Kinder, Gentler Mayor
- My Mother the Con
- Goodbye, Mr. Chris
- New Kid on the Block
- My Little Evie
- Forget Your Troubles
- A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read
- Evie's Guardian Angel
- Best Friends
- I Want My Evie TV
- Come Fly with Evie
- Evie's High Anxiety
- Evie's False Alarm
- Marlowe Vice
- Evie's Latin Touch
- My Mom, and Why I Love Her
- Heck's Angels
- Would You Buy a Used Car from This Dude?
- Evie Nightingale
- All About Evie
- Mayor Evie
- Stump Your Neighbor
- Evie's Three Promises
- Too Late for Evie
- Educating Kyle
- Evie's Eighteen
- The series was first broadcast in France from 10 September 1988 under the title "Loin de ce monde" - Far From This World.
- In Germany, the series was renamed "Mein Vater ist ein Außerirdischer" - My Father is an Alien.
- In Italy, the series was renamed "Cose Dell'Altro Mondo" - Things Belonging To the Other World.
- In Spain, the series was renamed "De otro mundo" - From Another World.
- In Russia, the series was renamed "Фантастическая Девушка" - Fantastic Girl.
Discussing Out of This World, Roger Fulton stated "like many juvenile US sitcoms, the series was short on laughs and long on moralizing". The book Television Without Pity contained a review of Out of This World that described the show as "quite possibly the worst sitcom ever made-it's a complete failure on every level". The review went on to criticise the show's scripts, acting and production, and unfavourably compared Out of This World to Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. The Splitsider website called Out of This World "perhaps the worst sitcom ever, or at least the most '80s sitcom ever".
In other media
- The show was parodied in the Robot Chicken episode, "Executed by the State". In the parody, Evie is asked out by a boy who likes her, she uses her powers to stop time and takes a look down his pants, presumably in order to check out the size of his penis. After seeing the size of his penis, Evie says, "Uhhh, pass." (This is followed by canned laughter typical of sitcoms of that era.) Evie then walks off with time still frozen.
- In the Universal Studios ride Kongfrontation, the news report that plays during the queue is interrupted by an ad for Out of This World, at which the screen crawl at the bottom of the ad is a civil defense message warning that King Kong is in the vicinity and for civilians to stay indoors and not use public transportation until further notice.
- "BBC - Comedy Guide - Out Of This World". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2004-12-09. Retrieved 2013-09-03.
- Fulton, Roger (1995). Encyclopedia of TV science fiction. London: Boxtree. p. 392. ISBN 1-85283-953-8.
- Ariano, Tara; Bunting, Sarah D. (2006). Television Without Pity: 752 Things We Love to Hate (And Hate to Love) about TV. Quirk Books. p. 192. ISBN 1-59474-117-4.
- Boone, Brian (October 18, 2011). "Looking Back at the Terrible Syndicated Sitcoms of the Late 1980s". Splitsider. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
- "Mein Vater ist ein Außerirdischer - Vol. 1 [6 DVDs]: Amazon.de: Donna Pescow, Maureen Flannigan, Joe Alaskey, Buzz Belmondo, Doug McClure: Filme & TV". Amazon.de. 2012-05-24. Retrieved 2013-09-03.
- "FSK - VV Programmteile". Fsk.de. Retrieved 2013-09-03.