Thursday, October 16, 2008

 

Life on Mars

Tonight is the second episode of ABC’s Life on Mars. It’s not about life on Mars but it is kinda SciFi. Kinda. It’s based on the British show of the same name which ran for 16 episodes. The name comes from the song our hero Sam Tyler was listening to when he was hit by a car and woke up in the past, Life on Mars by David Bowie. David Bowie is the Sovereign, btw. Much the way Mad Men runs on the joke of how lame and different the early 60’s were, Life on Mars exploits the differences with the 70’s and now. But having Sam Tyler as the “outside guy” gives the opportunity for some additional explanation. The “outside guy” is a staple of the SciFi genre and this is SciFi, kinda.

The British version used a formula for each episode. The new case each week was somehow related to future Sam. It was remarkably well done. Also there’s the arc of how Sam got to the past. He hears voices from the future from the phone or the TV or the radio. Is he crazy? Is he in a coma dreaming this all up? Did he actually travel to the past? That’s the fun of this show. I’m very interested to see how they continue the show that ended after two seasons. This show is already pulling huge numbers. Harvey Keitel is a perfect choice for the gruff captain who plays by his own rules. If you missed it, watch the first episode on abc.com and don’t miss tonight.

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