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-   -   Is Spock the first non-human character to make regular TV appearances? (http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=125624)

Archaeologist July 21 2010 10:58 AM

Is Spock the first non-human character to make regular TV appearances?
 
My question stands, as per the thread title. Is Spock the first non-human or alien character to make regular appearances on television? Obviously, within teh past few decades, there have been many examples of non-human or alien characters in science fiction, sitcoms, dramas, or even anime (if that's a genre itself). I believe that Spock from Star Trek is a landmark character of this sort of category, and as far as I know, he is the first, correct me if I'm wrong. And also, here's a character that started off minor, quickly becoming a sort of "breakout character," and one of the best examples of such.

JarodRussell July 21 2010 11:30 AM

Re: Is Spock the first non-human character to make regular TV appearan
 
I think My Favorite Martian from 1963 - 1966 was first. And there probably were many others before that, too.

Anwar July 21 2010 12:18 PM

Re: Is Spock the first non-human character to make regular TV appearan
 
What about the Doctor from Doctor Who?

Deckerd July 21 2010 12:25 PM

Re: Is Spock the first non-human character to make regular TV appearan
 
I think Lassie predates all of them.

Christopher July 21 2010 12:27 PM

Re: Is Spock the first non-human character to make regular TV appearan
 
Also the Robot from Lost in Space, beginning in 1965.

The question is, how far are we extending the definition of "non-human?" It could encompass any anthropomorphic animal characters from early TV cartoons, such as Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear. So we need a ruling: is the initial question meant to apply only to science-fictional characters?

Quote:

And also, here's a character that started off minor, quickly becoming a sort of "breakout character," and one of the best examples of such.
Not exactly minor. Nimoy got second billing in the opening credits from the second pilot onward. However, he wasn't expected to eclipse Shatner in popularity the way he did, let alone attract the huge levels of (mostly female) fan interest that he did.

GSchnitzer July 21 2010 03:41 PM

Re: Is Spock the first non-human character to make regular TV appearan
 
Quote:

Deckerd wrote: (Post 4258055)
I think Lassie predates all of them.

And Rin Tin Tin was even earlier.

Christopher July 21 2010 05:28 PM

Re: Is Spock the first non-human character to make regular TV appearan
 
Does Howdy Doody qualify as nonhuman?

T'Girl July 21 2010 05:35 PM

Re: Is Spock the first non-human character to make regular TV appearan
 
Howdy Doody was sort of an android.

Nerys Myk July 21 2010 07:17 PM

Re: Is Spock the first non-human character to make regular TV appearan
 
Do witches count? (Bewitched). Robots? (My Living Doll with Julie Newmar). Then there is Superman.

scotpens July 21 2010 10:48 PM

Re: Is Spock the first non-human character to make regular TV appearan
 
What about ghosts? There was Topper (1953-1955) and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1968-1970).

And angels: The Smothers Brothers Show (not the comedy-variety hour, but their earlier black-and-white sitcom that ran for one season in 1965-66), Highway to Heaven (1984-1989), Touched By An Angel (1994-2003), and the aborted Marx Brothers sitcom Deputy Seraph (1959).

And there was I Dream of Jeannie.

Christopher July 21 2010 11:10 PM

Re: Is Spock the first non-human character to make regular TV appearan
 
^Well, the question is whether Spock was the first, so anything that doesn't predate 1966 wouldn't address the question. (I'm not counting the pilots because those wouldn't qualify as "regular TV appearances.")

Although I think we've fully established by now that the answer is a definitive "no."

Just to muse over the question, though, I'm not sure I'd count ghosts as nonhumans, because they were formerly human and still have human personas. Essentially it's a human consciousness without a human body, so I'd call that something semihuman rather than nonhuman. As for angels, that depends. Is it the pop mythology where angels are former human beings who died and earned wings in the afterlife, or the more Biblical definition of a subordinate level of supernatural beings? I would imagine most angel-related TV shows would favor the former, but I haven't seen most of them so I couldn't be sure.

kkozoriz1 July 22 2010 02:17 AM

Re: Is Spock the first non-human character to make regular TV appearan
 
My Mother the Car

Redfern July 23 2010 10:52 PM

Re: Is Spock the first non-human character to make regular TV appearan
 
Did either "Tom Corbett, Space Cadet" or "Rocky Jones, Space Ranger", feature a "resident alien"? Both of those series heralded from the 50s.

I'll do a lil' research.

Sincerely,

Bill

Follow-up: I guess I was "mis-remembering" aspects of Tom Corbett. That series featured Astro, a human born on (a habitable) Venus, a child of colonists. But interestingly enough, he's a man with little understanding of humor (due to the culture in which he was raised) and one of the earth born crewmen takes joy in teasing him. Hmm, now is it my imagination, or does that remind me of someone else? ;)

Anyway, it seems Astro was human.

StarryEyed July 24 2010 12:49 AM

Re: Is Spock the first non-human character to make regular TV appearan
 
The original Superman goes quite a ways back.

Captain Robert April July 24 2010 01:17 AM

Re: Is Spock the first non-human character to make regular TV appearan
 
"The Adventures of Superman" was at a time when folks still weren't too sure that television was gonna stick around, so yeah, I think Superman is the leading candidate for first alien character on television. Of course, that all depends on how you think of Milton Berle...


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