Saturday, October 19, 2013

Life on Mars (US version)

Life on Mars (US edition)
[DVD Life]

This 2008-2009 US television series was based on a 2006-2007 two-season British show of the same name. In both shows, Sam Tyler is a modern-day (early 2000s) cop (played by Jason O'Meara in the US version), who is critically injured and wakes up to find himself back in 1973. Still a cop, and newly assigned to a New York City police district, Sam finds himself working with a colorful group of fellow detectives, include a brutal, ball-breaking Lt. Gene Hunt (Harvey Keitel in this American version), a sleazy womanizing detective Ray Carling (Michael Imperioli) and impressionable young detective Chris Skelton (Jonathan Murphy). Also in the department is Officer Annie Norris (Gretchen Mo), a young female officer who wants to join the squad of detectives. Confused and uncertain about what has happened to him, Sam Tyler tries to do his job as a cop, using technologies and procedures that are 30 years of out date -- the cops occasionally brutalize their suspects, and instant communication by cellphone is a pipe dream. When not working, and trying to be a "decent" cop in a squad that doesn't follow the rules, Sam also tries to figure how what has happened to him and if there's a way for him to get back to 2008 and the life he left behind. This US version featured a terrific cast, and primo production values. I grew up watching 1970s cop shows, and this harkens back to that era very well. The science-fictional elements of how Sam got stuck backwards in time are creative, and there are little hints that build up to the eventual conclusion throughout the course of the entire season, if you pay close attention. Personally, I think the British version was better done, and a little bit more edgy -- the two series also had completely different finales. But, if you're looking for a creative cop show with an interesting twist, I'd recommend the US version of Life on Mars. This DVD also has several "special features", including bloopers, deleted scenes. a production design on how they recreated the world of 1973, a "day in the life of Jason O'Meara on set', and a visit to the Life on Mars set by Lee Majors, who would have been starring on The $6 Million Man at the same time this series was set -- he offers insights as to how accurate this series' producers were on recreating that era. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[Also available, although not in the Lincoln City Libraries collection – the original British version of the series (2006-2007) – you can request this through our InterLibrary Loan service!]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this series ] | [ Life on Mars (US) at ]

Have you seen this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

No comments: