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Spike Martin is a character in the HBO television series Avenue 5, portrayed by actor Ethan Phillips. He is an elderly space enthusiast and former astronaut. He claims to have been the first Canadian to land on Mars, though this isn't strictly true.[1]


HBO describes the character as "a grizzled womanizer and heavy drinker who is also surprisingly good with kids." Spike believes he deserves "a higher status due to his achievements as an astronaut," but hardly gets recognized for these. He was born in 1996.


Spike is an older man who isn't overly tall. He has a long gray pony tail, scruffy facial hair which is darker at his moustache as well as brown eyes. He has long lines on his forehead and deep-set wrinkles around his mouth; Spike is likely part of Generation Y.


As a retired Astronaut Spike was a perfect choice to bring aboard the Avenue 5 to educate the children. He gives communal lessons to the children about space and new discoveries found.

Character Biography[]

Space Career[]

For much of his life Spike was an astronaut and was one of the first thirty people to set foot on Mars, as well as the first Canadian. He has since retired from the profession.

Avenue 5[]

Spike was employed to teach the children about space travel and how the universe works due to him being a former astronaut. He is actually rather good with children and gives detailed, easy to follow lessons to any child who wishes to attend. During Wait a Minute, Then Who Was That on the Ladder? he is seen giving one of these lessons and shows himself to be a competent and kind teacher.

In He's Only There To Stop His Skeleton Falling Over after the wetsuit pipe had ruptured Spike got on the comms so he could try and aid Captain Ryan Clark who was attempting to fix the issue; unaware that this only caused more problems as Clark didn't actually know what he was doing.

Spike covering his mouth when talking about the possible O2 leak

When there is a mysterious beep sounding throughout the ship in Was It Your Ears? Spike is the first one to come up with any real answer as to what could be the cause. He suggests that the beep could actually be an indication of an oxygen leak which he quickly tells Clark and Billie about while covering his hand with his mouth so as not to cause panic. When Billie eventually figures out that the beep is actually the ship trying to get them to recalibrate for the extra person on board, Spike points out that it was another possibility but he'd thought they would have already accounted for that.

After Ryan Clark's argument with Herman Judd, Spike replaces Clark as ship's captain much to the Bridge Crew's displeasure. When he tries to take manual control of the ship Sarah tells him that nothing actually works which he takes to be a strange form of hazing that he doesn't appreciate. When Sarah persists he goes to comms and eventually figures out that nothing on the bridge is actually functional, he rushes to inform Clark, Billie and Judd only to cause more panic for an already suspicious mass of passengers which Sarah makes worse by basically telling everyone that they're all actors. When a mob tries to rush to the airlock he does little to stop people and instead ends up leaving it to Billie and Ryan to fix. Seeing that only Clark could get things done Judd reinstates Clark as captain stripping Spike of the job.

When Karen tries to offer their group some comfort after the deaths by saying at least they didn't suffer, it is Spike who points out that being exposed to the vacuum of space have actually been an unimaginably painful way to die. Later when Ryan Clark splits everyone up to search for Matt Spencer no one wants to get put with him except for Doug, since they're actually friends, so the pair end up together. Ryan later regrets sending Doug and Spike off together as he assumes that they'd end up 'blowing each other in a doorway', Clark is partially right to regret sending them together as they decide to give each other code names for if they got separated; Spike's was Cobra.

While searching Spike and Doug have a heart to heart about relationships and Doug tries to comfort Spike over the end of his career by telling him Spike had seen the stars while Doug co-managed a sporting equipment store with a diabetic, racist named Roy. Spike has lost his appetite for meaningless sex and desires a real relationship though doesn't actually say it. Mia's arrival interrupts the conversation only for Rav Mulcair to burst in seconds later and the two women get into a fight which escalates when Mads and Frank come in.


  • "I'll take it where I can get it. I mean a hole's a hole." (Spike to Doug)


  • Spike plays the saxophone.
  • He may be bisexual.


  1. Icon HBO.png HBO. Armando Iannucci to Bring Humor to Space with ‘Avenue 5’ hbo.com. Retrieved on November 24, 2019.