Please note that this product will not play on US spec 60i Blu-ray players as the Blu-ray discs are authored to UK 50i specs.
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Life on Mars - BBC Series 1 (New Packaging) [Blu-ray]
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Complete first series of the acclaimed BBC police drama, starring John Simm and Philip Glenister. Detective Sam Tyler (Simm) is a professional 21st century cop, keeping the streets of Manchester clean. But when he is run over in a near-fatal hit and run accident, he wakes up to find himself seemingly transported back in time to 1973. Trying to adjust to the archaic and sometimes brutal methods of Seventies police work, Sam frequently clashes with his abrasive, hard-drinking DCI, Gene Hunt (Glenister), but finds a sympathetic friend in WPC Annie Cartwright (Liz Smith). But is Sam just imagining all this? Is he in a coma? Or is he really back in time? In this series, Sam discovers that some of his colleagues are taking bribes from a local gangster, the murder of a Manchester City fan threatens to spark off a riot, and Sam finds himself investigating his own father after he becomes chief suspect in a murder enquiry. Includes all eight episodes.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I purchased the DVD for obvious reasons and as it's not available in the states, I didn't mind paying $50 US for it. It's worth every penny and I would have paid double that.
Writer/Producer David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal, The Practice, Boston Legal) has optioned the rights for a US version and although I believe it would be near impossible to carry over the same world and feel to the States... if anyone can do it, David E. Kelley can. He is developing it for next season (Fall 2007-2008).
Having watched almost the whole first series in its entirity, (I am six episodes in) on the sheer basis of the first six episodes alone, I give it five stars. John Simm is proving to be an excellent actor, certainly he plays DI Sam Tyler with the right mixture of confusion, vulnerability, sadness and determination that makes him instantly likeable.
The premise is quite simple. DI Tyler is involved in a horrific car crash, and wakes up in 1973 - the time when man made fibres were the order of the day, Ford Cortinas were hot, and when Mobile Phones were possibly "forgein numbers" and the world was still to be introduced to the concept of a TV in a bar. Tyler is left to unravel the mystery of what is happening to him - is this all a dream? a product of his mind, brought on by the coma from his accident? Is he going mad, or is 2006 a figment of his imagination and 1973 is reality?
It's powerful, gripping television and I watched the first six episodes back to back. Sam is an engaging character, a lost man trying to make sense of the world he is in, and get to grips with brutal methods of policing. Reading a suspect his rights "doesn't go like that" there weren't tape recorders used back then, and Sam finds himself regularly haunted by the girl off the TV test card.
Sam also clashes on a regular basis with the hardline methods of his superior "Gene" played by Phillip Glennister. Glennister ignites the screen in every scene he's in, and though the two rarely see eye to eye, together their screen presence is commanding and an absolute joy to watch.Read more ›
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.
A modern day cop wakes up in the 1970s. Is he dreaming? In a coma? Mad?
It leaves it all very open but you have a modern day cop struggling to do his job in the 70s.
The acting is superb, and they do a fab job of really getting into the 1970s mindset. Fist fights all the time, sexist remarks, cool cars and of course stunning (cringy for some) clothing.
The dialogue is also very good. (especially the cussing and the attitudes of everyone). Can't wait to see series 2. I didn't see any of it when it was on TV but this DVD series is very good.
Made even better by super packaging and some good extras too.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Arrived in good time and box of good condition. Disk is dirty and jumps a bit but ok...Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
Nothing to write about this drama that probably hasn't been written before. If you haven't seen this drama yet - WATCH IT!!!Published 16 days ago by jbinjapan
Bought for my future Mother in law - she is very happy with it!Published 2 months ago by Mr Peter J Warren