Cult TV

Cult TV Essentials: Out of this World

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, totalling 94 episodes over four seasons.

The teenage girl – Evie Ethel Garland, 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 cliff-hanger 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.

CHARACTERS

  • 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 maneuverer 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.

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