Saturday, 1 September 2012

Life on Mars

“Life on Mars is a British television series broadcast on BBC One between January 2006 and April 2007. The series combine elements of science fiction and police procedural. The story is about a police officer –Sam- who finds himself in 1973 after a car accident. How he came to be there is up for grabs through the series. Consisting of two seasons, with 8 (an hour long) episodes each, the series create a big and unending suspense. But just like Sam himself you will find yourself getting used to his situation and get caught up with what’s going on in 1973.

 I was reluctant to watch the series at first as I thought it to be another police and car chase series which offer no depth of characters and just use action as a tool of chaining you to the screen. But I have to admit that I was totally in the wrong. For those who look for action there is plenty of it in the production but those who wish to see more do not go unsatisfied.

The plot is constantly building up the suspense. Whether it’s about Sam’s fight for survival or his inexhaustible struggle to find the truth about his being in 1973 or some mysterious crime, you will never find it easy to pause the series to go to the kitchen and get a glass of water. You will keep saying “okay after this scene.”

Gene Hunt played by Philip Glenister
The atmosphere and the depiction of 1973 are both fun and captivating the most. The comical character “Gene Hunt” as the DCI back in 1973 and the violations of the officers in the show was found inaccurate by the police officers who served back then in real life, but they are found as immense comedy makers by the audience, adding a touch of humour to the show. But comedy –and occasionally tragedy- also rises from the clashes between Sam and the officers of 1973. The difference in technology, procedure, morality, etiquette, communication and perception constantly causes the characters to clash which sometimes occurs in a funny way and sometimes in a more serious fashion.

The music of the series maybe gives it the best advantage over the many police procedural series out there. The title of the show refers to Bowie’s Life on Mars. Among the bands and the singers that were used in the show you will see names such as: Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Thin Lizzy, Uriah Heep, The Who, Paul McCartney and so many more. If you like to check out which tracks were used please visit: the link to the soundtrack list on wiki . So the music of the show is as captivating as the plot itself to those who like rock from 70ies.

Keeley Hawes in Ashes to Ashes
The series do have a follow up under the title “Ashes to Ashes”. I did not half like these series as much as I liked Life on Mars and to be frank I did not even finish it. I like to pretend that Ashes to Ashes does not even exist because for me it was such a literal killer to such a fantastic show. So I simply count Life on Mars season 1&2 as the only productions on the story. If you want to go ahead and destroy it for yourself though, then watch. The main actress is hot…that’s about the only nice thing I have got to say about Ashes to Ashes :) Dont get your hopes up though, what with the worst fashion sense ever and the clown make-up of the 80ies even a woman of her calibre can look lame.
But back to Life on Mars; I highly recommend it to those who like intriguing, original stories, police procedural, who like trying to guess what has happened or will happen, who like watching the atmosphere and listening to the music of 70ies (that put me off a lot in Ashes to Ashes as it took part in the 80ies) and in general who like a really good production (well who doesn’t?). Watch it and you won’t regret it :) 

I attach the intro video below and I hope you like it. Thank you for reading :)