Life On Mars : Complete BBC Series 1
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Life On Mars is the smash-hit cop show starring John Simm as a detective who is involved in a car accident and wakes to find himself transported back to 1973 a world dominated by Ford Cortinas, sheep-skin jackets and very hard coppers.
How would the modern face of policing cope in the land of The Sweeney? Thats the question posed by Life on Mars, as DI Sam Tyler (John Simm) a modern cop transported back to 1973 after a nasty car accident. There, he finds himself dealing with the significantly rougher attitudes and behaviours of "old-school" British policing, as exemplified by his new boss, DCI Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister). Its a fish-out-of-water story, as Tyler attempts to teach his new colleagues some very modern methods, while attempting to get used to sheepskin jackets, wide lapels and man-made fibres.
This first series of the hugely successful BBC programme sets the scene and introduces the characters that make up Tylers new world, but stumbles a bit by trying too hard to explain exactly how he got there (the "coma" subplot just gets in the way). Life on Mars is at its best when Glenister is on screen--hes bigoted, chauvinistic and aggressive, and goes through each episode alternately bellowing or scowling. But hes a product of his times, and in his heart, all he wants is to catch the bad guys. For Tyler, its all about the means, while for Hunt its all about the ends. They may not like each other much, but their on-screen chemistry is undeniable, and just one of the things that make this excellent series so watchable. --Ted Kord
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The star of the show, for me, is Gene Hunt, a drinking, smoking, non-PC detective andl we love him for it! This will take you back to 1973, fast cars, places, great music, loveable characters, retro costumes, all the details are perfectly tuned and the plot is great, it isn't the basic time travel plot neither the classic 'cop show';simply a fusion of the two and nobody ever did it better!All he has to do is bide his time until he works out how to get home...This show is sheer brilliance. The seventies are beautifully shown with all their faults and merits. Spread throughout with an absolutely fantastic selection of music from these years, the perfect background for the Eternal Conflict between the meticulous "Modern man" Sam Tyler and his brute superior officer DCI Gene Hunt (or simply "Guv"). FANTASTIC! Buy the follow on series two and also the follow on series Ashes to Ashes which carries the stories through to a fantastic and thought provoking ending. You will not guess until the last minutes! Worth the journey. I took weeks watching the whole 2 series of Life On Mars and just had to watch the whole 3 series of Ashes to Ashes. Nothing will ever be as good as this again, sadly.
The best thing I've seen in years: excellent concept, excellent execution and wonderful heart. The level of detail is also remarkable and it has a fantastic sense of style. Nobody couldn't like this!
Watch the pilot episode or a trailer and then get hooked This is, I promise,The Best TV series ever made!
Paul Davies FRTCA
The chemistry between Simm's DI Sam Tyler and Philip Glenister's scene-stealing role as DCI Gene 'The Gene Genie' Hunt (second Bowie reference) is one of the main crux of this show. Their difficult relationship straddles resentment, absolute loathing and complete reliance, resulting in hilarity (such as Glenister's wonderful one-liners) or nail-bitting drama (like Tyler and Hunt's clashes of character).
By blending what could have been just another gritty crime drama with the element of sci-fi and fantasy, the shows creators have made, with the help of a script that's full of wit, warmth and intelligence, a fantastically engaging series. If you missed it when it first aired then I reccommend that you miss out no longer; 'Life On Mars' is proof, along with 'Dr Who', 'Hussle' and 'Cassanova', that the BBC can still make great television when it wants to.
It's also a great DVD package (spanning 4 discs) that shows the producers really care about their series; the two part Making Of documentary (on discs 1 and 2) is insightful and interesting and at about 45mins each, it's not a 15 minute collection of clips and actors telling you who their character is like you don't know. The documentaries about music (disc 3) and production (disc 4) are equally as intriging. I've not experienced the audio commentaries yet but with such a great cast I'm sure they'll be entertaining. Even the imaculately produced packaging shows the care that has gone into this boxed set. Just do yourself a favour and buy it now... my little deputy dawgs.
This story brings us right up to date with police procedures back in the 70's as opposed to current police thinking and its quite an eye opener as to how it was then and now. Artistic licence allowed for in the story one can only cringe as to how policing was back in those days.
The story keeps us on edge as we are taken to the edge of wakefulness and wonder what will happen when indeed he wakes up.
Of course political correctness being what it is there follows a female cop version ..... hey-ho Dc
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