Life On Mars (2008, US remake)


Code Monkey
Staff member
The premiere of the US remake of Life on Mars airs tonight at 10:00 PM Eastern on ABC.
Hit by a car while investigating a murder, Detective Sam Tyler find himself transported to 1973 New York, where he helps the homicide squad investigate a killer whose methods are similar to those of the killer he was chasing in 2008.
Jason O'Mara, Harvey Keitel, and Michael Imperioli star.
Too many shows last night being recorded on the DVR so I missed Eleventh Hour but did watch Life On Mars.

- Excellent music! :cool:
- If Harvey Keitel was ever tailor fit for a role, this is it. Some of Keitel's movie choices of late have been questionable but here as the 70's NY Police Captain, he is in his natural element.
- Michael Imperioli is doing a great job of getting away from his Sopranos stereotype that he was hit with for a while there.
- Interesting storyline, had my attention.

- Enough with the technology jokes already, we get it!
- So Sam is in a coma that the doctor has described as being in an alternate reality and on occasion voices and/or images from the 'real world' are filtered through to Sam's world. Wasn't that the exact same premise of a kids TV series out of Canada a few years back, but instead of a cop in a coma it was a kid who went to a world where there were only other kids?

- Was it really necessary to have not one, but two shots of the World Trade Center towers? The first shot, where Sam is first seen in 1973, was effective but the final scene was just gratuitous.
S1E2: The Real Adventures of the Unreal Sam Tyler

Sam seems to have accepted the fact that he is stuck in 1973 for the time being.

- He is coping with what is "real" by using the mirror as analogy. Very Through the Looking Glass feel to it.

- The passage of time is not being reflected, or at least dealt with. By that I mean Sam said that he can not remember what Maya looks like so how long exactly has he been in 1973 since last week's premiere?

- The Mars Rover?! Seriously? But... OK, where can I get my hands on one of them "Red Rover" toys? :D

- Police in 1973 were not required to know how to swim?

- Sam is still trying to figure out whom he can trust.

- In the first episode it was hinted out that by dying in the 1973 world that Sam might return to his own time but it seems that angle has been dropped. Afterall, if jumping off a roof meant going home then he would have done it. Of course the flip side is that dying in 1973 might mean dying in the real world also (ala The Matrix).
S1E3: My Maharishi is Bigger Than Your Maharishi

While investigating the murder of a Vietnam veteran, Sam helps the crew realize that a persons strength is often measured in non-obvious ways. Sam is also starting to wonder which world, 1973 or 2008, is the real one and that question is not helped with what seems to be random comments from those around him.

With this episode we see more of Sam's memories intertwined with the world of 1973. So far nothing has been shown to suggest anything other than Sam of 2008 is in a coma and is drawing upon his memories to create the world that he finds himself in.

Next week's teaser promises a possible explanation as to why Sam is in 1973 so it'll be interesting to see if in the end any of his actions end up altering his 2008 reality.
S1E4: Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadows?

Sam meets up with his own mother with some unexpected twists in his timeline.

While tackling the local crime boss, Sam find himself working to protect his own mother. The twist comes from Sam telling a story where he remembers his mother coming home one night wearing a red dress and then holding him for a long time.

At the end of the day (metaphorically speaking) Sam learns a lot more about his mother and that his childhood was not as innocent as he remembers it to be. His mother goes home, in the red dress, and gives her son and holds him.

So is it just a coincidence or is Sam an actual part of his own history? Are his actions pre-destined because they have already taken place or is the entire world just a fantasy where the dots are connected to try to make sense of what is happening to Sam?
S1E5: Things to Do in New York When You Think You're Dead

Racial tensions are high in the city when a latino is accused of brutally killing a young black girl. Sam must find the killer before the city is taken over by violence. While working the case, Sam finds himself working with a detective that will, in 2008, become Sam's mentor & father-figure.

A mysterious man keeps appearing to Sam and finally lets him know that Sam's journeys in 1973 may not be so random afterall and that there is a plan for him.

An otherwise good episode with one noticeable blemish... the stunt casting of Whoopi Goldberg as a DJ who pretends to be a man on the air and gives direction to the Black Liberation Army.
Apparently I have been the only one watching the US version of Life on Mars. :banghead:

The series is scheduled to end on April 1 and supposedly the finale will tie up the loose ends. I *really* enjoy this show and will be disappointed to see it gone. I already have the BBC version of Ashes to Ashes being recorded on the DVR (but not watching yet) so plan is that after April 1 I will see if the original BBC version of Life on Mars is available on DVD, watch it, and then catch up on Ashes on Ashes.
I watched the first episode to see what it was about but it didn't mean much to me at all. The whole UK vs US thing I suppose. I think it might be taken better by those here from the US of a certain age.
I watched the first episode to see what it was about but it didn't mean much to me at all. The whole UK vs US thing I suppose. I think it might be taken better by those here from the US of a certain age.
I think for me it combines several elements that I enjoy... the sci-fi aspect, some great 70's music, and that retro-cop show feel.

Of everything on the DVR these days, it was Life on Mars, Burn Notice, and Life and that I enjoyed watching this season.