Escape Artists
August 22, 2014, 02:36:38 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2  All
  Print  
Author Topic: Life on Mars  (Read 6011 times)
SFEley
Autarch
*****
Posts: 1408



WWW
« on: March 17, 2007, 08:44:48 PM »

Why do you Brits get to have all the really good shows?

My wife and I just discovered Life on Mars a little while ago.  We're five episodes in now.  This is now my favorite cop show -- not that I've ever been a big fan of the genre, but this one's special.  I'm putting this in the miscellaneous board because it's not entirely clear whether it's science fiction.  (If it becomes clear later, don't tell me.)  >8->

For the rest of us Americans who've never heard of this show: Detective Inspector Sam Tyler is a present-day cop with a very by-the-book attitude.  He gets hit by a car in the first episode and wakes up in 1973.  Oddly, he still has a job, and everyone treats him like he's supposed to be there.  He believes he's in a coma and hallucinating the whole thing (and there's some supporting evidence for this) -- but he isn't completely sure.  Of course his early attempts to treat people like they aren't real don't endear him to his new colleagues.  He ends up having to do his job all over again, only with primitive procedures, a deeply sexist and racist culture, and an abrasive boss who thinks nothing of beating the crap out of prisoners or planting evidence on suspects he thinks are guilty.  He stands up to all of this and tries to do things the modern way -- which, again, doesn't make him any friends.

There's a lot that's exaggerated about the show.  I can only imagine how the concept came about: a bunch of writers needing to come up with another detective show, and saying "It's too bad we can't get away with intimidation and fistfights every five minutes like they used to do on shows in the 70s.  ...Hey, wait a minute!"

But it's good.  There's real character conflict here -- you relate to Tyler, but you also sympathize with the other cops who can't stand him because he keeps getting in their way.  It's all good guys with diametrically opposed viewpoints.  And there's enough of a Twin Peaks vibe about the whole thing to give it a sense of darkness and mystery.  Did he really go back in time?  Is he in a coma?  Or is he just insane?  There are also some really funny bits, but it's certainly not the comedy I was expecting when someone first gave me the two-sentence nutshell.  It's quite serious.

If it hits BBC America again, I recommend tuning in.  (Or get it the way I did.  You can probably guess.)  It's well worth the time.
Logged

ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
Roney
Lochage
*****
Posts: 418



« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2007, 10:15:32 AM »

I think this is a case of the grass always being greener on the other side of the Atlantic.  I probably spend more time watching American shows that I've, uh... waited to be released on DVD Wink than I do on broadcast UK TV.

But Life on Mars is a good 'un.  We've been waiting for the second season more eagerly than third season Dr Who (which must also be due soon).  I'll not spoil anything, just say that the quality hasn't slipped so far.

I can only imagine how the concept came about: a bunch of writers needing to come up with another detective show, and saying "It's too bad we can't get away with intimidation and fistfights every five minutes like they used to do on shows in the 70s.  ...Hey, wait a minute!"

Close.  According to the S1 DVD, the writers had been sent away to come up with ideas for new shows.  The conversation went something like:
"We should write down some safe ideas before we get too wacky."
"Fine, let's have a cop show.  They seem easy to sell."
"Ugh, not another cop show.  I'd rather cut off my arm than get stuck writing one of those."
"I know what you mean.  They're so dull.  I don't think I've seen one that was any fun since the 70s."

It still took the best part of 10 years for it to get commissioned.  I think some of their other ideas were developed first.
Logged
Brian Reilly
Palmer
**
Posts: 61


Bigger on the inside


« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2007, 01:18:23 PM »

It's the one-liners that make the show. Especially when they come from the less-than-PC DCI Hunt.

"He's got fingers in more pies than a leper on a cookery course"

"He's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot"

" I don't like this. Gene Hunt smashes doors down, he does not pick girlie locks! "

"Anything happens to this motor, I'll come around your houses and stamp on all your toys. Got it? Good kids. "

" I think you've forgotten who you're talking to.
An overweight, over-the-hill, nicotine-stained, borderline-alcoholic homophobe with a superiority complex and an unhealthy obsession with male bonding?
You make that sound like a bad thing. "

Being a good-quality British drama, there are only eight shows a season. Season Two is almost over Sad

Most British TV sucks. I've watched a ton of American SF. A torrent, you might say Wink

I've heard a US version is planned.
Logged

The 21st Century is when it all changes, and you’ve gotta be ready- Captain Jack, Torchwood.
Alasdair5000
Editor
*****
Posts: 953



WWW
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2007, 02:14:58 PM »

It's the one-liners that make the show. Especially when they come from the less-than-PC DCI Hunt.

"He's got fingers in more pies than a leper on a cookery course"

"He's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot"

" I don't like this. Gene Hunt smashes doors down, he does not pick girlie locks! "

"Anything happens to this motor, I'll come around your houses and stamp on all your toys. Got it? Good kids. "

" I think you've forgotten who you're talking to.
An overweight, over-the-hill, nicotine-stained, borderline-alcoholic homophobe with a superiority complex and an unhealthy obsession with male bonding?
You make that sound like a bad thing. "

   I'd completely forgotten that last one:)  Two zingers from series two:

'You are surrounded by armed bastards!'

'Right, let's nick someone from the 'we don't like you' list.'

   As well as a US remake there's also a rumoured '80s-set spin off called Ashes to Ashes, focussing on Gene.  The thought of a Manchester-set Miami Vice starring the most monstrous TV cop in recent memory can ONLY be a good thing.  As, I suspect can the fact that John Simm went straight from the second series of this to playing a character in the new series of Who.

   And yeah, most English TV is rubbish although just recently things have taken an uptick.  Primeval just finished over here and whilst it was supremely pulpy and daft it was also huge fun:)  Similarly, the Inspector Morse follow up, Lewis has just finished its first run and was excellent, really smart, odd crime drama.  So, as the Third Watch theme tune once said, there is hope.
Logged
SFEley
Autarch
*****
Posts: 1408



WWW
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2007, 06:02:11 PM »

I've heard a US version is planned.

Ye gods, not again. 

Good British-to-American transplantation has been achieved exactly once.  Queer as Folk is quite good in the US version.  Every other good British show I've seen that they've tried doing here has sucked dalmatians through a garden hose.  (The American version of Coupling being the all-time worst, of course.)
Logged

ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
ClintMemo
Hipparch
******
Posts: 679



WWW
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2007, 06:30:13 PM »

I've heard a US version is planned.

Ye gods, not again. 

Good British-to-American transplantation has been achieved exactly once.  Queer as Folk is quite good in the US version.  Every other good British show I've seen that they've tried doing here has sucked dalmatians through a garden hose.  (The American version of Coupling being the all-time worst, of course.)


So, I'm guessing you're not a fan of "the Office"?
Logged

Life is a multiple choice test. Unfortunately, the answers are not provided.  You have to go and find them before picking the best one.
SFEley
Autarch
*****
Posts: 1408



WWW
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2007, 06:48:50 PM »

So, I'm guessing you're not a fan of "the Office"?

*thinks*

*clears throat grudgingly*

Okay, okay.  Two good shows.  (Though, yeah, I've never watched it a whole lot in either version.  Not that it's not funny, just not enough time.)
Logged

ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
Bdoomed
Pseudopod Tiger
Moderator
*****
Posts: 3871


Mmm. Tiger.


WWW
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2007, 11:48:33 PM »

I've heard a US version is planned.

Ye gods, not again. 

Good British-to-American transplantation has been achieved exactly once.  Queer as Folk is quite good in the US version.  Every other good British show I've seen that they've tried doing here has sucked dalmatians through a garden hose.  (The American version of Coupling being the all-time worst, of course.)

Whos Line is it Anyways is a great show!  tho i doubt it falls under the same category... it is a british-american translation and its as funny as ever!
Logged

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?
Musings and Ramblings
Jim
HP Lovecraft's 275,892nd biggest fan.
Matross
****
Posts: 190


WWW
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2007, 05:43:33 AM »

And don't forget that All in the Family was based on the British sitcom 'Til Death Do Us Part.
Logged

My imaginary omnipotent friend is more real that your imaginary omnipotent friend.
Bdoomed
Pseudopod Tiger
Moderator
*****
Posts: 3871


Mmm. Tiger.


WWW
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2007, 10:55:25 PM »

steve's just been trashed... 3 times over.
pwnt
we love you steve!
Logged

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?
Musings and Ramblings
ClintMemo
Hipparch
******
Posts: 679



WWW
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2007, 04:41:04 PM »

I'm sure British TV is no different than any other art form - 95% of it is crap.
American TV is no different.
Logged

Life is a multiple choice test. Unfortunately, the answers are not provided.  You have to go and find them before picking the best one.
lowky
Hipparch
******
Posts: 2381


from http://lovecraftismissing.com/?page_id=3142


« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2007, 05:26:29 AM »

I'm sure British TV is no different than any other art form - 95% of it is crap.
American TV is no different.

I don't know I think American TV might be closer to 99.99% crap.  I think American Idol is now on 3 days a week for f@#! sake.
Logged

ClintMemo
Hipparch
******
Posts: 679



WWW
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2007, 06:51:25 AM »

I'm sure British TV is no different than any other art form - 95% of it is crap.
American TV is no different.

I don't know I think American TV might be closer to 99.99% crap.  I think American Idol is now on 3 days a week for f@#! sake.

If you limit yourself to the big four networks, that may just be true.
I take great pride in saying that I have seen more than an accidental snippet of American Idol, or Survivor or The Biggest Loser or... the rest of those.
Logged

Life is a multiple choice test. Unfortunately, the answers are not provided.  You have to go and find them before picking the best one.
Startrekwiki
Guest
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2007, 08:47:55 PM »


If you limit yourself to the big four networks, that may just be true.

There is also other countries. Canadian TV (a good percentage of our channels are American) also abides by the "99.9% crap" rule. Except for some of our CBC content, that can be seen just about anywhere on our TVs. That's why I listen to PodCasts.
Logged
Bdoomed
Pseudopod Tiger
Moderator
*****
Posts: 3871


Mmm. Tiger.


WWW
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2007, 10:05:58 PM »

Yea, I've stopped watching tv (relatively) because i rarely find anything worth watching.  I have 3 shows that i bother watching, and other than that, I cannot find anything worthwhile.  Discovery and History sometimes have some great stuff on, and i just loooove the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy (Cartoon Network)...

But the only shows i try to see are 24, Heroes, and South Park Tongue

and then i listen to podcasts... so much better! (the last episode of Stranger Things--Discontent-- had some SERIOUS audio problems! Sad)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2007, 10:08:10 PM by Bdoomed » Logged

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?
Musings and Ramblings
FNH
Matross
****
Posts: 309


F Napoleon H


WWW
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2007, 02:44:52 AM »

That's why I listen to PodCasts.

You got that one right!  I broke from TV when I found myself watch an Australian Soap Opera called Neighbours that was repeating the same script ( a treasure hunt ) but with differn't characters.  Thats was the final straw.  Switched it off.

Went to radio for a long time. Non commercial stations because the adverts drove me nuts.  Then... I found podcasts.  Content I want, when I want it.  Go Podcasting!
Logged

lowky
Hipparch
******
Posts: 2381


from http://lovecraftismissing.com/?page_id=3142


« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2007, 03:37:16 PM »

I'm sure British TV is no different than any other art form - 95% of it is crap.
American TV is no different.

I don't know I think American TV might be closer to 99.99% crap.  I think American Idol is now on 3 days a week for f@#! sake.

If you limit yourself to the big four networks, that may just be true.
I take great pride in saying that I have seen more than an accidental snippet of American Idol, or Survivor or The Biggest Loser or... the rest of those.

I am assuming you meant to say have not in your statement above.  I personally still stand by my statement of 99% of it being crap.  How many home shopping networks do we really need?  How many feeds of ESPN--When did poker become a sport anyways?  Yes there are a few shows I used to try to watch, but I watch so little TV that I just wait for the box sets for the shows I like and catch up all at once.  I read or listen to podcasts mostly for entertainment.
Logged

lowky
Hipparch
******
Posts: 2381


from http://lovecraftismissing.com/?page_id=3142


« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2007, 03:41:58 PM »


If you limit yourself to the big four networks, that may just be true.

There is also other countries. Canadian TV (a good percentage of our channels are American) also abides by the "99.9% crap" rule. Except for some of our CBC content, that can be seen just about anywhere on our TVs. That's why I listen to PodCasts.


I wish I could still get CBC here in Detroit area.  Due to the number of Canadians watching U.S. channels instead, CBC cut the broadcast power as a cost cutting measure in Windsor, and now even with cable signal strength seems poor, and without cable forget it.  I used to enjoy Hockey Night in Canada.  I also enjoyed watching their childrens' programing as a child, and when I was watching a friends child while his wife was in the hospital a few years ago, tried to share some of it with my friend's child, only to find it was unavailable to him through his satelite provider Sad
Logged

Startrekwiki
Guest
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2007, 05:06:16 PM »

do you receive the CBC FM radio signal?
Logged
lowky
Hipparch
******
Posts: 2381


from http://lovecraftismissing.com/?page_id=3142


« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2007, 12:50:05 PM »

do you receive the CBC FM radio signal?

seems like i get a cbc radio station somewhere in the 80's/low 90's of the dial, can't remember frequency (too lazy to look right now).  Daytime seems to be mostly classical music, and at night I know they sometimes play an electronic show, that features stuff like skinny puppy etc.
Logged

Pages: [1] 2  All
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!