Nickelodeon they used to be a very capable network, before going through Network Decay in recent years. But they’ve had their share of missteps in the past, case in point, Butt Ugly Martians.
The show ran from January 26 to March 4, 2001. Information on the show is very scarce, in fact most of the information I got for this, came from a VHS that came in a magazine exclusive to the UK (the video is currently available on YouTube).
So, in the distant future of 2053, Emperor Bog decided to launch an invasion on Earth, and sent out three of his best men, Commander B-bop A-Luna, Tech Sargent 2-T Fru-T, and Corporal Do-wah Diddy to attack the planet. Upon arrival, the Martians grew to love everything on the planet, food, media, technology, etc, the three also became friends with three human teenagers, Mike Ellis, Angela Young, and Cedric. After developing their fondness for Earth, the Martians decided to protect the planet from Bog. Almost every episode, we’ll see the Martians film fake progress report videos for Bog to convince him that the invasion is going well, but Bog’s henchman, Dr. Damage (pronounced Dah-maj) doesn’t believe them, and tries to bust them. Almost every episode, Bog sends down a some robot or other aliens to assist the Martians, but once they see Earth isn’t being conquered, the robot/alien of the week fight the Martians. When things seem to get to tough, the Martian activate their Ranger-like BKM (Butt Kicking Mode) armor, and win the day. When they aren’t doing that, they’re usually seen hanging out with the kids, watching TV, playing video games, seeing which is better, hoverbikes or hoverboards, and cutting music videos for their boy band… Yes, they have a boy band, Boyz II Martians. They also get help from a female martian named Shaboom Shaboom, who used to work for Damage but went rogue in her debut episode, and kept their secret.
Now it’s time to talk about the real star of this show, and the reason I still remember this show after all these years, Stoat Muldoon, Alien Hunter voiced by Robert Stack, in his last role before passing away. This character always cracked me up, mainly because you get to hear Robert Stack say some off-the-wall things that the scripts make him say. Granted, this is not the first time Robert Stack was played against type, though it was either played straight (Airplane!) or wasn’t give enough to work with (Caddyshack II) but here, it’s taken to its absolute extreme. Examples include:
“Muldoon, you da man!”
“He got away didn’t he my little ugly alien amigos!”
“Kumbaya, kumbaya, humma-humma-kumbaya”
“Your strange melodies and jiggy rhythms have moved me.”
“Aliens are around us. They want our world, they’ll eat our brains.”
Anyway, every episode Muldoon finds the Martians, and will either try to kill them, or if given enough prove, help the Martians fight the alien of the week, and every time, the Martians would wipe his memory, leading him to say more off-the-wall thing whilst passing out. He also has an apprentice named Ronald, who works at the Quantum Burger, and a rival Brady Hacksaw, who doesn’t just want to find the Martians, but also wants dissect them. Also, Brady and Ronald seem to be the only other humans in this show
There were certain episodes where Bog finally caught on to their escapades. The two-parter “Bog’s Not So Dumb After All/Bog In Charge”, actually has Bog launch an invasion with a robot army, and two villains the Martians fought earlier like Jax The Conquerer, but they talked them out of the invasion, and asked to complete the invasion themselves, and he falls for it. Then there’s the finale, “This Is… The Butt-Uglies” where Damage catches them making a video to show the world that they come in peace. After seeing this, Damage sends a robot disguised a human to attack the Martians, which they destroy, then Bog himself comes to Earth, but the Martians and Muldoon destroy him, only to find out it was a decoy, with Bog vowing his revenge on the Martians. And the very last shot of the series, shows Bog’s fleet approaching Earth.
There were apparently plans to make a movie though unlike most Nickelodeon movies, which were released by Paramount, this would’ve been release by Universal, but was canceled after the passing of Robert Stack. Speaking of, Universal released three VHS/DVD’s featuring at least three episodes.
This was very cheesy, but not in the same vain as Go-Onger. The CG hasn’t aged well but was still kind of passable for a TV show. The one redeeming quality of the show was Robert Stack, and the idea of the show being kind of a reverse Invader Zim is kind of neat. Since CGI’s become more popular, I think this show could make a comeback, with more improved animation, and as for Stoat, while it won’t be the same without Robert Stack, they could find a good replacement, Jeff Glen Bennett could pull it off, he did an amazing emulation of Stack in Transformers Animated.
If you want to check out the show, there are a few scattered episodes here and there on Youtube and a new website I discovered called KissCartoon.
RANK: 3 out of 5
Next up, we look at the sequel to the only disaster movie I enjoyed and see if it’s any good.