So this week I’m watching the two seasons of “Life on Mars.” It’s a cop show from the BBC, but with a unique twist: the main character is a police detective who is hit by a car, and all of a sudden wakes up in 1973.
He’s in the past, or in a coma, or dreaming, or mentally ill. We’re not sure. But he remembers everything he knows from 2006, and works as a cop in 1973 Manchester. So he tries to apply modern police techniques while his colleagues apply the 1970s techniques.
Best tv series (for me) in the past three years! The soundtrack is incredible (well, mine was built up from every track that aired, more than what the BBC was selling on CD), the storytelling was completely off the wall sometimes and the acting by both John Simm and Phillip Glenister was fantastic, John in particular was a real relevation as an actor who can really sell a story that otherwise could have been just too weird for words. No spoilers but this show was only two seasons of eight episodes each and the finale left me speechless…ABC is currently in the production of an American version of the story and fans are wondering how in hell they can hope to stretch the story out and not make a complete mess of things!
Also, “LoM” has a sequel which just finished airing the first season a few weeks ago. It stars Keeley Hawes (of “Spooks” fame) and while the few few episodes were a bit of a let down, it got pretty damn good towards the end. The second season will be airing next spring, with the probablity of a third season in 2010. I was watching LoM on BBC-Canada but for some reason they’ve not aired “Ashes” yet but I’m hoping they might sometime soon.
One suggestion when you do get around to watching “A2A”-when the series was aired earlier this year, they moved episode 5 in front of episode 4, most likely due to a certain similarity between the overall storylines between episodes 3 and 4. This switch created a few small visual continuity and dialogue errors which made things a little muddled for the fans who were trying to make sense of what is going on and in hindsight, things are a little clearer if you watch the episodes in the order they were supposed to be aired in. (You want the pimp episode before the murder/communist group episode, in other words.)
The music in A2A really rang a lot of bells for me since a lot of it is part of the British Invasion of the early 80’s that I was listening to at the time-there is some stuff by artists that never made it on the airways here so I’m enjoying it almost as much as the music of the first series. Even better, my daughter is now a confirmed Bowie fan thanks to LoM !
This is my favourite LoM video, just don’t watch it until you’ve seen all the episodes of seasons 1 and 2 because it contains massive spoilers-
You are welcome-I never could have pictured them ending things the way they did but it certainly was an eye-opener! Of course when news came that it was being adapted for an American audience, the fans were all, “WTF??” because can you picture a series here ending quite like that? Anyhow, if you are watching “Ashes”, please remember that it gets better towards the end of this first season and pay VERY close attention to the mural at Luigi’s at the end of the last episode…that left some shivers down MY spine!
(spoilers ahead for anyone out there that is thinking of watching this series…)
One thing that happened quite early on with the airing of “Ashes” is that keen-eyed fans spotted a connection between Clownie and Alex’s dad, namely that the same actor played them both despite the fact that the actor was only being credited for the creepy clown. The website that first broke this bit of rumour happened to be read consistently by the production team and the website was asked to kill the post, but not before the news of a connection started to spread elsewhere. Of course we continued to speculate on what the connection meant and what that meant to Alex’s quest to prevent her parents’ deaths but I don’t recall anyone going with “Dad is nuts and taking his family with him!” being mentioned…
Of course, this mirrors Sam finding out that not only was Vic a criminal in the final episode of the first season of LoM, he was a killer as well. I’m pretty sure Sam prevented Annie’s death in the woods,right from the first episode you saw those flashbacks of red in the woods and a confused WeeSam walking around, looking for his fleeing father.
Back to “Ashes” and Alex’s dilemma. She’s lost her parents but for a reason she had no way of knowing and still has to figure out how to get back to Molly and the present day. One good friend of mine thinks the way the series opened has something to do with the overall mystery…the upside-down/mirror images of the opening scene and then the very short period between Alex hearing the gun-shot and finding Molly emerging from under the pier has left my friend wondering if Alex has a disconnect with reality even before she appears to get shot on the barge. (the references to “the book” and then the padded room in Bowie’s video,scenes where he’s connected to the space-ship?) Oh and I still have some major,major issues with Evan, I think there is something Alex is going to find out about him that makes getting back even more urgent than she currently realises.
I still prefer LoM to Ashes, mostly because of John Simm’s performance and the overall arc of the two seasons. Something about Alex’s shrillness and being such a know-it-all over the first few episodes was very grating and I thought badly written (as were her hooker-style outfits!) but by the end of the first season, Ashes seemed to have hit at least the bar. From what I’ve heard so far, they are planning at least one more (if not two more seasons) and have promised by the end of Ashes that an even bigger mystery will be revealed!!
Filming starts sometime in August of this year, with new episodes being airing early in 2009.
And yes, Clownie was meant to be the Clown from the Bowie video, only instead of being just tragi-comic, he was lethal as well…
Just for comparison’s sake, here is a link to the first promo of the Americanised version of LoM-
Oh man, except for “The Office,” Americans have never really been able to pull off a successful adaptation of a British show. Even “The Office” is really its own show now, not much in common with the original.
Remember the attempt at an American “Red Dwarf” ? I hope they don’t follow through with an American “IT Crowd” either.
For one thing, it’s hard feeling sory for Sam when a SMALLER guy punches him in the gut!!
Yeah, the American promo is pretty underwhelming but then again the vast majority of shows coming out of there fail to impress me in the least-I’m going to watch the premiere just to see how much is just a blatant copy of the original but past that? Not too likely!!
That cast picture pretty much solidifies the idea I got from the trailer that they’ve lumped Chris and Ray into one character, so there is some change but since those two only shared the characteristic of being a little “thick” sometimes, is the new guy going to be “thick” x 2??
Moving the show from LA to NY, how about up to Vancouver? Manchester has crappy weather so why not set the new show someplace that does gloomy well??