Life on Mars is arguably one of the better TV shows of the last 10 years, and so I feel no need to pick apart the series itself. Instead, this review will focus on the differences in video and audio quality between this Blu Ray release and the DVD. Life On Mars is presented with a 1080/24p AVC encode and 5.1 Dolby TruHD sound.
As noted by another reviewer the frame rate has been slowed down from 25fps to 24 - this is the format used on many Blu Ray movies as it is said to give motion a more film-like quality which Kudos are trying to replicate here. Having previously seen the show on DVD I could not notice any change in audio pitch or speed of movement caused by the slowdown, although each episode is a couple of minutes longer as a result.
In terms of video quality this release is everything I expected. Life on Mars was shot on 16mm film and was intended to have a very retro-70s look, so while there is a definite layer of grain (and the occasional scratch-mark/blemish) present, along with a slight softness in long and motion shots, these are all intentional. Close-up detail and colour reproduction show a definite improvement over the standard definition DVD. However, the biggest improvement comes with the sound, as the TruHD track is deeper and more well defined than anything previously released, especially when it comes to the fantastic early 70s soundtrack.
Ultimately, if you're expecting the Blu Ray of Life on Mars to be a pristine, pixel-perfect presentation then you're going to be disappointed. But if you want to see the series at its best and as the production team intended then look no further.